He has “IT”

I was talking to a speed skater yesterday and he was describing something he called a “feel for the ice”. He said two skaters skating side by side could have identical technique by any measurable standards, same cadence, same position, same joint angles and movements… and yet there would be something different. You cant really describe it and you can’t point it out. But you can see it. And the skater that had IT would go faster.

The same thing exists in weightlifting. There is a certain aspect of the performance of the lifts that the word technique just doesn’t cover. I have called it rhythm, or tempo, or said a lifter made “pretty lifts”. But none of those things quite cover IT. One lifter can do everything by the book, good positions, great line of pull, and yet watching him you know that while nothing is really wrong, something just isn’t quite right. He just doesn’t have IT.

James Moser had IT. Now, his technique was not exactly textbook. The bar went forward as it came off the ground, he often put his jerks forward and had to chase them down, and his knees sometimes came in and almost touched as he struggled to stand from a clean. Yet for him, you could see that it was right. When James lifted, you could plainly see that every single muscle fiber of every muscle in his entire body was working in perfect concert to fix the bar overhead. That every movement was right, that the timing and rhythm of the movement could not be improved. It was beautiful.


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