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-   -   Question regarding training/improvement (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6927)

sarah james 01-31-2013 10:16 AM

Question regarding training/improvement
 
Hello..
I am a crossfitter turned olympic weightlifter. I discovered crossfit about a year ago and olympic weightlifting was always my favorite part of crossfit itself. About 4 months ago I started going to a weightlifting coach while still doing crossfit workouts 2-3 times a wk in addition to 3 times a wk olympic lifting. I slowly started to do crossfit less, and finally broke my "metcon addiction" just recently by eliminating all crossfit style workouts, no traditional cardio, etc. I attend class with an olympic lifting coach three times a week for about 2 hours each time. The session consists of snatch, C&J, benchpress, either front or back squat and finishes with pulls and RDLs. I attend these classes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Monday I do squats alone, as I do not have access to olympic lifting equipment on that day. I am still relatively a beginner, I weigh 59kg and my best C&J is 62kg, snatch is 45kg, back squat is 91kg. I feel since I began olympic lifting training I have certainly gained strength specifically in my lower body..but...my max C&J and snatch are the same as they were before I began olympic lifting training. I am getting anxious to see some new PRs. The only difference is that now I can complete my 1RMs reliably and with much improved technique. Before, these maxes were sort of..wow, I can't believe I somehow threw that up there sort of messes. Now, I can hit them practically any time I try. Still, I want to see my numbers improve as I have seen others around me who started when I did doing the same.

Tamara Reynolds 01-31-2013 02:22 PM

Hi, Sarah. In the first 9 months after I left CrossFit, I didn't add anything to my snatch and clean, although my technique improved. Then, things kind off took of at the end of that first year. By the end of the second year, I had qualified for and competed at the American Open. I now have a 70 kg snatch and 85 kg clean and jerk.

So, your story sounds familiar. I know how frustrating it can be, but honestly, weightlifting is frustrating even when it is going well, haha. I am 37 years old and have very poor mobility - I don't even full snatch outside of PR weights. and my physical therapist thinks it is hilarious that insist on being a weightlifter. I figure if I can do it then anyone can.

You might relate to this story. Fair warning, there is a decent amount of profanity in it. http://www.ashevillestrength.com/art...e-upon-a-time/

The captions in the video don't have profanity but the song does if you need to mute it:


sarah james 02-01-2013 08:55 AM

Wow! You are an inspiration!! It is very interesting to hear stories of others who have left crossfit for olympic lifting. For a while it was hard to break my habit of metcons and simply doing too much...one mild case of rhabdo later after a coach's ridiculous programming..that's all it took to launch me into olympic lifting full time. I have about zero interest in crossfit anymore. I just want to lift. It is great to hear your story, really is motivating...sometimes not seeing too much improvement and dealing with the frustrations of constant technique work..it's great to hear such a success story :) So, how often do you train? I'm wondering if the three times a week is enough at this point, or if I should begin experimenting with additional days of snatch practice in particular? And honestly, what do you eat lol? I came into this in such a crossfit state of mind, ate strict paleo forever and like you found out yourself..I kind of decided that was not the best for my body. I've read in some places that olympic lifters require higher amounts of fat, not particularly large amounts of carbs...and I'm also confused as to how much I really should be eating? I obviously want strength gains..but I'm also confused as I weigh 59kg..if I should try to maintain this weight since I am closer to 58kg class..or if I should gain some to fit into 63kg..lol, I apologize for all the questions, still new to this..and I workout with all men, first time I've even had conversation with a woman who is an olympic weightlifter.

Blair Lowe 02-01-2013 06:26 PM

One of our young guys in the club cajoled me to do a WOD as he is still thinking about competing in the Open or maybe on an affiliate team. Originally he was just gonna WL to help his CF but it seems like he might be giving up on CF in due time. He's still young though so who knows.

I honestly don't mind the occasional WOD so long as it doesn't interfere with training. I miss doing stupid shit though I get really bored after 3 rounds of anything or counting too many reps to the point of I lose interest.

Are your strength numbers going up over time?

Tamara Reynolds 02-01-2013 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarah james (Post 98924)
Wow! You are an inspiration!! It is very interesting to hear stories of others who have left crossfit for olympic lifting. For a while it was hard to break my habit of metcons and simply doing too much...one mild case of rhabdo later after a coach's ridiculous programming..that's all it took to launch me into olympic lifting full time. I have about zero interest in crossfit anymore. I just want to lift. It is great to hear your story, really is motivating...sometimes not seeing too much improvement and dealing with the frustrations of constant technique work..it's great to hear such a success story :) So, how often do you train? I'm wondering if the three times a week is enough at this point, or if I should begin experimenting with additional days of snatch practice in particular? And honestly, what do you eat lol? I came into this in such a crossfit state of mind, ate strict paleo forever and like you found out yourself..I kind of decided that was not the best for my body. I've read in some places that olympic lifters require higher amounts of fat, not particularly large amounts of carbs...and I'm also confused as to how much I really should be eating? I obviously want strength gains..but I'm also confused as I weigh 59kg..if I should try to maintain this weight since I am closer to 58kg class..or if I should gain some to fit into 63kg..lol, I apologize for all the questions, still new to this..and I workout with all men, first time I've even had conversation with a woman who is an olympic weightlifter.

Thanks, Sarah. I have been training 6 days a week since the summer of 2011. At the moment, things are a bit different. I still train 6 days a week, but I am trying to get rid of some patella pain that I trained through in order to compete at the AO. But, my training schedule since the AO has been atypical in terms of volume and the exercises that I am doing. Completely changing my programming and expectations (due to switching coaches) is really what helped me start making big progress with my lifts. I am not saying that everyone can or should train the way that I have for the last 18 months, but I had a big goal, and I met it. So, I basically tell everyone to shut up.

In terms of weight, I honestly tell my lifters not to worry about it unless they are trying to qualify for a national meet or win best lifter at a local meet and need to be in a particular weight class for that. If you are competing as a 58, then training at 59 shouldn't be an issue. But, depending on how tall you are, you might eventually want to move up a weight class. I mean, I am 5'8. I was 132 lbs and meth addict lean when I left CrossFit. 60 kg is not an appropriate bodyweight for a 5'8 weightlifter. I got myself up to 69 kg and then up to 75 kg. I'm fairly underweight at the moment, but for a while, I was training at 76 kg.

In terms of diet, don't do what I do. I tend to cycle through phases of eating very well, getting tons of protein, etc., and then I go through phases where I eat a lot of donuts. I personally cannot maintain weight at all when I eat "clean," so props to those who can, but I care more about my lifts. But, if I need to cut weight, I just cycle back to eating clean. I haven't had to worry about that recently, though. How tall are you?

At the beginning, my gym was about 90% female and almost all former-CrossFitters. We're now about 50/50 male/female, about 50/50 weightlifting/powerlifting, and no one who has joined in the last year has come from CrossFit. I still get CrossFitters who want private training on their lifts, but in terms of my general gym membership, it would be very hard to tolerate being around me if you were still a member of the cult... errr.... community...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blair Lowe (Post 98931)
I honestly don't mind the occasional WOD so long as it doesn't interfere with training. I miss doing stupid shit though I get really bored after 3 rounds of anything or counting too many reps to the point of I lose interest.

I still do stupid shit too just to be funny. I mean, I find it funny. I find myself hilarious. But, it is not unusual for me to rep out some weight at the end of a workout just because I can. It's stupid because I am not that strong, but I am so much stronger than I was as a CrossFitter that I just laugh (at myself).

sarah james 02-01-2013 07:37 PM

I am 5'4 Tamara.
Yes, sometimes I really want to train more than the 3-4 days a week I currently am..but others I feel my body is dying for my rest days.
This summer I should have some more time on my hands and up the training a bit.
I plan on lifting competitively in the future, but since I am still so new to this..only about 5 months into weightlifting alone..I am still keeping those ideas in the future and focusing on training.

Blair Lowe 02-07-2013 09:12 PM

As for scaling up training days, it's something that has to be done over time I have found. I think this is more so in my case because I'm 34 and not like I was when I was 22-28 and could just train harder with better recovery.

A lot of times I find it easier to add in a strength session than it is to add a lift session. I ended up taking a break from lifting for about 3 months last year after lifting consistently for nearly 6 (with about 2 weeks off due to a small injury). That 3 months taxed me a lot as I wasn't able to just do both lifts and strength 4 or 5 days back upon starting.

For awhile there, I found it best to just do one lift per session (besides strength), if I was going to lift the next day. I actually found though I recovered better if I did both lifts in one session and then rested a day instead of one lift on back to back days but I generally did not have energy to hit both lifts in a session. I have found that I work one lift in a full fashion and the other as a variant (such as Power Clean [note I never work PC though], Hang Clean, Clean from boxes) it was a bit more doable than trying to do full snatches and clean&jerks (though I generally would do this at least one day a week during our PR Friday).

Now, I'm to the point I really like doing as I said both lifts, but one of the lifts from the hang or boxes. This was actually outlined in the Pendlay beginner program but I had to go back and read that.

This way I can do generally 2 days in a row, then a light/rest day, 2 more days, then a strength day. I don't really have the time to do double sessions per day and frankly they are a pain in the ass if you have to work and commute besides perhaps having a family or SO.

Recovery was also a big issue. I really want to train 5 days straight with strength and assistance on Saturdays but have found I'm just not up to it. Taking Wednesday light or off gives me enough rest to hit it hard come Thursday instead of just lifting pathetically on Wednesday and Thursday.


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