The 6 Million Dollar Man
Sadly I'm talking Zimbabwean dollars in 2008, which is about 0.8 US cents.
So, I started on a treck to get good at olympic lifting. I achieved made it to a snatch max of 105lb and a C&J max of 135lb. Unfortunately an attempt at 140lb tweeked my low back during the receipt of the clean.
So, now I'm two days into getting my back heeled up and I'm looking at a great new opportunity; starting from scratch again.
So want do I want to do?
I want to spend the next 12 months building myself up to get to be a good olympic lifting technician. I want to be more injury resistant and mobile in so far as it helps my continued capability to train and improve my olympic lifting.
Who am I?
I'm 32, 6'3", 240lb. Never an athlete, always a bridesmaid. I'm running about 24% BF (electro-resistance thingy), so I've got some lb to lose for sure, but not sure how accurate that # is. My back is obviously a little messed up, but I'm icing and rolling and stretching. I'm married and have a 6mo old daughter which means I've got about 6 hours a week (2 hours x 3days) to train.
My mobility is limited (shocking). The verticalness of my torso needs work. OHS are a challenge at the bottom as a result. Even in my weightlifting shoes I need to stick 2.5lb plates under the heels to get a real upright torso. I know that often means lack of ankle flexibility, which is at least part of the problem, but I never feel any tension in my calves/heels. It "feels" like my hips need to be farther forward, could that be?
Anyway the specifics of my problems aside, what do you all think the "order of operations" should be? My thoughts are as follows, but I'm very open to input.
Phase 0 (as required): back repair
Phase 1 (1-2 months): Mobility - Hot yoga? Have my massage therapist PNF me to oblivion?
Phase 2 (2-3 months): Fundamentals - Squat, pull, and press variations, minimal snatch/CJ work.
Phase 3 (2-3 months): Piece-wise lift work. From 1st to 3rd pull work piece-wise variations of the snatch and C&J (i.e. snatch grip dead lifts, snatch pulls, tall snatches, snatch balance, sotts press).
Phase 4 (2-3 months): Traditional 8-12 week training cycle from Greg's book, assess deficiencies and program accordingly.
The short of it is that I am, for all intents and purposes a pretty deconditioned and very novice person and I want to get better at o-lifting. How should I prioritize my efforts?
Hey Jeff, I feel your pain. I've got a 10 month old at home, am fat and have back pain, arm/shoulder flexibility issues and a torn groin that's healing slowly.
I have a bit of advice, and then a couple of q's.
1) mobilize every day. Spend some time in a deep squat w/ a vertical torso and sometime stretching your hip flexors every single day
1b) while you are healing, eat a ton of good food...eating too little while you are recovering is a good way to not recover.
2) when you can (ie cleared by a doc or something), then start adding all varieties of squatting and pulling volume. Start relatively light and work your way up. Do high volume for positions you want to improve and do lower volume w/ higher weights for strength that you want to gain.
3) sprinkle in a bunch of the exercises from Greg's article on the P-Chain...its worth the 2.50 I paid for it.
4) when that feels like you're healthy, start doing the full lifts. with light weight in singles and doubles. Or follow one of greg's beginner cycles that he has on the website or in his book.
Where are you? do you have access to a good coach? What equipment do you have access to?
Take Care and Good Luck!
Hey Matt, thanks for the input!
I'm in the Phoenix area and there are some good coaches around; Joe Micela (sending Sara Robles to the London this summer) being one. That said, coaching is a bit cost prohibitive for me personally, at least with regularity. I do plan on attending, back allowing, a USAW level 1 coaching cert at the end of May.
Personally I've got a cheap bar and some iron weights, not even a squat rack sadly. I had been doing training for o-lifting specifically at a crossfit affiliate but that's paused now that I'm healing up. I was also doing it for free which wasn't going to be lasting much longer.
All that said I can get access to squat rack and all that so that I can do lots of slow lift work, but no bumpers. I have dreams of saving up the cash to buy some, but that's a little bit of a ways off. Fortunately I lift some pretty light weights so I can buy a little at a time as my capabilities grow.
All that is part of the reason I structured my plan with serious oly stuff farther out, it fit my equipment procurement plan a little better.
Maybe this one?
Or this one?
I have to admit that I get a bit nervous when I hear people are doing much C/J and Snatch work at their crossfit affiliate. I've lifted w/ some of the guys that are oly lifting certified by CF and there seems to be a very wide range in quality. Ugly form at light weight and high reps can hurt you, no matter how conditioned you are.
Its probably worth it in terms of long term health care costs to pay for a good coach, rather than a bad coach (or no coach). From what I understand, spine surgery isn't cheap.
I'm going to try to keep my reply focused but since you addressed a lot in your post I'll address what I can.
What did you do to your lower back? How tweeked? What type of pain? Like a "see the DR" type injury or something minor? Having had both types of injuries through the years I ask this question because putting the doctor off longer may not be the best COA.
6 hours of week is plenty of time. 2 hour sessions might be a little long but I'd rather have more time than too. 10-15 minutes of warmup (Greg has done several articles on this) and there is a plethora of good warmup stuff around the web. 1 example from Greg here: http://www.catalystathletics.com/art...articleID=127), either snatch or clean work and then accessories followed by mobility/stretching/recovery stuff maybe some conditioning (not meaning in a met con way, could be sprints or whatever)
With the info stated above it's hard to say. A good resource for self-education/self-torture is the mobility WOD just don't go overboard with it. There are over 400+ videos detailing different things, some things I think are a bit hokey but most of it is solid. He address squat depth in a lot of the videos.
Planning is good, sounds solid but 1st thing is first is getting coaching or attending a cert or something. I Oly'ed really poorly my first year+ coaching made a huge difference.
While your back is injured, something you can begin doing is take walks, i know it's not the most glamourous but it gets you on your feet, maybe throw in some mobility/flexibility stuff at the end.
A few days later it's a little stiff and somewhat sore, but the more I move the better if feels, nothing sharp, just sore.
I've messed with the Mobility WOD stuff in the past but I should probably just make it a part of my daily life. I'm sure my do most of it while using my daughter as a counterweight. Frankly just trying to move like her would be good mobility work.
As for the length of time, I'm including my warmup and post-hab stuff. I find a need a lot of warmup to get decent ROM, maybe the mobility focus will help that a little.
Thanks again, I'll let everyone know how it comes along!
Jeff, where are you located in Phoenix?? I live at 16th and Highland right now (apartment with garage). You would be welcome to come workout with me 1-2 times a week. I can help you with some technique and flexibility too.
Are you going to the Canyon summer Games May 12th?? Even to watch?? I'll be there helping to coach some of our lifters, so we can at least meet.
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