Monday, May 5, 2008

a snatch consulation with Mark Toomey, RKC Team Leader

A decent nights rest and woke up real early. Weight: 177 7/8 lbs. This is okay for now as I try to stay under 178 lbs while trying to control a recent upsurge in hunger. Just a few quick Z drills and then out to fight the eastbound traffic to South Boston. It turns out that at the last minute I was able to confirm a consultation with Mark Toomey, RKC Team Leader of Reno Nevada. He just happened to be coming out for business to Boston as I learned from a lengthy email exchange regarding his excellent "Remedial Snatch Drill" video that Mark Reifkind, Sr RKC, posted on his blog.

After having me snatch the 24kg for a few reps on each side, we worked on these snatch remedial drills:

  • Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Ball squeeze with knees together with back bridge thrusts
  • Exhale on the eccentric to assist in loading the hips
  • Partial high pull by only using the hips
  • Palm snatching the 16kg
  • Swing three times and then snatch
  • Extra loading the hips during swinging by him pushing the bell down on the eccentric

He pointed a number of adjustments I should work on:

  • Keep my shoulders in line with my hips. I have tendency to lean backwards during snap/pull.
  • My hip snap needs to be more powerful as I still am using too much arm which causes elbow and forearm issues.
  • Load my hips the same way when I load them when I swing. Exhaling on the eccentric helps to do this.

Mark demonstrated a number of palm snatches with the 24kg .. at the top of snatch the bell is let go and caught in the open palm with the handle facing down. It is then dropped and caught during the start of the descent. He did these and all other demonstrations effortlessly .. this is no surprise as he is an extremely strong man with perfect technique. He also demonstrated some really neat juggling while explaining that the key to it all is in the hip snap.

During all the drills, we talked about the RKC Cert. He mentioned that I might consider registering for the October Cert as he would be there as a Team Leader. This is a great goal and it gives me five months to prepare, more than enough even with my modest level of progression.

Words can not describe what a class act Mark is. After this experience, its very easy to see that the great success of the RKC is directly attributable to individuals like Mark, who exhibit modesty, integrity and a love for what they do.

16kg x 1 x 7/3
24kg x 5 x 5/5

GTG Neutral Grip Fighter Pull-ups
BW x 3 x 7
BW x 3 x 5
BW x 1 x 4
BW x (1,2,3,2,1)
BW x 3 x (1,2)
Total: 58

GTG-ed through out the day. The 3 x 7 were done at Gold's Gym where it is a little easier as I didn't have to use additional energy to hold my legs off the ground.

24kg 3 x 5 left
24kg 2 x 5 right


Diet and Nutrition Log

1 bowl of Kitchari with sweet potato and green gram curry
2 cups of coffee with tbs of 1/2 and 1/2
2 dates
1 banana

Lunch (out):
1 large plate of assorted Indian buffet entries and appetizers
2 small bowls of Kier

Afternoon snack:
2 small handfuls of roasted almonds

1 small bowl of pan-fried salmon with sweet potato
1 small scoop of ice cream

2 ZMA tablets before bed


Gabi, "a Vaslady" said...

Wow, Franklin,
that meeting must have been a great experience! Getting a pro to point out subtleties to improve your form is just priceless.
And the October cert! That would really be something for you! 5 months are, I think, ideal, not too short to get under time pressure but not too long to lose focus.
Go for it, I'm sure you'd do great!

Gabi said...

Eh, that was the old, still non-working profile, sorry.

Howie Brewer said...

Franklin, cool deal! I would love to see a video demo of that Palm Snatch. (Maybe something on YouTube?) Also glad to see that you're recuperated from last week's torture session. =)

Martin Schap said...

Wow. The October cert. That would be so cool for you. I knew that the RKC was a goal of yours, but I had no idea you might pursue it so soon. Good on you if you do though. I am envious of your consultation.

Franklin B. Herman said...

Hi Gabi and Gabi!

You are right! Mark is a real pro and you are going to be shortly blown away by seeing your own share of many pros at your cert this Friday. Good luck!!

Hi Howie,

I will work on perfecting the 16kg palm snatch and post a video of it.

Hi Martin,

My snatch was the longest pole in the tent towards an RKC Cert and I have been making steady progress with it recently. The key for me will be to manage my training with an eye towards "less is more" in order to downtime due to over doing it.

Sean Schniederjan said...

that's cool you got a one on one with mark... it looks like you will never snatch the same again! i've followed his posts on the forum for awhile now and he seems like quite a character coupled with a ton of knowledge.

Franklin B. Herman said...

Hi Sean,

Yes, Mark is fantastic person and trainer. What username does he post as on the DD forum?