Thursday, February 5, 2009

A pre-jerk clean rack correction

Thursday February 5, 2009

Noon Olympic Assistance Lift Session:

Front Squats (lbs)
135 x 1 x 4
155 x 1 x 4
170 x 1 x 4
185 x 4 x 4 (4x4@90%1RM Russian Strength Routine)

Evening Olympic Lifting Session:

20 x 4 x 5 Clean + 4 x Jerks
40 x 1 x 3 C&J
50 x 1 x3 C&J
60 x 1 x 2 C&J
65 x 1 x 2 C&J
70 x 1 x 2 C&J
75 x 1 x 2 C&J
80 x 1 x 2 Clean + 2 Jerk misses
80 x 1 x 4 Clean
50 x 1 x 1 Clean
55 x 1 x 1 Clean
60 x 2 x 1 C&J
65 x 3 x 2 C&J

BW x 5 x 3 Tactical Grip Pullups
70lb x 4 x 8/8 Bent over rows

This afternoon I completed the first non-trivial work sets of the Russian Strength Routine's intensity phase. I did these again without wrist wraps. Today I had an epiphany (for great training insight checkout college swimmer turned Olympic lifter Barry Kinsella's "Weightlifting Epiphanies" blog) about why front and back squats are so important.

Yes, foremost they do increase leg and overall strength. The insight here is that they provide an overload mechanism to get the body used to supporting heavy weights in an upright position. Thus squatting is also about learning how to stack the joints and position the weight properly so it is held in the most supportive way possible. Many times I knew my jerk attempt was going to fail because the racked weight seemed too heavy .. I'm sure in large part due to the inefficiency of the rack itself. Eventually all the squat work should help me discover the most efficacious way to support heavy weights in an upright position.

The later evening session at the club focused on clean and jerks. I did fine until I hit 80kg and missed all attempts. What I discovered was that I was holding my shoulders upward as if at the end of a shrug prior to the jerk. There is absolutely no power in this. This worked fine for 75kg and below but no way for a heavier weight. I dropped back down to sets of 60 and 65 to work on relaxing the shoulders in the clean rack prior to jerking. The result was my jerk was much smoother. I contemplated going back up again but I was already spent and finished with pull-ups and rows.

Weight: 182 1/2 lbs
Total Volume: 14390 lbs


Diet and Nutrition:

Goal: 182 lbs by April 2009

Thursday February 5, 2009

Current: 182 1/2 lbs

Another 1/4 lb loss attained .. at this rate I should make the April deadline no problem.

Here are simple rules I have been following to stay clean:
  • When eating a meal or snack, always have some veggies and lean protein
  • Avoid drinking calories
  • Drink 80 to 100 oz of water everyday
  • Supplement every meal with two capsules of fish oil
  • Limit high glycemic carbs to a fifth or less of the daily caloric intake, e.g., Bread, Pasta, Rice and Potatos
  • Stay away from all refined/processed foods especially sugar
  • Finish the last meal of the day by 7:30 pm
  • Log EVERY caloric item consumed to create total accountability
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 Brussels sprouts
  • 4oz of canned salmon with 4 oz of non-fat organic yogurt
  • One large banana
Mid-morning Snack:
  • One handful of roasted almonds
  • One bowl of u-waved frozen peas
  • 6 raw baby carrots
  • One can of sardines with 4 oz of non-fat organic yogurt
  • Pasta-less spaghetti (made with 93% lean organic beef)
  • One handful of raw cashews and walnuts
  • 6 raw baby carrots
Mid-afternoon Snack:
  • One handful of roasted almonds
  • 6 raw baby carrots
Post Oly Session Dinner:
  • Whey protein shake
  • Two handfuls of roasted almonds
  • Two handfuls of raw cashews and walnuts
  • One bowl of u-waved frozen carrots
  • 4 oz canned Salmon with 40z of non-fat organic yogurt
  • 6 raw baby carrots
  • 1/3 u-waved sweet potato


Colin said...

Very nice - good focus on both your training and your diet. Good luck this weekend. Look forward to reading about it next week.

Martin Schap said...

Sounds like you had a couple of good breakthroughs. Keep working on technique, and remember to keep loading up the squat. Slow strength is vital, but is underrated by some o-lifters.

Franklin said...


Thanks! The meet is on the 15th so there is one week of deloading remaining.


Fortunately, the club coaches all know the importance of squats .. all the seasoned lifters work heavy squats weekly .. however they emphasize technique over strength for beginners for the first year since the lifts are so difficult to master.

I will continue to train squats via the Russian Strength Routine in addition to the squats prescribed by the coaches. Once I complete the RSR for front squats I will take a few weeks break and restart the RSR with back squats. Even if my Oly lifts stall, with the RSR, I should be able to increase my strength and feel like I'm still accomplishing something tangible.

Yesterday, one of two-year 77kg lifters, warmed up to and then did six front squat singles with 130kg .. looking at the guy its impossible to tell he is that incredibly strong. He weighs only 163 lbs and complains that he can't put on muscle weight even with those ridiculous weights.