Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Chinese...

Are CRAZY!!!!

It's no wonder that they are so good! I went through a training session today that was similar, but minuscule, in resemblance to their sessions. I snatched and clean and jerked, but did many, many reps. For Snatch, I did (kg x sets x reps): 60x2x4, 70x3x3, 80x3x2, 90x3x1. For C&J, I did: 60x2x4, 80x2x3, 90x1x2, 100x2x2, 110x3x1. I was completely beat after this because the rest was very limited as well. I did all of that in about 55 minutes! It kicked my ass and I complained a little, but I know that it did me some good. My technique felt really tight by the last few sets. Todd saw most of my snatches and said that many of the attempts looked the same, which is really good. I guess I will try this out and see where it gets me in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hitting Big Numbers

Today I did another double. The morning session was back squat and snatch. I went up to 150kg for one single, but the money set was 142.5kg. I was to do this for 1+, meaning as many as I could get, basically. I put it up for 3, which was what I intended to do. After the squats were done, I snatched, going up to about 80% for 7 singles. The afternoon session consisted of clean and jerk, hang snatch high pulls, snatch RDLs, and accessory work (abs, pull-ups, etc.). I went up to about 90% in the clean and jerk for 3 singles. I need a lot of work on my clean and jerk. Something happened along the way these past couple months and it's way off right now. Train hard, train smart!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting Better

Today I went up to about 80-85% on both classics. I'm still working on the new technique. I know I said I would wait until after states, but why wait to get better at something? All it does is prolong the process. The earlier I can get this down, the sooner I'll have a chance to qualify for the American Open. Tomorrow I have a heavy back squat session in the morning...going up to 143kg for as many as I can muster. I'm hoping for 3, but it is more likely I'll get 2. Train hard, train smart!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BS or No BS?

That is the question! And, of course, if you're a lifter you know what I'm really talking about. Yes, the back squat! Today I trained a double session, if it can really be called that. This is because I only did the back squat in the first session, and snatched and cleaned in the second. I wanted to do more in the second session, but I was just completely leveled from all of the singles I did. I didn't go very heavy, but lifted on short rest. I trained at my friend's (Eric) for the first session. I was on my second week of the second cycle of the 5-3-1, so it was sets of 3. I did 295x4 for my top set. That is definitely a new repetition maximum PR for that weight. My weights keep going up! Train hard, train smart!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why Do I Train?

I often wonder why I train. It's a silly thing if you think about it in-depth for awhile. What does lifting heavy weights (remember 'heavy' is a relative term!) over your head have to do with anything in life? Well, considering I practically live in the gym, with work and my own training, I guess it means a lot. But the daily toll this takes on my body also weakens my mind, and will, from time to time. Whenever I question this silly sport I love so much, I always think about that ultimate goal of lifting at the American Open or Nationals someday. This thought is what keeps me going. Also, I've been told many times that I am a good lifter. This has always surprised me because I don't think highly of my own abilities as a lifter, but I take the compliment and keep training hard. I guess this is just a rant, but I wanted to write about something! Ha!

On another note, I trained a heavy double session today. Snatch and front squats in the first session and clean and jerk in the second session. It was rough because I was trying some of the technique changes that Bud suggested. I may wait until after the state meet in July before I really focus on changing my technique. This way I can post a decent total at the state meet and back off the weight in training after it's over. Then I can change my technique when there are no big meets in the near future.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Session at Bud's

"You're not fast enough under the bar." "Your feet are too soft!" "Don't shrug your shoulders, just grip the bar and get under it fast." These are just some of the constructive comments given to me within the first few minutes of the session. Most lifters probably would have thought "whatever! I'll do what I want!", but I was there purposely to learn and get barked at a little. I enjoyed every second of it because I was learning something new about this sport I love so much. When you breathe the proverbial weightlifting dust as your oxygen, you tend to want to know as much about the sport as possible. Even if I never amount to anything past the American Open, which is my current qualifying goal right now, I would still like to know as much as I can to pass on and teach to younger lifters. Back to the session...

We obviously started with the Snatch, but in a way I am very unaccustomed to doing. I did multiple sets with the empty bar and worked on getting under it without the weight. If you've never done this before, I suggest you try it...it's really hard! Also, I did some calf stretching by kneeling down in a squat and holding the bar across both knees. From there I would shift back and forth. Bud told me I need to work at this because I have a small center of gravity, mostly because my calves are too tight and do not allow my knees to move out past my feet. The average gym-goer would grimace at this position, but I am starting to understand that most of the "old school" methods and thoughts are just that...OLD. They need to be updated, especially my thoughts and beliefs on the sport. I believe your ideas and methods are only as good as the source from where you get them. Also, it goes back to the adage; "If it's not broken, don't fix it", which, funny enough, was exactly what Bud eluded to when I asked him about my jerk. I tried my best to get under the bar fast with the small technique changes that were made. Trying to undo three years of my current technique is all but impossible, that I know, but I was a little mad I didn't progress better than I did. I only went to about 85% in the Snatch.

On to the Clean and Jerk. Again, I started with the bar and went from there. Although it was even harder than the Snatch was with an empty bar, I started to feel what Bud was talking about...getting under the bar FAST. One thing I should mention is the seemingly small technique change they made by telling me to relax and not hold my breath. Wow! That was extremely difficult because I've always felt if I didn't keep the air within my diaphragm, I would completely collapse. Even though I only worked up to about 80%, this new relaxing technique did not seem to affect my attempts. What did affect them though, was keeping my eyes focused on a spot in front of me. This helped me so I did not whip my head back. It felt very weird and restrictive to me, but my speed seemed fine.

One other thing I noticed about his lifters' training was that they only worked with singles, even with lighter sets (excluding the first few warm-ups). I guess that is how one needs to train in order to completely replicate the way a competition is held. Plus, I'm sure training almost every day of the week would call for mostly singles. When you get into multiple repetitions, you're asking for extreme fatigue by the end of the week. Also, their thoughts on the second pull are non-existent, meaning that there is no second pull. Just lift the bar fast and your body will do the rest. I like this way of thinking. It's simple and very effective...it takes the 'too much thinking' out of the lift and forces you to just lift. Tom, a lifter at Bud's, asked me if I was a good student, claiming that the best lifters are dumb. I now know what he meant by that...the smart guys go out and think too much, while the "dumb" lifters just go out and lift with no worries. Good stuff.

It will take some time to turn these new changes into productive attempts, but I'm willing to try. Even if that means starting over completely from scratch. I need to get rid of these old habits from the old school methods, and buy into a new system. Who knows, doing so may help me get to the American Open and beyond. I had a blast training there and I hope to go back and learn more soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I decided to take the next couple days off. Considering I am sore as hell right now and I'm going to be training with Bud on Saturday, I think this is a good call on my part. I'm sore because I back squatted 127.5kg x 5 yesterday, which was a new rep PR at that weight. Looks like me knee is almost back to 100% from having tendonitis back around the time of Collegiates. I think I may condition a small amount today to push some of my soreness out. What do you other weightlifters think about conditioning? Do you do it? If so, what kind? I usually stick to interval-type conditioning. Screw that slow, long distance stuff! That trains the muscle completely opposite of the classic lifts, and what we, as weightlifters, try to accomplish...explosion! Train hard, train smart!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Trained at Eric's today. I just did the classics for a few singles at about 80%. I'm deloading this week because last week kicked my ass. I'm probably going to train at Bud Charniga's on Saturday. Hopefully I'll be rested for that session and lifting at my best. I'd really like to hear what he has to say about my lifting. I'm pretty excited about being able to train up there with his group of lifters. On another note, I have another session later today. We shall see how that goes! Train hard, train smart!