Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Closing the Snatch Gap

Tuesday January 6, 2009

Olympic lifting requires heavy assistance leg lifts including lunges and both front/back squats. Back squats, usually just called squats are also performed by power lifters. A good example of an exceptionally strong raw squatter (no funky high tension squat suit worn) is Fawn Friday, RKC, the national record holder in the women's 125lb weight class. When used as Oly assistance lifts, both squats are performed ATG (Ass-To-Grass or equivalently thighs to calves) whereas in powerlifting it is enough to squat a bit below parallel. Feeling strong today I decided to see what I could back squat:

Morning Warmup:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Late Afternoon:

ATG Barbell Back Squat
205 x 1 x 3 PR
230 x 2 x 1 PR

1/8 Front Squat (one fourth of the way from erect to parallel and back up to erect)
230 x 1 x 1
275 x 1 x 2
300 x 1 x 2

I have a one year goal of a 100kg (220lbs) Clean and Jerk. As a result I decided to load up my rack just to see what it is like to just hold a heavy weight in the front squat rack position. The highest rung on my rack is 1/4 squat position. The 300 singles weren't too bad but it does amaze me that this weight and more can be cleaned and jerked by Chen Yanqing, the recent 127 lb Chinese woman gold medalist.

Evening Oly Session:

Power Snatch (kg)
42 x 4 x 3

Squat Snatch (kg)
42 x 6 x 3
45 x 1 x 3
50 x 1 x 2
52 x 1 x 2
55 x 1 x 1 (PR)

Incline Bench (lb)
45 x 1 x 10
95 x 1 x 10
115 x 1 x 10
135 x 1 x 5

Coach Denis Reno was available tonight and his coaching cues got me to a 55kg relaxed full squat snatch. Previously once I got around 50kg, my squat snatch would degenerate into a combo power snatch followed by an OH squat. Now the gap between my max power snatch (60kg) and squat snatch has been reduced to 5kg. Given that Denis was a team lead for one of the USA Olympic Weightlifting teams, it makes sense that I should do whatever he says regardless of how counter-intuitive it may sound at the time .. it worked!

I haven't' done any kind of bench pressing in the last 5 years so the inclines where a little tough. This assistance lift is only performed at most once a week .. in earlier times when the OH press was still an Olympic lift, this exercise was much more important.

BW Weight: 182.5 lbs
Total Volume: 7930 lbs


Gabi said...

Great job, Franklin, sounds like you're making some serious progress in your Oly lifts! Awesome!

Colin said...

Fantastic stuff, you are coming along very well. Long may it continue.

Franklin said...

Gabi and Colin,

Thanks for all the encouragement and have a great new year!