Sunday, May 04, 2008

Learning From Your Past

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
George Santayana, Poet, 1905

Yup, that's me.

Repeating the past.

I was supposed to compete at the Moorestown Open last Saturday.

I did not.

I injured my right hip--again--on Saturday, April 9th, under some moderately heavy snatches (opening attempt weight).

Fortunately, three weeks later, I'm back on the platform, remembering my past.

Here's the problem: When I trained for the Savannah meet, I tried something completely different. I trained using a lot of combo lifts and trained myself to get under the bar with some of the lighter weights. It worked great. I survived the training, and survived the meet. Check off one goal.

For this meet, I was so focused on my strength and speed--both of which are/were up to 1999/2000 levels (speed was better than EVER), I failed to train my body very specifically to accept the shock of the bottom position--reactive strength is the preeminent quality in that position. I listened to advice that "worked" for me when I was younger. Come to think of it, it didn't work for me when I was younger--I got injured--so it was bad advice for me. I failed to learn from the "advice" my body gave me when I was training for the Savannah meet. This worked. And it worked well. I snatched 10kg below my best. Not bad for 19 days of training. For the Moorestown meet, I didn't get under the bar until I "had" to--which was around 115/120kg. By then, it was too late. The body wasn't used to getting under the bar, so patterns were off.

Not only that, I should have paid closer attention to my body earlier in the prep work. My left knee was starting to pop/crackle going up and down stairs and while squatting--sure signs that I was losing mobility in the left hip.

So what now?

Move ahead. Intelligently. Slowly. Methodically.

I may jump into the NC State Championships on May 31st (just announced this past week and not on the USAW schedule--brilliant!), but most likely I'll train for a meet in Norfolk, VA on August 10th.

This will allow me time to train my body very specifically and also to do some "brain training"--apparently I have some eye tracking dysfunctions that I need to work on.

In the meantime, training will be very focused on the different pieces of each lift, working on my weak areas, and combining them in combos. I'll also use the KBs and perform some general strength training. I will have to break slowly back into squatting.

Learning. That's what life is all about. Too bad some of us have to learn the same lessons repeatedly. My short term goal is to finally learn this one: Activities are VERY specific. The more complex the activities, the more specific the training must be. This is the SAID principle: You always get exactly what you train for. General strength training is good, generally, and specific to most of the general population. Not so for weightlifters. Heavy front squats are good, but they're not as good as high point cleans, which train the weightlifter to get under the bar and then stand up.

Specificity in training is key--and it's specific to you and to me, the individuals.

4 Comments:

Blogger Randy said...

Hey Geoff,
I was looking forward to seeing you at Moorestown...sorry you had a setback. I did not lift either, but it was due to post-Master's Nationals adrenaline/CNS depletion (read: "too tired and lazy") Moorestown was just too soon after Savannah. I'm finding it isn't as hard to listen to my body at 50 as it was at 30 (or even 40-45)...it is increasingly less subtle about its communications!!
Get better soon. See you at the cert in a few weeks.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Tony Springman said...

Sorry to hear about your setback Geoff. Enjoy reading about your journey and maybe will meet you at a meet sometime in the future.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Randy, I saw you were on the schedule and thought, "Wow, it's been a short 3 years." I'm looking forward to working with you too.

Tony, thanks for the kind words. We'll meet soon. Best of luck with your training.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Oops. Apparently my wife signed in and I commented back in her name...

4:10 PM  

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