Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Surviving the Snatch, part Dos

I tried the new program I outlined in a previous post last night and today and not only do I really like it, but I feel great too.

Power Snatch from above the knee: 12x2 w/ avg. intensity of 50% (remember, speed kills in more ways than one, so I'm starting way, way light and trying to improve bar speed. Medvedyev recommends training from this position to improve explosive strength.)

Here are some things I noticed/accomplished:
  • Bar speed, way, way up. Don't ever remember being this fast, even at these lighter weights.
  • Waved the weights--thanks Pavel, for helping me finally understand the importance of training with a "series" for maximum increases in strength: (50kg/60/70/80) x3 series for 24 lifts total.
  • Bar position was different, better.
  • Trained in "long spine" or axially lengthened position for all reps. Dr. Cobb, Z-Health's creator, says this improves speed/power. I sure felt it.
  • Moved grip in approximately 1 1/2 inches from the collar. Felt better. Better start position pulling off the floor.
After I performed the following:
Back Squats: 3 ladders of 1,2,3 with the following weights: 100kg/110/120.

Again, more accomplishments/things I noticed:
  • I have always struggled with squats; they have never felt "right" probably due to the fact that I learned how to power squat before olympic squat. Before my injuries, I was never able to fully make the transition. Z-Health has reprogrammed my CNS and now I can do a real-deal-Holyfield olympic squat. Very, very cool.
  • I was able to use a clean-grip on the back squat, keeping the bar high on the traps. Up until recently, I had to use a very wide grip to keep my elbows open so I wouldn't feel my knees. (It's a Z-Health thing...I'll explain it later, but just trust me for now.)
  • Bar speed, again, way up.
  • Was able to lift in long spine, achieving a "wedge" position between me, the bar, and the floor. Very good.
  • Here's the best part: If you watch training hall tapes of weightlifters (from Ironmind), with moderate/moderately heavy weights on the squat, they perform consecutive reps, meaning, they don't reset at the top. They stand up and squat back down right away. This is obviously an advanced technique and requires a fair amount of control over the high-speed eccentric loading on the squat. Well, I haven't been able to do this since at least before my first hip injury in January 2005. I did it last night. It's probably been two or more years since I've been able to do that! Again, very, very cool.
If I've ever had a "perfect" training session, last night was a close as it's ever come.

Cleaning Up My Clean...

For some reason, the snatch has always been easier for me than the clean--don't know why.

Today's training session was similar to yesterday's: I performed a 3 series of power cleans (12x2) from above the knee. They looked like this: 70kg/80kg/90kg/100kg; 24 lifts with an average intensity of 50%. Again, all performed in long spine. They were all very easy.

Surpisingly, I used a hook-grip all the way through the session and was fine. All the hand and finger mobility must have really increased my strength. I used to use the straps at about 100kg before. No problem today.

I then performed some RDLs (OK, I just have to say that I know that there is no such thing as an RDL, just a properly executed stiff-leg deadlift. But "RDL" is much easier to type than "stiff-leg deadlift" and is still one letter short of "SLDL." So for economy's sake, I'm always going to use RDL--and I'm not sorry if that offends anyone :-) ) Again, I used a series performing 3 reps each set as opposed to 2. Here's what it looked like:

(110kgx3/120x3/130x3) x2 series

Very easy. Really felt the difference long spine makes on these as opposed to trying to lock everything down and squeeze--all my weaknesses were exposed and worked!

My major goal with these workouts are not only to survive them, but to conquer them. Conquering them means no more hip or knee pain within the workout, immediately after, or the next day. The jury's still out as to whether I'm surviving or conquering: too many other variables in the day. But, on a sliding scale, I'd have to say I'm up closer to the conquering end. Tomorrow's another day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice work man. There is a trend in powerlifting now to dismiss speed work as not important which I cannot understand.
one of the reasons for doing speed work in pl is to clean up form using lighter weights to increase max acceleration and power.
so many still dont understand the importance of trying to move heavy weights quickly.
nice work on repositioning the back squat. and yes,starting out with power squat would probably mess up an olympic groove mightily!

if you want to find lifters that squat like the guys in the trainin hall tapes look no further than bodybuilders( sorry) that non lock out continuous rep scheme was very popular when I was doing that.
well done.

8:07 AM  

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