Saturday, January 24, 2009

belt helps overcome drop under fear

Saturday January 24, 2009

Lately I have been avoiding dropping under my cleans and trying to power clean resulting in some very bad clean technique. Apparently the fear of dropping under is common to new lifters as myself. One of the very experienced lifters, Yasha Kahn, suggested to wear a weightlifting belt to protect my back. It did the trick as I did two squat cleans with 80kg followed by one with 85kg for a squat clean PR (I had sloppily power cleaned it several times in previous sessions). I discussed the pros and cons of wearing a belt with the coaches and the consensus was that its okay to use in only on heavy cleans and squats. I also learned that it was legal in competition.

The heavy volume workout on Thursday took its toll on my shoulders as I had extreme difficulty jerking 75kg today. After the C&J and cleans, I stopped at the coaches advice and did not do any of the hang cleans and front squats as was originally specified in this workout template. Tomorrow I will do my Russian Strength Routine front squats as this calls for the heaviest volume before entering the intensity phase.

I have made a decision to enter the Feb 15 Atlantic States Open USAW Sanctioned Weight Lifting Contest. I will participate in the open 85kg (187 lb) class as suggested by my team coach, Coach Ben Fuller. Even though I am a brand new lifter, the coaches felt it would a great experience to set a base lifting mark which would provide motivation to improve from there .. regardless of the results. I could have paid an additional fee so that my lifting results would also be computed towards a possible master class awards. However, I have no delusions at this point of doing anything other than scoring above zero in both lifts (three attempts for each of the two lifts, first the snatch and then the clean &jerk).

I'm not sure how I will react in a real competition as I'm quite aware of the effects of performance anxiety from personal experience for both musicians (I have performed on stage in a classical guitar Master Class) and athletes (I wrestled varsity in College). Even if I hit near my maximal training lifts to date, this would put me in the bottom 2% of the other master competitors in my age group. There is a small chance that if my weight class does not have a good turnout, I could help my team with points .. even with the lowest score in the class. With all the great coaching I have received, this is the least I can do.

Cleans, C&J (kg)
20 x 1 x 6 cleans
40 x 2 x 2 C&J
50 x 2 x 2 C&J
60 x 2 x 2 C&J
70 x 2 x 2 C&J
75 x 1 x 2 Clean
75 x 1 x 2 C&J
80 x 2 x 1 Power Clean
80 x 2 x 1 Full Squat Clean
85 x 1 x 1 Full Squat Clean (PR)

Weight: 182 1/4 lbs
Total Volume: 3700 lbs


Colin said...

A no-brainer. Step out of your comfort zone and go for it. You know you'll enjoy it, and kick yourself if you don't.

I'm going to have to move becaue I can find neither Oly or Powerlifting meets or clubs anywhere near me.

Colin said...

Glad to hear you are making progress on the psychologial aspects of lifting. An important breakthrough.

WTG Franklin!!

Franklin said...

Colin, first as usual I always appreciate your support and encouragement.

Secondly when I just went for it, my body would just not allow the drop under .. its as if there were two people inside and the second grabbed hold of the motor controls and put on the brakes before the first one knew what was happening. Apparently this is a very common condition and the temporary use of the belt is a trick to help get over the fear.

The fact that I can squat snatch and squat clean weights that were impossible just a month ago is substantial progress in itself. I am fully confident in eventually achieving a BW squat snatch and a 100kg clean and jerk. These are not arbitrary goals but ones that I discussed in earnest with several coaches .. I have the work ethic and willingness to learn .. its just a question of time.

Colin said...

Not sure if I need to say this or not but just to make sure we are on the same page Franklin.

When I said "go for it" I was referring to the meet. I wasn't taking about the lifts. I have very little experience with them but I know I havent felt completely comfortable doing them in the past. I was in no way undermining your progress. In fact quite the opposite from my second comment.

Franklin said...

Colin, sorry about that .. hey, hey .. sometimes I'm a real bozo. And thanks for the encouragement at the meet .. at the least I intend to meet some new folks and have fun!

pierini said...

I'm excited that you are entering your first meet. The power of a taper and the excitement of the meet will bring out the best in you.

I'm in my busy work season right now with less time to keep up on all that the net has to offer, but I'm making a mental note to check out your blog and read about your training between now and meet day.

The taper is very important. You may be chewing your nails the last week as you give your body and mind a rest to be well-prepared for meet day.

Do you have an idea of your first attempt weights for the two lifts?

Franklin said...


I'm leaving everything up to the coaches to decide what my meet lifts will be. My best training lifts to date are 65kg power snatch and an 80kg C&J and they were both borderline lifts. If I had to guess, I will probably open light with 55 and 70 .. geriatric at best but better than zero.

Next week is the last heavy week followed by a very light week before the meet.