I took a break from life in general for a week and did not train for 8 days. Wednesday was my first session back, so I trained then, Thursday and today. I had a great break and it was a novelty waking up and actually feeling refreshed and ready to go. While I was away I did two short sessions with some hill sprints and I did yoga four or five times which kept me feeling relatively loose. All in all, I felt fantastic on Wednesday.
The slight issue with all this, of course, is that I have the Senior National Championships this day week. This means that I need to find the delicate balance of being competition sharp with the lifts, with being rested and strong. This week's training was very important in order to find that balance.
In training on Wednesday, my body was practically asleep and this session was more of a tune up for Thursday and Saturday. I ended up Snatching up to 105kg in an extremely shoddy manner. I missed the return leg with the weight. Embarrassing, yes; but my system was not exactly firing on all cylinders and my back was as stiff as a board because my flight home was delayed the previous day and I spent an awful lot of time in the airport and on a plane. Wayne had me Power Clean and Jerk instead of full Clean because my legs were still asleep and I enjoyed them. I ended up with 117.5kg and brought 120 to parallel so it was a no man's land Clean. Embarrassing again, but understandable. I also Front Squatted 150 for a double and then two singles which felt good.
The following day I trained in Morton Stadium in Santry with Shane McQuillan, Sami, Byrdie, Killer and Cedric Unholz, who came over for a few days to train. Cedric is a strength and conditioning coach based in Edinburgh and took up weightlifting in February. It was nice training with someone who is a knowledgeable coach in their own right . It was also nice training in a different environment and everyone enjoyed it. I had spent the day in the sun showing Cedric around Dublin and neither of us were in good nick to train really. My back was very stiff, but I ended up Snatching 111kg despite it. My positioning was awful because I was so tight and stiff, but I just got on with it and focused more on finishing the pull. As you will see in the video below, there was a while lot of pulling with the arms, but c'est la vie. You just have to get on with it.
I then Clean and Jerked up to 132 and missed the Clean with 137. Annoying, but again, you have to accept it. My lifting was feeling very out of sync in both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. I then Back Squatted regularly for the first time in many months. I hit a very easy 160 and missed 170 which was very surprising. I lost my position on the way down and I will attribute that a stiff and tight back. Hopefully that is all it is. Hopefully...
I then trained today and I felt pretty tired with a hectic last few days. Cedric had treated my back the previous evening and he really knows his stuff; he is qualified in KMI treatment. I Snatched up to 100kg but I was feeling off, so I went back down and worked up in a second wave, hitting 108 and then missed 112 very narrowly twice. I was going to do a third wave and went up to 90, but I left it there because I was feeling pretty rough. I Clean and Jerked then and the rot continued. I actually missed a Clean with 127 and 130 which was bizarre. Oleg was there and he gave me the required slap around and I then hit 134, 136 and then 140 which is shown below. This showed me again how weightlifting can expose a weak mind, so thankfully Oleg was able to help me snap out of it.
I finished up with some Front Squats and worked up to an easy 150 and inexplicably missed 160 despite getting past the sticking point. I went back down to 150 again and then 158, but missed that too. Frustrating, yes it most certainly is. I have to get on with it an keep squatting I suppose. As I said earlier, I have Nationals this day week and I will train twice. Wayne will let me know what I need to do and I will make sure that I recover as much as I can and that I am nice and loose. Cedric lifted well and we really worked on his overhead position in the Snatch and turning a passive catch into an active one. He is a good athlete and I know he will progress well.