This turned out to be an incredibly interesting day for Zag and myself. I got a much better look at Tom's teaching style--and I say teaching, not coaching--and how he progressed the demands placed on both of us. Another amazing experience was being helped by a trainer, Sander Beenders. He is a soft tissue, flexibility and movement expert and he really helped both myself and Sami out. He patiently explained his ideas and applied some of them on us as well as showing us how to stretch each other properly. Here is a link to his mentor and flexibility philosophy. There are several other tricks up his sleeve, so I had a quick interview with him and will put this up over the next week.
For the first workout on the Friday, we worked on the Snatch and the Front Squat. As Murph correctly pointed out, on the video from Thursday's session I was too far behind the bar and I was also too low. Tom deliberately had me over-exaggerate these movements so that I could get the feel of a locked back with all the correct muscles activated. On the Friday, he had me apply the same principles but he got me to put my hips far higher and get over the bar far more. This was the teaching progression and although it was frustrating at first, it worked because I was able to Snatch 100kg with my hips high and back locked. It felt very different to anything I had ever done before, but when I came over to him last June for the first time, I would not have been physically ready for this position.
When we Front Squatted afterwards, he had me change my technique slightly in that I am not quite as vertical and my stance is wider. These squats murder my hips but they are a form of active and dynamic flexibility, which is a good thing! Zag was shown a exercise to help improve his Snatch recieving position that is very similar to one shown to Cathal Byrd when he was in the Ukraine training and it is in the video below. Neither of our upper backs or shoulder girdles are strong or flexible enough.
In the second session, we Snatched again but I only worked up to 80 and Zag up to 70. I Clean and Jerked up to 110kg for two singles and then we worked on our Back Squat technique which again was very uncomfortable, but effective. The idea was to open up the hips to allow the Back to stay locked and get the legs to do the work rather than the back. This mobility will greatly enhance our positioning in the Classical lifts and purposely going wider like this is fantanstic for improving my hip tragedy. The video below shows what I am talking about.
Tom's teaching style is to over-emphasise the aspects he wants to change so that when it comes to implementing them, there is a realistic balance between the new approach and what you have worked on before. I came to realise over the days that there was a clear progression from how he was coaching me from June last year to this last week and the progression was based on my improved technique, strength and physical condition.
At the end of the second session, Sander came into the gym and after every stretch I did 3 Overhead squats in bare feet and the progression in my positioning was staggering as well as the effect the work had on opening up my shoulder girdle, hips, upper back and chest. As soon as I can, I will post the interview with him which also has him working on Zag's shoulders.
Have a look at the video below and let me know what you think.