Friday 30 October 2009

Friday's fortunes

Myself and Zag got down to Limerick for around 5 in the evening so we trained an hour later and the change of scene was invigorating. Neither of us was fresh or fast in our lifting, but we enjoyed the session anyway. Here is what we did:

Snatch--2x3@40 1x2@60, 70 1x1@90, 95 miss due to not finishing the pull. I then got it, and Snatched 100 for three singles. They were not fast in the slightest, but they felt close and upon looking at the video below, I stayed over the bar better then before.

Snatch Pulls--1x2@100, 105, 110, 115--My bacl lock was not as pristine as I wanted, but it was ok. My pull trajectory was ok and I needed to get my knees out of the way quicker which I think would help me keep my back locked.

Jerk from the rack--Because I am training tomorrow I left out the squats with this movement. I started off with two triples with 60 and then on an absurd competitive streak with Byrdie, we jumped straight to 120 to see if we could get it. We did and it turned out to be my best Jerk of the day because I had to put so much into it. I then nailed 120 again, got 130, 140 and missed 145. I then got 145 with an outrageous press out, but I still got it up there. It was out front and like my jerks yesterday, they lacked control. I still enjoyed it though. Byrdie nailed 150 and 155kg and Zag nailed 120 and just missed 125kg.

We finished off with some flexibility and contrast showers with a sauna and steam room which helped us feel all the fresher for tomorrow. Leave any comments that you see fit and which can be helpful.

Thursday 29 October 2009

Thursday's time depleted session

Today's session was a bit frantic due to me having the time management skills of deranged orangutang rife with rabies. I was supposed to follow Snatch doubles with Jerk behind the neck, Power Cleans and Clean Deadlifts, but I had to scrap the last two. Here is what I did:

Snatch--1x2@40, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95, 80, 90--I got a nice double with 95 and in general the Snatch felt pretty good today.

Jerk behind the neck--1x2@80, 80, 100, 120 1x1@130, 140, 150, 155--I missed 155kg out front twice which was annoying. As you will see in the video below, over the last week I have been Jerking out front. Tommy said it might be because my back leg is too stiff, as in I am not getting under the bar enough. That felt like the reason to me as I was not dipping forward. This is a little habit I have developed over the last two weeks, so I will nip it in the bud now, cut back in weight and sort it out.

Have a look at the video--the Snatch double is actually with 90, not the reported 80 in the video-- and let me know if you see anything. I will be training in Limerick tomorrow and Saturday, so I am really looking forward to that.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Wednesday's walkway

I had a good session today and I made sure to eat properly beforehand. I was determined to control the volume more today after going a bit over the top yesterday. The Snatches felt a bit heavier than they should have and the Clean and Jerks were not quite as fluid as I would have liked, but otherwise all was well and I felt like i progressed from yesterday. Here is what I did:

Power Snatch--3x3@40 1x2@50, 60, 60 1x1@70, 70, 80, 85, 90 for three singles.
Again I focused on trying to stay over the bar and to keep the back locked throughout the pull. I am getting slightly better with both, but it can be frustrating when you can feel yourself pulling back when you want to extend up.

Clean and Jerk--1x1@70, 70, 90, 100, 110, 120, 125, 130--My best single was with 125. in this rep the Clean was far smoother and I did not let the bar crash down on me as you can see on the video below. My Jerks were a bit out in front and Tommy was reminding me to Jerk off my heels rather than my toes.

Front Squat--1x2@120, 130, 140, 150, 155--I missed the second rep on both the first and second set of 155kg. I just could not get through the sticking point. Next time...( picture Monty Byrnes drumming his fingers....)

Press--Zag was doing these so I gave it a quick bash because I have not done the movement since the summer. I did singles with 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, and 80 to finish it off. I really should be able to get a bodyweight press with 95kg. Should I spend time trying to get it? No thanks.

Have a look at the video and leave any pointers you have.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Tuesday's tactical naivety

I had a tiring, but enjoyable session with Sami and Wayne Healy today. We were supposed to have a half hour break in the middle, but we were all running a little late so I did everything in a row. Looking back, I made two errors today:
1. I did not eat enough before training. This affected my energy levels and hindered the latter half of my workout.
2. I did too many reps in the Snatch. Even though they were not heavy, when you are focusing on technical aspects the lifts seem to be more tiring. 10 or 12 singles with 90 is more tiring than a single with 90, 95, and 100 for three singles.

Here is what I did:

A good warm up with pre hab, flexibility and bar work.

Snatch--3x3@40 1x2@60, 60, 70, 80, 80 11x1@90
I was focusing on extending up again, but they were not flowing as well as I wanted them to. Although I did not miss any of the lifts, they were not as pristine as I would have wanted.

Snatch Pull--1x2@90, 100,105, 105, 90, 90, 90--Wayne adjusted my starting position slightly by tilting my hips back slightly and he explained that I should be feeling the tension in the glute med area and that the rest of the body should be relatively relaxed. He kept stressing that weightlifting is all about from mid thigh to the belly button in terms of where the second pull should take place and where the body ahould be tense.

Cleans--1x2@60, 60, 80, 90, 100, 110, 115, 115, 115--I only remembered to rise up with shoulders and upper back with the hips after Wayne pointed out I was not doing it. I need to make this automatic with both the Clean and the Snatch. It makes everything much smoother and less tiring.

Back Squats--1x2@120, 140, 150--I was pretty tired doing these, so I left it there. I finished up with 5 minutes of flexibility and I had a yoga class later that evening. I have been stretching my hips more over the last two weeks and I have definitely gotten looser in the area; the yoga helps of course and it is also very enjoyable in its own right.

Have a look at this video and think how we can apply it to weightlifting:

Monday 26 October 2009

Monday's meaningful session

I had a great session tonight. I have a week's holidays, so I will be training quite a bit over the next few days. However, I have to be careful so that I pace myself and do not burn myself out; I also need to remember to use this time to improve my technique with lighter weights, not simply lifting heavier weights with the same flaws so that I do not improve. I will leave most of my strength work to my squats and pulls. My technique must improve when practising both the classical lifts and also the supplemental assistance exercises.

After a nice warm up, myself and Zag did the counter movement jump test again. Last week I got 42.5cm and this week I got 45.7cm. Zag got 48cm. I just dipped lower, but I also need to get the hang of bring my toes up when I jump to get that extra time in the air. It is just good fun and also a way to see how fresh we are at the time.

I started off performing an exercise recommended to me by Charlie Hamilton and Morgan Ask, a Swedish weightlifter who has helped me out with my technique. It is a nice exercise to warm up with and it is also good to reinforce technical pointers such as staying over the bar and keeping the back locked. It starts off with a Snatch deadlift, then two reverse pulls. I worked up from 60 for a few sets to 70, 80, 90 and 100. The last two sets are on the video below, so let me whether you think I am doing them right and also if you think they will be beneficial.

Snatch--1x3@60, 60, 60 1x2@70 1x1@80, 90 for six singles. Like Saturday, i focused on staying over the bar and extending up. They felt ok, but once I got a faster finish with the pull--Thank you for the point Dr Flanagan--they felt much better. Although tempted, I kept it at 80% so I could work on my technical pointers. One of Charlie Hamilton's technical pointers was to use the shrug at the end of the pull to guide the bar into the correct path while pulling yourself under the bar. I need to start incorporating this agani I think.

After these, I did around 20 minutes of flexibility which I thouroughly enjoyed. As this was an extra session on top of my program, I kept it light and technical with lots of flexibility. Have a look at the video below and let me know of any constructive criticism.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Saturday’s sensibilities

In today’s workout I was determined to work on my technical deficiencies. Last night I watched all the Tommy Kono lectures and I thought they were fantastic. Several people have been telling me I need to stay over the bar and I have been thinking about it lately, but more so over the last few weeks. Then I hit on the Kono lectures just when I needed them, and the principles expounded were exactly those I had to relearn.

That was definitely my epiphany today. The basics I spent so long learning were put on the back burner so that I could work on the minutiae. The basics are the following: you lock your back; stay over the bar, and extend up. Once you do these basics—they are easier said than done—then the bar stays close to your body and centre of gravity and thus your catch is made easier. Elementary skills they may be, but I lost my focus on them. Now I have to relearn them, and the only way I can do this is to leave my ego firmly at the door and start light. Very light. I really would advocate you watching all of the Kono videos because there are several cracking tips in them.

Here is what I did today:
Snatch –1x3@40, 40, 40 1x2@60, 60, 70, 80, 85 for five doubles. I really focused on staying over the bar throughout the first and second pull. Each set got better and although I have not yet mastered it, the bar felt closer and easier to catch once I finished the pull. The more I stay over the bar, the easier the turnover will be with relaxed wrists.

Clean and Jerk—1x1@60, 60, 80, 90, 100, 110, 115, 120 for four singles. Here I worked on staying over the bar again and extending UP. When I brought my elbows through quickly, my racking position was far better in the catch and also in the Jerk.

Front Squat—1x2@120, 130, 140, 150—The last rep of this was a real grinder, but I got it. I need to get my squatting numbers back up again!

Another tip that really helped from Tommy Kono’s lecture was filling the chest with air to solidify the back. I knew this before and I thought I did it. Today, I put more effort into the breath before the pull and I took in as much breath as possible. I felt it helped and the back arch is definitely one of the areas I need to progress on. Have a look at the video below and leave any constructive criticism. Feedback and criticism are really helpful.

Friday 23 October 2009

Friday's flattened momentum

I had a great sleep last night, ate really well and was looking forward to lifting today. turned out to be a bum note. Fatigue had built up and I could not get around it. I could sense from the frustration building up in the warm up with the bar that it was not going to be a session to wax lyrically about. Never mind. I am still looking forward to tomorrow's session. Here is what I did today:

Snatch--1x3@40, 40, 50 1x2@60, 70 1x1@80, 90, 95--I missed this because my left foot slipped on the platform--powerlifters use talcum powder for their suits and it makes the platform slippy. I then got it barely on the return run. As Sami said, my pull was fine, but my catch was really slow. I left it at that, but looking back, I should have drilled with lighter weights. I let my frustration get the better of me I am afraid.

2 Front Squats and 1 Jerk--1x2@70, 70, 90, 110, 120--I missed 120 twice, and again, I was just lacking in the sharpness department. I also went a bit too high in my jumps in weight. I finished off with 10 minutes of flexibiliy and left it there. Hopefully tomorrow's session will be better.

I will finish the post with a different video of Tommy Kono lecturing on weightlifting technique, the first one being a gem for you coaches out there:

Parts three and four are available if you click on the video itself which will bring you to the Youtube site where you will see the links to the further videos on the right.

Thursday 22 October 2009

Thursday's topped up sense of well being

I felt better again today. Yesterday I used the foam roller to get rid of some of the tension around my hips. I focused on the IT bands, the hamstrings, the quads, the calves and the spine. I followed that with using the massage stick to work over my adductors and I followed this with a 5 minute relaxing groin stretch. I felt better for it today and a lot freer around the hip area.

I did my Back Squats in a seperate 40 minute workout early in the afternoon. In between my warm up sets I did my glute pre hab and one set of wall slides for my scaps and another bit of hip flexibility at the end. I then did the following:
1x5@80 1x3@100 1x2@130, 140, 150, 160, 165, 165--Here I missed the second rep with 165 on both sets. Missing reps aside, I felt pretty good during the brief session.

Later that day in the Hercs, I did the folowing after a nice warm up with overhead squats, glute and scap prehab and some flexibility:

Snatch doubles--1x2@40, 40, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95, 95--I missed the second rep in the next two sets which was annoying. I was not finishing my pull and as Tommy told me, get your hips more involved. I then did another double with 95 and it was much better. I was not focusing enough on the second rep and because it was a matter of focus, I had to get the double. If it was physical fatigue, I would have left it. I then followed this with an easy single with 100, just because I wanted to lift it.

Jerk behind neck--1x2@80, 100, 120, 130, 130--The second rep on the first set with 130 was in front because I dipped in front because of a lack of focus, butI still ground it out. My second and last set was far more accurate and faster also.

Power Clean doubles--1x2@60, 80, 90, 100, 110--I left it at this because I could feel the fatigue creeping in and it was a struggle to Power Clean 110 twice.

All in all I was hapy with the day's training. I did not really push it other than with the squat failures, but I thought I had them. Never mind. I have a light session tomorrow and then another session on Saturday. Have a look at the video and let me know what you think:

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Tuesday's transcience

I felt like a drunken post Christmas eve Santa Claus all day, but I came out of the gym in far better shape than I went in. I felt pretty rough all day and I was not as motivated and optimistic as usual. It is great having Zag to train with again because he helped me clear my mind and just get on with it. We had some fun with the counter movement jump electronic test at the start of our warm up. Zag got 45.8 and I got 42.5. Neither score is much good, but we were both feeling pretty ropy, and it was just for some fun.

I had a good warm up with lots of pre hab and Overhead Squats with the bar. I tried to sort out what Harry was pointing out last night, which was that I was not staying over the bar and that was causing me to hit the bruised area above my groin. I took it light and slow at first, but I worked up to three singles with 80 in the Power Snatch and they felt slow, but smoother than before.

I then went on to the Clean and Jerk where I tried to relax my wrists in the Jerk. They felt more secure and smooth with this slight change. I worked up to singles with 110 and two with 15kg, both are in the video below, so let me know what you think. In the Clean, I tried to get my feet out in the catch and I succeeded a bit. I followed these with Front Squat triples up to 140kg and I left it at that.

I tried to keep the volume down because I was tired and I ended up having a decent session that I enjoyed, unlike last night where I felt like throwing all my toys out of the pram. I have a yoga session tonight which I am looking forward to so off I go.

Here is a Snatch from Pat Mendes, the 19 year old I trained with in Vegas. It is scary because in this video he Snatches 182.5 and he has just gotten 185 in training also. He has been lifting for 18 months and he weighs in at 135kg, 10 kg heavier than when I trained with him.

Monday 19 October 2009

Monday's monstrosity

Tonight, I had the co-ordination of this guy who just wanted one more beer:

I had a good warm up for around 20 minutes and I was feeling pretty good in general. When I started Snatching, they felt slow,but ok in general. Then came the paralysis by analysis and then came the wrong pulling trajectory and this hit the nearly recovered bruised scooping point. I got up to a single with 95kg and I left it there. Everything felt wrong and when I started to Snatch Pull, I left them also. Although I did not react like this kid, I really wanted to. Harry reacted like the father. Watch till the end, because Gillian was the amused sister recording the event.

I then changed over to Power Clean/Squat Clean combo and I worked up to three doubles with 106kg. The only way I could lift them was if I thought of nothing at all and just lifted straight away. I followed these inordinantly hard lifts with three doubles of 140 in the Back Squat for some nice and easy squats to finish off one hell of a workout.

Friday 16 October 2009

Friday's fountain of youth

I decided to train today instead of yesterday because I was pretty run down. Today was supposed to be a light session and I enjoyed it. There was a good atmosphere in the gym and Gillian and Karen are lifting well. Harry even did some Power Clean triples for a laugh.

I worked up to 80kg for Power Snatch doubles, focusing on extending up and letting the elbows break over the bar with a nice and snappy turnover. It felt nice lifting off the ground in the Snatch which I have not done since Cork.

I then did a few Power Cleans and Jerks and worked up to a Power Clean with 100 followed by 7 Jerks in a row. I wanted to see if i could beet 9 Jerks with 100 in Scotland, but I did that from the rack. I power Cleaned it this time. Have a look at the video:

I finished off with three triples with 130kg in the Back Squat and some band work for my mid traps and rhomboids. Well done to Sami and Cathal in Poland. You both did us all proud. Next week I will be back to training normally and I can get on with getting ready for the Northern Ireland Open.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Wednesday's weeping willows

I was pretty tired going into today's session, so I decided to have a good warm up and to focus on one movement. I got my glute and hip pre-hab done and I also got in three sets of 20 in the wall slides for my scapular health. A good few sets of Overhead Squats followed and I was nice and loose, particularly after my yoga session last night.

My scooping point is still slightly sore, so I focused on Snatch Pulls, trying to get my hips nice and low and locked and then rise them up to initiate the pull.
1x2@40, 40, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100
1x1@110, 115, 120, 125

I made a video of some of the heavier lifts. My starting position felt ok and I went heavier than I should have, but I just wanted to see what the weights felt like to be honest. Let me know what you think after watching the video. Also, a big shout out to Cathal Byrd who is lifting tomorrow in the 69kg class in the European under 23's, with Sami Dowling lifting on the Friday in the 85's. Good luck to both because they have trained very hard and have put in their dues.

To leave things on a brighter note and to cheer the lads over in Poland, here are some more classic comedy moments:

Monday 12 October 2009

Monday's monkey business

I had a nice light session today as this week is light week. Which is nice. I worked on my first pull in the Snatch and wildly exaggerated and over compensated staying over the bar which got me staying wayyyyyyy too far over with my hips in the air. This week I will drill my first pull in the Snatch with light weights. A lot. I am going to give it a lot of my training time and I will enjoy doing so. I worked off a three or four inch block with some Snatch pulls today, but I tihnk it was a bit high to start with.

I also did Power Clean + Squat Clean up to 100 for four doubles. I worked on keeping the arms relaxed, or as Tommy told me earlier, "athletically tense". I am hoping this will stop me pulling with the arms while allowing me to get under the bar quicker.

After these, I Back Squatted up to 140 for three doubles, did around twenty minutes of stretching and band work for my scapular health and called it a day. I will leave you with some vintage comedy:

Saturday 10 October 2009

Saturday's smattering of patience

I ended up having a decent session today, despite a ropy opening and a general sense of fatigue. Cathal had his last heavyish session before competing on Thursday and myself and Cillian enjoyed having him around. I was still unable to Snatch properly, so I performed Hang Snatches again. I warmed up with a few minutes on the foam roller and the glute pre hab with one set of wall slides thrown in for good measure. Cathal Snatched 105kg and ground out a tough 140kg which was great considering he is still relatively fatigued.

Hang Snatches--1x3@40, 40, 50 1x2@60, 70 1x1@ 80, 90, 95, 100, 105--I missed this due to not locking my back properly. I then got it for a shaky success.

Clean and Jerk--1x1@70, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 136--I got this with a slight pressout with the left elbow. My mind was not focused for 140 and I did not even go through with the pull.

Back Squat--1x3@110,130 1x1@140, 150, 160, 170, 176, 182--I missed this for a new pb--it is currently 180kg which is quite humbling. I did not have enough in me to get through the sticking point today.

Jimmy Jennings kindly helped me out by giving my right hip area a massage. My right hip flexor has been cramping up and it feels like there is a lot of muscle ension around the area and also in my left hip. Have a look at the video below and leave any constructive criticism you can think of.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Thursday's tactile learning environment

I had an enjoyable session this evening and I was working on a few things I mentioned in yesterday's post. I warmed up with some bodyweight squats, my glute pre hab and some bar work. My scooping point was still bruised, so I performed Hang Snatches from below the knee again.

Hang Snatch from below the knee--1x3@40, 40, 50 1x2@60, 70, 80, 90, 95
1x2@100, 103--I got the first rep with this twice but I could not get the second rep. I was trying to extend up as much as possible and I tried to keep my wrists relaxed and flexible, which really allowed me to sit in the bottom position of the Snatch in order to get my balance. I have never been able to do this before.

Jerk from behind the neck--1x2@70, 70, 90, 110, 120, 130--I missed the second rep and got both the next time. 1x1@140, 150--I missed 150 twice. The first time it was because I dipped forward, the second time I just lacked enough punch.

Power Cleans--1x2@80, 80, 90, 100,110, 115--The second rep on my last set was caught below parallel as the video below shows.

Clean Deadlift--1x2@120, 130, 140, 150, 150--I was trying to keep my back flat, but my upper back arch was not as tight as I wanted it to be, which was a bit annoying. I wanted to go a little heavier, but there is no point unless I get it right with 150. I have to leave the ego at the door.

That was it. Have a look at the video and let me know what you think.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Tuesday's tips from Wayne

I had another enjoyable session training with Zag and Wayne. I was relatively fresh and happy to see how things went for the day.

My scoop point was still sore, so instead of Power Snatches I did Hang Power Snatches. I worked up to 4 or 5 singles with 90 and then another 4 or 5 singles with 80. Wayne was trying to get me to stay over the bar more and get rid of a habit I have gotten into of initiating the pull too early which causes me to swing the bar out and back again. This was the way I learned the pulls from Harry also, but habits have a habit of forming.

Another thing I noticed from watching Wayne lift last week was that when he finishes his pull getting under the bar, his wrists tend to stay very relaxed and he seems to flip the bar over. My wrists are far more tense and tighter which causes the arms to tighten up also. I tried to flip the bar over with the wrists and it felt great because the bar was back in position better and my arms were more relaxed. Have a look at Wayne's Snatch and maybe you can see what I mean and write down what you think of the idea:

Here is one of his lifts from Saturday and see if you can spot the same thing from a different angle. Look at his turnover of the bar:

I also did some Clean and Jerks and worked up to 3 singles with 110. I was working on a quicker extension and quicker catch in the Clean. In the Jerk I also tried that more relaxed wrist feel, but it is something that I need to try more before I can judge it properly. I finished off the session with a Front Squat double with 140 and a single with 150kg.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Monday's medicine

Here is a short video of some of the other lifts that I have from Saturday. Unfortunately, I only have a few lifts because I was helping the Leinster ladies with the Clean and Jerk portion of their lifts because Sami was warming up.

I had my usual training session on Monday. My scooping point for the Snatch was sore from Saturday--which meant that I had changed it slightly because I was not staying over the bar long enough in my eargerness to initiate the pull. This meant that I performed Hang Snatches from below the knee. This forced me to stay over the bar better and as such, get my natural scooping point. I worked up to singles with 100, 103 and 105, which I missed forst and then got.

I then went onto Power Cleans and I went up to singles with 115 and 120, which I only Squat Cleaned. They felt good though and I was focusing on getting as quick a catch as possible. I was supposed to do a Power Clean and Squat Clean combination, but I was happy to take some of the volume out for this session.

I worked up to a double with 150 in the Back Squat and I left it at that. Ten minutes of stretching and I was done. I enjoyed the session and I am already looking forward to the run up to the Northern Ireland Open in five and a half weeks. Here is a short video of some of my lifts in this session.

Monday 5 October 2009

Saturday's stout team performance

The National Club Competition was according to some spectators and lifters, the most exciting weightlifting competition in years. It went down to the final lift of the competition to decide who won and then four hours later, there was a dramatic plot twist after the competition finished when it was discovered that an officiating mistake had taken place: one more kilo was actually needed for the win.

The competition

I brought my scales along with me and I was under 95kg the night before and I was 94kg that morning so I was able to have a light breakfast of some salmon with some lemon juice. I weighed in at 93.6kg and this was very comfortable as I simply restricted my water the previous day after over-hydrating the three days before it.

In our team, Wayne lifted first in the 69's and after missing his opener with 95kg, he nailed it and then 98kg quite easily and started looking like he had just woken up. He then Jerked 120, 125 and 127 for a gutsy performance considering he had trained around seven or eight times in the last five weeks for this competition. For team UL, Cathal lifted and made his opener of 105kg on his last attempt. The word fresh was not in his vocabulary that day because he is gearing up for the U 23's in Poland. He Jerked 135 in his opener and his knee was bothering him with 140 so he left it there, saving himself for two weeks' time.

The Herc's girls then duelled with the Leinster ladies and all six lifters did extremely well with the Herc's girls just about winning out. Sami and Murph lifted in the 85's then for the Herc's and UL teams respectively. Due to an issue with his back, Sami could only train once that week and he lifted 95/118 making his second attempts both times. Murph has had a knee injury since Scotland and he got 93/117kg. UL were 14 points ahead in the team event and I was lifting against Eamonn in the final session at around half four. My heart had been racing since 11 that morning so it felt great to be able to start my warm up and relax.

My warm up went fine. The body had been primed to lift for hours so there was no stiffness or any other kinks that needed to be worked out. After 25 minutes, my final warm ups were 97 and 102kg. I was feeling good for my opener with 105kg which went smoothly, but it was not as fast as I would have wanted. Eamonn had lifted 99kg so I needed to scrape back as many points as I could. I then went up to 110kg for my second attempt and I pulled it strongly, but had to take a few steps forward to lock it in. I felt very confident for my third attempt of 113kg, but I missed it. It was high enough, but slightly out in front and I lacked that last inch of finish in my pull to get the bar into position. This was annoying, but I started focusing on the Clean and Jerks and if I found myself thinking about the Snatch, I gave myself a mental slap on the side of the head to keep focused on what was ahead of me.

I felt very fast in the Clean and Jerk and all my warm ups were good except for 120kg which I under pulled. My last lift in the back room was 128kg and I nailed it. I opened up with 135kg and it was smooth and assured. Eamonn then lifted 137kg, so Harry went to 139 to counter. I Cleaned it nicely, but pressed out the Jerk. This was very silly, because the weight was fine, I was simply not fast enough with my drive and lockout in the Jerk. I was obviously focusing on my third and final lift. Eamonn then Cleaned 139 and missed the Jerk. Harry was told we needed for 141kg for the win in the Club Championship, so take it we did. This was the last lift of the day and I had around five lads coming in to give me advice. The club had not won this title in 30 years. Harry booted them out and got me ready. I took the full minute and lifted off with around five seconds to go. I Cleaned it, and then Jerked the hell out of it and lost my head with a few others for around a minute. I had never lifted under those circumstances before and the relief was far more prevelant than anything else.

Later that night we found out that an official had put Sami down for Clean and Jerking 120, when he lifted 118. I would have needed 142kg for the win. One sinclair point was the difference. Gutting. We are all human though; the official responsible appologised later and although it still rankled, it is not the end of the world. I had lifted one kilo more than my best previous total and I weighed in 3.5kg lighter, so although I did not lift what I wanted, I was content. The lads in the UL team did really well to win their third team title in a row. Next years competition will be all the more exciting for this.

A video will follow of some of the lifts later today.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Thursday's trembling in anticipation

I was raring to go for my session today and I enjoyed it. It feels great to have this much energy and not feel wrecked all the time. This morning I weighed in at 94.8kg, so I can afford to eat well tomorrow, while staying sensible, which is great. For the last three days I have been drinking two or three times the amount of water I usually would--around nine or ten litres or so. I will cut my water drastically tomorrow and because I am hyper-hydrated, I will not be dehydrated for the weigh in on Saturday morning. Because I have been eating quite cleanly over the last five weeks--I got 29.9 mm in my four site skin fold test today--this means I can continue to eat sensibly tomorrow and not have to worry about making weight.

I warmed up with my glute pre-hab and some Miyake Pulls and got stuck into the workout. Here is what I did:

Snatch--1x3@40, 40, 40 1x2@60, 70 1x1@80, 90, 95, 100--I missed this the first time due to idiocy. I got it easily the second rep. I felt very quick and this may have been a result of not training so much this week, but I also think it is due to seeing how fast Wayne was on Monday. It is great seeing a lifter extend fully while still whipping himself under the bar as fast as he does.

Clean and Jerk--1x1@80, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120--I left it at that and 120kg turned out to be my best Clean and Jerk. I tried getting my pelvis more neutral--Harry commented on this in my last post--and this helped me stay on my heels in the Jerk Dip. This should help me Jerk the bar straight over the head rather than out front--I can be guilty of this at times.

I left it at that and I really enjoyed the session. I have laods of energy for Saaturday, so hopefully I can bring it on the day; if not, I will just have to gert on with it I suppose. Either way, I will be training on Monday.

I will leave you with two videos. The first is Aaron Small who got what appears to be an easy looking 105kg in the Snatch with a close miss with 107.5kg. Hopefully we will see this and more in Cork on Saturday.

Here is a video of the great Pablo Lara in the training hall with his team and in this video you see him Power Cleaning 190kg as a 76kg lifter!