Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feet Burning...

I'd thought I'd experienced most things in the Iron Game: Broken capillaries, torn calluses, bar bruises, but I'd never experienced "burning feet" until now.

In some of Pavel's writings when discussing tension, he mentions the great Soviet Superheavyweight Weightlifting Champ of the 1960s, Yuri Vlasov. Vlasov said he pulled on the bar so hard by pushing his feet through the floor that it made his "feet burn." I can generate some tension, but I'd had never experienced this until my training session today.

After training the Power Snatch and the Power Clean for speed, I implemented an old protocol developed, or at least perfected by my old coach, Alfonso. It starts between 60-65% of your max and works great for developing strength and muscular size, which of course is why I'm doing it. It's a very simple protocol: the Repetition Maximum. Pick a weight, warm up to it, and perform as many reps as you can with good form. (Of course there are some other tricks to it that make it effective, but I'm not giving that away...)

Well, my leg strength is down and someone who is very close to me is making fun at my chicken legs, and I need to gain another 15lbs, so this seemed like the perfect protocol. I only was aiming for 10 reps, but around rep 7 my feet started to burn, and I started to wonder if I could do 12 reps. So I went for it. My form maintained and my feet felt almost like I was on hot coals--a very strange sensation. After I hit my 12, I racked the bar, walked around to let my feet cool off. Then another strange sensation hit me that I haven't felt in years: The heavy weight "pump."

Now you've got to understand, I don't train for size so I haven't felt this for almost 10 years. I'm walking around the warehouse and it feels like someone's inflating my legs and they are swelling. Very unusual.

But it was great feedback. And so was the "burning feet." It's nice to know that I now have the ability to ground myself while lifting, which apparently was what I missing in order to feel the feet in the past. Very cool.

I think we all need this type of feedback from our bodies to let us know we are on track.