Breaks, food and keeping calm.
Last week I tested my max lifts for the first time in about 4 months. I had just finished Gregs technique development program, so I had been working with light weights. I was pleasantly surprised when I hit a 12 kilo pr in the snatch! The excitement from this carried over into the C&J, I rushed through the warmups, and just barely managed to equal my previous max. I know I have more in me, but my brain was stuck on my snatch performance.
So the questions I have are, how long of a break do you recommend taking between the lifts on max day, is it okay to have a little nibble of food during this break, and what do you guys do to bring your excitement level down after a big lift so you can focus on the next?
Great work on the PR!
My response may reflect others' thoughts or simply be just my own, but here are my thoughts on this:
1. I normally try to take at least 20 minutes in between snatch and clean and jerk. My ideal time is 30 minutes to somewhat mimic the wait time I'll experience in a meet. I try to establish the conditions I would for a meet at all times, so I also take my time in between warm-up lifts (usually about 3-4 minutes between each lift).
2. I normally try to get something light in nature into my system, be it some beef jerky and nuts or some other type of small snack. Your adrenaline is pumping and you're slowly expending the energy (which leads me to my next point), so you should try to get something in your system to continue burning. My thought on that is that you don't need to be under you weight class anymore (only important for weigh-in), and you're about to start the brute strength portion of the competition, so why not refuel just a little? Just as a side note, you should also try to refuel after you weigh in with the same portion.
3. I don't see adrenaline being a detrimental factor. You should be pumped that you hit a massive PR! However, don't let the excitement lead you to start your next movement too early. Sit there, talk about it, keep the excitement level up, but don't really do too much of anything. The break is intended to refresh you and get you ready for the clean and jerk. Then, use that excitement to really smash through your warm-up lifts and onto another PR lift.
I hope this helps you in some way. Again, these are just my thoughts, so I'm sure others will have different ideas to throw your way.
- I would recommend around 20 minutes also. I'm usually training in a hurry, so I rarely wait more than 5 minutes between SN and C&J. If I had the time, I would go a little longer, but probably no more than 20.
- Eating- Something small, preferably with some sugar in it. A good old fashioned Snickers Bar is hard to beat. Clif Bars are good too. Whatever it is, just make sure it doesn't make you feel bloated when you start those C&Js.
- In the gym, I think it's hard to come back for a big C&J right after you've done a massive SN PR. It's easier to do it in a meet, simply because you're in competition and you know you HAVE to come up with big C&Js. The pressure is on all the way to the end. In the gym, it's different. That's why I never plan max SN and C&J on the same day in training.
Thanks for the advice! I ended up doing a lighter technique day on Saturday, and worked up to 95% of my snatch pr on sunday, followed by about a15-20 minute break. Did an abbreviated version of my general warm-up, took my time and made smaller jumps in weight on the c&j, and put up an easy lift with 3kilos more than my previous pr. I think that going forward I may keep a similar template on my heavy day, where i'll work up to 95% on one lift, and go for broke on the other. My wife will definitely make fun of me for eating a chocolate bar mid-workout, so I plan on doing that next time!
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