Sunday, October 20, 2013

A few more weeks along

   I been working more on the o lifts, as I stated in my last post. Things feel like they are going along pretty nicely.

   I have been working triples in the front squat and in the power clean twice a week, and doing light cleans on the minute the other days, as well as strict presses. It would make more sense to work more on push presses, but I have a terrible strict press and I want to raise it badly.

   The video above is a work set of light cleans (135#), followed by my first sets of a power clean and split jerk. As you can see in the video my feet are turning out on both sides. Maybe that's some flexibility lost, maybe that's something I can cue myself out of. In the third set you can see that I am talking to someone off camera, and he's telling me my feet are out. The next set I willed my feet straight and the jerk was much more stable. I think that's 80kg. The next lift was high hang snatches, with 52kgs. I was doing doubles from the tall with considerably more weight the prior week. Next week I may try some lifts from blocks instead of from a hang and see how that feels. The final video is my 3RM front squat set, which is at 250#. This is up from the 225 starting point. I went 235, 240 (tough), 245 (only hit 2) to 250 this week (fuck it).

   While I am pleased that I hit my target 3RM this week, I am little bummed to think that a 3RM is probably comparable to ~90% of 1RM, ie 250x3=275x1, a lift I have already accomplished. I will be doing full cleans and snatches next week or the week after, and I will be doing very heavy jerks from behind the neck soon too, which should give me a great opportunity to work on that stability.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Well, I been doing a lot of squats. I was having some issues with my shoulder, so I decided to pursue something simple, like a 5x5 type program with just squatting.

There were months when I worked on strict press, push presses and bench, but never for long stretches of time. I did do a lot of work on pull ups, and made some solid progress on dips. Glute-Ham raises and hip thrusts were done extensively as well.

When I started, I was about 180lbs, I weighed in at 194 the other day. My previous best back squat had been 325, and I think I did 295-305 for seven once. I started last summer at about 235 as a peak set amongst lighter ones. A few weeks in to this training I discovered the Texas Method as promulgated by 70' and began following it pretty closely. I made a few mistakes early on, and as such, I would advise you to buy the e-book before embarking on a similar journey, it's totally worth it.

Once I got in to the TM groove, I think I started with about 275x5 as my 5RM. The first cycle I walked that all the way up to about 315. So that was 5 pounds a week for about 8 weeks. Then I started to have trouble, so I took a month off. Big mistake. Don't do that.

Once I started back up, I had to regain some lost ground, and I think I began with 285x5, but jumped by tens for the first 2-3 weeks. I think I took it all the way up to 330x5, 335x5. Something like that. My 5RM went up about 60lbs in a year. I did 350x3, and 365x1 before deciding after about 15 months I needed to switch it up a little.

Last week was my first week back at weightlifting. I set a 3RM of 225 in the front squat, and I have been practicing 3RM power cleans for a few weeks already. I got stuck once or twice at 85-86kgs, but I feel like I did really well in the video above with 87. My old Tall Snatch PR was 66kgs, and I did 67kgs with about 5 minutes of warm. For clarity, I have been wide stance, chuck taylor wearing, going to parallel power-lifter back squatting, and NOTHING else for almost a year and half. And I hit a snatch related PR on my first day back. No one to blame but strength for that one. My jerks are way shaky, and I know it's going to be a bumpy road when I start doing more full cleans and snatches, but so far so good! I am looking forward to front squatting over 250x3 in less than a month.

Dan John and several other coaches have mentioned the idea that if you can front squat it for a triple, you should be able to clean it. So, if I can power clean 90 for a triple, and front squat 110+ for the same, I should be squat cleaning 100-110 very soon, and maybe I can snatch 80+ soon too. Yay!