Grizzly Way 130401 (April Fool!)
Before I forget – today was Mashup Monday, and I found an unusual amount of joy in today’s post, which was a novel experience as lately they’ve felt very tedious and forced. What a wonderful thing it can be to share a passion. View it on DML.fm
Not that that’s out of the way – I want to talk about frame of mind for a bit. Obviously this passed month, as compared to the bulk of February I’ve struggled with programming, progress, and staying in a positive direction in many regards. The way I view the world, with a sense of cynical realism means I’m already not the most positive person, add onto that things not improving, or in some aspects getting worse and I’m downright unpleasant. I fear I’ve been more unpleasant than not this passed month. Obviously on any journey there are bound to be up’s and down’s; I was hoping it would be a few months with Mike and training hard before I hit a serious patch of down’s especially with how many up’s there had been last month. Why am I writing about this? I want to take this as an opportunity to wipe clean the slate of March and move forward into April with a clear mindset, a fresh set of goals and the will to accomplish great things.
Goals for April
- Squat 305×5
- Spend at least 45 minutes a day on mobility, with a steep focus on my ankles
- Hit 215 on the scale
- Improve my relationship with food
- Realize that the weight of the world is not on a barbell
These seem a bit silly, and quite mixed, some are straightforward like squatting and mobility, and to some extent the scale weight. The others are a bit more veiled. The goal on the scale only serves as a goal for strength and a marker of progress, obviously squatting more at the same weight is also acceptable and measurable progress. My relationship with food is a strange one, it’s always been a struggle, it seems I can either have complete control over my diet, or none whatsoever, I’m awful at an 80/20 mentality, 80 become 90, 90 becomes 100, or contrarily; 20 becomes 30, becomes 40 and pretty soon there’s a pint of Ben and Jerry’s missing and I’m licking a spoon. Chris Moore (one of my favorite philosophers) describes said sturggle in this post. Simply put, holding on too tight to this notion that there is no room for to be imperfect is a recipe for ultimate failure. While complete discipline may be sustainable in small bursts, weeks or months, there comes a time when cracks start to form, and the wheels fall off. I think the wheels are falling off. This actually segway’s quite beautifully into my last point, that the fate of my journey does not hinge on what I’m able to squat this week, or how my muscle up feels, or even how well I’m snatching. More importantly are the small steps that will build to ultimate success; the 40 minutes of technique work that will eventually lead to the big snatch I want; the 40 minutes of mobility work that will pay off dividends when my front squat doesn’t look like a PT bill. There is no firing squad waiting outside the gym for me to fail, there is only me and my persistance.
Warmup B + E
2 Clean + 1 Jerk @ 60%, 70%, 75%, 2 sets @ 80% 155; 180; 195; 205
Hang Power Snatch 3 @ 50%, 3 @ 60%, 3 @ 65%, 2 x 2 @ 70% 95; 105; 115; 125
Back Squat 5RM 285
Running clock, add 1 rep to each round:
Odd: Muscle Ups 3; 3 of 4
Even: KB Swings (70#) 17; 15 of 18
Warmup B+E is a series of snatch position work, followed by clean position and technique work, followed by jerk work. I feel the jerk work was the best today, my jerk felt very quick and my lockouts were strong. Though I’ve always liked jerking more than the other two. The 2 clean + jerk complex definitely got heavier than I was expecting it, if you recall I did a 3RM Hang Clean last cycle at 205, so I was surprised by how heavy it felt today. Watching the video of my clean work is frustrating, when you see something you wished you didn’t, namely I still jump forwards off the hip rather than staying back on the heels. I felt like I was receiving the bar better and it isn’t crashing as much, which I think is supported by a bit better back position out of the bottom. Though some of that forward lead I think is meant to compensate for lack of ankle mobility. Which brings me to my ankles, without fail they are the source of my frustrations, if you watch my left foot at the bottom of the clean, I run out of ankle room and surely the heel comes up and the foot rotates inward. I’ve posted a video of the snatches as well, though sets of 2 at 70% were not exactly my idea of heavy weight, I focused on staying tight through the hang and really pulling into my hip. I think they look quite good.
This brings me to the back squat. Where do I even begin. I weighed in today at 209, which is about a 3 pound drop since last I squatted. If I struggled with 285 and 295 at 212, surely I wasn’t not setup well for a good day at 209. Weight isn’t everything so I tried to stay positive. On my way up to the 285 range, I knew I was in trouble around 255, those 4th and 5th reps were slow and uncomfortable. I also ran into the same mobility issue as the clean, the bottom of the squat left my left food rounding inwards. To be clear my knees stay out this entire time, so I’m not really in danger of injuring myself, it’s merely a matter of being efficient and training in good positions. I was surprised that 275 felt as good as it did, 285 was a struggle but I got all 5 reps in without breaking down significantly. I had to try 295, but I only did a single, doing more would not have been productive. Same weight as last week, 3 pounds lighter – I guess thats a victory, but as I mentioned above, the goal is to gain strength, so the push for 305×5 continues.
Part of this issue is tied up in the fact that the programming has been changing and my diet has lagged behind, it takes a few days for the volume to catch up with you and the appetite to return. Then you throw in days like Friday where all you do is a 7 minute workout and it throws a wrench in the whole system. It makes it harder to keep the calories up and stay on a rhythm when you’re always trying to adjust. I’ll be thankful when the open is over and my programming hits a stride.
This week is all capacity testing on various movements, I failed pretty quick on the muscle ups – no surprise this is still not my best movement, though I actually felt better than I expected on the 3 and the 4 even though I only got 3 of 4. The transitions into the next one needs work and my kip gets a little crazy and surely inefficient so I need to probably practice these more. I was happy getting 2 sets of 3 though; my max previously was 4 in 1 minute and that was 2 sets of 2. The KB swings was pretty boring to test, mostly cause I failed so early on the muscle ups that I was just staring at the clock then doing a ton of swings. My levers are actually setup quite nicely for large sets of pretty efficient swings, these didn’t really get tough until 9 or 10, and even than I managed to hang on through the round of 17 with a 72 pound bell – smoked my forearms doing it though. That round of 15 the lockout got weak and I just couldn’t hold onto the bell anymore. Gonna feel that in the t-spine tomorrow.
Whew – that was a longer post than I originally intended on writing, but I think a lot of that needed to be said as we round the corner into month 3 and out of the Open.