My answer? I don't know much. I am still learning like everyone else. In fact, you should always be learning, if not it means you will be stuck at a point with no progress. As a lifter, a different weight is a totally different learning experience. If you are not learning, then you are going nowhere.
So back to what I know about weightlifting. People will doubt. People will hate. But I know what I know and I share what I know about it. I know the simple stuff. I know the biomechanics of it. I won't say I know everything. But I scratch the surface of what there is about technique, what there is about weightlifting. So here's sharing it with you through what I have learnt so far.
1. Individual Differences.
Every weightlifter is different. Even if they are identical twins, there will be something different about them. Stature, shoulder width, hip width, thigh length, shin length, feet size, forearm length, upper arm length, torso length etc. Just anthropometry itself has so many factors that contribute to the way someone lifts (i.e. his or her technique). Add the ratios between various segments of the body and you multiple that number of factors by several folds. Multiple it by the five key positions in weightlifting, then multiple it by the four phases and that means you just multiple that number you have by 20 at least. That means there are so many other ways that your technique is different from someone else. So don't go around looking at how others lift and try to mimic it. Lift how your body naturally allows you to lift. That's how you are going to have efficient and effective technique.
2. The Barbell-Weightlifter System.
The two things moving in weightlifting are the barbell and yourself. If they don't work together, nothing will be achieved and energy will be wasted. Going again part of the system also results in the failure of the entire system (i.e. muscling the bar results in dire consequences). Understanding this means that you need to feel a "connection" with the barbell. That way, you can move accordingly to the barbell and you can do what you want with your body by being more efficient. How you move affects the movement of the barbell and how the barbell moves in as a result of that affects how you finish the movement off.
Unless your body is shaped EXACTLY like his, moving exactly like him might not work for you. Learning the principles behind his movement will work though. Image from hookgrip.com.
While technique is generally stereotypical in a sense that bringing that barbell up overhead or onto the shoulders looks pretty much the same for everyone, technique is something that differentiates a particular lifter from another. It's the minute differences that makes technique unique to the individual. Based on what I mentioned before about individual differences, the way our segments are all different results in different lever lengths that can be used to generate force or inertia. In other words, the difference in technique from lifter to lifter is based on biomechanical principles governed by Newton's laws. So if you are considering changing your technique up, it should be with the goal of changing it to fit your body proportions and not because the Chinese or Russians are successful in weightlifting so you are adopting their technique.
4. Weightlifting is for All.
Despite knowing that there are certain body types or segmental lengths/ratios that are ideal for weightlifting, if you understand the first three points I have mentioned, you can easily pick up the lifts and enjoy it like everyone else. How does that work? Firstly, you are doing as much as you can with what your body can do. Forcing yourself to go into a position you are not prepared or trained for does not do any good but if you learn to recognize your limits and work towards increasing them in a slow and progressive manner, you will see that soon, you will progress to a good position and something you never thought you could achieve. More importantly, always look to progress not just in weight but in movement. Moving well is a better indication of progress than how much weight you can achieve. This will ensure that you did not just wing it and you are working towards longevity.
So that's all I know about weightlifting for now. More importantly, there is definitely more out there for me to find out and learn. Not just from continuing education but also from experience with working with everyone that I have come across. Only with that can I continue to share what I pick up along the way. Only with that scratching of the surface will you know that there is actually alot more to go in the path of learning.
Stay Strong and Keep Learning,
The Training Geek