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Fernando Mendoza 10-18-2010 08:44 PM

Fernando's training log
Today I decided to begin following the intermediate template listed in Greg Everett's Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes and Coaches, due to the lack of progress I was making on the beginner template.

The training

Coming in felt only mildly interested in working out - the entire session felt like I was a passive observer of my workouts, with heavy weight, awkward positioning and pain the the only reminders I was under the bar. A flat feeling overall. The snatches and squats arguably were the worst experiences today. In previous snatch days (after the Toronto seminar wrapped up last weekend), I felt like I was never getting to the power position, and that in fact I was extending vertically early. Thus, today I tried to delay the jump on the 2nd pull, to get the bar to speed its way up to the crease on the hip, but the snatch felt really awkward after I did that, like I was landing and receiving the bar slightly on my toes, which leads me to believe I was hitting the bar outwards. I'm gonna need to re-film to see what's going on (no filming occurred today).

The squats were also bad, although I didn't foresee how bad they were going to be until I hit 130kg. The warmups indicated I was good to go - but being under 110kg and 130kg today was worlds apart. I managed to get the 5sx3r that was part of the template, but the last reps where tough guys. The absolute very last rep, I was stuck halfway up the concentric for what seemed like an eternity until somehow something kicked in and I got all the way up.

Everything else seemed ok, although the push press exposed a weakness of mine - inadequate leg drive, and sloppy timing the pop off the shoulders to take advantage of the leg drive. Again I managed all of them, but nothing seemed "like air".

I also hip cheated my last pullup rep - halfway going up, stuck, wiggled my way up with my hips.

warmup with bar
3 push press
3 behind the neck
3 scarecrow snatches


130kgx5sx3r <--HARD

Clean Deadlift

Push Press

3sx4r (last rep gave a little hip kip)

Given the above, I'm still excited about where this is all going goal wise:
Snatch best=85kg target=90kg
Clean&Jerk best=106kg target=110kg

The targets are the first milestone I want to reach. I'll make new milestones once I reach those targets.

Fernando Mendoza 10-19-2010 08:05 PM

2010-10-19 Week 1 Day 2
The training
Got to the gym fairly early and managed to get a workout done before 8:30PM today. Finally! Since today looks like the light day, I figured form should take the driver's seat. Originally I was trying to get the same extension I was getting yesterday, by tweaking my form so I'd get the brush near the crease, but instead ended hitting the crease - my nads complained when I hit them twice, so I regrouped, and thought out my approach to the lift. I realized I lifted the snatch best when I focused on looking straight, and a focus on keeping to the heels until I was ready to extend, which would mean leg drive (LEG DRIVE!!).

Looking forward for the snatch and the muscle snatch ended up being A Good Thing, and seemed to have allowed me to accelerate the bar up my thighs to the crease while allowing me to elbow raise correctly and more importantly land stably. I'll take video to see if the power position is still being reached though, as that's the meat of the whole pasta.

One thing I notice is my foot position on the landing is becoming wide, wider than my front or back squat foot position, ankles outside hip on landing. Perhaps I'm compensating for lack of flexibility to sink in as I bring the ankles more under my butt.

Cleans and Jerks were awesome, left gym feeling good.

Warmups with 20kg bar
(push pressx3,
BTN push pressx3,
power jerksx3,
scarecrow snatchx2,
mid hang snatchx3x3)

Muscle Snatch
30kgx3s (hit myself in nads 1st two sets changed form to look forward, nads saved)
50kgx2s (hard, leanback!!)

Snatch (60%)
51kgx5sx2r (easy, except one landed forward and I had to chase it to finish)

Clean (60%)
66kgx5sx2r (a breeze - almost like I did nothing)

Jerks (60%)
66kgx5sx2r (first two sets were power jerks, rest were split jerks - mentally focused on leg drive!!)

Fernando Mendoza 10-20-2010 11:19 PM

2010-10-20 Week 1 Day 3
The training
Came in early, needed warm-up, carried it out. Easy clean and jerks once again, snatch pull had issues maintaining grip, sorted it out with chalk. I tried to snatch up all my OH squats, but time constraints left me with very little warmup time for the snatch, so I snatch PPed the top sets. Snatching felt painful on my hands of all places; the pain was as if I had recently shaken a bone crusher
I have no idea how it occurred, and it made all snatch OH grips annoying. Pull ups looked promising at the beginning but sucked near the end.

Warmup (my routine for warmup doesn't change much, all empty bar)

Clean and Jerk (65%)

Snatch Pull (100%)

OH Squat (heavy single)

Front Squat (88%)

4,4,3 (fuck!)

BTW I just got Greg's second edition book today (all with bubble wrap - I CRAVE POPPING), Jesus the box made me think I was getting a Macbook, or an expensive picture frame. Anywhoo, the new intermediate template switches things up a bit. I'll stick with the old intermediate template for a month or so, and then transition to the new template. Main thing is the OH squat done for reps instead of a heavy single.

Fernando Mendoza 10-22-2010 10:50 PM

2010-10-22 Week 1 Day 4
The training
Came in tired, lifting was a chore. Snatch seemed bogged down and flat, never made it past 70kg. Clean & Jerk ended at 95kg - in fact I couldn't even pull off the floor after a third attempt at 95kg. Squats were at least on target with the heavy single at 140kg but only after I regrouped and made smaller increments. My first time with box jumps, went conservative and will probably remain at the height I am till I figure out technique, but these were the best exercise today.

Warmups (snatch stuff, push press stuff, and jerk stuff with 20kg bar)

Snatch (heavy single)

Clean & Jerk (heavy single)

Squat (heavy single)
140kgx1r <-- seemed easier 2nd time around
145kgx0 <-- and fail

Box jumps (height of box combinations #1, #3, #4, just under chest height)

I get to do power stuff tomorrow; will sleep since I had an all-nighter on Wednesday for work, which probably was the reason I was flat today.

Fernando Mendoza 10-23-2010 05:07 PM

2010-10-23 Week 1 Day 5
The training
Came in after a long good night sleep. The toughest part of the work out was keeping the weight according to the schedule. A distant second was putting my self in the optimal positions for the power positions on the muscle snatch, kept hitting my hips with the bar until I realized I hadn't fully locked my back, or had kept chest out. Fixing that and focusing on leg drive fixed that issue.

Also I think I did power jerks instead of push jerks, which changes things - I know my max power jerk is 90kg, but don't even know what the push jerk is.

Warm-ups with 45lb bar

Muscle Snatch (80%)

Power Snatch (75%)

Power Clean + Push Jerk (75%)


Fernando Mendoza 10-25-2010 10:00 PM

2010-10-25 Week 2 Day 1
The training
Overall today went fast and smooth even though I lacked a lot of sleeping hours. One trouble spot I have is that my hands feel very tight and uncomfortable in the snatch grip position. Again, it's almost like I put my hand in a vice width wise, and I can feel tenderness when I squeeze my hand slightly width wise. It was very distracting during the snatch push press, and it kept my focus away on driving up with the elbows.

Other than that, not much to report except it went by pretty fast.

Warmup routing with 20kg bar

Clean & Jerk (70%)

Front Squat (83%)

Snatch Deadlift (118%)

Snatch Push Press (80%)


Fernando Mendoza 10-26-2010 06:36 PM

2010-10-26 Week 2 Day 2
The training

Came in early, got out early. Really good day. The lesson I learnt from yesterday about my snatch grip came in handy - the grip of the bar OH really lies somewhere closer to the area between my index finger and my thumb, less so as it gets closer to the outer edge of the hand. Focusing on this helped me focus on driving elbows up and out as the bar got under. Since these were 60% of my snatch and clean, I was able to power them and then ride them down, a lesson I got from Greg in the seminar - "For a given weight, the power clean and power snatch should be caught at the same height as a regular clean and a regular snatch". That way I never attempt to cut power and leg drive for light lifts (a habit that might carry over to heavy lifts), and I never attempt to excessively widen my stance on receipt of bar, which would mean inconsistency between what are essentially the same lifts.

Only mistake made as far as I could see was a bad foot placement on my 2nd last 2 position snatch set. The 2nd snatch was from hang and I wasn't aggressive enough to really apply leg drive, causing me to widen my stance a bit more, and collapsed one knee on the ground, but quickly recovered to OH squat position again. That seemed no good so I repeated it and got it right.

Warmup with 20kg bar

Muscle Snatch (80%)

2 Position Snatch (60%, floor, hang)

2 Position Clean (60%, floor, hang)

Push Jerk+Jerk (60%, push, split)

Fernando Mendoza 10-27-2010 09:30 PM

2010-10-27 Week 2 Day 3
The training
Good training so far, attempted several form checks. Keeping feet flat until first pull ends and not jumping the gun on extension. Making the foot shift for the snatch and snatch balance as minimal as possible which giving full extension (on the snatch).

My biggest problem today is with the snatch balance. As the weight gets heavy, the drill ends up being more of me bounding the bar high while squatting down, rather than the fast smooth travel downwards on the bounce of the bar off the shoulders. Basically looks a bit like a snatch push press + OH squat down combination. I guess I'll stick with this weight (70kg) until it's just a rapid transition to the OH squat bottom position. I think the problem is fear of losing balance on my end. This drill is supposed to overcome it, so I guess I'm just gonna have to be more rapid both down and up (arms locked and shoulders retracted and slight shrugged up).

Squat is cool, though 126kg feels much heavier than the 120kg even though the only difference is 14 lbs. Ah well, probably am not concentrating and making it light.

Pull-ups were pleasantly surprising for the first set. 7 reps EACH FROM DEADHANG and only the last one needed a hip kip. I noticed if I put my head slightly forward of my arms, my traps get involved in the lift. Not sure if that is supposed to help or not, but it seemed to today.

Warmups with 20kg bar

Snatch (65%)
52kgx5sx2r (two extra sets cause I wanted them to be close to perfect, one was power snatched HIGH)

Clean Pull (103%)

Snatch Balance (HEAVY)
70kgx1/2r (I was balanced, I just forgot to come up and just dumped it was I was in OH squat position)
70kgx1 - HEAVY better but still not fast.

Squat (90%)

Pullups (Deadhang)
7 (PR), 4, 3 (each set ends with a kip hip pullup)

Fernando Mendoza 10-29-2010 09:35 PM

2010-10-29 Week 2 Day 4
The training
Came in rather late, and had a completely embarrassing performance today. I didn't feel negative coming in, although work was looming in the back of my head. But I didn't feel particularly content as I entered the gym, and for some reason negativity entered my head as the gym session went on. I do note that I slept badly the last couple of days, undoubtedly I was my own worst enemy there. I just couldn't perform, and today of all days was a heavy day. Really disappointing.

Warmups with 20kg

Snatch (heavy single)
70kgxmissx5 <-- have not missed this weight in over 3 months, so it was a kick in the balls
65kgxmissx4 <-- further nad stompage, dialed it in for the snatch

Clean&Jerk (heavy single)
90kgxmiss,miss,miss <-- sometimes I couldn't even clean it.
85kgxmiss,miss,miss <-- couldn't clean it felt pissy, which is not a good mood to be in for a man

Front Squat (heavy single)

Box Jumps (boxes 1, 3, 4)
(boxes 2,3,4)

The above sucked so bad, I couldn't even look at friendly people in the eye in the gym. Tomorrow's workout won't suck, but if Friday's crap, the week really means not a whole lot strength wise. Working on technique though!!

Fernando Mendoza 10-30-2010 04:37 PM

2010-10-30 Week 2 Day 5
The training
Didn't feel bad like yesterday - had much better sleep. Ate breakfast, then headed to gym. The whole training period was mostly dedicated to getting the snatch 2nd pull and 3rd pull coming together. I took some video of the pulls from mid-hang position and muscle snatches, but then, due to gross negligence on my part, and mostly laziness on my part as well, my camera ran out of batteries! I was conservative on loads for all the mid-hang pulls. One thing I've learned is how to grip with the thumb mostly on the snatch pulls. Along with chalk, this makes my wonky hook grip so much more secure - at a cost! My thumbs now burn as though I put them on a heated frying pan. Much fewer unnecessary calluses on my hand under the ring finger - which I consider a victory, since I now require less tape on my hands. Now more of it can be put on my thumbs!!

The biggest challenge to over come is to involve less hip going forward, and more total extension upwards. And more of me being closer to the bar. The mid-hangs seems to be acting as my panacea for fixing the 2nd pull extension mechanics (along with Greg's book). When I'm not concentrating on heels being down just until the 2nd pull happens, I tend to donkey kick upwards as well putting hips much too forward AKA the bow and arrow. Keeping heels down allows me to extend straight upwards. My limited experience with this is that it doesn't feel as powerful as my premature extension for some reason, although doing it correctly seems to allow me to snap my arms up into position, rather than ending with soft elbows. Then again the weight isn't huge (105#, 115#) - I need to get this going with 70kg and upwards. It's going too slowly for my liking.

As I practice more on heels down and the timing of transitioning, my arrival to the power position before the 2nd pull happens more accurately. Same deal with the clean - I was able to direct the pull vertically so well it dinged my Adam's apple! A little more practice keeping the neck back helped this, but the point is that instead of swinging the bar up, I need to extend and reverse with speed and authority.

Pull-ups resumed sucking worse than a $10 Chinese operation in the projects.

Warmup with 45lb bar

Mid-hang Snatch Practice

Muscle Snatch (Heavy single)
115lbx1s (really slow turnover)

Mid-Hang Snatch (65%)
115lbx2r <-- just to try it, and see if I could keep good form

Mid-Hang Clean + Push Jerk (65%)

2,3,1 <-- LOL

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