Everyone only trained once today and even at that, physically I was a broken mess. But, I was one happy weightlifting camper and I still really enjoyed our session. Caleb ‘s back was still hurting and he kept it light and snappy; after all the hard work he has put in, I really hope he stays relatively healthy for the Junior World’s next week in Bulgaria. He has put the hard yards in and he deserves a break. Donny and Jon Power Snatched and Power Clean and Jerked. After their vicious session the previous day, I could see they were hurting a bit, but they still got on with it.
I went straight to the blocks and started Snatching from there. I worked up to a few singles with 100 and I left it there as I was struggling to maintain tension in my back due to fatigue. I moved onto Power Clean and Jerks except I lifted off one 25 as a platform and worked up to a few singles with 110kg which felt incredibly heavy despite the fact that it is usually a joke of a Power Clean. Again, the cues were to keep my weight on my heels and to really get my hips into the Clean. In the Jerk, it was to aggressively get my head through in the catch and again, to keep my weight in my heels. By the time I finished, my tank was empty and it was plainly obvious why. I am not used to lifting with this volume and intensity over the last week and this shows that instead of me being over-trained, I am very much undertrained. Of course I am not going to beat myself up over it; the wrong thing to do in my life situation would be to jump straight into doing as much as I possibly could and bury myself in a hole. Instead, I need to gradually increase the amount of volume I can successfully tolerate and in the process, improve my technique and consistency in the lifts and get stronger. It sounds simple and a sensible head will have to reign; therefore I need to take myself and my nonsensical mind out of the situation and trust Zag, Harry and Wayne.
For my last few hours in California, Glenn showed me a few different exercises to strengthen my weak back; the way he performed them was slightly different and some of them were quite similar to some of Tom Bruijen’s. They were some back raises; back extensions and some basic barbell rows and you can see two of them in the video below.
All in all, my week’s stay in California Strength proved to be an incredibly enjoyable experience. I learned a lot in regards to weightlifting technique, programming and the type of environment required for success. But just as importantly I had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time laughing my ass off. Everyone works hard in this place. Max is one of the most intelligent people I have met and has a razor sharp dry delivery. Caleb is incredibly talented, generous and was full of brilliant stories—mainly about Donny and Jon. Donny is one in a million and you shall see the interview I took with him in a few days. How a man can combine culture, a voracious competitive streak and being an old school eccentric is beyond me, but Donny pulls it off in style and it is an honour to have spent time with him. Jon is a beast and his intensity is incredible; He is only lifting for a little under three years and we are going to see some major numbers from him. There were a number of young lifters coming up the ranks that are being fostered in this environment and I know they will experience undoubted success.
Glenn and Lori were very generous and Glenn needs no obsequious rambling: his results speak for themselves. As a person, he is passionate and extremely learned. His mindset is something I aspire to as a coach and a teacher. David and Catherine were two of the coolest people I have ever met and spending time with them was a pleasure. David’s experience in weightlifting and business is amplified in the success of California Strength as a weightlifting club and as a business.
Have a look at the videos below; one is a brief look at Thursday’s training and the other is an interview I had with Jon North. As always, constructive feedback is always appreciated.