Sunday 29 August 2010

Sunday's snag list

This week has been a frustrating one, but more importantly than this, it has brought another change in perspective that is needed for me to continue improving in the art of weightlifting.

As Einstein said: “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Another favourite quote is: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

So, it comes down to this: I did not follow my program properly despite this being the main intention before I started. Emotion and ambition got in the way and even though they were not as prevalent as last time, I still allowed them to kick my ass. Embarrassing. The program was there to help me improve my ability to tolerate a greater work load. As David pointed out in a previous comment, I also increased intensity along with the significant increase in volume. I got away with a slight hip injury that reoccured from the original injury from playing rugby in my last season. Hindsight is always 20/20, but this is another lesson learned along the path of me qualifying for the European Championships. I got an amazing amount of work done in five and a half weeks, but I could have gotten more done in the 8 weeks that were scheduled. I know my training will stick to me, but I also know I should have gotten more out of it. Wayne kept telling me and I kept listening to the emotion and ambition in each session.

I read some of Glenn Pendlay's comments on a forum and I kept thinking of how they related to me and my own training. There are several aspects to training that are mainly ignored when discussing weightlifting and I called Glenn in order to discuss some of his ideas. Most of the 15 readers of this blog are weekend warriors like myself and are in a similar situation, so I thought to myself, why not talk about things that are relevant to us more than professional lifters? Here is the conversation and very many apologies for my fat head being in the picture; I could not edit it out. As always, if you have feedback, leave a comment.


andymurphy said...

is that a very dapour shirt or an incredibly fancy set of pyjamas on you barry john

Gubernatrix said...

Useful interview - some interesting thoughts. The last one about the significance of general health is well observed.

NewWorldMan said...

Excellent stuff Barry! I am so grateful for Glenn taking the time to share his love for the sport on the many forums. I'm not sure if this is one of the posts you mentioned, but I will supply this because, as a 39 year old father of 4, this is a perfect response from Glenn re: perspective on training:
Been thinking about this for a few hours now. Here they are.

1) Fit your training around your life, not the other way around. If you dont do this, you will have lots of frustration and might not continue to train your whole life. You probably have all or some combination of a spouse, kids, a job, and a mortgage, lol. Honestly, is 5lbs more on your bench press or snatch important enough to neglect any of these? Will you still be training 20 years from now if you act like it is?

One of the reasons that Mary had been able to improve consistently in almost every competition for 6 years is that she has been able to CUT BACK HER TRAINING when her life demanded it, and not let it get her mentally irregular. I made it clear to her from the start, that if she could get only ONE Olympic session in a given week, and only ONE general fitness session in, I was still happy. So its not all or nothing, never has been in her head. When the kids and grandkids visit, and she only trains with me on Wednesday, and only has time for a couple of 10 minute KB sessions in the garage outside of that, we still call it a good week. When she goes and visits the kids, and there are no OL facilities nearby, well, 2 sessions at the local globo gym having fun on all the new machines she has never used before and we are both happy. Because her best numbers in the snatch and clean and jerk are always no more than a couple of weeks away if she chooses to enter a meet, and progress is never more than a couple of months away if life allows this busy grandma to have a time of steady training. I believe this lack of an all or nothing attitude is key for training longevity, and try to instill it in any person that I coach that is at an age where they are now training for themselves and as a hobby and aid to good health, not trying to make an Olympic team.

2) Be honest about what you are trying to do. Say your 55 years old and have never up to this point been a top level athlete... but now you are trying to follow the program that the latest phenom at Westside is using, or the program that the Greek team used in preparation for the 2000 Olympic games... who are you trying to kid, and what are you trying to prove. This wont end in success!

NewWorldMan said...

here's a link to the full post of Glenn's (since I can't fit the whole reply in one post):

Anonymous said...

Barry - you should be in Westlife with that hair lol


Barry said...

Glad you liked the interview lads, apologies for the hair!

glenn pendlay said...

Barry, I cant believe people are commenting on YOUR hair and not mine!!!!

Nick Horton said...

Great Stuff Barry,

As you know, I coach a substantial number of "recreational" lifters (just like you and I) who have real lives, but still want to get strong and improve.

Glenn is one of the main guys I look up to for coaching inspiration, and this just confirms what I've thought for a while: he's the shit :)

Franklin said...

Fantastic interview; good questions, great answers .. there is no BS with Glenn and it is really appreciated. This is information that is directly relevant to me that I can immediately put to use.

Thanks and keep up the great work!!

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is that Glenn seems to advocate going as heavy as you can most workouts esp for high level performers yet sort of says that Abadjievs system was influenced greatly by the use of drugs. What would be considered a max? Would it be until the lifter fails or when the coach says i.e,. a technique breakdown?

"As far as how my program compares... it is based off the Bulgarian ideas of going as heavy as you can most workouts, using mostly the competitive lifts and squats, and not using or rarely using percentages. But we do use some planning of volume, and do include assistance exercises sometimes. I feel like a week or two here and there where you change things a bit is helpful. I also feel like a planned week where you lower the volume is helpful."

"I used to try to follow the Bulgarian system a lot closer than I do now. The final straw for me I guess was when Ivan Abajeiv himself said straight out that his program DID NOT WORK without drugs, and he didnt know why we were trying to follow it without drugs."


glenn pendlay said...

I am a fan of a "simple" system... based on the competitive lifts, based more on how a lifter feels on a given day than on a complicated periodization system.

But, I stray from the bulgarian system by using planned "light" or easy weeks, not squatting as often, having s ome workouts when you dont go to maximum, etc. And using more variations of the lifts based on a particular lifters needs.

I hope that clears things up.

Nick Horton said...

I can vouch for glenn's approach when used on less "gifted" athletes who are not on drugs. My lifters are nearly all well into the "rec" level of age/skill etc. But, since I've switched over to a system more like Glenn's approach, ALL of totals have gone up, as has their technique.

Oly lifting is weird sport, and the more times you can practice good form with heavy weight, the better.

Adam said...

This is gold - thanks for facilitating and posting it, and thanks to Mr. Pendlay for taking the time out to share. Being a weekend warrior myself, this reinforced a lot of conclusions that I had come to independently, and also encouraged me to take a harder line on some things that I know to be true (like the regimented lifestyle), but have been making excuses about implementing. Again, thanks much!

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