Saturday 31 July 2010

Saturday's start up

Training went well this week, but as the intensity dipped ever so slightly in the Classical lifts, the volume and intensity increased with the squats. This made my legs and the rest of my body sore and grumpy. I had a day off on the Friday and I did a little bar work and very light Hang Cleans in order not to stiffen up for today's session.

This week in particular has led to feeling sore and stiff in the mornings, particularly in the legs and even the hand muscles! I can feel the benefits already and as I have been told: " If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!" I did a little warm up session with Byrdie and after a nice stretch, worked up to 70kg for a triple and then a single in the Snatch. Half an hour later, we started the main session, but only after the legend that is John McDaid walked in and on a random request Benched 160kg after not training for the previous month!

Byrdie worked up to a solid 107.5kg in the Snatch and then went up to 145 for a single in the Clean and Jerk. He jumped straight to 152.5kg which is 2.5kg over his pb and got under the bar, but it was slightly out front and he could not rack it. He worked back up to 145kg again and ended up squatting 200 for a solid single, down to 180 for four and 160 for a triple. I worked up to a single with 110kg which I was happy with considering I felt like tripe. I ended up completely wasted for the Clean and Jerk, but I got my back work in and left it there. A good week's training and I have one more of the same program before I go back to three weeks of what I started with. Writing it now makes it seem daunting, but I know I will adapt and get on with it. I definitely believe in myself and I know I will continue to get stronger and consistent.

Here is a video of two of the teams training in East Coast Barbell this week:

Here is a brilliant advertisement that really satirises popular marketing techniques. Who doesn't love a bit of comeuppance?

This is is also memorable:

While we are on the satire buzz:

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Tuesday's tactical maneuver

As some of you may have guessed, I have been a busy bee as of late. Here is the reason why:

Here is something else to watch: Byrdie making 150kg his bi%ch:

As for my training, I finished the first three weeks of the program and for the next two weeks, I am on a slightly different schedule. I posted my program in a comment last week and I will copy it here:

It is very very basic. For July and August I will be training with greater volume in the classical lifts and the squats and this will be the case with September also. In October I will start to drop a small part of the volume and increase the intensity and this will occur in November again so that I am ready to go for December.

My program is just as basic. It is five days:

Day one and three: 80% for six doubles in the Snatch and CJ and 8x3 in Front Squat one day and 6x2 the other.

Day two and four: 85% for six doubles in Snatch and Clean and Jerk and 6x2 and 8x3 in Back Squat. In the first four days I do some back strengthening work also.

Day five: Snatch, CJ and Front Squat to max of the day and then back down in Front squat to 1x2@90% and 2x3@80%.

For the next two weeks I am still lifting five days a week, but there will be slightly less volume. Today I went up to six doubles in the Clean and Jerk with 120kg and then eight triples in the Back Squat and my legs were ready to fall off by the end. Tough love, but I know it will help. I felt very rough throughout the session and I know last week took a lot out of me, but I will adapt because there is no other choice. Tomorrow's session will be the 85% day for six doubles in the Snatch, Clean and Jerk and the Front Squat. I can't wait.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Thursday's tabulation

I wanted to hit 97.5kg for my six double in the Snatch and 120kg for six doubles in the Clean and Jerk and I got both. I followed these with 8 doubles with 150kg in the Back squat which is not a heavy weight at all, but the legs were pretty fried from the Clean and Jerks, so a combination of physical and mental fatigue made them pretty tough. Lastly I did 3 sets of 12 with the barbell rows Glenn Pendlay showed me. A tough session but hugely productive; I actually felt like getting sick for most of my Clean and Jerks, but thankfully this was kept at bay. Gillian had an excellent session also and it is very clear that her numbers will go up very soon. A few of us will be lifting in East Coast Barbell on Saturday morning which should prove to be an awesome training session, so we will see how that goes.

Here is our address at East Coast Barbell:

Unit B
Solus Tower Industrial Estate
Dublin Road
South Count Dublin

We will be open for business on Monday, so everyone is welcome of course! The website is nearly there and all we need is a few finishing touches with some videos and photgraphy work.

Here are some videos of Donny lifting because, well, he is more interesting than my ramblings:

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Tuesday's toll

I had an enjoyable workout today and yesterday in East Coast Barbell. We are very close to opening and I am really looking forward to starting officially. The carpentry is now finished and the place needs a thorough cleaning, but otherwise we should be ready by the end of this week.

Myself, Byrdie and Germans trained today and I had a good session. Today was my 85% day and I worked up to 97.5kg for six doubles in the Snatch and 117.5kg in the Clean and Jerk. These are not heavy weights, but the doubles are killers! I had an 80% session for the six doubles on Monday and I will have another 80% session tomorrow. On Thursday, which will be my second 85% session, I will move the Clean and Jerk doubles up to 120kg and maintain the 97.5 for the Snatch. I am still squatting loads and three times a week I Front Squat and twice a week I Back Squat.

I am happy, because for the first time I feel stronger in the third week of a program, when usually I go over the top in the first two weeks rather than build up. Because I have a 6 month plan, I am far happier to be more patient and gradually build things up. It is easy to do this as a coach, but as a lifter, far more difficult. How have you found this process? Do you find it easy or difficult to gradually build up to when it really matters?

Have a look at this interview. There are four parts in total:

Friday 16 July 2010

Friday's flippant schedule

Well, I was supposed to train today, but the pressing needs of East Coast Barbell had to take precedence and I had to take it on the chin. We are aiming to open informally on Monday and get the ball rolling, so all are welcome of course. Once we get ourselves properly established, we will have a decent official opening with krystale champagne and copious amounts of strippers for people of every persuasion. I am supposed to train with Byrdie and Wayne tomorrow in Hercs, but I am not sure I will be able to make it. Hopefully I can make it for the last hour of the session! Among other things we are working on our website and once that is up and running, myself and Zag will take over the world and turn into the people that you always knew we were: bastards.....

Here is a little compilation of two back exercises that Glen showed me to help improve my back strength, which was something Tom Bruijen also told me I needed to work on. Thankfully I am doing just that and not being a complete moron--only a partial one....

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Tuesday's trapezius twist

Firstly, here is a short guided tour of California Strength that I put together:

I have some more things to put up from my trip, so here is a short one of Donny passing judgement on Jon North:

As far as my own training is going, it is hard but I am happy. Towards the end of my Clean and Jerk doubles I strained my trap a bit, but I was able to finish my last two sets and get my 8 triples in the Front squat also. It was tiring to say the least, but I did it.

This morning was a different story and it was only some of Wayne's magical Georgian heat rub that allowed me to train properly. I worked up to three top set doubles rather than the usual six on both the Clean and Jerk because I wanted to make sure that I can train for the rest of the week and that I would not make the strain worse. It feels far better now and I know I will be ok for the next three sessions this week. I went a little heavier for the three doubles and I did all my squats as normal. It was funny how the six sets I did not do left me so much fresher than normal where I feel like a bot of a zombie.

I was talking to Glenn Pendlay this morning and he said that he thought I strained my trap from overpulling the bar which was one of his observations from when I trained over there. He also said that when fatigued, I need to use speed rather than strength. Speed comes from exploding from the hips rather than continuing to overpull with the arms. Wayne and Harry were of the opinion that my back was simply tired from all the extra work I am doing.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Saturday's salvo

I finished the first week of my program and I feel the better for it. Byrdie was up today to train and he joined myself, Zag and Wayne. I am training five days a week; Saturday will be the max of the day session for the classical lifts and Front squat. During the week, two of the days I will go up to six doubles at 80% and two days with 85% with both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. I will Back squat two days and Front squat on the other days. It is all very simple and it looks so much easier on paper than it actually is to perform; however, doubles can be grinders and the best thing is that they are precisely what I need. It will be a case of inching up my lifts and numbers and getting my body to tolerate a higher workload while working on getting stronger and better technically. That is the plan at least and I am going to stick with it.

I am working on a California Strength video at the moment and it will take a while to get it fully right. The videos here are embarrassing, but helpful in improving flexibility:

To leave on an alternative note, have a look at this video and challenge yourself to watch it without laughing:

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Wednesday's waiting area

I finally realised what was happening with the videos so without further ado, here is my short and sweet interview with Rob Adell, who happened to be in a state many of us understand: being wrecked from a week's worth of training!

My own training is going swimmingly, but it is as hard as one would expect. I am lifting far more repititions than usual and as Murph said to me today: they test your inner zen. Every part of my body is feeling it: lower, mid and upper back; glutes, hamstrings and calves; shoulders, all the attachments and connective tissue around my shoulders and scapula and even my arms! What would Ronnie Coleman say about the burn?

I really want those pants!

Saturday 3 July 2010

Monday's manoeuvrability

For some reason Blogger will not let me put up videos that are internally hosted anymore which is a shame because for the last week I have wanted to post a brief interview with Rob Adell and some extra footage of California Strength I never put up. When I try to add a video, it uploads and then says it is unavailable. This has only been happening over the last two weeks and it is rather annoying, so if anyone knows how to sort this out, let me know and I will fix it.

I started my new 12 week program today and it is amazingly simple. It has lots of the lifts. Then more and these are followed by lots of squats. Simple, isn't it? I have two months to get in as much volume as I can stand without burning myself out nd the biggest key is to make small and incremental progress. The goal is to keep the goal the goal as Dan John is want to say. My goal is to qualify for the European Championships before the end of the year and I will need a 272 total. I am five kilos away from this and I know I can do it. Right now, I am building a base and on top of the countless doubles I shall execute, I am also improving my flexibility slowly but surely and getting myself into better positions; the soft tissue work is keeping me healthy and injury free.

The competition I am targeting is the London Open in Decemeber and all the other competitions will be a build up to this. The idea is to use July, August and September to build as wide a base as I can and then in October and November I will drop the doubles and up the intensity. This morning, Byrdie was training alongside myself and Coach Lee and we got some really good work in. Since I got back from holiday--which was fun, but in the short term, detrimental to weightlifting!--I am gradually getting back to hitting normal positions and I know I will improve on where I left off. Broz kept hammering away to me how the flexibility training I do needs to be specific to weightlifting and I have been doing a lot of it. I need to learn to open up my hips and vastly improve their mobility; I also need to improve my hamstring flexibility and back strength but I think the hip mobility is the key.

This is a bit of a rambling post, but essentially, I am trying to do things differently in this training cycle. I feel like I have not been improving as much as I would have liked and for the next four weeks, I will make gradual and steady progress rather than doing as much as I possibly can and being burnt out towards the end of the second week. This goes with all my lifts and squats as well as the extra stuff that I do which I mentioned above. I have a very simple goal: I need to hit 272kg and I have the training plan and the motivation to get me there. Now I need to go and do it and follow my own wildly plagurised advice.

Here are two impossibly cool videos to inspire and motivate:

Click here to see what is possibilty the greatest weightlifting video ever.

Thursday 1 July 2010

Thursday's tightrope muscles

On Monday I am starting a new six month training cycle and I am really looking forward to it. This week I am trying to get my body to some semblance of trainability. I got home on the Saturday morning and competed after 8 days of laying on my ass in Duborvnik where I was so lazy I made Homer Simpson look like Monica from friends. After the competition, I was even more in a heap, particularly on Monday I have never had such painful DOMS, particularly in the upper back and hip areas. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were simpy trying to get my body back into workable shape again and I will do what I can on Friday and Saturday also. Here are the final three parts of my interview with John Broz: