Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mobility Series with Myorope - Part 3

Alright folks, here's our last installment, for now, in our mobility series with the Myorope.  Enjoy and rest up, so you can recharge those batteries for 2013!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ending on a Good Note - Training Progression: Week 5, Day 4

Back Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
2 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%

Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 2 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 2 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%

Clean Pull
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 80%
5 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%

Behind the Neck Push Jerk
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 75%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%

Back Squats
Work Up to 1 Rep Max.  Progression is as Follows:
90kg
105kg
120kg
130kg
140kg
2 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80% of 1 Rep Max of the Day

Daily Volume: 98
Weekly Volume: 456

The combination between adapting to the training later in the week and my new narrower foot position is making squats SO much easier.  Getting a 10kg jump in two days when squatting to a max is not bad at all.  Granted, today's volume was not high, but I felt very confident today in my squats.  I'll take it.  Let's see if I can take this momentum forward and see some continued improvement in my squat numbers.

My lifts, especially my snatches, were on point today.  Really focusing on speed and fast hips really paid off.  My first rep at 85% was, according to Sean, the best snatch he's seen me make to date. Sweet! It was great to end this week's training on a high note.  85% never felt easier!  The extra squatting may be paying off.  Go figure!



Friday, December 28, 2012

Fast Hips Every Rep - Training Progression: Week 5, Day 3

Power Clean + Press
5 Sets of 1 P.Cl. + 5 Press

Power Snatch + Behind the Neck Snatch Grip Push Press + Overhead Squat
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 60%
3 Sets of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 70%

Power Clean + Front Squat + Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 Jr. @ 60%
3 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 Jr. @ 70%

RDL
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%

Back Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%

Daily Volume: 135
Weekly Volume: 358

There were two big take aways from today's training.  The first takeaway is that I need to increase the speed of my hips EVERY rep.  I am able to do this from time to time, but I need to get more consistent at getting faster.

R.A. Roman describes in The Training of the Weightlifter, that in the "final acceleration" of bringing your hips into the bar, you create "optimal conditions for the maximum application of force to the barbell and its subsequent vertical elevation." (Roman, 7).  If this portion of the pull isn't fast enough or is too long, then the weight you can snatch and clean & jerk will be limited once you get heavy enough because your ability to maximally apply force is lost. The final part of the "explosion" should be lightning fast.  When I mean lightning fast, it should be 0.15-0.25 seconds in the snatch and 0.1-0.2 in the clean (Roman, 8).

At this point, this is the next focus area I need to work on in order to make the next big jump.  I'm up for the challenge!

The second takeaway was tweaking my squat stance and position.  I brought my feet in slightly to the same width as my starting position in the clean.  Doing this felt more comfortable at the bottom and made it easier for me to drive up with more speed.  When I front squat, I will have a wider stance that will be the same width as my receiving position in the clean.

While the squat has transferability to the overall strength and ability to clean, the torso position of the back squat has more direct transferability to the pull, while the front squat has more direct transferability to driving out of the bottom of the clean.

To finish the session, I did a couple sets of 8 reps of banded squats with just the bar to work on my squat technique.  It was awkward feeling at first, but really seemed to help with being in the right positions when at the bottom and driving up.

Looking forward to a double training session tomorrow!



Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Double Training Session - Training Progression: Week 5, Day 2

A.M Session

Front Squat
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

Hang Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%
3 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Hang Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
3 Sets of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%

Clean Pull
5 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%

PM Session

Back Squat
Work up to 1 Rep Max
Progression is as follows:
90kg
105kg
120kg
130kg
135kg (Fail)
135kg (Fail)

2 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80% of Today's Max

Daily Volume: 94
Weekly Volume: 223

Today was my first day at doing a double session with a break.  I was feeling pretty beaten up from yesterday's training, but front squats felt strong.  Go figure.  Most likely due to less torque on the hips, front squats don't irritate my hips as much as back squats.

The fatigue from yesterday showed up in the snatches, however, as I missed 5 out of 20 snatches.  Cleans at 80% felt solid and easier than previously.

My second session of squatting was pretty underwhelming, as I could only hit 135kg.  At least we know the training is effective.  Programming squatting like this does 2 things. 1) It shocks the CNS, which is needed from time to time in training to adapt and improve.  2) It lets the coach know how the training is effecting the athlete.  If the athlete were able to PR at this point, the training is not enough and more volume is needed.  If the athlete is failing at less than 80%, the volume may be too much.

While I was frustrated at my squatting this afternoon, it should be nothing to worry about.  Keep thinking big picture!  If the same thing happens to you, do the same.  Always keep your focus and realize that weightlifting and training is long term and big picture.






Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Train Everyday - Training Progression: Week 5, Day 1

Back Squat
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 60%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 70%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

Hang Snatch
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 75%

Hang Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 4 Hg. Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Hg. Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Hg. Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%
2 Sets of 4 Hg. Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 75%

Behind the Neck Push Press
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 75%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 65%

RDL
5 Sets of 5 Reps @ 80%

Back Squat

1 Set of 5 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 70%
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 70%

Daily Volume: 129
Weekly Volume: 129

I love Christmas and spending time with the family, but man, taking extra days off really kills momentum built in training.  In fact, anything more than 2 days rest really seems to set me back.  I took Monday and Tuesday off to spend time with family from out of town, which was needed and wanted, however, I definitely paid for it today.

Today's training session lasted about 4.5 hours.  Snatches and clean & jerks felt good, even at my higher adjusted weights (basing percentages off of 105/123 now), but my push presses and especially my squats killed me today.

For the first squat session, I increased the numbers I was basing my percentages off of (155, as opposed to 150).  My hips were tight again as they were a couple weeks ago, but I was able to manage the weight up to 90%, which I ultimately had to bail from.

I missed 2 snatches and 1 clean total, which was pretty solid.  Very happy...about that...

For the push presses, I missed 3 of 4 reps @ 70%, missed my 75%, and had to reduce my 3x4 from 70% to 67% in order to get the sets done. Wheels starting to fall off now...

Now onto the really ugly part.  4 hours later, it was time to squat again!  Boy oh boy, the weight felt significantly heavier this time around.  I had to bail at my first rep at 80%, which lead me to readjust my weights back to the old percentages.  Unfortunately, that didn't seem to help, as I had to bail 2 times in a row.  Pretty demoralizing.  I ended up doing my working sets at 70%, which were much more manageable, but still tough.  So glad to be done with this training session.

With that in mind, we came to the following conclusions: 1) days I squat twice, which will be 3 times a week, we'll turn it into a double day so I have more time to recover and really attack the weight.  2) Train every day and don't take more time off then needed (1-2 days).  The reasoning behind this goes back to what I discussed in an earlier post about adaptation and getting away from your homeostasis.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Triple Extension vs. Catapult?

It seems like this debate comes up from time to time, and it sure seems to stir the pot.  It's pretty humorous actually that this continues to be debated given the biomechanical research that's gone into the pulling mechanics of the snatch and clean & jerk.

I'm not going to provide much commentary, because I want you to read the articles I've linked to and come up with your own conclusions.  The only thing I will say, is that I am not a fan of the catapult.  Feel free to make your comments and thoughts below.



I also wanted to link to a website that holds all the publications and research done by Dr. John Garhammer.  John has done all the biomechanical and scientific research on the snatch and clean & jerk in the US.

Feel free to troll the Pendley Forum, where most of this debate has been fostered and developed as well.  It's worth the time. ;)

Lastly, I leave you with this quote: "You can have your own opinion, but you don't get to have your own facts." -Unknown



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mobility Series with Myorope - Part 2

I hope everyone is enjoying their rest day getting in their last minute shopping for Christmas.  Not really rest if you ask me. HAHA!

Anyways, below is part 2 of our mobility series with Myorope.  If you want to get supple, you need to do these exercises... ideally with the Myorope. ;)




PR NATION!! - Training Progression: Week 4, Day 5

Snatch
Worked to 1 Rep Max
Progression was as follows:
40kg
50kg
60kg
70kg
80kg
90kg
95kg
100kg
103kg (5 attempts)
105kg (3 attempts)

Clean & Jerk
Worked up to 1 Rep Max
Progression was as follows:
50kg
60kg
70kg
80kg
90kg
100kg
110kg
115kg
118kg
120kg (4 attempts)

Front Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 90%
2 Sets of 3 Reps @ 85%

Snatch Deadlift
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 100%

Clean Pull
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 95%

Good Morning
4 Sets of 8 Reps

Daily Volume: 118
Weekly Volume: 561

Well, I know I should've posted yesterday, but my annual holiday date with my wife took precedence.  Anyways, yesterday was a long but AWESOME day.  I end up PRing my snatch (1kg), clean & jerk (3kg), and total (4kg)!

Getting that 1kg PR in the snatch was a battle.  It took me 5 attempts, but I kept fighting and kept attacking the bar and finally got it!  I even went after 105kg 3 times, but it wasn't in the cards.  It's makable though.

I really wanted to make 120kg in the c&j, but a PR is a PR, so at the end of the day I'm happy.  The pulls on 2 of my attempts were solid, but, no big surprise, I didn't have the strength to stand it up.  After Christmas, I'll be increasing my squat volume again with 2 squatting sessions a day.  Somethings gotta change!

All in all, getting those PR's were huge, given the high volume week I had.  It goes to show you that you don't need to be "tapered" to hit PR's. You need focus and mental tenacity to attack the bar, regardless if you're tired or fresh.

Also, stay tuned later today for part 2 of my mobility series with Myorope! In the meantime, geek out on the PR videos.

Snatch PR (and Attempts. HA!)


C&J PR (and Attempts. HA!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gaining Confidence in the Squat - Training Progression: Week 4, Day 4

Back Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
4 Sets of 3 Reps @ 85%

Power Snatch + Behind the Neck Snatch Grip Push Press + Overhead Squat
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 60%
2 Sets of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 2 Oh.S. @ 70%

Power Clean + Front Squat + Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 3 Jr. @ 60%
2 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 Jr. @ 70%

Daily Volume: 71
Weekly Volume: 443

I'll be going for maxes in my snatch and clean & jerk tomorrow, so today was a light day, aside from squats.  Most reps I've done with 85% at this current weight, so today, just as Tuesday, was a big confidence boost.  Hopefully it can translate into bigger clean numbers!

Below is part 2 of Dan Pfaff's lecture on speed and power development.  A little mundane, but very insightful:


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bouncing Back from Bad Lifts - Training Progression: Week 4, Day 3

Front Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%

1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%

Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 90%
4 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 90%
3 Sets of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%

Snatch Deadlift from Blocks Below the Knee
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 100%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 110%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 100%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 110%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 100%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 110%

Press
4 Sets of 5 Reps

Daily Volume: 129
Weekly Volume: 372

Damn, today was a mix of good and bad.  Good in the sense that I missed just one snatch out of 26, and it happened to be my second rep at 90%.  I'll take that any.day.of.the.week!

Now the bad. HA!  My cleans were a BIG struggle.  I missed 2 out of 3 clean at 85%, and missed my second attempt at 90%.  I was slow off the ground and made contact way too low, which resulted in me getting pinned at the bottom.  After my 90%, I had 3 sets left at 80%, and I ended up making all the cleans and sticking all the jerks.  Go figure, my very last set of cleans were the best and the easiest.

With that in mind, today's big take away was bouncing back from tough misses.  In weightlifting, as with most sports, you need to have a very short memory and be mentally tough.  During competitions, you might need to get over a missed lift in 2 minutes.

When training gets tough, as it did today for me, you need to sack up and keep fighting.  Never give up. Always give yourself the benefit of the doubt.  You have nothing to lose.  Attack the bar and give it your best shot - even if you miss a couple times previously.  This sport is about bouncing back, and quickly, from failure.

My buddy, Brian Catalano, also had a huge night of bouncing back.  While going for a PR clean & jerk attempt, he missed the clean twice.  Keeping his focus, Brian ended up making the clean, but missed the jerk.  Regardless, it was a 7kg clean PR!  This is also coming back from a wrist injury that he f-ed up while cleaning heavy.  A huge mental hurdle that was overcome tonight by him after missing twice on the way to getting a new BIG PR!  Congrats Brian!

Enjoy the videos!

Made 1st, missed 2nd snatch @ 90%


Made first, missed second clean @ 90%


Brian's 1st attempt - a miss


Brian hits a 7kg clean PR on his 3rd attempt!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Take Care of Your Business Outside of the Gym - Training Progression: Week 4, Day 2

Back Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%

Power Snatch + Overhead Squat
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 Oh.S. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 Oh.S. @ 65%
2 Sets of 3 P.Sn. + 3 Oh.S. @ 70%

Power Clean + Push Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 65%
3 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 70%

Clean Pull
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 100%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 90%

Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Press
4 Sets of 5 Reps

Daily Volume: 99
Weekly Volume: 243

It definitely took me a while to warm up even before I touched the barbell after yesterday's squats.  Yesterday was a big confidence boost for me in squatting, and it showed today.  85% felt like 80% did 2 weeks ago, so I'm definitely making progress!

I want to take this time to rant a little.  In sports, if you are dealing with added stress and pressure off the field, it will most likely negatively affect your performance.  Weightlifting is no different.  In fact, it can be argued that it is more apparent in weightlifting, given the dedicated focus you need for each and every rep.  You can't take a rep off, and if you do, you aren't getting better.

You're training/workout time should be an escape from your daily lives and distractions.  If you're able to compartmentalize the different things in your life, then thats fantastic!  If not, you need to take care of your stuff outside of the gym or field, so you can take care of business when it comes time to train and compete.

As soon as you step into the gym, it's time to GO!  No moping around, no looking for sympathy, no "whoa is me" mentality.  The best athlete's execute this well.  They may be dealing with crazier stuff than you, but you'd never know it.  They take care of business outside of the gym before they even step foot on the training floor.

Should you be a person that brings their "baggage" into the gym, use the next couple of weeks as an opportunity to see if you can do a better job of coming into a training session fully focused and ready to kick ass with no worries about stressful things outside of the gym.

Below is a link to a book that made a huge impact on my mental game, which impacted my physical game when I played water polo in college.  This is a MUST if you want to reach your full potential as an athlete.





Have a kickass day of training tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

High Volume Squat Day - Training Progression: Week 4, Day 1

Back Squats
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 70%
5 Sets of 5 Reps @ 80%

Snatch
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 70%
3 Sets of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 80%

Snatch Pull from Blocks Below the Knee
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 85%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 95%

Push Press
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 65%
3 Sets of 3 Reps @ 70%

Good Mornings
4 Sets of 8 Reps

Daily Volume: 144
Weekly Volume: 144

SMOKED today after squats alone!  Had to rest about 10 mins from my last set of squats to my bar warm up for snatch.  Last time I squatted 5x5 @ 80% was back in June, and it was 15kg lighter!  I find that it takes my legs a while to warm up, so my first two sets at 80% were the hardest.  During the last 3 sets, I focused on driving my hips forward as I came out of the sticking point, which helped.

Getting through all the squats was a huge confidence boost for me, but assumed the rest of training would be lack luster based on how much the squats took it out of me.  Well, that's what happens when you assume.  On my snatches, I felt like I was much more consistent at getting my hips to the bar faster.  It also felt like I was receiving the bar in the right pace too, which was excellent.  Didn't feel stuck at the bottom.  I ended up going 20 for 24 on the day for snatches.

All but my last jerks felt solid.  Funny how resilient the body is.  Just when you think you don't have enough to push through something, if you keep focused, you can actually excel in whatever you're doing.

No content of me tonight, but I wanted to post this video I came across.  It's part 1 of a 5 part series by Dan Pfaff that discusses speed and power development.  While it uses track athlete's as the prime example, it crosses over to most power/speed athletes.  Enjoy!




Monday, December 17, 2012

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

Welp, today was supposed to be a training day, but life got in the way and couldn't train.  While I didn't train, it's not to say I didn't get a workout.  My wife and I moved ourselves into our new place today, which was absolutely exhausting, given that it was just the two of us.  By no means are we finished, but we got all the real taxing stuff out of the way.

This week of training is looking like its going to be taxing, but fun, so I'm looking forward to getting under the bar tomorrow!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mobility Series with Myorope

Alright folks, it's Sunday, which means it's a recovery day!  Get your Myoropes, foam rollers, lacrosse balls, or whatever you use, watch the video and mobilize!



Here's a link to order or learn more about Myoropes.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two Scoops Get Huge - Training Progression: Week 3, Day 6


Back Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%

Snatch Pull
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 100%

Clean Pull from Blocks Below the Knee
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 90%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 90%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 90%

Press
4 Sets of 3 Reps

Daily Volume: 73
Weekly Volume: 442

Yesterday was a rest day since I had to take the CSCS exam.  I won't know my results for a couple of weeks, but I felt pretty confident about how I did.  Can't wait to get the results!  Squats are feeling much better.  This lighter volume/deload week really helped.  Given that this was a deload week, I'm expecting to get my butt kicked by a pretty intense week.  Looking forward to it!

I wanted to link to a blog, Two Scoops Get Huge, that a friend of mine posted on my Facebook page after I mentioned that I need to gain weight.  While this page doesn't necessarily have anything to do with weightlifting, it has to do with fitness and getting yoked and is a pretty amusing read.  Check it out if you're looking for a couple laughs.

Look out for tomorrow's post about mobility work you can do with the Myorope!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Conditioning a Sham? Training Progression: Week 3, Day 4

Back Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
5 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Power Snatch + Behind the Neck Snatch Grip Push Press + Overhead Squat
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 2 Oh.S. @ 70%

1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 B.N.Sn.G.P.Pr. + 2 Oh.S. @ 70%

Power Clean + Front Squat + Push Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 3 P.Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 P.Jr. @ 70%

1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 3 P.Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 P.Jr. @ 70%

Daily Volume: 89
Weekly Volume: 369

Today was a lower volume day, so I'm not really going to talk about my workout other than the fact that today was the first time 80% squats actually felt like 80%, as opposed to 95%!

Instead of videos of my lifts, I wanted to focus on this article by Mark Rippetoe.  If you've every read or heard anything about Rippetoe, you should no that he's never short on words and isn't afraid to say what he wants.  Most of the time, its funny and amusing.  It doesn't hurt that when it comes to strength training, he's spot on.

This article is another example of this.  Even though you should read the entire article, the gist of what he says is "there's simply no better way to increase your work capacity than increasing your ability to produce force.  If your primary interest is being more effective at moving yourself and/or submaximal or maximal loads more efficiently, training for strength contributes much more to your goal than training for endurance."

He also makes the assertion that you shouldn't condition yourself into the ground and inhibit your strength training until your initial strength gains slow down.  I couldn't agree more.  Now pick up a barbell and start training strength and power!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Feel the Energy - Training Progression: Week 3, Day 3

Front Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 85%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 85%

Snatch
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
3 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%

Snatch Pulls from Blocks Below the Knee
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%

Behind the Neck Push Jerk
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 75%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%

Press
4 Sets of 4 Reps @74%

Daily Volume: 108
Weekly Volume: 280

I wasn't able to train until later in the evening today, so by the time I got going, a good amount of people were training around me, which is something I haven't had in a while.  Man, it's amazing how much having people around can give you energy and excitement during a long training session. I love it!

I felt strong tonight, and the energy around tonight no doubt had something to do with it.  I don't think 85% on the snatch, and the clean for that matter, felt easier!  I was really able to transition into the second pull and get my hips into the bar much faster tonight.  You'll see in the video below that because of it, I minimized my jump back SIGNIFICANTLY.  With that being said, you might say that my issue was more of a second pull issue that it was pulling under the bar more aggressively.

To get a better understanding of what's supposed to happen in the upward movement of the snatch or clean, here is a great article that goes into the biomechanics of what is supposed to happen.  If you don't read this, you're missing out.... or you just don't care.

Paul also gave me a couple really good pointers on setting my shoulders before I jerk, which seemed to help, so I was stoked on that.

Lastly, I wanted to point out my young teammate, Sam Lev.  The guy is young and dumb, but man is he going to develop into a good weightlifter if he keeps his focus.  Not only did he PR on his clean and jerk yesterday by 4kg, he basically POWER CLEANED 120kg.  I wish I got it on video, but didn't.  I didn't make the same mistake tonight though.  When working on his jerk technique, he ended up jerking 115kg (maybe a little press out???? still impressive though) for a double.  This was his current PR!!!  If you watch my clean video below, you'll notice Sam stepped up to the plate and jerked 120kg for another PR.  Really impressed by Sam this week.  Also motivates me to keep pushing harder so I'm not the short stack of the them. HA!

Enjoy the videos!

Snatch @ 85% - Never Felt Easier!



Sam Rack Jerks 115kg for a DOUBLE!



Clean & Jerk 85% w/ Sam Jerking 120kg (PR) in the Background!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Training Progression: Week 3, Day 2

Back Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%

Power Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
5 Sets of 3 Reps @ 70%

Power Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
3 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%

Clean Pulls
4 Sets of 2 Reps @ 90%

Daily Volume: 54
Weekly Volume: 172

Today was a welcomed lower volume day.  I must say, however, that I really have a love hate relationship with squats.  I love them because I know they are essential to me becoming a stronger and better overall lifter, but hate them because I struggle with them.  I was only able to get 2 out of the 3 reps at 85%.  Just got to keep pushing through and never give up.

Today, I finally felt like I was getting somewhere with getting under the bar faster in the snatch.  It came down to me getting into the second pull faster than I have in the past.  I could really feel the difference today.  I didn't jump back as much, if at all on most of my reps, which was what I've been trying to get to the past couple of weeks.  Now the key is to stay consistent with it and see if I'll be able to replicate this day in and day out.  One can only hope. HA!

70% Power Snatch - Jumping Back Less!


70% Power Clean + Jerk

Monday, December 10, 2012

Training Progression: Week 3, Day 1 - Bad Day/Good Day

Back Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%

Snatch
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 90%

Push Press
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 65%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 65%

Snatch Pulls
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 100%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 100%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 90%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 100%

Good Mornings
4 Sets of 8 Reps

Daily Volume: 118
Weekly Volume: 118

Man o man, today was a really long training day!  I was supposed to do 4x4 back squat at 85%, but could only get one rep, so I did 4x4 @ 80% instead.  Still a struggle, so wasn't very happy...at all.  Ultimately, I need to eat more and gain probably 5 more kgs.

Since we're on the topic of squatting, I want you guys to read this article about foot position.  To be brief, it breaks down the foot position in the squat.  I like article because it provides biomechanical explanations for why squatting with toes out is more advantageous for weightlifters, as opposed to toes forward which is more applicable to rehab.

Now back to my training. HA!  My snatches felt strong, but I still was jumping back, which is starting to get very very annoying because this did not use to be an issue of mine.  Aggressive pull under, fast feet!  Aggressive pull under, fast feet!  I made all my lifts though which is still a positive.

I made my clean @ 90%, but missed the jerk.  It's been over a month since I've cleaned that heavy, so while it was heavy, I was happy to get that heavy again.  I love when the volume is light, but the intensity is high!

As a weightlifter or athlete of any kind, you have to take the good with the bad, and today was a perfect example of that.


90% Snatch - Need to Clean Up that Jump Backwards


90% Clean & Jerk - Miss the Jerk Forward


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tips to Speed Up Recovery on Rest Days

Sunday's are typically my rest days after a tough week of 5-6 training days.  It's gladly welcomed, as the body needs time to recover and regenerate before hitting another tough week of training.

Generally, I don't really do a whole lot in terms of activity.  Relax, read, watch football, spend time with my wife and dog.  One thing that's also very important is making sure you do a little body maintenance on your body.  I used to neglect this aspect of rest days, but have recently been getting back into the routine, and it definitely makes a huge difference in training.

This week, my maintenance has been focused on my hip flexors and quads.  Everyone has there own "tools" and methods, so at the end of the day, as long as you're doing something, it's better than just lounging around and doing nothing.  Since this is my blog, I want to talk about the "tool" that I specifically use.  It's called MYOROPE.  For those of you who use a lacrosse ball, you this should interest you!  Essentially, a MYOROPE is 2-6 lacrosse balls strung together with rope.  It gives you the acute pressure that one lacrosse ball does, but extends it's reach to that of a foam roller!

If you were paying attention to my blog earlier this week, my hips got so tight and painful, I couldn't even squat 80kg.  With the combination of training through the discomfort and using my MYOROPE to work out the kinks, I was virtually back to normal by Friday!

Given that Sunday's are my rest days and will have no weightlifting video content, I've decided to change that.  Over the next few weeks, I will be posting videos of recovery exercises you can you with the MYOROPE that you can start implimenting for you pre-workout, post-workout and rest day routines.  Stay tuned!!!


My Red Colored MYOROPE
If you'd like to order one for yourself or for friends and family as a stocking stuffer, just click here!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Training Progression: Week 2, Day 6 - Volume

Power Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 75%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 65%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 70%

Power Clean + Power Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 1 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 75%
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 1 P.Jr. @ 70%

RDL
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 80%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%
2 Sets of 2 Reps @ 100%

Front Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%

Daily Volume: 69
Weekly Volume: 528

Today was the lightest day of the week and my legs felt relatively "fresh".  I'm finding it much easier to pull myself more aggressively under the bar on the clean.  My focus next week will continue to emulate the same feeling with the snatch.  My 90% front squat felt really solid.

I'm glad to have a rest day tomorrow, but excited to get back to training come Monday!

If you've been noticing at the end of my workouts, I keep track of both my daily and weekly volume.  So we're all on the same page, I wanted to elaborate on what I consider and count in my volume, as well as why the volume is what it is.

According to Tudor O. Bompa's, Periodization Training for Sports, volume is a quantitative element of strength training that measure the total work for a given exercise or training phase (Bompa, 44).  For my program, my volume includes the total sets x total reps of each exercise, and ultimately each training session.

Currently, my training volume is high due to the fact that I'm in a preparatory phase.  This phase, and overall training volume, will become more valuable as I approach a competition phase, which typically includes much higher intensities on a regular basis. Bompa explains that "as athletes adapt to higher volumes of training, they experience better recovery between sets and training sessions.  This, in turn, results in more work per training session per week, making possible further increases in training volume." (Bompa, 43)

This is exactly what I'm experiencing right now in my training.  This phase of training may be tough, but it's preparing my body for the stress of higher intensities as I progress further in my training.  I'm looking forward to it!!

Power Snatch @ 75%


Power Clean & Jerk @ 75%


P.S. To get your hands on Periodization Training for Sports, click on the link below.  I'm in the middle of reading it, and love it.  It seems that I read something that is relevant to my training almost daily, which is why I've been referencing it in my rants as of late.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Training Progression: Week 2, Day 5

Back Squats
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
2 Sets of 3 Reps @80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%

Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 2 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%

1 Set of 1 Cl. + 2 Jr. @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 85%

Clean Pulls
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 80%
5 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%

Behind the Neck Push Jerk
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 75%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%

Daily Volume: 88
Weekly Volume: 459

Today was the best I've felt since I started this new training phase.  No missed lifts and didn't seem to need as much rest in between sets.  Part of it was that the volume was far less.  Anyway I'll take it!  I made my back squats at 85%, which was a win, even though they felt really heavy.

With my snatches, I need to continue my focus on pulling down more aggressively under the bar, which is a reason for why I continue to jump back.

My cleans felt solid and strong coming out of the bottom.  For some reason, it's easier for me to aggressively pull myself under the clean than it is the snatch.  I'll be looking forward to a good training session tomorrow and taking this momentum onto next week!

Final Snatch @ 85%


Final Clean & Jerk @ 85%


Final Set of Behind the Neck Push Jerk @ 75% (Video only caught my first rep)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Training Progression: Week 2, Day 4 - Adaptation

Power Clean + Press
5 Sets of 1 P.Cl. + 5 Press*
*Performed working sets @ 81% of Press 1-RM

Power Snatch + Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Push Press + Overhead Squat
1 Set of 3 P.Sn. + 3 Sn.G.B.N.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 60%
3 Sets of 3 P.Sn. + 3 Sn.G.B.N.P.Pr. + 3 Oh.S. @ 70%

Power Clean + Front Squat+ Jerk
1 Set of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 Jr. @ 60%
3 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 3 F.S. + 2 Jr. @ 70%

Snatch Pulls
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%

Back Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%

Daily Volume: 135
Weekly Volume: 371

Today seemed like a "lighter" day, which was a welcome relief.  I also love barbell complexes!  I was, however, only able to squat 1 rep out of 5 at my 85%, but my 80% felt the strongest it's felt over the past couple of weeks, which I'll take as a big relief!

The reason why today's squats felt easier was not just due to the fact that my hips feel back to normal, but also in part due to adaptation.  Adaptation is when the body is able to tolerate heavier loads by overcoming the stresses that are experienced through strength training through a periodized method of programming.

According to Tudor Bompa and his book, Periodization Training for Sports, the body is stressed and fatigue is increased early in the training week due to and increased load that the body is not used to.  The body then adjusts by midweek, adapts to the load over the next couple of days, and by the end of the week, the body is capable to lifting heavier loads. (Bompa, 34).  This is exactly what I experienced this week.

I made the mistake last week of taking 4 days off during the American Open, and after Monday's training, my body was so stressed from training, it needed to readapt to the weight I had been consistent with the prior week and a half.  I lost my adaptation I gained from my prior training.  This week was a great lesson in adaptation, both researching/reading about it and personally experiencing it.  The key to adaptation and continued improvement is fairly simple: train, and train often!

Final Set of Snatch Complex


Final Set of Clean Complex

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Training Progression: Week 2, Day 3

Front Squat
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 90%

Hang Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%
3 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Hang Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
3 Sets of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%

Clean Pulls
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
5 Sets of 4 Reps @ 90%

Daily Volume: 89
Weekly Volume: 236

Today felt like every rep was 95%...or heavier.  Definitely a day that took some grit to get through.  I missed all three attempts at 90% on my front squats, as well as my last rep at 80%.  I can maybe understand missing my 90%, but no way should I have missed 80%, even if it were my last rep.

On the hang snatch, I missed 4 out of my 12 reps @ 80%, but hit both reps at 85%.  My focus today was a drive of the legs and a fast and aggressive pull under the bar.  At times, I tend to float and not get under the bar fast enough.  I'm now getting a feel when I don't do it properly, which is good.

The hang cleans felt so damn heavy.  I missed 2 out of my 9 attempts, and my jerks weren't solid.  Didn't have enough leg drive to stick every one.

I was definitely glad to get done with today's training session.  Frustrating and difficult.  A deadly combination, but a good one to go through as a gut check.  I need to come into tomorrow's training focused and prepared for another fight!


The calm before the storm!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Training Progression: Week 2, Day 2

Power Snatch
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 75%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 65%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%

Power Clean + Push Jerk
1 Set of 2 P.Cl. + 3 P.Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 2 P.Cl. + 3 P.Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 1 P.Cl. + 2 P.Jr. @ 75%
3 Sets of 2 P.Cl. + 2 P.Jr. @ 70%

Back Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
5 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

RDL
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 80%
5 Sets of 4 Reps @ 85%

Daily Volume: 89
Weekly Volume: 147

My hips are still tight as hell and hurt a bit, but I really dug into them last night and before training with my myorope.  Given the fact that I couldn't even squat 80kg's yesterday, today was a huge success!  80% felt heavy as hell because my hips were still troublesome, but I got through them none the less.  Today and the rest of the week will be about pushing through discomfort and body maintenance.

On the power snatch, the focus today was about being more aggressive on my pull under the bar.  Having this focus really helped.  My power cleans felt great, but I need to focus on keeping my elbows down on my push jerk.

Here's a video of my power clean and power jerk at 75%:


Monday, December 3, 2012

Hips Are Tight as Hell

After coaching this weekend at the American and Outlaw Open, I'm back at it.  Before I go into my training, I have to give Ingrid Kantola a big shout out. She lifted in the 63kg B session and ended up getting third in her flight, and finished 9th overall in the Outlaw Open with a STACKED women's field.  Here's a video of her pr'ing on her snatch on the BIG STAGE!!

Ingrid PR'ing at American's w/ a 69kg Snatch


Now here's a breakdown of my training today:

Hang Snatch
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
2 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 75%

Hang Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 4 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%
2 Sets of 4 Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 75%

Behind the Neck Push Press
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 60%

Daily Volume: 58
Weekly Volume: 58

I was supposed to squat first today, but found that my hips were VERY tight and it actually hurt to stand the weight up at the bottom, even @ 40%.  Hoping I needed to warm my hips up better, I decided to save the squats for last.  My hang snatches felt great up until the second set @ 80%.  I ended up missing all 3 attempts.

I made all my hang cleans, but the weight felt heavy and my hips were hurting from front squatting the weight up.

Today was the first time in a while I'd done any overhead work from behind the neck.  I'm definitely not as strong from behind the neck as I am from the front rack position.

When it came time to snatch pull, I couldn't do it because my hips hurt too badly.  I put everything on pause, to get some food and do some mobility hoping it would help, but when I tried to squat again, I couldn't go over 80kg without pain.  Very frustrating.  I spent the rest of the day/evening working on my hip trying to loosen it up.  Hopefully I'll be able to squat tomorrow!

My coaches eye app is acting up and cutting out on my videos as well as having difficulties uploading to youtube, so here's a video of my first of 3 successful hang snatch reps @ 80%:

Hang Snatch @ 80%

Here's a video of my hang clean + jerk, except the video cuts out before I was able to jerk:

3 Hang Cleans @ 80%

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Training Progression: Week 1, Day 5

Back Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
3 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Snatch
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 2 Reps @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%

Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 1 Cl. + 3 Jr. @ 70%
4 Sets of 1 Cl. + 2 Jr. @ 80%

Daily Volume: 61
Weekly Volume: 436

Man, is my body starting to get sore and tired easily.  Oh is the life of a weightlifter - time to suck it up! Once again, squats feel heavy as hell, but I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable with my new starting position.  I still need to receive the bar a tad further back.  I also need to stop jumping backwards.  Add one more thing to the list!

I cut today's workout short, so I will add another day of front squats and finish the rest tomorrow!


One of My Reps @ 85%.  I Jump Back a Bit and Receive the Bar a Tad Forward.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Training Progression: Week 1, Day 4

Back Squat
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 75%
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%

Power Snatch

1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
5 Sets of 3 Reps @ 70%

Power Clean + Push Jerk
1 Set of 4 P.Cl. + 2 Pu.Jr. @ 60%
3 Sets of 4 P.Cl. + 1 Pu.Jr. @ 70%

Snatch Pulls
2 Sets of 5 Reps @ 80%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 85%

Press
5 Sets of 5 Reps @ 80%

Daily Volume: 112
Weekly Volume: 375

The theme of this week continues to be minor adjustments.  I widened my starting stance on the snatch as well as moving the bar over my big toe as opposed to over the front of the foot.  This seemed to make the world of difference when it came to shifting my weight too far backwards too soon.  I hope that this problem is fixed the more I get used to it.  Feeling really excited for big gains to come in the lifts!

Final Set of Power Snatch


Final Set of Power Clean + Push Jerk

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Training Progression: Week 1, Day 3

Front Squat
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%

Hang Snatch
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%
1 Set of 1 Rep @ 85%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 80%

Hang Clean + Jerk
1 Set of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 70%
4 Sets of 2 Hg.Cl. + 1 Jr. @ 80%

Clean Pull
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 80%

Daily Volume: 79
Weekly Volume: 263

The 4th rep of front squats were significantly more difficult, and I ended up having to bail on my very last rep of doing front squats.

On the lifts, I was still coming too far back on my heels.  For what it's worth, I ended up hitting 87kg on my hang snatch, which is a PR.  The cleans felt really heavy, but the jerks felt strong.

Starting in December, I might switch around my training to focus on strength and block work.  I need to get strong and find that loving feeling again for proper weight distribution on the feet.

video
My First Set of Hg.Sn. @ 60%

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Training Progression: Week 1, Day 2

Back Squat
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 3 Reps @ 70%
5 Sets of 3 Reps @ 80%

Power Snatch
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 60%
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 70%

Power Clean + Push Jerk
2 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 2 P.Jr. @ 60%
2 Sets of 3 P.Cl. + 2 P.Jr. @ 70%

RDL
5 Sets of 5 Reps @ 80%

Press
4 Sets of 5 Reps @ 80%

Daily Volume: 102
Weekly Volume: 184

The theme of today was about making minor adjusts.  Squats felt a little easier today.  Still heavy, but not as much of a struggle.  I made a minor adjustment to the bar placement on my back, lowering it a tad from my traps to ridge of my scapula since I have such a long torso.  It seemed to help.  Amazing how physics work.

I didn't feel that comfortable with the snatch today, and it had to do with my first pull.  I've picked up the habit of coming too far back on my heels right off the floor, which brings my shoulders back too much.  I need to focus on driving straight up and bringing my shoulders out in front of the bar slightly.  It's something I'll have to focus on more as I progress with training.  I was able to feel this more easily when it came to the cleans.

I even had some tweaks to something as brainless at the RDL! Not only were my knees coming forward slightly, which unloads the lower hamstrings, my toes were coming off the ground - they should be planted on my floor.  To help make this adjustment, I would think about stretching my neck forward as I lowered the weight.  It worked.  If you're not feeling your lower hamstrings scream, you're not doing it right!

Today reaffirmed the importance of having a skilled coach watching your lifts DAILY.  When you think you're dialed in and solid, there is always something you're doing wrong and that needs improvement.  Find a coach.  Trust me, it's worth the time and financial investment.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Training Progression: Week 1, Day 1

I'm taking a new direction for my blog.  I'll still be posting about topics and video's that I find useful, but in addition, I will now be posting daily about my training sessions.  My intent with this is to give you a look into the daily training of a weightlifter.  I will post the daily training, a brief commentary, and daily and weekly volumes.  So, without further ado, here we go:

Back Squat
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 5 Reps @ 70%
4 Sets of 4 Reps @ 75%

Hang Snatch
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
3 Sets of 4 Reps @ 75%

Hang Clean
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 60%
1 Set of 4 Reps @ 70%
2 Sets of 4 Reps @ 75%

Power Clean + Push Press

1 Set of 1 P.Cl. + 3 P.Pr. @ 60%

4 Sets of 1 P.Cl. + 3 P.Pr. @ 70%

Daily Volume: 82
Weekly Volume: 82

This is my first day back to an organized training program in about four weeks after I tweaked my back.  Needless to say, I was beat from today.  This was by far the most volume I've done in one session in a LONG time.  I had another 5 sets of 4 reps of snatch pulls, but had to call it a day.  Squatting first really forces you to DRIVE the crap out of your legs on the lifts.  In addition, I was able to make a couple of tweaks to my hang position which felt good. I was toast, however, by the time I made it to the hang cleans.  75% felt WAY too heavy.  Regardless, it felt great to get back on a steady training program and I'm looking forward to making some big jumps in my lifts!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Importance of Olympic Weightlifting for Athletes

There is now significant research that suggests that the Olympic weightlifting movements are second to none in the development of force production, power and explosiveness, the ability to safely and effectively absorb force or decelerate, and kinesthetic awareness.  All crucial components for potential athletic improvement and success.

I came across this article thanks to Sean Waxman.  It discusses the Clemson S&C program, which implements a Westside Barbell/conjugate/powerlifting method as it's foundation, and compares it to programs that use a Hatch System, which implements the Olympic weightlifting movements as it's foundation.  The author goes into great detail in providing examples of why a S&C program with the Olympic movements as it's foundation is far superior.  When compared to the "gold standard" of LSU and Alabama, conference rivalries and "over performing" teams (based on their poor talent pool) that implement the Olympic movements, Clemson was not as dynamic, slow and "under performing".  Arguably, this is because the team is training for slow strength, not explosive power in the weight room.

What was striking to me is that out of the last 10 BCS National Champions, 6 of them used the Hatch System.  These teams (USC, LSU, Alabama, Florida, Miami) all had common denominators on the field - DOMINATING offensive and defensive lines and linebacking corps.  Those positions all require power and explosiveness, and their ability to exert those traits at the point of attack was glaringly noticeable on the field.

Even though the Clemson article is primarily used to show the transferability for football, it can transfer to ALL sports.  The Hatch System isn't just a "football" program, it's a sports program because the system helps to develop overall athleticism that should translate into the field of play.  For example, the USC Men's Water Polo team has won 4 straight national championships and 6 in the last 10 years.  The program has always been a top contender, but the implementation of the Olympic lifts in their S&C program (circa 2006) has helped make them the most dominate program for the last decade.

Brian Urlacher Uses Olympic Movements in His Training

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weightlifting Montage for Your Motivation

Nothing like a montage with '80s music of Russian weightlifters to get you amped up during the middle of the week!  Get out there and lift!