I had my first session this morning at 9 pm. The humidity over here made it quite difficult to sleep last night, so I am still feeling fatigued; but it was an enjoyable day’s training regardless. For the warm up we performed a few movements with the medicine ball in a circuit type fashion and performed some dynamic flexibility drills also. These warmed up the spine and the hips nicely and I felt nice and loose.
1. 2 Power Snatch and 2 Hang Snatch—5x4@50--I only stayed at 50 kilos for this exercise and it was actually harder to maintain good form with this light a weight than if I had gone heavier. I find sometimes that more pervasive skill is required to Snatch as well at 50 and 60 kilos as when you are Snatching to maximum. The idea in this exercise was to get maximum extension and optimal positioning, rather than lifting with speed—Harry commented on something similar a few days ago. This was far more difficult than I thought it would be due to lazy habits I suppose. I need to ingrain optimal technique into most of my Snatches, from the bar upwards; this should result in more consistent results at higher intensity. But it is the discipline and concentration on form that I must attain in order to do this.
2. 1 Power Clean+1 Full Clean+1 Squat Jerk—I worked up to a few sets of this combination, again focusing on full extension with the Cleans AND the Jerk. I was really able to feel my back locking in and contracting which was something that I could not on Saturday.
After these, I used the foam roller and Tom showed me a few different partner stretches to open up the hips and shoulder girdle. A sleep was needed if I wanted to have a decent session in the evening.
The session began with a warm up with the bar and triples in the Snatch with 40 and 50.
1. Snatch—I worked up to a single of 100 which is on the video below and it was solid enough. I missed 105 twice and my technique began to break down again which was very frustrating. I went back down to 90, then 97, then a solid 102 and then I got an ugly but solid 105, which I had to get. It was one of those cases of paralysis by analysis where as Tom was pointing out that there was no vicious extension at all. I then went for 110 three times which would have been a pr, but I did not have the speed all day and I missed it because I was simply too slow. I am glad I went for it and I know it is a certainty once I am fresh and have my speed back again. My Snatches are below in the video. They are not pretty but I had to get them for my sanity.
2. Clean and Jerk—I worked up to singles with 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125 and 130. I then got nowhere near Cleaning 135: I was pretty spent at that stage. I was happy to go up in 5kg increments because I needed to reps. My Jerk is finally starting to feel comfortable because I have made my Jerk Dip more consistent and now I can focus on the drive and push under. I have also changed how I position the bar on my chest; the upper back muscles are now activated to elevate my shoulder girdle and straighten it out—the end result is I feel very easy with the bar resting there, even when I am tired from a Clean. This week is the first time this has been the case. My 130 was slow, but it felt very comfortable.
That was all I could do. 105/130 in this state of physical and nervous system fatigue is something I can be relatively satisfied with. I know the 110 and more is there once I am fresh and I am looking forward to testing it. I am wrecked now, but an easy session tomorrow with lots of stretching and active recovery should see me fine for going down to Limerick on Friday night to train with Cathal Byrd and Andy Murphy who should have Des and Troy in tow. When I am less tired I will reflect further on my 8 days’ training with Tom. I know this was a great decision and that I learned a lot in my time here and I am forever grateful to Tom for his incisive instruction and generous nature. As always, here is a video of my lifts so give any constructive criticism that you think is appropriate.