Friday 4 June 2010

Friday's fortuitous Irish weightlifter

After a fifteen hour journey, I arrived in San Francisco airport and got in at the same time as Glenn and Jon who were returning from the Pan Am championships where the US placed third in the team event. Luck showed her face at the start of my trip and I was able to get a lift to San Ramon with the other guys. By the time I got back to where I am staying--David Spitz and his wife are amazingly gracious--I had only slept three hours in the previous two days. I had gotten my third or fourth wind, so this meant that although my mind had turned to mush, I was bizarrely alert. My body clock did not know its arse from its elbow and I ended up waking up at five fifteen in the morning and I could not get back to sweet precious sleep.

I arrived at the gym for around 9.30 and started my work out around forty five minutes later. Caleb is still coming back from a back injury and held back from lifting heavy, preferring to wait for the afternoon session. Donny decided to take the day off training as he is still fatigued from the Pan-Ams, as was John, who took the morning session off. Max was coaching a client and squatting also. I felt pretty rough warming up, but after each lift I felt better and better. I worked up to doubles with 80, 90 and 100 and then jumped to a relatively easy single with 110kg. I decided to leave it there as the afternoon session was later and I did not want to jump the gun. Glenn enquired whether I was going up again and I decided to move up to 115, but I did not have the mental power to switch it back on again, so I left it there a little embarrassed. I worked up to a Power Clean and Jerk with 120 and saved it for later on.

I chilled out for several hours with a few of the guys and came back to lift at 4.30 that evening. I was not feeling too great in the second session and when I realised it was half twelve at night at home, I understood why. I was not feeling sharp like I was earlier and although I worked up to a single with 110kg, I left it there and went back down to 90 for a double, then 100, then 105 and on the second attempt, I got a double with 107.5kg for a pb—it was 105kg. I then went up to 110kg and I missed the second rep around six times in my quest for a double with 110. I was so close my last two sets in particular, but as Glenn said, my first attempts were getting better and the tank was empty for the second attempts. Donny and Glenn kept telling me that I was overpulling the bar and this was causing me to be slow under the weight. Also, because there was an element of fear with the second rep—it felt far heavier on the second rep due to fatigue—this was also another reason for me being a little slower under the bar. This mental aspect is something that I will get better at the more I do heavier doubles.

I then moved onto the Clean and Jerk and I worked up to 130kg and it felt pretty nasty. I went back down to 115kg for a double and then up to 125 for a double. On the second or third attempt, I got 127.5kg for a double and it required every ounce that I had because on the second rep my brain was screaming at me not to go under the Clean and to leave it be. Thankfully I gutted it out and eventually got it, but it was purely a mental exercise and this was something I had to do. I had never done so many doubles in my life and even though I was feeling a bit drained and lethargic, I was able to get through it because of the unique atmosphere in the gym and among the lifters.
John North hit a pb double in the Snatch with 145kg and it was actually better than when he hit it with a single. He started of doing singles with Caleb Ward and Donny Shankle. Donny was taking it easy after his last competition in the Pan-American championships and along with Caleb hit 150 and then 155, but Caleb re-injured his back on 155kg. John North hit 145 on the second attempt and then missed 151kg in a death defying lift. He went back down to 120 for a double, then did 130, 140 and hit his 145kg double. He wanted to go back down to 130 and start up again on singles, but Glenn stopped him. This guy has a big engine on him and he is great to train with. He worked up to a Clean and Jerk with 170 and then hit a 175kg Clean and finished off with some doubles with 150kg.
Friday is their big workout day so they put everything into their classical lifts and leave squatting for the following day. I was happy to leave it there for the day and eat an awesome barbeque in Glenn’s house. Nutrition is vital for recovery! Here are a few of the lifts from the day. I was trying to focus more on my own lifting rather than be an overwhelmed puppy that runs around sniffing everything and tripping people over.


CathalByrd said...


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