My rest and recovery week is over now and I am starting my new 8 week program to take me up to Nationals and world domination on Monday. I am meeting up with Harry tomorrow evening to put the finishing touches on it and I am already looking forward to it. There are a few things I must sort out as well as I can in these 8 weeks:
1. Have a flat back when lifting: I have booked my flights and accomodation and myself and Zag are going over to Tom Bruijen's place. He helped me a lot last June and the only time I have been able to lift with a flat back was after training with him. I will be going over from March 31st to April 4th and will train every day. I am already looking forward to it. In the meantime, I will continue to do my back mobility work, flexibility and will do more core training.
2. The plan is to stick to the plan: I am stealing this phrase from Dan John. Basically, I need my plan to be so well organised that what gets me in trouble is taken out of the equation: me! By being more organised and having more specific targets to hit, I will take out my ego and pride. These get me in trouble and cause me to steer clear of the plan. I need and will have far more specific targets and I will stick to them. When I have light days, I will stay light. When I have heavy days, by God I will go heavy. I need to trust the plan and not my mind which lies to me all the time.
3. Widen Snatch grip: I started this when I trained on Monday, Thursday and Friday. I have widened my grip out an inch and a half on both sides and the movement does feel different and I feel less powerful, but I know it is a necessity. I will now no longer Snatch with as narrow a grip as before and I will force my body to co-operate. I know this will help me in the long run and I am willing to sacrifice short term poundage for long term gain.
4. I have to get stronger: While I am taking my time getting used to my new Snatch grip, I will be getting stronger in the squat. The Russian program got me up to where I was when I weighed 100kg--I am now 95--and over the next 8 weeks I need to Back Squat 190 and Front Squat 170. I am expecting this to be relatively comfortable. Like my classical lifts, I will work out what exactly I need to be lifting each week in order to get those numbers without psyching myself to the gills and going all powerlifter on it. I now I can do it.
5. Take my mind out of my lifting: When I was going well in January and early February, I disciplined myself to leave out thinking and analysing while lifting. Reading The Inner Game of Tennis really helped me on this front and I will read parts of the book again. Focus on feel and leave the mind out of it. If I could do it before I can do it again.Instead of worrying about whether my positioning is right and am I finishing the pull vertically rather than horizontally and am I keeping the bar close and am I etc etc etc. Shut up. Just shut up. I will listen to Byrdie when he tells me that now.
That is it really. I worked up to a few singles with 97 in the Snatch on Friday and 110 in the Clean and Jerk. I worked up to an easy 170 Back Squat and I failed 180 annoyingly, but I know I will get that next time I go for it. Monday is the start of a new cycle and a new perspective. Stick to the plan. Stick to the plan. Now it is up to me and the lads to write a plan that I am fully confident in taking me to the 120/150 that I know is there.
This is the dawning of a new day in Irish weightlifting. I can feel it and it is coming to fruition in our senior male and female lifters and some of our masters' athletes. We can do it. We need to work together to do it. We need to organise a two week training camp in June or July where we set our stall for the future and the present. It can be in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria or even at home if we get one or two coaches in. Everyone needs to lend their organisational skills, their time and intelligence. We have a lot of smart people in Irish weightlifting and we need to use them for everyone's benefit. We can keep inching up like we have or we can seize Irish weighlifting by the scruff of the neck and snap it overhead so that it looks from a higher and more advantageous perspective. We can do it.