This has been a very interesting week for me, if someone were to have met me this week, I’m pretty sure I’d find myself quoting the last scene from “Fight Club” – you met me at a very strange time in my life. Weeks like this are rare, when the trust erodes and doubt surrounds, a unique obstacle to be sure. At present there seems to be two roads in front of me, take my foot off the gas, re-evaluate, am I closer to my goals? Are my goals still the same? Conversely, option 2 is to double down, lean in harder. Quickly approaching this blogs one year anniversary, it seems a fitting time to tackle such issues. No road worth traveling is free of such questions. Last night I found solace, and silenced the critic in my head with a very poignant and all too fitting passage from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
So there it is. That’s where I’m leaving it for now. Great enthusiasm and great devotion. Let’s lean into something.
7 min clock, Snatch Ladder:
Pick a starting weight – 95,135,175
Complete 5 squat snatches then increase load
Power snatch + OHS is acceptable, reps do not have to be UB
Males increase by 20#
135 x 5 in 1:30
155 x 5 in 4:00
175 x 5 in 6:00
195 x 0 (1 attempt at 6:45)
So the tryouts have begun. I’m lucky in a few regards, unlucky in some others. Lucky because I finished my cycle on Tuesday, which means I get to do all the tryouts while unloading, so I don’t have to worry about what strength work might fatigue me, or how they will fit into Mike’s programming. I sent him all the workouts, we have a plan, an order, and he cleared my next week to get these done, with only Z1 Airdyne work in between. That should help a ton, considering this is a pretty important test for me. Unlucky because the tryouts don’t really play to any of my strengths, nothing is very heavy, most have some kind of pullup or gymnastic move that doesn’t particularly suit me. No heavy kettlebell swings, long rows, rope climbs, or really anything I’m “good” at. Which is fine – that’s the nature of programming and I’m fine with it.
Tryout 1 actually went better than I expected it to. With the spread of starting weights, I had to play it safe and start at 135, if I had a bad day and opened at 175 and started missing, it would’ve gotten ugly fast. I warmed up and hit doubles at 135 and 155, and a single at 175. So I knew that at the very least those were within my capacity for the day. Technically speaking 195 is 95% of my max almost exactly, which is a lot to ask for even a single, let alone as part of a workout where I’ve already done 15 snatches in 7 minutes. My 5 at 135 were uneventful for the most part, I didn’t have a single miss until 195, which I was happy with, and I didn’t have to fight very many reps either, which means the bar was getting where it needed to be. I haven’t snatched 175 in a few weeks, so just hitting that 5 felt really good. Huge confidence boost. My rep at 195 was left about an inch forward, I got under it and caught it, and even fought it for a second, but I wasn’t able to save it. That rep would’ve been nice to have in my back pocket.
In the grand scheme it likely won’t matter. The other men I’m competing against have maxes a solid 20# heavier than my 205, so I’d expect them to get to start at 175 and get to 195 and 215 without much difficulty. I think I have 5th place all sewn up!
I really meant to record this 7min test, I’m kicking myself now because I would’ve really liked to see those reps at 175…for how good they felt, you’d think they’d look at least decent.
I want to leave you with this article since I just went on for about 2 paragraphs about snatching. It’s a pretty quick little article by Greg Everett, one of my favorite weightlifting “guru’s” from the states. It discusses the universal truths of weightlifting, said another way, physics don’t lie. In other words, however you want to argue about methods or styles of weightlifting, the physics don’t change, you have to do certain things correctly, every time, or you will fail. At the very least you’ll be performing well under your capacity. More than anything I loved the title picture.
I didn’t realize until until recently, that that position was what you’re aiming for. Vertical torso is nice, but at full extension – you’re actually well backwards, behind the bar, its a necessity for keeping the weight balanced through the mid foot, you’re leveraging your bodyweight against the weight of the bar to keep its trajectory vertical. Chad Vaughn explains it much better than I can.