Making it Rain

Went to Jarrod’s OLY Lifting session.  Class of 11 people, drilling and working on the snatch and clean & jerks.  Jarrod warned that at about the one hour mark, our brains would start to shut down, and I was no exception.  Definitely a lot of information thrown at us and a lot of drills.  I have so much work to do. This post isn’t going to be very articulate, but suffice it to say – I learned stuff and stuff.

Started out with snatches.  I have a terrible stripper butt in the 3rd to 2nd position (floor to knee).  This means I lift my hips / ass before I lift my shoulders / torso.  He gave me some drills to work on to ensure that I lift them both at the same time.  We had some time to work with a heavier weight and I worked up to 80#.  One of my lifts at 80# felt good, the others I was definitely stripper butt-ing it and pressed a couple of them up. 80 was a good number for me mentally, as my previous 1RM is 90.  Kept it at 80 and didn’t go higher – and that was a smart decision.  The things I need to work on: everything.  More specifically: stripper butt, staying close to the body, not being afraid to get under it.  Didn’t try squat snatches – but will definitely be drilling those as well.


Next up was the clean and jerk session.  Same concepts with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions.  I have the most trouble when I am coming off the floor.  Stripper butt and not enough explosive hip movement.  Went to the jerk and while I usually feel confident about my jerk, didn’t feel confident after this session.  Once it gets heavier, I don’t like to get under the bar and I don’t split my feet into the position that they should be in order for me to get under.  For each person, Jarrod drew on the floor where our feet should be.  The line is where our feet should be starting.  Bisecting the line.  The front horseshoe is where my front foot should be landing, back horseshoe is where my back foot should be landing.  (Toes should be touching the front of the horseshoe).  As it got heavier, the red horseshoes is where my feet were landing.  Definitely have some work to do.

photo (1)

Played around with the clean and jerk at 115 and then I just got really, really tired.  Shoulders and arms were smoked after the last couple of days working out.  Brain was also overwhelmed with all the information and work I had ahead.  Can’t wait until the next session.


Jarrod and the Magnificent Snatch

Met with Jarrod again for another session.  It’s a very rare time where you appropriately hear “Your snatch is going to to be magnificent by the time we’re done.”  

We used the jerk boxes to practice getting explosive hips and then lifting overhead.  Pretty much a high hang snatch.  We did 7 x 2 sets in the following weight scheme: 65-70-70-70-70-70-70.  We tried to do 75, but I kept failing and getting frustrated.  I am starting to learn the difference between using my hips to push the weight, forcing it up and actually just trying to use only my muscles to get it up.  I tend to lean towards muscling up the lifts and I need to rely on form.  When my form was great, I got the lift up no problem.  It almost seemed effortless.  When I used my muscles, I got it up – but it wasn’t pretty.

We continued on the Snatch work by doing Snatch Drops, which were basically having the barbell resting on your back, hands at snatch depth, and dropping down into a an overhead squat.  They are kind of scary to do for some reason.  I can’t describe.  Maybe it’s dropping down so fast and having weight over your head.  I alternated those with Snatch Pulls, which is starting in the power snatch position and lifting the weight as high as you can without going into the rack position.  We did 5 x 3 of each.  For the snatch drops, the scheme was 45-45-45-50-50.  For the snatch pulls, the weight was 70-70-70-85-85. 

I really liked this session – and know that once I start getting all the different elements together, my snatch…will indeed…be magnificent.

Double Sunday! Kettlebells and Jarrod

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I elected to do a double session yesterday.  Rita, who was recently certified as a CF Level 1 coach, is also a kettlebell trainer as well.  She is starting a kettlebell class at Craic.  I’ve always been interested in kettlebell training, so I decided to go.  Conveniently, it was at 10:00AM and ended just as my private session with Jarrod began.  Also, I want arms and a back like Rita’s.

The KB session taught me that I am NOT coordinated.  It was run like a typical CF workout.  We started with mobility and stretching, worked on skills, and then went through a WoD.  


Turkish Get Up

Russian Swing

I STRUGGLED with the Turkish Get Up.   Especially on my left side.  I had to use a pretty low weight, but was glad to so I could work on technique.  The Russian Swing was very similar to what we do in CF classes, so that was easy enough.  I use the word “easy” in comparison to the Turkish Get Up.

Then we did the WoD which was:

Four rounds (not for time, work on technique)

  • 2 half get ups (one on each side)
  • 4 full get ups (two on each side)
  • 6 push-ups on the kettlebell (I used my knees and could barely go down)
  • 8 hike, swing, hike, park 
  • 10 Russian swings

I did not finish four rounds.  I was exhausted and trying to get the skill right.  Time ran out so we could do some ab-tastic work. This was probably the toughest part for me.  I really have to work on my core.  While I needed it, I hated every moment of it.  We did 20, 15, 10, 5 KB crunches.  Before each set, we did 1 min of planking.  I made it through the first plank minute, but after that it was pretty much a defeat for the planks after that.

Here’s a pic of the crew that braved the KB workout (taken by Craic owner / coach John McEvoy).  As you can see we’re all a bit sweaty!

So after this, it was time for my private session with Jarrod.  I immediately went up to him and said “We’re working on mobility and skill today.”  I couldn’t fathom another full workout.  And that’s what we did.  We did some shoulder mobility and hamstring / low back mobility.  All to eventually help me with better form.  The shoulder mobility totally helped me with my rack position.  After that, we worked on squat cleans.  These sessions are totally helping, and if I wasn’t so tired from the KB session, I’m pretty sure that I might have been able to PR my power clean. All in all, I ended up hang cleaning about 95#, which is 10# lower than my PR (and technically, you can put up more weight doing a power clean vs. a hang clean).

I also cheated a bit yesterday food-wise.  Had some goodies from Clear Flour Bread…but back on track today.

Today (Monday) is a rest day.  Phew!


Yesterday, I did my first private OLY lifting session with Coach Jarrod.  I went into it thinking that it was primarily mobility, form, and lifting heavy weights. Boy was I wrong.  In my session, it finally hit me that all the functional movements that we do are related.  And it’s the things that you least expect that affect your movements the most.  My workout with him was like this:

We started with the 500m row, 3 rounds.
The first round, Jarrod had me go as fast as I could and my stats were this:
Watts 204 / 1:59.8 / 38 strokes
The second round, Jarrod coached me the entire way through – concentrating on my form.  This was really hard, and I went significantly slower.  
Watts 160 / 2:09.8 / 27 strokes
The third round, Jarrod had me use the coaching he had just given me to see how I did.  As you can see, not only did I drop almost two seconds from my first round – but I also dropped the amount of rows that I had to use.
Watts 213 / 1:58 / 33 strokes
A significant thing about the times above is that when we did a benchmark 500m row during my intro classes (in February 2012), I thought I was really kicking ass at the row.  My time then? 2:17, and I guarantee you I was NOT as efficient as I was today.

Then we went into specific lifting work.  Our focus was the snatch.

Snatch Work 
Coach B warm up with PVC pipe (down-ups, down-ups-shoulders, down-up-pull, down-up-overhead)
Hang snatch
Power snatch with squat
Then, to end the lovely session, an 8 minute AMRAP
250m row 
10 KB 27# swings
10 knees to elbows
2+ 1 row, 5KB
This was hard and I was zonked.  I ate like crap the previous day and I think that this was a major factor to that.  The more crap I eat, the more I realize that it’s not worth the way it makes me feel.
The session kicked my ass and I’ve already scheduled the next one.