Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quick Snatch Workout

Working this weekend with many other things going on.  I was able to fit in a quick snatch workout:

Snatch(16kg) 15L/15R
Snatch(20kg) 15L/15R
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 7 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 15L/15R

Feeling good with the snatches.  Endurance improving.  Hands doing better.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Back to Jerks

Took an extra day off due to work related craziness.  Feeling good today.  Once again played with my hand positions in the rack and actually seemed to have found something more comfortable.  I have given up on the "false grip" and am now working some kind of hybrid grip that allows me to overlap my handles and hands.  This didn't seem to fatigue my wrists/forearms as much.

Jerk(16kg) 15
Jerk (20kg) 10
Jerk (24kg) 8 rpm x 7 minutes
Jerk (24kg) 10 rpm x 3 minutes
Swing (32kg) 30/30 x 1
Pushups 15 x 3 sets

My 7 minute set was planned to be only 6 minutes, but I was feeling strong so did the extra minute.  I could have continued.  This was probably due to taking the extra day off.  I think I needed the rest.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today's workout:

Snatch(16kg) 10L/10R
Snatch(20kg) 10L/10R
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 6 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 12/12 x 1
OAJ(32kg) 10/10 x 1
Extensor Bands(green) 10/10 x 3 sets

Workout went well.  I have been in a bit of a training funk the last few days.  Not sure if I need to take a break or just change things up a bit.  I have been working the timed sets of jerks/snatches for almost 3 months.  I want to be charged for the Arnold.  I may try taking a few days off to see if I can recharge.  I have also pondered doing a different routine for a few days just to shake things up a bit.  Will give it a bit more thought.  Tomorrow is a rest day anyways.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Different Rack Positions

Feeling better today.  Decided to hit the bells after work.  Today is a jerk day.  Played around with the lighter weights while warming up.  In particular, I tried various hand positions in the rack ranging from Fedorenko's double false grip with no handle overlap to Denisov's 1 hand in the false grip with the bells overlapped and the other hand over the handles.  Bottom line, I still need to figure this out as I am quickly learning that my rate limiting step in the jerks is wrist/forearm fatigue from the rack.  Denisov's style is the most comfortable for me with the 20kg, but once I hit the 24's I could only continue this technique for 3-4 minutes of my 6 minute set.  Practice, Practice, practice......

Jerk(16kg) 10
Jerk(20kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 6 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 3 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 2 sets
Bodyweight Pullups 5 x 3 sets

Around the 3 minute mark the camera angle changes to a front view where you can really see his rack grip.  His left hand remains in the false grip while the right hand overlaps the left.  In the overhead lockout, he keeps his left hand in the false grip and his right hand remains open. This was very comfortable for me with the lighter weights.  I think I just need to keep working with this style.  Time will tell.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Under The Weather

New respiratory bug working its way through the family.  I am next on the chopping block.  Not feeling too well today.  Will take a day off and see how I feel tomorrow.

Friday, January 23, 2009


My left hand was still a bit tender from my blister that formed during the 10 minute set, but I decided to give some snatching a try anyways.  This really made me focus on getting the bell into the hook, otherwise I would aggravate my hand.  Things went pretty well:

Snatch(16kg) 10L/10R
Snatch(20kg) 10L/10R x 2 sets
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 5 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 10/10 x 3 sets
Handstand practice with my boys

Really focused on getting the bell in the hook along with the finger lock while working the sets with the 20kg.  I am getting better with this.  Jerks felt strong.  I have been working handstands with my boys.  We have been slowly increasing our time in the wall handstand.  Did some playing around with free handstands.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jerks 8 rpm

My wrists and forearms are still a bit fatigued from my 10 minute set on Monday, but it is time to start working on the 8 rpm jerks.

Jerk(16kg) 10
Jerk(20kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 5 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 3 minutes
Jerk(20kg) 8 rpm x 2 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 1
Renegade Row(24kg) 10/10 x 2 sets

My forearms/wrists really fatigued on my first 5 minute set.  I tried a second 5 minute set, but only could make it 3 minutes.  At that point I dropped the 24s and continued the last 2 minutes with the 20kg bells.  Also played around with my rack hand position, but am still struggling with finding the "right" position for me.  The position that will cause the least suffering and allow me to complete that 10 minute jerk set.  I think continuing to work the longer sets will only strengthen my wrists/forearms and hopefully help me move past this sticking point.  Took it easy on the swings tonight as my left hand is still a bit tender from my big snatch day on Tuesday.  Did a bit of minor surgery yesterday in the office and drained the large blood blister underneath one of my callouses.  Things feel much better since then.  Not sure what kind of snatch workout I will be able to put together tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

10 Minute Snatch Set With 24kg - 1 Hand Switch

Feeling good today after my 10 minute jerk set yesterday.  Decided to try snatching for the full 10 minutes at 16 rpm today.  Things went pretty well, however, the last minute with both hands was a bit dicey with the grip.  My hands survived with only 1 blood blister underneath a callous on my left hand.  This has now improved my personal best with 24kg snatches to 80L/80R.  It is hard to believe that I was struggling to reach 40/40 prior to my RKC snatch test.  Now I could pass the old test with 1 hand! (74 reps).

Snatch(16kg) 10/10
Snatch(20kg) 10/10
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 10 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 12/12
OAJ(32kg) 10/10

I shot some video of the snatch set, but my camera shut off around the 9 minute mark.  It is too bad since I was hoping to see my technique as I really started to suffer.  However, I can see things as they deteriorated on the left side.

Overall, I think my snatch technique is pretty good.  My descent is improving and I am catching the bell in my fingers on the vast majority of reps.  I still need to work on hooking my thumb over my index finger which will probably help save my grip a bit more.  I also think I could work on keeping the bell closer to my body on both the ascent and descent.  As I fatigue, I stop following the bell back with my eyes which robs me of hip snap on the ascent.

I also shot some video of my 32kg OAJ on both the right and left sides:

Since my last jerk video, I am clearly launching my elbows off of my pelvis on every rep.  This has made a huge improvement in my overall jerking ability.

Now it is time to start working snatches at 18 rpm and jerks at 8 rpm with the 24kg.

Monday, January 19, 2009

First 10 Minute Jerk Session With 24kg

Felt energized today.  Last couple of workouts were short and a bit on the light side.  I think I needed some rest to let my body recover from my rapid push in training for the biathlon.  Today, I decided to attempt my first 10 minute set of jerks with the 24s.  These bells are feeling lighter every time.  I feel like I am launching off of my hips every rep and the bells are starting to fly out of my hands in the overhead lockout like they did when I was learning with the 12kg and 16kg bells.

Jerk(16kg) 20 reps
Jerk(20kg) 10 reps
Jerk(24kg) 6 rpm x 10 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 2 sets
Bodyweight pullups 5 x 3 sets

The last 2 minutes were tough.  I suffered the most in my hands and wrists which were pretty fatigued, however, I was able to hang on to the finish.  My shoulders and legs were still feeling good and I didn't shift into panic breathing at the end either!  I find as I get later into my long sets that I begin to loose my grip in the corner of the handle and my wrists also begin to hyperextend.  I think this hyper-extension of the wrists is ultimately what is causing the fatigue in my wrists/hands.  I am not sure how to correct this issue.

Tomorrow, if I am still feeling good, I plan to attempt my first 10 minute set of snatches with the 24kg at 16 rpm.  If I am able to hit this, then I will drop back down and start working my jerks at 8 rpm beginning at 5 minutes and snatching at 18 rpm beginning at 6 minutes with the goal of working my way back up to 10 minute sets of both the jerk and snatch by the Arnold Classic.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Short Snatch Day

Another lighter workout today:

Snatch(16kg) 20
Snatch(20kg) 20
Snatch(24kg) 18 rpm x 6 minutes - 1 switch
OAJ(32kg) 8 rpm x 4 minutes - 1 switch at 2 minute mark

Friday, January 16, 2009

Needing a Break

I am starting to get a bit run down.  I have been going full tilt for the past 2 months without a real break.  Decided go make today and tomorrow's workouts on the light side in hopes of recovering a bit.

Jerk(16kg) 20
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 5 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 2 sets
Bodyweight Pullups 5 x 3 sets

Jerks continue to feel strong.  After my workout I played around with my boys.  We practiced some wall handstands and other bodyweight exercises.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Home early from work.  Able to workout in the afternoon.

Snatch(16kg) 10/10 
Snatch(20kg) 10/10
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 10/10 x 3 sets

My snatches continue to feel strong.  I am figuring out the grip.  My hands are no longer killing me at the end of sets (even the 8 minute set).  I felt stronger this time than during my last 8 minute set.  Will likely attempt a 10 minute 16 rpm set this weekend or early next week. 
If goes well, then will drop back to 5 minutes and start working my progression at 18 rpm.  My goal for the Arnold is going to be 10 minutes at 18 rpm for total of 180 reps.  If I am able to pull things off I will get 80 reps jerk and 180 reps snatch for a total of 260.  This will put me at level IV on the WKC rankings even if I don't drop the 4 lbs needed to get to the 90kg class.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

8 Minute 24kg Jerk

Late workout tonight, but I was feeling energized:

Jerk(16kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 6 rpm x 8 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 10 rpm x 2 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 
Swing(32kg) 20/20
Renegade Row(24kg) 8/8 x 2 sets

Jerks felt very good today.  I feel like I am launching my elbows off of my pelvis on almost every rep.  I can't believe what a difference it makes.  I think I could have pulled off a full 10 minute set today.  The only thing that was beginning to fatigue was my wrists, but I think I could have gutted it out for the final 2 minutes.  Now I need to consider if I should drop my timed sets back down to 5 minutes and increase to 8 rpm or push the 6 rpms all the way to 10 minutes.  My goal at this point is to hit a full 10 minute set at 8 rpm at the Arnold for a total of 80 reps.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snatch PR Today

My snatches are progressing faster than my jerks, probably since I have been snatching much longer and I think the movement is easier for me.

Snatch(12kg) 10/10
Snatch(16kg) 10/10
Snatch(20kg) 5/5
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 8 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 10/10 x 3 sets

64 reps per hand is a personal best for me.  Things went pretty well.  The last few reps on each hand were tough.  My OAJ continue to get stronger.  I really focused on keeping my elbow connected to my hip and the bell just seems to fly up.  Now I just need to transition this to my double jerks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Working the Jerks

Rough day today...was on call.  Worked for 11 hours and as usual didn't eat very well.  Got stuck in my driveway when I came home and had to dig my way out.  Despite all of that, I still figured working out would clear my mind and make me feel better.  Unfortunately I just didn't have much energy today and I cut my planned 8 minute jerk set to 5 minutes.  Did I mention that my f*$%#@* beeper was going off non stop!

Jerk(16kg) 10 reps
Jerk(20kg) 10 reps
Jerk(24kg) 6 rpm for 5 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm for 3 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30R/30L

Tried to keep my elbow on my hips during the first bump today.  I was much more successful than in the past.  I was amazed how the bells flew overhead when I was able to keep my elbows in the right position.  Before, I focused on using my legs to generate the power of the first dip.  Today, my first dip was shallower, but seemed much more powerful as I was able to launch my elbows off my pelvis.  I also focused on keeping my arms closer to my head with my hands medially rotated 45 degrees in the lockout position.  I found that I was no longer fighting the bells in the overhead position and it did make a significant difference during the descent of the bells.  I also tried to rotate my hands laterally in the rack, like VF in the video in my last post.  I will have to play with this some more, but I found that my hands and wrists really fatigued quickly with this technique as it becomes very difficult for me to overlap the handles of the bells in this position.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Snatch Day

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to help me with my jerk technique.  It appears that my two main issues are not keeping my elbows on my pelvis during the first bump and allowing my arms to be too wide during the ascension of the bells with my hands facing forward.  This overhead position is also leading to troubles during my descent.  I plan to spend the next few weeks working on these issues and plan to post some more jerk video.

Today was a snatch day.  My hands remain a bit tender from my last snatch day, particularily my 5th finger on both hands where I had developed some small blisters.  So instead of increasing my time I decided to repeat my workout from last time:

Snatch Warm up: 10/10 1 set each with 12kg, 16kg, and 20 kg
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 6 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ (32kg) 10/10
OAJ (24kg) 10/10
OAJ (32kg) 10/10

Really tried to focus on keeping my elbow on my hip during the first bump and keeping my "biceps to my ear" in the overhead position as Cate Imes mentioned.  I need to continue working on this especially if I ever want to look like this:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jerks with the 24kg with Video

Although I had done some shorter sets with the 24s while I was completing my 20kg progressions, today was my first day of truly focused 24kg jerk work.  I have now been training GS for 2 months and have worked my progressions for both jerk and snatch with the 16kg and 20kg working my way up to 10 minutes of jerks at 10 rpm and 10 minutes of snatches at 20 rpm with 1 hand switch before going up to the next weight.  My last video clip was roughly 1 month ago.  So, today I took some new video of my jerks to see how things compare.  I had originally planned to do 6 minutes at 6 rpm, but I was feeling good and added an extra minute.  My workout today went as follows:

Jerk(16kg) 20 reps
Jerk(24kg) 6 rpm x 7 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 8 rpm x 3 minutes
Swing(32kg) 20/20 x 3 sets
Bodyweight Pullups 5 reps x 3 sets

This first clip (above) is my 7 minute set at 6 rpm

The second clip is my 3 minute set at 8 rpm from a side view.
After reviewing the video, I think I have made decent progress.  My rack is better.  I am more relaxed.  My breathing is better with an exhale through the mouth on the first dip, an inhalation through the nose as the bells go upward, and an exhale at the top followed by a large exhale as the bells fall back to the rack.  Sometimes my elbows are still coming off my pelvis during the first dip and I still need to work on getting my hands in the 45 degree angle in the overhead position.  Overall, I still think I could be more explosive.  Hopefully, continuing to work the 32kg OAJ will help improve this.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let the 24 Progression Begin

Now it is really time to start working toward my goals for the Arnold Classic.  I will be turning my attention to working with the 24kg for both jerks and snatches.  Today was my first snatch workout:

Snatch(16kg) 20/20
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 6 minutes - 1 hand switch
Snatch(24kg) 16 rpm x 4 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 15/15
OAJ(32kg) 10/10

Snatches felt good.  I am doing a much better job dropping the bell from the overhead position into the hook.  My hands are much less tender and I think they will no longer be my rate limiting step to long sets.  I also started to focus on locking my thumb over my index finger in order to preserve the grip.  While training last summer for the RKC snatch test I was never able to do more than 40/40 24kg snatches with 1 hand change.  Today I did 48/48 and could have done more.  I think this is in part due to the slight change in technique associated with GS and more importantly taking the time to drop back in weight and start working the progressions with 16kg followed by the 20kg bells.  This, I think, has added important strength and stability to my shoulder girdle and has allowed me to push my numbers without injuring myself.   My OAJ with the 32kg continue to feel stronger and stronger.  I feel much crisper and am forced to use my legs instead of just pressing the weight overhead.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

10 Minute Jerk Set - 20kg

The goals have been reached.  I have now officially completed my 20kg progressions.  After today's 10 minutes of 10 rpm jerks and my 10 minute 20 rpm snatch session a couple of days ago, I am ready to start the progressions over with the 24kg.

Jerk(16kg) 20 reps
Jerk(20kg) 10 rpm x 10 minutes
Swing(32kg) 30/30 x 2 sets
Bodyweight pullups 5 x 3 sets

The ten minute sessions truly build mental strength.  I can't get over how many times your mind tells, no screams, to stop.  However, after the 7-8 minute mark it is all about finishing.   I was able to settle into a nice breathing rhythm and keep relaxed in the rack, until the last 2 minutes when I was forced to just gut it out.  During that final two minutes, my hands/wrists began to fatigue, it was hard to get comfortable in the rack, my heart rate began to peak, and my breathing became more difficult to control.  Something tells me that this will never truly become easy.  I am looking forward to cycling back and starting to build my progressions with the 24kg.

Friday, January 2, 2009

200 Snatches 1 hand change - 20kg

I hit another goal today by completing the 20kg snatch progression.  I was only supposed to do 8 minutes at 20 rpm today, but I was feeling good and my hands were not hurting too badly at the 4 minute mark on my first hand so I decided to push on for the full 10 minutes.  The final minute was a bit dicey with grip, but cardio wise I was OK.  Now it is time to start really focusing  on the 24kg snatch.  I hope to eventually repeat this goal with the 24kg, however, it may take me a bit longer to accomplish this.

Snatch(16kg) warm up
Snatch(20kg) 20 rpm x 10 minutes - 1 hand switch
OAJ(32kg) 12/12 x 1
OAJ(24kg) 24/24 x 1 
COC T 10/10 x 2
COC 1 5/5 negatives x 3
Extensor bands 10/10 x 3

Once again, I was absolutely amazed at the ease of jerking the 24kg after a set of OAJ with the 32.  Next work out, I am scheduled for double 20kg jerks for 10 minutes at 10 rpm to complete my 20kg jerk progression.  I will need to get psyched for this one, since I find jerks much more challenging mentally compared to snatches.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

8 Minute Jerk Set

Football games sucked today.....what a bummer.  This is supposed to be the biggest college football day of the year, according to the University presidents and the BCS.  In truth, the match ups were poor and the games even worse.  When will they stick a fork in the BCS and move on to a playoff system.  It seems to work fine for Divsions 1-AA, II, and III.

Continued to push the 20kg jerk progressions today:

Jerk(16kg) 20 reps
Jerk(20kg) 10 rpm x 8 minutes
Jerk(24kg) 6 rpm x 4 minutes
Swing(32kg) 40/40 x 1 set
Renegade Row(24kg) 10/10 x 3 sets

My jerks continue to progress.  My rack is feeling good. I am really able to relax between reps.  Did begin to feel it in my triceps by the final few minutes.  My hands/wrists held up fine.  The 24kg jerks also felt good.  Sometimes I think 6 rpm is more difficult than 10 rpm.  Sitting in the rack for what seems like forever between reps becomes mentally challenging as the sets get longer.