I’m blogging about yesterday’s Olympic weightlifting seminar as well as today’s exploits at CFZ. Why? Because I can. Today I wore a shirt with horizontal stripes. Why? Because I can.
Pete Haas from CrossFit Downtown Winston led yesterday’s seminar, focusing on three lifts: snatch, clean, and clean & jerk. Pete began with a brief overview of the four components of a lift: positioning, movement, speed, and load.
What I very much liked about the seminar was the hands-on approach, and Pete made sure to observe everyone and make corrections as needed. I also like that he focused on form – and not on lifting heavy shit. (I intentionally separated myself from those oozing testosterone, sweat, and other bodily fluids. You know who you are.) I partnered with Kevin. Britt was to my left, Will to my right, and Michael Kelley directly across from me.
I learned far too much to include in this blog. And I don’t care to do so, anyhow. I’ll merely include the most important things I learned.
1. When positioning myself for the snatch, don’t bring the bar to my legs. Instead, position the bar over my mid-foot, squat, and when my shins touch the bar that means I’m at about the right position to start the lift.
2. I squat too low at the start of the snatch. Whaaaaat? In the past I’ve not been able to squat low enough.
3. When snatching, when the bar hits my ‘tween that’s my cue to bend my arms. Not that ‘tween, folks. The bar hits below my belly button and above my junk; thus, ‘tween my junk and my belly button.
4. While my snatch grip remains very wide, my clean grip is wider than what I’ve used in the past.
5. It’s more than okay to use just two fingers to hold the bar when front squatting; however, I need to use three fingers. If I only use two fingers, I can’t “pop” the bar at the top of the front squat to reposition my hands for jerk. It appears that I have inflexible ring and pinky fingers, particularly the left-hand ring and pinky fingers.
5. At the finish of the clean & jerk, instead of focusing on pushing my back heel out I should focus instead on turning the toes of my back foot inward. It sounds like the same thing, but it’s not.
I found it interesting that most people split by putting the opposite foot of their dominant hand forward, e.g., left foot forward for right-handed people. As I’m amphibious, I should expect to be an exception. I write with my right hand (most of the time), draw and mouse click with my left hand, wear my watch on my right arm, and do something else equally well with either hand. I place my right foot forward when I split-jerk.
I am seriously contemplating having a one-on-one Olympic weightlifting session with Pete. Should I? Should I? Well, should I?
Most folks then met at Rudino’s to celebrate Nathanael’s 29th birthday. I bought him two beers and gave him a hug. I honestly don’t know what’s come over me, but I have a (dare I say) need to hug people that I genuinely like/love. I think/feel that Nathanael and Johanna (his wife) are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Michael Kelley is fat.
For this morning’s warmup, we were given the choice of doing 5 minutes of Oly lifting, double unders, or box jumps. I chose seated box jumps, jumping from a 12” to a 30” box. My hips felt incredibly tight. In all honesty, I would’ve preferred another 5 minutes working on mobility.
Maximum Effort Lower
Box Squat – 20 minutes to hit a 1RM
Burt left me for another man, namely Lux, and I felt all empty inside. Then I felt jubilation, as this meant I got to have my own damn rack and go at my own damn pace. After warming up, I lifted singles at 155, 175, 195, and 205#. My first attempt at 205 was performed with improper range of motion, according to Michael Kelley, i.e., my shins weren’t vertical to the floor. He allowed me to attempt again, and said, “Better.” I’ll take it.
We were told to aim for 80 to 90% of HBBS or LBBS 1RM and 205# is just about 85% of that – so I’m content. Not ecstatic, but content.
Michael Kelley and I have this thing that occurs when I’m attempting lifts close to or at my maximum. He’ll spot me, and as he’s doing so I sense his gravitational pull presence. I fear that he won’t let me complete the lift, so as I’m rising I’ll repeatedly say, “I got it.” Today it sounded like this. “IgotitIgotitIgotitIgotitIgotitIgotit.” He said, “I knew you had it.” Well, of course you did, Michael Kelley, for I repeatedly told you so. Thanks for paying attention.
Thruster – 7 minutes to hit a heavy single (NOT max)
My upper body is trashed, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go very heavy. I also didn’t know that no rest was allowed until 5 minutes into the activity – when Michael Kelley informed us so. Good coaching, Michael Kelley. No, I mean it. Srsly. I thrusted 95, 105, and 115#. I could’ve gone heavier but had no desire or time left to do so.
20 BB Reverse Lunges (Front Rack Position), 50% of Thruster single
Wow, this was a tremendously challenging and fun metcon! I can’t recall ever doing barbell reverse lunges, so I liked the change of pace. Even though 50% of 115 is 57.5, I rounded up to 65#, if for no other reason than to be able to drop the bar.
As this was just a 7-minute metcon, my goal was to complete all activities unbroken, and I did so. Just barely, but I did.
I was the first to complete the reverse lunges, but noticed that a few others started the second round of lunges before I did. I thought, “What the f@ck just happened? Oh, silly Paul, you forgot to do the crickets quickly!” Yes, even when I talk to myself I swear and I mistakenly refer to “grasshoppers” as “crickets”.
I completed 5 rounds + 14 barbell reverse lunges.
I finished the morning by completing 5 x 10 banded kettle bell swings using the green band. I did two rounds using the 35# kettle bell, but Michael Kelley made me use a 44# kettle bell for the remaining rounds. Michael Kelley is mean.
I completed sled pulls this evening. Yes, I pulled that damn sled yet again. Each round was 60m pulling forward and then pulling dead-lift, and I pulled 150/135, 155/140, and 160/145#, respectively. Leah requested that the back door be opened for no other reason than to see my facial expressions; wickedly painful facial expressions. Next up were 150 banded hamstring raises. I don’t like these very much. I completed the day with a 2K row in 7:55 averaging 25 strokes per minute.
On a completely unrelated topic, this season of “Breaking Bad” is spectacular.