Monday, July 26, 2010

Old Squat 1RM

It's week 7 now and the cycle has brought me to my old B.Squat 1RM for a single. The fun part is that it was a piece of cake. Yay me.

Snatch Pull off blocks



Plank holds w/45lb plate x2

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Amundson Goal Setting

On Friday night we had something special go down at our gym. It was the first ever Greg Amundson goal setting seminar. Greg, one of the original CrossFit bad-asses, has been around since CrossFit was first developed here in Santa Cruz. He had lot's of great stories about the old days and team 6AM, a group of athletes that Glassman used to test the limits of human performance. They were stories of inspiration and motivation and ones that I will remember always.

The seminar reminded me of many goal setting, team bonding, and communication workshops I've done with my college and professional teams before. Only this time it was much more inspiring. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that it was being run by a real athlete who I admire. It wasn't just a person or small group of "professionals" who went and got certified to teach people about this stuff, but by someone who has and still does live it and breath it. Greg Amundson is a person who has consistently pushed his physical limits by exercising and mastering the mental game of positive inner dialogue and goal setting. He gave a fresh and enthusiastic perspective on these topics and at the end of the night 60+ lucky people walked away inspired and ready to conquer their goals.

Having said that, here are a few of my new goals as an athlete:
1 Month: Squat 300lbs/136kg

6 Months: Snatch 185lbs/84kg, C&J 220lbs/100kg, qualify for Americans, compete as a 63 which requires losing an additional 6lbs/3kg of body weight.

1 Year: This is a tough one because I really don't have a solid grasp or concept of what I am capable of. I am consistently surprising myself. For example, if you had asked me a little over a year ago (when I first trained with Coach Burgener for a CrossFit video and my PR was 118lbs/54kg) what my goal would be- I would have NEVER thought 175lb Snatch would be possible EVER let alone in 1 year. I would have under shot by a long shot. Probably said 135lbs. Now all of the sudden here I am just short of 180lbs (barely missed it recently). So what I envision in 1 year is Snatching 200lbs/90kg, C&J 240lbs/110kg and becoming a nationally competitive Olympic lifter.

7 Day: Get a full 7 hours of sleep each night, foam roll and ice everyday, focusing on recovery during a heavy squat week in which I'll be squatting my previous 1RM of 275lbs/125kg. Drink at least 65oz of water everyday. Only drink coffee before 2PM. Keep my diet clean and free of sugar.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Less Volume, More Weight

Greg and Aimee came by to train at my gym today which made squatting much more fun. Combine that with less volume and more weight and you've got yourself a good day.

Snatch Pulls



Good Mornings

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Coaching Day

Today was a fairly light day. Not that it was necessarily supposed to be- I was supposed to start at 50% of my max Snatch and move up 5% each rep until I couldn't go up anymore. But I was kind of beat. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep and Tuesdays are my really busy day.

It's pretty amazing how much energy coaching can take out of you. That's not meant to be a complaint at all. I love coaching and would sure rather be teaching stuff I love to people who are eager to learn it than be sitting in a cubicle somewhere zoning out on a computer. But man, it's tiring. On Tuesdays I teach 5 hours straight in the morning. Then I squeak in my workout, followed by another 2-4 hours of coaching pitching. It's both rewarding and draining and worth being in my field.

Are there any coaches out there who agree when I say that every hour of coaching (assuming you are alert, attentive and, well, good) is equal to about 3 hours of office work?

I never failed but called it good at 153lbs because my shoulder was feeling a little aggravated.

Snatch Balance

GHD Sit Up

Monday, July 12, 2010

Will Post For Food

I've been catching a lot of flack lately for not posting very often. Apparently there's people out there who want to know what I'm up to (who me?). But getting butt ass strong can be a pretty monotonous process. It takes a certain mind set and level of discipline to keep on a program designed exclusively for strength and mastery of a specific set of skills. Namely, the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Otherwise known as Olympic lifting.

It's quite different than the randomly varied programming associated with general physical preparedness (although in some circles training for GPP is impressively evolving beyond randomness- but that's a whole topic in itself). It is quite structured, mathematically calculated, redundant (by comparison). It requires precision, and repeated execution of fine tuned motor pattern; hundreds and thousands of repetitions actually. It requires intense focus, and patience for both progression and time. It takes a deep appreciation for movement and body awareness and calls for a high level of intelligence and athleticism (symbiotic in nature- another good topic for a later post).

Strength training for the Olympic lifter is quite the opposite of a common method of training for GPP in which movements, loads, and time domains in both strength and metabolic energy systems are randomly varied. Training for GPP tends to be exciting for people. After all, it is always different, it is very social, and you always leave feeling like you "got a good workout in." And although it does not yield incredible strength gains or mastery of technique in a single discipline, it does get you generally fit (by definition).

This is precisely why most GPP folks who decide they want to try "specializing" by switching over to Olifting don't actually stick with it. They quickly realize that it will require everything I've listed above. They get bored. They lose patience and focus, then decide to go run in circles and do a bunch of burpees and wall balls:) -don't hate, I'm just poking fun and I've almost been there already in my new training. Well, not with the wall balls.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love CrossFit and the benefits it yields to the average person in terms of fitness, overall health, confidence, and empowerment. I have seen hundreds of people better their lives through CrossFit in every way- from the physical health improvements like increased bone density, complete remission of rheumatoid arthritis, people going off of prescription drugs for things like high cholesterol and blood pressure; to the empowerment brought on by doing pull ups for the first time, learning a muscle up, reaching strength PR's; not to mention seeing people improve their self confidence and social lives, improving their relationships and having their new healthy lifestyles rub off on those they love. I've seen these great results in others and in myslef as an athlete. I coach it, I live it, I breath it.

CrossFit will always be there for me as long as I live. Heck, some of the best CrossFitters in my gym are in their 60's. But at this point in my athletic career, I'm ready for one last challenge. And let's face it, time's a tickin. As an athlete I'm going to give Olympic lifting all of my focus for the next little while and see where it takes me. I've heard that female lifters peak in their 30's (I don't have any scientific validity to back this up, it's just something I've heard) and I'm exactly 30. I've taken on the softball world and won championships. I've taken on the CrossFit world and won a regional championship. And now I'm ready to take on Olympic lifting. I'm part of Catalyst Athletic's weightlifting team and in week 5 of training. After just 5 weeks of specialized training I've already gained a ton of strength (I just snatched 80kg and C&J 93kg- thats 175lbs and 205lbs respectively). I'm excited to put my love of precision and a good challenge to use and I am having a blast. This isn't a goodbye to CrossFit, but only an intermission in an attempt to master one last sport while I have the chance.

Anyhoo, I'll be posting my workouts here from now on so feel free to check on in. Train hard ya'll!

Snatch Pulls



Good Mornings

then 3x12 Kipping Pull Ups- I just wanted to see if I could still do them. I'll probably get busted for that;)