T Nation

I Want It All...

I haven’t really posted on here in a long time but have thought intermittently about an online training log, so I thought why not.

If anyone other than me opens up this log, I suppose the obvious place to start would be a quick intro. So my current goals, as the subject of the thread suggests, is that I am a greedy bastard with lofty goals and perhaps too much self-belief for my given lack of physical prowess; people mock because I assume I can do anything. Nothing wrong with positive mental attitude. Anyway, I am not over 35. I am getting close though, and my body certainly feels closer to geriatric than juvenile some days but I wanted to start a log here so I can keep an easily accessible record of my progressions.

My goals. Well I just want to be a badass mofo which encompasses learning the olympic lifts, so increasing snatch and clean and jerk is my priority, but I like having a strong upper body and actually looking like I lift weights. So I train my bench, military press, back and do other stuff to keep me balanced. I am however, horrible. My leg strength and hip mobility is really lacking currently - embarrassingly so - so one of my motivators for this log is for me to keep an eye on this but to also shame me into posting how awful my lower body strength is currently. That way if people read this stuff, I have to work harder not to embarrass myself online. In addition to the above, I like to stay lean (hands up, I am a fat, fat man trapped inside a thinner man’s body), so I am also losing a little bit of body-fat and improving my body-composition.

I told you I wanted it all.

Friday 18th Jan

BW: 82kg / 180lbs

Morning:

Hip traction / band-distraction stuff, hybrid yoga/mobility stuff I make up.

Squats: up to 150kg x 5 x 1 (sets, reps). These felt rough. My depth was great but groove was nasty, so I kept them sub-maximal.

Snatch: up to 80kg for 3 easy singles.

Afternoon:
Snatch: worked up to 90kg for 1. Form was really off today and I started missing after this when I moved up weight, so I moved onto the next exercise.

Clean and Jerk: 60kg, 80kg, 100kg, 110kg, 120kg x 1, 125kg (miss jerk, clean was good), 125kg (great clean, miss jerk; head was not in it)

Cable pullthroughs: 3 sets x 25 reps

1 arm dead-stop rows: worked up to 45kg x 2 x 12 (sets x reps)
Some curls for good measure.

Although I felt pretty good today my form was really off and my strength was down. It showed on squats and snatch. I am at the end of a pretty good training phase and have made some great gains in technique and strength (on some key lifts for me). My leg strength hasn’t budged though. My pressing strength is returning to old levels which is rewarding. I’ve been pressing sub-maximally for high reps and it seems that every week or 2 I make tangible and fairly big improvements. So after a lower volume week I will use the same model for my lower body as I do my upper body pressing.

For my pressing lifts I had been working on sets of 10 and switch to 5s for a little while then 3s. A simple linear model. But for some reason, its been working great. Sometimes its the simplest of things that are most effective. I’ve just finished a 3-week block of 10s and hit recent PR lifts, next week I go to 5s.

You got in here and you’re not over 35?

NURSE!.. NURSE!!

Seriously though, if you can snatch 90kg at 180 lbs bodyweight then you aint got weak legs!

Cheers Brett,

I think I am in that grey area; not quite 35+ not really 25 anymore either. I like this forum more I think. People seem nicer.

Thanks for the kind words. I suppose I am being harsh but its all relative. I’ve lifted a bit of weight a few years ago and I hate to be one those people that used to be somebody.

Welcome. We may be a bunch of curmudgeons but we’re all trying. Gotta get used to the 2.2 conversion in this one. I can finally say “nice snatch” without getting slapped.

Sunday 20th Jan,

BW: 81.4 Kg / 179lbs

Warmed up with my usual band distraction stuff. I adapted some of Kelly Starret’s exercies and experimented to find what works for me and these have made a nice difference to how I feel. I followed this with my normal mobility stuff. Opens up this hips (always makes me smile when people say that, childish I know) and gives a nice burn in the glutes and gets me going,

Paused Snatch at the knee:

40kg 50kg, 60kg x 3, 70kg, 80kg x 2, 85kg x 1, 90kg x 1, 95kg x 1(PR)

With these I pull the bar from the floor to the low-hang position and hold for a mental 3-count. They’re rough as they reduce all stretch-reflex but they have really taught me to be patient and stay over the bar. Also have been good for posture and 2nd pull strength.

I do these with straps (not a fan of straps) and today they kept slipping during my pull which caused arm bend at around the knee. The net result was too much tension in the upper body so I caught the 95kg with bent arms and tweaked my right shoulder in the process. If I can get the straps in tight I am fine, but if they are loose they cause all sorts of problems for me. So I try to limit them. Anyway, hit a PR and felt good for more weight but decided against moving up because the same thing would have happened again and I may have hurt my shoulder more.

Cleans:

60kg, 80kg, 100kg, 110kg, 120kg x 2 (recent PR)

My clean pull was slightly off but I have a very strong 2nd pull so I can compensate for sub-optimal positions every now and then. Managed to do so today and pull off a recent rep PB. My goal for my training cycle was to hit 120 x 2 and I did so today. So all good.

Squats:

worked up to 140kg x 5 x 1 (sets x reps)

These felt rough. My hips were really tight when I started these and I couldn’t warm up into them. Also the position was wrecking my shoulder after that snatch so it was hard to fully focus on the lift. My groove / stroke is really off so after this week is over (on a deload week), I am upping my frequency of squats but keeping the weights light and re-grooving my positions. I need to get these back up to 190kg or so.

Barbell Hip thrusts Supersetted with Wide Grip Pullups to chest:

90kg x 20, BW x 10
120kg x 15, BW + 10kg x 10
140kg x 15, BW + 16kg x 9 (bastard, wanted 10for a recent 10RM PR)
150kg x 15, BW + 14kg x 9
120kg x 20, no pullups

Split-stance Cable pullovers

25kg x 10, each leg
30kg x 10, each leg
35kg x 10 each leg

These are a core exercise that also really stretched the anterior hip and gets the glute and anterior core pretty hard. I like these. My posture feels immense after I have done them.

So, today was a mixed bag. I hit PRs of sort on the weightlifts but my squats were pretty awful. No need to beat myself up about my squat because I know what I need to do to sort it out. I am not a natural squatter and I seem to lose strength on this lift really quickly but i seem to respond to high frequency squatting, so the plan is to squat up to 5 x per week and make sure my positions and technique are drilled in. The weights wont be challenging; the goal is form and posture for now.

Anyway, quick session today. No pulls / deadlift exercises meant I was in and out fairly quick for a Sunday morning.

[quote]hawkcapt1912 wrote:
Welcome. We may be a bunch of curmudgeons but we’re all trying. Gotta get used to the 2.2 conversion in this one. I can finally say “nice snatch” without getting slapped.

[/quote]

The snatch joke never gets old. Thanks for stopping by and yeah, sorry for the Kg thing, you may need a calculator handy!

I don’t know much about Olympic lifting but I’m a fan of progress (congrats on the bigger numbers) and of snatch jokes.

[quote]giterdone wrote:
I don’t know much about Olympic lifting but I’m a fan of progress (congrats on the bigger numbers) and of snatch jokes.[/quote]

Thanks for stopping by git (British folk will probably smile at that). Progression is what its all about. Sometime just seems to take longer than we’d like though eh? I think goal setting is fundamental to long-term success in training. You need something to aim for, to get motivated for; to think about and achieve. Its all self-efficacy.

Monday 21st January

BW: 180lbs / 81.8kg

Well it was a snow-day for me. I couldn’t get into work. My car looks pretty but it isn’t functional in bad weather it seems. Luckily with my job, I have the flexibility to work at home sometimes, so I was able to do so today. I have a bit of a commute to work, so have drive a small distance every day. I set off and got 3/4 of the way there before I had to turn back. I did, however, manage to get to a local gym this evening and do some training. I was supposed to do some power snatch and power clean + power jerk today along with my pressing, but with training at a commercial gym that was never gonna happen, instead:

Squats:
70kg x5 (paused)
90kg x 5 (paused)
100kg x 5 (paused)
120kg x 1
140kg x 1
150kg x 1
160kg x 1

Technique was much better and i was bouncing quite nicely. The 160 was harder than it should be not too bad.

Standing overhead press:
50 x 5
60 x 5
70 x 5
77.5kg x 3 x 5 (sets x reps)

supersetted with:

Standing Bent over DB Row (elbows out to side, for upper back / rear delts)
22 - 24kg x 10 (for each set of pressing)

Bench Press
70kg x 5
100kg x 5
117.5kg x 3 x 5 (sets x reps)

supersetted with

Standing bent over DB Row (elbows by the side, for the lats)

24kg x 10
28kg x 10
32kgx 10
36kg x 10

The presses were pretty easy, the 77.5kg and 117.5kg represent mt current 9 RM and 11 - 12RM for military press and Bench press, so the weights were OK. I am working towards a 100kg Military (hopefully at 80kg) and a 150 - 155kg Bench at the same weight I think. Time will tell. Presses in this session progress by volume but remain sub-max, so next week I will do 4 x 5, the following week 5 x 5, etc.

Tuesday 22nd January

Didn’t weigh myself today

When at work I can split my training up into 2 smaller sessions (I am lucky). So I do my first sessions at about 7am and then finish the rest off after work. Here is my morning session:

Snatch Pull with Rebend + Snatch from Low Hang:

40kg x 1 + 1
50kg x 1 + 1
60kg x 1 + 1
70kg x 1 + 1
80kg x 1 + 1
85kg x 1 + 1
87.5kg x 2 - 3 misses, then 1 + 1 (PR)
90kg x 1 + 1 (PR)
92.5kg x 3 misses, then 1 + 1 (PR)

I actually hate this exercise. In fact, I think I hate all hang lifts. I feel like the line of pull is different and I seem to catch them too high (more of a power snatch in some cases). However, today I think I may have figured out how to correct this. Anyway, got some PRs which was nice. I feel like I have a lot more in me on my snatch at the moment, just a case of making sure that my positions and timing are correct.

Chinups: Bodyweight

3 x 15

PM

Paused Clean + Jerk
60 x 2
80 x 2
100 x 1
110 x 1
115kg x 1
120kg x miss jerk,PR paused clean

With these I pause at the knee. The most I have done thus far was 110kg for 2 reps, tonight I wanted 115kg for a single, which was comfy. The 120kg clean was good, I caught it a little forward as I didn’t finish the pull as much as I should have but recovered OK. The pause really adds to the difficulty of the lift.

Front Squats, Paused in hole
60 x 5
80 x 5
90 x 3
100 x 1
110 x 1
115kg x 1
120kg x 1 (long pause)

Feeling more confident with my squats now. These weren’t maximal but definitely tough. I need to improve my ankle mobility though, although it is much improved.

Split-stance cable pullover, superset with single leg hip thrust:

4 sets each leg for 15 reps

Side lying plank flexion (feet up on bench)

3 sets x 15

After clean + Jerk I did a bunch of core stuff. Well it seems I need to work on my jerk. Haven’t done much dedicated work on the jerk in a while. After this week I will add in some extra technique work for it.

Wednesday 23rd January:

Didn’t weigh myself today

Today was a recovery day so in the morning and evening I did a bunch of mobility and activation work. The mobility work consisted of various band distraction exercises working on the hip capsule and ankle joints. I also did various glute activation exercise and worked on the bottom position of my squat.

I always feel amazing after doing stuff like this. I could quite easily spend a couple of hours just doing various mobilizations and other such stuff. Actually, speaking of which, there are a few in the gym that seem to do just that and conveniently seem to forget about the hard work, but I digress.

The thing with this stuff is consistency. I’ve made massive inroads over the past couple of years on my mobility, but it really is a full-time job. Mobilizations like this sadly don’t last much after you have done them, if you create new range, you have to strengthen the musculature and tissues in that new range.

Thursday 24th Jan
No weight today either

AM:

Power Snatch:
40kg, 50kg, 60kg, 70kg, 75kg, 80kg, 82.5kg x 1

Not bad. My recent best is 85kg and my all time PR is 90 or 92.5kg (need to check). I will keep these a little lighter over the coming weeks and use this to work on my arm action. I felt too much tension in my arms today for my liking

Military Press:
50kg x 5
60kg x 5
70kg x 5
75kg x 5
82.5kg x 5
77.5kg x 5
75kg x 5

Supersetted these with:

Bent Over DB Row, elbows abducted

22.5kg for each set of military press

Not bad really. I didn’t feel too great this morning and was expecting the military press to feel harder. Later on will be Power Cleans and Bench.

PM:

Power Clean + Power Jerk:
60kg, 80kg, 90kg, 100kg x 1

Power Clean:
100kg x 1
110kg x 1
115kg x no way a a power clean(the weight drove me to the bottom, never had that happen before)
115kg x 1

Bench Press:
60kg x 5
80kg x 5
110kg x 5
122.5kg x 5
117.5kg x 5
112.5kg x 5

Neutral Pullups:
BW + 15kg x 3 x 10 (sets x reps)
BW + 15kg x 8 (wanted 10 but was way fatigued)

Then did some pushdowns and db upright rows.

Hit my training goals for today in the presses(military and bench). They were a little more difficult than I would have liked though, but the drop in reps and increase in weights always feels hard and heavy at first. I may have to micro-load next week and increase the weights by a small amount if I want to progress for another 2 weeks (I have fractional discs). I’m beginning to wonder where my bench is at. I always bench in a fatigued state and I would be intrigued to see what it would be like fresh.

Power cleans were pretty funny. Ive never had a weight push me to bottom before, its a testament to my mobility work that it happened actually. Cool.

Friday 25th

Am:

Did my band distraction exercises and glute work. I seem to be improving with this stuff quite regularly now. Happy with where my mobility is going.

Squats:
70kg x 5
90kg x 5
110kg x 5
130kg x 5
125kg x 5
120kg x 5

Snatch:
40kg x 2
50kg x 2
60kg x 1
70kg x 1
80kg x 1, 1, 1,

Although the squat weight was only 130 it felt a little more difficult than I’d hoped (I did do at 7am), however on my last back off set something awesome happened. I moved my feet in a touch and kept a toes forward stance as best I could and I externally rotated hard at the hips while descending. During the decent as I reached the hole, I also forcefully maintained my arch thinking about keeping my ass back and down towards the heels The net result was that my knees hit my armpits at the bottom and I popped up like crazy. For the next 3-week cycle I will not be in a hurry to progress the weight I am lifting on the squat and will be drilling this feeling in. I was finally able to get my hip external rotators into the movement and I felt much more powerful and stable as a result.

After this I did some light snatches. The revelation of my squat really opened the hips up and I felt better able to utilize my hips. However I felt rusty for some reason. When i did the 80kg I felt like I my precision was off. It happens with snatch. Its such a precise but unstable movement.

PM:

Snatch:
40, 50, 60, 70kg x 2, 80, 90, 95kg x 1, 100kg x misses (lost count)

Clean and Jerk:
60, 80kg x 2, 100, 110, 120kg x 1, 125kg x miss jerk three times,

Band Hypers
Blue band x 4 x 25

Squatting single-leg band abduction (what a ridiculous name, don’t know what else to call them)

4x 25,each leg

Deadstop dumbell rows:

worked up to 45kg x 2 x 20(sets x reps),each arm

Curls: didnt pay much attention.

Although no PRs today there were lots of positives to take away here, so I remain optimistic. Firstly, I snatched up to 97.5% of my current 1RM with no misses. Although I didn’t get 100kg (220 lbs) today, I was close most times I missed. My first miss I actually caught it in the bottom but lost my right leg forward,which was weird The weight wasn’t heavy at all. I just need to stay relaxed and not let my head get me (I get a little nervous sometimes). This weight will go very soon. Also, the power jerks yesterday really benefited my dip and drive today on my split jerk; it’s like I have just remembered how to do it again (this seems to happen to me a lot in weightlifting). That 125kg Clean and Jerk will go soon too.

Anyway, that is the end of my last 4-week training block and I start a new one on Sunday which means more reps, more volume and lots of hard, nasty work. Goals are to improve 2nd pull strength on snatch and remain controlled. I’d also like to work on moving my feet out more on the receive but I want to focus on one goal at a time, the movement is too complicated to try and change everything at once. For clean and jerk my main focus is my dip and drive on the jerk and increase my leg strength, which will be done by improving my squat and front squats.

My new program will reflect the goals above and if the success of my last 4-week block is to go by, I will be smashing my recent PRs, or smash myself in the process anyway.

At some point I will also figure out how to get videos. That should keep me honest with technique.

Good work Dave!

Cheers Sen, got a long way to go but things are getting better. Thanks for stopping by.

I took Saturday off and ate a ton of carbs (well and Friday night too). The past couple of days I was getting hungrier and hungrier which is a good indication that leptin levels are getting low. So Fri night and Saturday I ate quite few more carbs and Kcalories compared to what I had been doing. Anyway, it worked. Today (Sunday) my appetite is fine and I can go back to my kcalorie deficit.

Sunday 27th

BW: 81.8kg (180lbs)

Paused Snatch (at knee)

40, 50, 60, 70kg x 2
80, 85kg x 1
90kg x 1, 1, miss, miss miss (at this point I dropped back down; 2 work sets)
80kg x 1
85kg x 1
87.5kg x 1
90kg x 1, 1, miss, miss, 1 (3 work sets)

Paused Clean (at knee)

60, 80, 90, 100kg x 1
110kg x 1, 1
115kg x 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 (5 work sets)

Front Squats:
worked up to 110kg x 2 x 3 (sets, reps)
115kg x 3 x 3

Snatch Pull + Rebend, aka, Chinese Pulls:

80kg x 3
100kg x 4 x 3

Band Hyperextensions:

4 x 25 with blue band

Straight arm db Pullover (with 2 DBs squeezed together)

20kg x 20 x 2

I wasnt best pleased with my snatches. The weight was fine but my positions were slightly off I think. I was being distracted by some gym idiots who were too close and too loud next to me. My first pull was a little short. I would have liked to have done 90 x 5 x 1 with no misses and dominated the weights, but it was a little sketchy. I probably should have stayed at 87.5kg and hit my reps there, instead I went into the session with a number in my head. Sometimes I need to focus on process goals, rather than outcomes.

Cleans were fine and I was very aggressive with the weights and these were a non-issue. Progressing these next week will be fine (doubles with the same weight).

Front squat form and depth was great, these will start taking off soon I think. Hard to believe I front squatted just shy of double bodyweight in the summer (no belt). The snatch pulls were awesome. I was pretty pissed off with my snatch so I used the pulls to vent a little but also work out what a wrong earlier. I felt like I could have powersnatched the 100.

A mixed bag, some negative but lots of positives.

[quote]Dave Rogerson wrote:
I did a bunch of mobility and activation work. The mobility work consisted of various band distraction exercises working on the hip capsule and ankle joints. I also did various glute activation exercise and worked on the bottom position of my squat.

I always feel amazing after doing stuff like this. I could quite easily spend a couple of hours just doing various mobilizations and other such stuff. Actually, speaking of which, there are a few in the gym that seem to do just that and conveniently seem to forget about the hard work, but I digress.

The thing with this stuff is consistency. I’ve made massive inroads over the past couple of years on my mobility, but it really is a full-time job. Mobilizations like this sadly don’t last much after you have done them, if you create new range, you have to strengthen the musculature and tissues in that new range. [/quote]

You will get on like a house on fire with Alexus when she starts posting again. She’s really in to Olympic lifting and all the mobility and activation malarkey.

Please don’t take offence, but I was just wondering why you weigh yourself so often? Did you used to be overweight?

You’re really making me want to start snatching again.