Saturday, January 31, 2009

E tu, Bloatus!

Saturday January 31, 2009

Olympic Lifting Noon Session:

Clean & Jerk
20 x 2 x 5 Clean & Jerk
60 x 4 x 2 Clean & Jerk
70 x 2 x 2 Clean & Jerk
75 x 1 x 2 Clean & Jerk
80 x 1 x 2 Clean & Jerk
90 x 1 x 2 Miss badly
70 x 1 x 1 Clean & Jerk
80 x 3 x 1 Clean
80 x 1 x 1 C & J with pushout
75 x 1 x 1 Clean & Jerk
80 x 1 x 2 Clean

Russian Strength Routine for Front Squat (lbs)
135 x 1 x 6 Warmup
155 x 1 x 6 Warmup
165 x 6 x 6 Work sets

Many positive things occurred in today's session. With the meet in two weeks, the platforms were very crowded. As a result I did my warmups with the bar and then immediately to 60kg C&J doubles with an already loaded bar. They got easier as I progressed. My jerks were fine until I got around 75kg. I only got one successful jerk with 75kg and all the others had ill-legal press-outs. I was very pleased with my squat cleans as I did six rock bottom squat cleans with 80kg and no belt. One of the keys was Coach Kahn's cue:

"Whip your elbows out and up during the drop under."

This helps to keep my back straight and to really make the rack catch smoother. I'm looking forward to getting in more volume with 80kg squat snatch to really groove the feeling. A good clean will set the stage for a good jerk.

With no time left at the club, I went home and did the requisite front squats completing the volume phase (6x6 @80% 1RM) of the Russian Strength Routine. I really had to focus on keeping my elbows up and back straight. The roughest sets were the warmups and last set working set.

I discussed my jerk problems with Coach Fuller explaining that I can no longer jerk 80kg. He explained that although not great news, its nothing to panic about. He said that I have been focusing on some many things with the squat clean, it doesn't leave enough focus for a good jerk. To help me with this issue he has prescribed some technique work with off the rack light barbell push presses starting tomorrow. He said I should focus on the following points:
  • When performing the dip, the hips, knees and ankles should flex simultaneously.
  • The weight of the bar should be on the hips with the elbows pointed up as high a possible.
  • Use work sets of triples starting very light say 40kg always returning to the clean rack position after each rep.
  • The press out should leave the bar behind the ears in the same position as the jerk lockout.
A week after I started another master lifter also joined the club. Although a little younger (43), Jason has worked harder on improving than I thought was possible for a new lifter. Today he succeeded in a 90kg C&J which represented the second 5kg PR in the last two weeks for him .. absolutely inspiring.

Weight: 184 7/8 lbs (one year PR .. yikes!)
Total Volume: 11800 lbs

Diet and Nutrition:

Goal: 182 lbs

Fact: If one wants to cut weight, its probably not a great idea to eat an entire super-sized basket of oil and salt laden sweet potato fries late in the evening and subsequently belch them up through out the night.

Okay, okay I confess this was me last evening and although the 1.5 lb weight gain the morning after indulging in said offense does not mean all hope is lost, it does mean I have to get serious again. I do understand that Olympic lifting with all the heavy assistance lifts (tons of skwats) does contribute to weight gain. But in my case, I've started eating a lot more nutritionally-challenged hi-carb crapola and the non-stop weight gain is cause for concern.

In terms of my competition weight class, it's 85kg (187 lbs). I have no intention of blowing up to that weight and at the same time I have no shot at the next lower weight class of 77 (169.4 lbs). Around 182 lbs would be ideal as I would never have to worry about a few pounds of fluctuation and still comfortably make weight while still having a large healthy breakfast. But as I approach 185 lb (I always weigh myself as soon as I get up and before breakfast), I leave almost no lee-way for an late morning weigh-in. Also, the jeans I bought after my RKC cert are becoming unwearable .. that really ticks me off.

When I made weight for my RKC Russian Kettlebell instructor certification, I had been logging everything I ate on this blog. The idea was to bare myself in front of my immense readership (hi Aaron!) by posting the dirty truth of my daily consumption. Well it worked. I ate healthy, watched the portions and got down to 176 lbs and held it for several months. So its back to a daily caloric consumption log that will appear at the bottom of these posts to make it easy to skip over.

Caloric Consumption log:

  • One bowl of kitchari (yellow mung beans, brown Basmati rice, sweet potato and various exotic Indian spices)
  • One bowl of u-waved frozen peas
  • 6 oz of canned Salmon
Post Workout:
  • Whey Protein with water (24 g protein)
  • Handful of roasted unsalted almonds
  • Helping of raw baby carrots
  • 1/2 u-waved sweet potato
Late Lunch:
  • Bowl of Brussel sprouts
  • 8oz of canned salmon
  • Handful of roasted unsalted almonds
  • Handful of raw unsalted cashews
  • One Maryland crab cake
  • Large green salad with 6 oz diced chicken
  • One glass of red wine
  • Handful of roasted unsalted almonds
  • Small handful of walnut halfs


Franz Snideman said...


You have a OL meet coming up? That is awesome! Is this your first meet? Or have you done one before?

Either way, I commend you on your persistence to learn the O lifts...I too am getting into them and have the O lifting bug!

Franklin said...

Hi Franz,

My first ever O-lift meet is in two weeks. I have very modest goals only desiring to set a baseline (regardless of how low) for improvement. I have absolutely no natural talent for these lifts and each training session is a lesson in humility.

One the other hand as I watch the seasoned lifters powerfully and gracefully lift enormous weights over their heads, it provides an endless source of inspiration and keeps me coming back for more.

Its great to hear you picking up the O-lift challenge. For you it should be a much more natural undertaking given your enormous explosive base of strength.

pierini said...

Franklin, I struggle with the jerk too and I'm sure your coach will lead you in the direction of improvement.

For me, I try to make sure that the heave from my rack is what starts the upward drive. If we try to press at this point, we dissipate the power of the leg drive (sort of like the distant cousin to the arm bend during the pull where the arm bends and the power ends).

I also remind myself that I'm not trying to press the weight overhead during the jerk but rather trying to press myself under the bar, made possible by a good split dip. Sure there is overhead pressing somewhat, but the leg drive is where all the power is.

Try some carpet training at home on non Oly lift days using a wooden pole. Do split jerks with your eyes closed and visual the leg drive with no pressing, other than pressing yourself under the wooden pole as you split jerk deep. Carpet training is where a lot of epiphanies are realized.

As far as your weight and eating goes, you are in total control of that. If anything, watch your carbs.

Franklin said...

Hi Ed,

Yes, of course, great suggestions! I had spent a lot of carpet-broomstick training with my clean and snatch .. I completely forgot that the jerk requires this type of practice as well.

Thanks for calling me out on the carpet! And keep posting those detailed training logs of yours .. for you it might be boring .. for me they tell an important story and are incredibly useful especially since we are so close in age and weight.

Also you are spot on about choosing to eat well. Once I turn on the switch, I have no problem walking by candy, cake, chips and other junk. High carbo loaded "food" is insidious and for me it has to be close to 100% abstinence.

Martin Schap said...

You can eat a ton of clean food and burn it all off when you are training frequent and heavy as you are doing, but the junk food will get you every time. Obviously you can do this since you have before, and I for one do not skip over the food portion of your posts. I will call you out if the ice cream and fries get out of control.

Franklin said...


Thanks for the hard love, man, its greatly appreciated!

I'm back on track and already feeling much better .. training hard and heavy is no excuse for gumming up the engine.