the joy of strength training


February 13th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Review: Olympic Weightlifting Techniques DVD

olympic-weightlifting-techniques-dvdIf you don’t know much about Glenn Pendlay, rest assured that is going to change.

An olympic weightlifting coach for some twenty years, Pendlay has until now stayed largely within the weightlifting and strength sports world, referenced by the likes of Mark Rippetoe, with whom he has worked extensively (you may have noticed Pendlay credited in Rippetoe’s books).

But now with a snazzy, content-rich website at, a new DVD published by On Target (the same folks who brought you Dan John’s Never Let Go DVD series), and even an interview on T-Nation, Glenn Pendlay is set to be everyone’s new favourite weightlifting guru!

I don’t mean to take the mickey, as this guy is the real deal. With the renewed interest in olympic weightlifting (due largely to the growth of Crossfit), it is fantastic to have a serious weightlifting coach putting good quality material out there in an accessible format.

And that is exactly what this two-disc DVD set represents. This is Glenn Pendlay’s method for teaching the snatch and the clean & jerk to complete beginners. You can use this DVD to learn the lifts yourself; you can also use it to teach others.

I have already used Pendlay’s method to teach people – both in a workshop setting and in a one-to-one setting – and I really like it. It is effective, it gets people doing the lifts quickly, and it drills good technique right from the beginning.

His progressions are simple (he focusses just on three key positions), systematic and easy to communicate. He is very clear about what needs to be corrected and how best to do this.

Like the Dan John DVDs, the presentation is a workshop delivered to a real audience. It’s possible to play along at home, and also useful from a coaching  point of view to see Glenn’s methods implemented with a variety of different body types and levels of skill.

‘Ideal’ technique is demonstrated by one of Pendlay’s star weightlifters, Jon North, who is the number one ranked 94kg lifter in the US.

Pendlay has a comfortable presentation style. He’s relaxed and clear; like his method, there is little that is extraneous or by-the-by. Pendlay mentions his credentials at the start of the workshop: he studied with Alexey Medvedev, Soviet national coach, in Moscow and started coaching soon afterwards in the early nineties. He has coached national champions in the US at all ages and currently has a crop of promising young elite weightlifters at his club, California Strength.

This is an excellent DVD for learning and teaching the olympic lifts. Glenn is making a visit to the UK soon and I am looking forward to learning more in person – and will of course share any insights with you.

You can buy the DVD from me here (the best option if you are in the UK) or from the US publisher here (makes more sense if you are in the US).

Dan John’s DVDs on Olympic Lifting for Beginners and Perfecting Your Kettlebell Form are also available in the gubernatrix shop.

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  • 1

    I am really interested in Glenn’s DVD but what region is it set for – i.e. will it play on ordinary UK DVD players?

    Rachel on February 14th, 2011
  • 2

    My experience of buying instructional DVDs from the US is that they’re region free, as it’s only films that have international distribution/release date issues.
    What will make a difference is whether your DVD player can playback NTSC (the UK standard is PAL), most DVDs can but it’s worth checking, if not you should still be able to watch it on your PC.

    Arran on February 14th, 2011
  • 3

    Arran, thanks so much for providing an answer (better than I could!).

    Rachel, I have no problems playing this DVD and my player is not exactly swanky and new, so I am sure it will be fine. I have sold other DVDs from this publisher and no-one has ever come back to me saying there was a problem with playback.

    I did check the back of the DVD box but it doesn’t specify region. As Arran says, it is probably region free.

    gubernatrix on February 14th, 2011
  • 4

    Thanks, both. I am definitely going to get this!

    Rachel on February 14th, 2011
  • 5

    Let us know what you think when you have seen it!

    gubernatrix on February 20th, 2011
  • 6

    Nice review, some of his exercises have really helped me. Pauses during the lifts, below knee etc have really helped.
    How did you get on at the southern masters? Banish those deamons?

    Ed Ache

    Ed on March 16th, 2011
  • 7

    Hi Ed, I didn’t do the southern masters, but I did a competition at Woking that was not too bad. I didn’t bomb at least and snatch went well!
    Thanks for popping by.

    gubernatrix on March 16th, 2011
  • 8

    Hi can maybe somebody help me, I’m looking for this DVD but on the 2 mentioned websites the product isn’t available.

    Does maybe somebody knows where I can find a copy of glenns dvd?

    thank you very much

    Raphael on July 21st, 2011
  • 9

    Hi Raphael,
    As far as I know, all copies of this DVD sold out in the UK and US. I don’t know if there are any plans to issue more copies, but the publisher is On Target Publications so you might want to contact them or keep an eye on the website at

    gubernatrix on July 21st, 2011
  • 10


    Thank you for your reply and the link, I’ll try to contact them directly!

    Raphael on July 22nd, 2011


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