Sunday, August 9, 2009

Post Meet Training Week Wrapup and an Invaluable Training Partner

I have continued to stick to only three days a week of training. Knowing I really need a minimum of one rest day following each training session, I have been slowly up-ing the intensity and volume of the training sessions to find a new set point. My "restoratives" consist of sleep, hot Epsom salt baths and the following supplements:
  • high concentration EPA fish oil (2 grams a day),
  • glusosime/condratin (one per day)
  • potasium (one per day)
  • magnesium (one per day)
I am pleased that I have my weight at or under 182 lbs and that I continue to eat clean. This summer especially has made it a lot easier with the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. With a very low cholesterol level, I have been eating a lot more eggs as they very tasting and high in protein. I still eats lots of canned Alaskan salmon, sardines and organic ground beef. I weigh myself everyday as I need direct and honest feedback to motivate me to stay on course.

Tuesday August 4, 2009

Evening Olympic Lifting Session at Excel Fitness and Sports

Z-Health Neural Warmup Level II Dynamic Joint Mobility

Snatch (kg):
20 x 1 x 3 Sn on Toes
25 x 1 x 3 Sn on Toes
25 x 1 x 3 3 Pos Sn
32 x 1 x 3 3 Pos Sn
32 x 1 x 1 Sn on Toes - NoLift
32 x 1 x 3 SnBal
40 x 1 x 4 3Sn + SnBal
45 x 1 x 4 3Sn + SnBal
50 x 1 x 3 HHSn + 2Sn
55 x 1 x 2 Sn
40 x 3 x 5 3Sn + 2SnBal
45 x 3 x 5 3Sn + 2SnBal
45 x 2 x 3 2HHSn + 1AKHSn
50 x 1 x 3 HHSn
50 x 1 x 2 HHSn
50 x 1 x 3 HHSn

Walking Lunges with Dumbbells held at side (lbs)
40 x 1 x 5/5
50 x 1 x 5/5
70 x 1 x 5/5
80 x 1 x 5/5
90 x 1 x 5/5

Hip Dips
BW x 3 x 20/20

Box Pistols
BW x 3 x 3/3

Coach Fuller's plan for me is to teach me to get under heavier weights especially in the snatch. To this goal, Yasha Kahn worked with me to "small bump and explode under" from the high-hang snatch position. When I started these, I had a tendency to pull too hard, catch high and slowly ride the weight down. Instead, he would hold his hand at the level he wanted me to pull before explode under. To further get me to do this, he had me practice with out a bar just jumping into the deep squat as fast as possible.

Thursday August 6, 2009

Evening Olympic Lifting Session at Excel Fitness and Sports

Z-Health Neural Warmup Level II Dynamic Joint Mobility

Snatch on Toes (kg):
20 x 2 x 3
25 x 2 x 3
30 x 2 x 3
35 x 2 x 3 Scarecrow on heels

Cleans (kg):
40 x 1 x 3 HHCl
50 x 1 x 3 HHCl
60 x 1 x 2 HHCl + Cl
70 x 1 x 2 HHCl + Cl
80 x 1 x 2 HHCl + Cl
60 x 1 x 4 HHCl + Cl
85 x 1 x 2 HHCl + Cl HHCl-PR
70 x 1 x 4 x 3 Cl
80 x 1 x 1 HHCl
80 x 1 x 2 HHCl
85 x 1 x 1 HHCl NoLift

Clean Pull (kg):
100 x 1 x 5
100 x 1 x 4
110 x 1 x 4
110 x 1 x 3
100 x 1 x 3

CDL (kg):
110 x 1 x 2
120 x 2 x 2

Front and Back Squat combo (lb):
135 x 1 x 5/5
175 x 1 x 3/3
200 x 1 x 3/3
210 x 1 x 2/3

More of Yasha's help with bump and explode under this time with cleans instead of snatches. I was pleased when I high-hang cleaned 85kg for a PR. This was the heaviest volume I have done with assistance lifts: clean high-pulls, CDLs and Front/Back squat combo.

Saturday August 9, 2009

Having a honest training partner who shares the same desire to improve and work hard is an asset of almost immeasurable value. I am incredibly fortunate that I undertook weightlifting just a few days before Jason Edmonds did. Jason, 37 years of age, is a 6'3" tower of strength who competes in the 105kg weight class. An extremely articulate, thoughtful and kind man, Jason, who previously was a recreational weight trainer, made the difficult transition to weightlifting due to his willingness to work on his weaknesses .. a must to succeed in this sport.

It became obvious after the first day of training together last October, that great benefit for the both of us would result in the mutual support and encouragement of each other. This is not to say that the other lifters did not also provide positive feedback and encouragement, its just not the same as training with someone who is at a similar learning level both in making progress and who also struggles with the same issues. In particular as each of us began to improve either in our lifting form or in the amount of weight lifted, it provided immediate inspiration and encouragement to those of us master lifters, having taking up the sport late in life, can achieve personal satisfaction and success towards mastering the lifts. This relationship has further developed towards the sharing of weight-lifting DVDs and books as well as healthy email discussions of various weight-lifting topics.

One of Jason's outstanding attributes is that he is a real student of the sport, reading and studying anything he can get his hands on. At first I thought he was over-analytical in his approach but I have since come full circle realizing that this is an incredibly technical endeavor that requires a great deal of attention to the details. As a result I now spend a good part of my relaxation time pouring over Olympic weightlifting books, articles and watching DVDs. Between the two of us we are building a good sized library of study materials which we freely share.

With the club having shortened hours this weekend, it was the perfect opportunity for Jason to come over and train with me in my basement.

One of the other benefits of good training partner is the ability to detect lifting defects and not have any reservations about expressing alternatives to correct them. Today's session in my basement took this to the next level as Jason provided with very important points to help me improve:

  • When snatching on toes, I was leaning too far forward. As a result, he recommended standing straight up and even leaning a bit backward to simulate the pull under.
  • "Stand straight up .. explosively". This has immediate impact in a much more vertical snatch pull resulting in a effortless catch with moderate weights
  • When receiving the bar OH in the full bottom squat position, stabilize the bar first before flexing the hips backward to recover. He recommended doing some isometric holds with a moderate weight in this position to help get more comfortable with it.
  • "Whip the arms" which provides an alternative coaching cue to "loose arms". Its impossible to whip the arms if they are rigid and stiff.
The synergy of the session was infectious as Jason went on to set two PRs:
  • an 81 kg snatch just after matching his best snatch of 80kg only done once about a month ago.
  • following this he hit a jerk PR of 105kg using the jerk boxes I built a few months ago.
With him being 6'3" and not being able to completely recover from his jerk in my basement, we moved two horse stall mats, the bar and weights and the jerk boxes to my driveway (where the New England weather was being very cooperative for a change!). The three photos at the top are of Jason warming up with a split jerk with 80kg. After making 105kg he went for 110kg, jerked it high enough but couldn't quite get under it. I'm convinced this weight will fall for him in the not too distant future.

Knowing I wanted to work extra hard this session not having any time constraints, I added some kettlebell swings to warm up with.

Noon Olympic Lifting session in my basement dungeon:

Z-Health Neural Warmup Level II Dynamic Joint Mobility

Kettlebell Swings (mixture of two and one hand)
32kg x 5 x 20

Snatch (kg):
20 x 2 x 3 Sn-on-toes
25 x 1 x 3 Sn-on-toes
40 x 2 x 2 HHSn
45 x 1 x 2
50 x 1 x 2
55 x 2 x 2
60 x 5 x 1 2-Nolift

Snatch Pull (kg):
70 x 1 x 3
80 x 1 x 3
85 x 1 x 3
90 x 1 x 2
100 x 1 x 1

Clean (kg):
60 x 2 x 2
70 x 1 x 2
80 x 1 x 2
90 x 1 x 1 NoLift

Jerk Box Jerks (kg):
40 x 1 x 3 PwJ
50 x 1 x 3 PwJ
60 x 1 x 3 PwJ
70 x 1 x 3 2PwJ + J
80 x 1 x 2 PwJ + J
90 x 1 x 1 J with pressout
70 x 1 x 2 J

Front/Back Squat Combo (kg):
50 x 1 x 5/5
60 x 1 x 5/5
70 x 1 x 5/5
80 x 1 x 5/5
90 x 1 x 2/3

For the first time ever snatching, I was able to get completely in full bottom OH squat position after receiving a 60kg snatch. Its not comfortable yet and a bit hit or miss but I'm very encouraged.


Tony Costa said...

So I'm working - I really am - looking up the address of Frank Parsons Paper Company on Google - buying paper is something I do, after all - and the name Franklin Herman comes up on Google, as if he's Michael Jackson Mr. Most Hits of the Day or something. I do a doubletake, select, and there it is, my old friend from Jacob Gunther Elementary School has started a blog and he's still exercising and I remember lifting weights in his garage in North Bellmore.
I assume some algorithm thing has happened, because I'm using Blogger for Costa Movie Journey, something I started this summer in response to my son's twentysomthing friends who wanted a guide to the movies.
Anyway, best of luck.
I plan to check in from time to time.
Tony Costagliola

Franklin said...

Hi Tony!

The comparison to MJ had me in stitches! There is a bunch of middle-aged men out there who like me still dabble in the iron game and this blog is primarily directed at them.

Yes, forty five years ago or more those were some fun times. Not only did we lift weights but we would wrestle and play chess. Although I may have gotten the best of you wrestling, you completely slaughtered me in chess so badly in fact that I gave it up completely and only returned to it when I was in forties.

The one thing I will never forget is the times I was invited to your Sunday afternoon Italian dinner extravaganzas. I couldn't believe food could be prepared so tasty. The only downside was it was very hard on me afterward to return back to my own family's bland meat and potatos standard after one of those amazing dinners.

Thanks so much for stopping by .. our 30 year high school reunion is coming up in a few years so hopefully I will see you then.

Take care!