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The Tommy Kono Project from Iron Maven – Product Review

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Before continuing with the blog series, I wanted to make people aware of a new product which is the Kono Project DVD set.

If you’re not familiar with the sport of Olympic lifting, the name will probably mean nothing to you but Tommy Kono was one of the great American Olympic lifters back in the day, coming from rather meager beginners to be a world beater. He’s continued to be an excellent ambassador for the sport and continues to help to promote and teach it.

For those looking for an excellent introduction to the sport, I highly recommend his book Weightlifting Olympic Style. While not as insanely comprehensive as Arthur Dreschler’s Encyclopedia of Weightlifting, I found that Kono’s book actually had some technical gems that were explained better than in Dreschler’s book.

Now, there’s another site on the web called Iron Maven, among other things they are known for doing a lot of slow motion video analysis of Olympic lifting, they have videos on youtube and are an excellent resource for analyzing movements that, due to their high speed, are often tough to see at full speed.

In their own words, inspired by and named after Tommy Kono, they have recently released a two disk set of top American lifters (one DVD shows female lifters, the other male) containing video of the top 3 medallists from the National championships held in Ohio this year.

Stealing part of the description from the IronMaven site, they write

“Within each DVD, you can search through each weight class for a specific lifter. Watch each lift with two views and at half-speed; see the subtleties in technique that contribute to a successful or unsuccessful lift. Many lifts also have bar trajectories and/or the full-speed video clip to help the viewer appreciate the power, speed and technique required of this sport. The bonus clips feature Casey Burgener’s 180 kg Snatch, Chad Vaughn’s 190 kg American Record Clean & Jerk, Kendrick Farris’ 199 kg American Record Clean & Jerk, and Natalie Woolfolk’s 215 kg American Record total from the 2007 World Team Qualifier, and more.”

For anybody who is simply interested in Olympic lifting, or who wants to see different techniques and bar trajectories analyzed at different speeds, I suspect that this will be an incredible resource (I ordered my copy as soon as I became aware of it and will do a full review when it arrives).

Most of the videos of OL’ing I’ve seen not only focus on the men but on the top competitors in the world. While motivating and often illuminating, watching the best do their thing often isn’t as illustrative as it might be. Often they have technical idiosyncracies that, while fascinating, aren’t something the beginner should emulate. And, as noted above, watching the lifts are full speeds makes it very difficult to see what’s actually going on.

The price is $39.99 for the two disk set (the individual DVD’s containing the male or female lifters can be ordered for $19.99 apiece).

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