Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 8

Day 1
Clean and jerk: singles up to 90%
Clean pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Back squat: 3 sets of 5 reps

Day 2
Snatch: singles up to 90%
Snatch pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Front squat: 3 sets of 3 reps

Day 3
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and jerk: 1RM
Back squat: 5RM

Last week of the 5-rep back squats! We are going a little lighter on the volume on the snatch and clean and jerk this week to both provide a little break before hitting it hard the next four weeks leading into the next meet, and also to let you really attack those 5-rep squats this week.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week 7

Day 1
Clean and jerk: 2+2RM; heavy single (no misses)
Clean pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Back squat: 3 sets of 5 reps

Day 2
Snatch: 2RM; heavy single (no misses)
Snatch pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Front squat: 3 sets of 3 reps

Day 3
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and jerk: 1RM
Back squat: 5RM

We have a little different prescription this week. This will be the last week of doubles in the snatch and clean and jerk for a while, so we are just going to work up as heavy as we can doing doubles, then work quickly to a heavy single. To clarify, we want to hit as heavy of a double as possible with good technique. This should be HARD! The single should be as heavy as you can manage with good technique as well. I wrote "no misses" next to this to clarify that "heavy single" does not mean "as many misses as it takes to hit a PR". We want to get good, quality reps in to reinforce good technique and build confidence on these days!

Pulls and squats are the same as they have been. We will have two more weeks of pulls and squats in this format before changing the rep scheme a little in the squats to allow further increase in intensity, and to make sure we are in top shape for the next meet at the end of this cycle! Speaking of, you should set aside March 29th on your calendar for the next meet we will attend at South Sound Weightlifting in Olympia. You can find the entry blank here:

http://www.southsoundweightlifting.com/images/Spring_Open_registration.pdf

This meet coincides perfectly with the end of our current 12-week cycle. Should be a fun one!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New equipment!

YES! New equipment has finally arrived! We now have EIGHT full sets of disks and change, FOUR women's bearing bars and FOUR men's bearing bars! This means that now EVERYONE will be able to use the same equipment, with no more fighting over disks, change, or the nice barbells. For those who have never used them, these new bars are WAY nicer than the old "nice" Pendlay HD bars, and WAYWAY nicer than the old Bella bars. You should instantly notice the difference in the way these bars spin, the whip on the bar (with enough weight), and a nicer knurling. These are REAL weightlifting bars, designed by and for weightlifters. Get ready to PR both lifts!

These bars are definitely tough and designed to take some abuse, but I want to establish some ground rules to keep these things in top shape and performing at their best to maximize our lifts for a long time to come.

1) NEVER put the bearing bars in the squat racks. These bars are high performance pieces of equipment designed for snatching and clean and jerking, and we want to keep the knurling of these as sharp and grippy as possible. Putting bars in squat racks WILL wear the knurling down over time, and unfortunately this happens right where more people grip the bar for the snatch: exactly where we need the most grip! If you take a look at our old Pendlay bars and the Rogue beater bars, you'll notice that the knurling has been worn smooth in these areas due to being ground in the cups of the squat racks. We don't want this to happen with our new nice (and very expensive) weightlifting bars! Grab a beater bar for your squats, presses, or jerks from the rack. We've got plenty of them now!

2) Do NOT drop an empty (unloaded) barbell. These bars are made with eight precision needle bearings in the collars to allow buttery smooth and consistent rotation. They are designed to take a beating, but they are not really designed to be dropped without bumpers on them. Bumpers greatly reduce the shock of dropping weight on the equipment, facility, and our ears. Dropping an empty barbell on the floor is laziness...don't be that guy/girl!

3) Do NOT drop a barbell loaded with technique plates after a SUCCESSFUL lift. Yes, the technique plates are designed to be dropped and not break, and not skip sideways like the flimsy 10 and 15 pound "bumper" plates are. However, they are much harder than actual bumper plates, and they are definitely harder on our ears when dropped from overhead. If you miss a lift with technique plates, that is perfectly fine, get the heck out of the way of a falling barbell and do not try to save it! However, I am not okay with dropping these things from overhead after a successful lift. Lower the weight back down until you've got a set of 10 kg plates on there at least. The extra eccentric work will probably be good for you anyways.

That's it for now! Looking forward to getting in the gym and enjoying all this AWESOME new equipment! Make sure you thank Molly and Stephen for taking such good care of us!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 6

Day 1
Clean and jerk: 3 sets of 2 reps @ 75-85%; 1 single @ 85-95%
Clean pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Back squat: 3 sets of 5 reps

Day 2
Snatch: 3 sets of 2 reps @ 75-85%; 1 single @ 85-95%
Snatch pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Front squat: 3 sets of 3 reps

Day 3
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and jerk: 1RM
Back squat: 5RM

Try to beat all numbers from last week!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 5

Day 1
Clean and jerk: 3 sets of 2 reps @ 75-85%; 1 single @ 85-95%
Clean pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Back squat: 3 sets of 5 reps

Day 2
Snatch: 3 sets of 2 reps @ 75-85%; 1 single @ 85-95%
Snatch pull: 3 sets of 3 reps
Front squat: 3 sets of 3 reps

Day 3
Snatch: 1RM
Clean and jerk: 1RM
Back squat: 5RM

We start a new 4-week block in our 12-week cycle this week. We are still generally in our preparation/volume phase, but we are reducing the volume a little by dropping to doubles in the snatch and clean and jerk and triples in the pulls. I want to emphasize that the main point of the doubles in the snatch and clean and jerk is to drill technique at sub-maximal weights before working up to the heavy-ish single. As such, these reps should be done no heavier than can be done with proficiency! Let's get any little technique weaknesses and inconsistencies ironed out now so we can work heavier in the weeks and months to come. The 85-95% singles should also be done no heavier than can be done with as good of technique as you are capable of. Good, quality reps are more important than heavy reps here.

Pulls should be done as heavy as can be done with perfection. The point of these is to overload the pulling phase of the lift, but more importantly to drill correct pulling technique without having to worry about pulling under and receiving the bar. I've found these to be one of the most effective ways to correct pulling technique flaws if done properly, so take them seriously and focus on perfect technique and the rewards will be more consistent and heavier snatches and clean and jerks.

Squats will continue to follow the linear progression with sets of 5 on the back squat and sets of 3 on the front squat for the next four weeks, after which we will drop to sets of 3 on the back squat and sets of 2 on the front squat for the last four weeks leading into the next big meet.

I'm looking forward to seeing the intensities go up as we take some of the reps away. This should be a fun four weeks!