Saturday 11 April 2009

Friday's furious Clean and Jerks

Here is a video of some of the best Clean and Jerks from the 85kg A class. There are some amazing lifts here and the drama was intense. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Here are my final two sessions in Bucharest:

Session 1: Snatch technique + Jerk technique
Overhead Squats and flexibility
Snatch Pulls—1x3@40, 40, 40, 50, 50—For the first time I focused intensely on having as vertical a bar path as possible. The pulls were great for this. For the first few sets I was hitting the bar out like I do in all my Snatches. I then worked on extending UP and bringing the bar as close as possible in the high pull. I did this by getting the elbows out to pull me under the bar, rather than the elbows being behind the bar. This was a very different sensation, but the bar felt far closer to my body. It got to the point that when I was Snatching 90, the bar was perfectly in place, but out of habit I was swinging it back to lock out, which in turn, put me back on my heels and off balance.

Another problem I had with the Snatch Pulls was that I was using my arms too much—I need to get used to generating the extension with my hips and then have my arms guide the bar. The bar trajectory and flight pattern was good, but I am simply not used to the movement and it will take repititions to get the right muscles involved and therefore maximum speed.
1 Snatch Pull+1 Snatch—1x2@60, 70, 80
Snatch—1x1@80, 80, 90, 90, 80, 80—When I got the repititions right, it felt as is there was little or no swing in the bar.
Jerk skill with 60
Jerk from the rack—1x2@60, 70, 80, 90, 100

Session 2: Snatch + Clean and Jerk
Overhead Squats and flexibility
1 Snatch Pull + 1 Snatch—1x2@40, 40, 50, 50, 60, 70
Snatch—1x1@80--I missed this due to being a moron and focusing on trajectory rather than simply lifting the barbell. I learned from this error and simply got on with it, lifting as fast as I could.
1x1@85, 90, 95, 99, 101—I had to go running for this because my feet were too narrow in the catch.
1x1@103--I fluffed the first attempt, and nailed my best Snatch of the day on my second attempt. 105 was too much for me. I was happy with my 103 considering it was my ninth session in 5 days. It was also more than I Snatched the previous day also.

A ten minute break and a coffee had me ready for my Clean and Jerks. I got straight into it because I was tired and starting to fade during my short break. The coffee and Kevin’s encouragement sorted me out.

Clean and Jerk—1x1@70, 80, 100, 112, 121, 128—The Jerk was pressed out because I rushed it.
1x1@131--I got this and I was happy because I did not have anymore in me and it took everything I had. I left it there and Kevin and Cathal helped me to sort out an element of my Jerk that has troubled me for ages.

Jerk Dips—We focused on improving my dip, which had the following tendencies: to sag in the mid section at the bottom of the dip; and also my weight tended to shift from my heels to the balls of my feet.
We changed my gripping of the barbell from a passive to an active one ie. I am holding the bar, rather than letting it rest on my deltoids. This was a very strange sensation but I got used to it the more I practiced it.
We also worked on maintaining a very tight upper and lower torso in the dip with a big breath to solidify it. This in turn helped me dip straight down by bending ever so slightly outwards with my knees. Again, all these little things felt very strange but when I worked it into some light Jerks with 90, it felt great and far more solid than usual. I need to work on these point every reptition from now on. It was brilliant having the lads helping me out with these minor details that have been troubling me for ages.

That was it. I am home now and going away for a four days of relaxation. When I get back I will write a post focusing on the most important things that I learned while training and observing in Bucharest, during the European Weightlifting Championships. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

This mrning I went to the gym for a final session before I go away for a relaxing four days. I did some light Snatch Pull doubles up to 90 and Jerk technique up to 90. I got a double of 160 in the Back Squat. Ten sessions in six days is something I have never done before, so let's hope that this brief over-reaching stint helps. I know my technique and flexibility have definitely improved, so hopefully the numbers go up too.


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