I will be starting a new cycle in June and need help deciding which program to follow from the CA Book of Programs. For the record I’m 45 y/o, 180 lb, lifting for about a year (uncoached), 1RM’s are (in pounds), SN 147; C&J 180; BS 265; FS 225; PS 125; PC 160. I have pretty decent flexibility and am not dealing with any injuries, knees are just fine.
Four days a week, 1-2 hours per, is about all I can afford.
I’d say my biggest struggle (besides being a weak ass ) is the clean. I have just never got a feel for it, the first pull especially. My technique isn't complete crap, but… well, you be the judge (please judge, any input would be appreciated). My goal is to compete. Pretty silly with the above numbers, I know, but what the heck, I’m doing it anyways.
I have really hit a wall here. I've come to the conclusion that doing a Bulgarian-ish program for an uncoached newb at my age is probably not the best route.
All the programs look great, but I’m wondering if there may be one that’s best for someone in my circumstance. Has anyone been in my shoes, or coached someone in my shoes and have success with one of the programs?
Sorry for the longwindedness, but any suggestions would be appreciated.
I think there's just some inconsistency between your lifts. For example, the dynamic start on your first snatch had a lot more movement than the dynamic start on the second one. Your feet are also very close together for how tall you are, especially on the clean, which may be the reason that the first pull feels awkward. I used to start with my feet very close together until a coach pointed it out and it made a pretty big difference for me.
You've only been lifting for a year so at this point just about any good program will get you results. The most important thing is to just spending time lifting. I've spent the past few months (and by that I mean almost a year...) obsessing over little details like which specific program to use that really doesn't matter as much as I made it seem in my head. Being overly analytic made me lift inconsistently and get poor results. But my biggest takeaway from this past year is that unless you've been lifting for a reaaally long time just about any well written program will get you great results when it is used consistently. So don't worry too much about which specific cycle to use, because if you're anything like me that will just drive you crazy lol. Pick something that looks fun and stick with it!
I know it was an odd request, but thought someone might have some input. I agree that I may have been over thinking it a bit. I decided to go with the Strength Development Cycle as it's 12 weeks and that's about how long it is until the next competition in this area.
Thanks for your observations on the lifts. I'll try widening my stance and see how that works.
Awesome, I'm glad the wider stance helped! And yes, I probably should have mentioned that the arms will also go out wider with a wider stance. Wider grip helped me out a lot too. When I was starting I would clean with my hands right where the knurling starts towards the center of the bar, but now my grip is only 1-2 inches away from the ring marks. Bottom line, basically just experiment with things until you find what feels best for you. Obviously stick to good mechanics (i.e. keeping the bar close, etc.) but do what feels most natural because I've found that that generally has been the most efficient (allowing me to lift the most weight and keeping me injury free) as well.
I don't know if you've experimented with this at all in the past, but you can try turning your feet out more to see if that helps too, for people with longer legs that seems to create more clearance around the knees on the first pull.
On the clean, the main issue is that hesitation in the middle of the pull. You're pushing your knees too far back so you end up in a bad position when you need to start the second pull. As the bar passes the knees, keep the chest up rather than allowing yourself to lean over the bar so much - in other words, keep standing up rather than leaning over. Get the bar to mid thigh with slightly more bend in the knees, vertical shins, and shoulders just slightly in front of the bar. That alone will probably help with the hitching, but you can also be focused on continuously pushing against the ground with the legs, and then increasing that push at mid-thigh when you start exploding at the hips.