Friday, December 31, 2010

Goal Time

My strength and conditioning coach in college (who was a major inspiration in my life) once said to me, "Jocelyn, it just gets better." And you know what? She was right!

I've told that story time and time again and it ALWAYS holds true. Which is why I'm very excited for 2011. Happy New Year everyone! The New Year marks the most natural time to set new goals. As a life long competitive athlete it seems to be something I've done my whole life. And just like anything else, there's an art to setting new goals. In a nutshell, they've got to be Specific, Measurable and Achievable.

The thing I've found to be true over the years, however, is that goal setting can be kind of scary. I mean, what if I don't reach my goals? What is that going to feel like? What will people think of me? And not to sound all emo or anything, what will it all mean?

But that's kind of the point. You've got to put something on the line to keep yourself accountable. Not only do you need to articulate what it is you are trying to accomplish so that you can figure out the best way to get there, but you need to put it out there (at least to a degree) so that fear (of failing) can be the very thing that fuels your fire.

And the thing is, sometimes you will win and sometimes you will fail.

I think what separates the best athletes from the average ones is how they respond to failure. Or rather, how failure motivates them to work even harder. When you really want something, I mean really want it, and you put everything on the line to achieve it, failure can hurt pretty bad. But it's the people who never put anything on the line to begin with (thus avoiding the hurt of failure all together) that never achieve anything great.

Having said that my no. 1 long term goal is to win a medal at Nationals (Olympic Weightlifting) within the next two years.

A few of the things I'm going to do to get there is to:

1) Continue trusting and following my program (by Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics) giving diligent focus to the precision and technique in my lifts.
2) Make sleep and recovery a major priority (the thing I believe to be my biggest setback in making gains) even if it means cutting back on some work and/or making less money.
3) And in my lifts, by Nationals this summer, I want to Squat 300lbs (136kg), Snatch 187lbs (85kg) and C&J 231lbs (105kg).

There it is, on the line.

TODAY:

3 Pos Snatch (Full, Above Knee, Mid Thigh)
123lbs (56kg) x3x3
133lbs (60kg) x3x3
yaow-sa!

Snatch Pulls
168lbs (76kg) x5x5

Snatch Push Press
133lbs (60kg) x5x5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little Victories

Joc 3 Pos Cleans from Jocelyn Forest on Vimeo.



Today, for the first time in a long time, I was very happy about a small achievement. Lately I have been very unsatisfied with any PR's. For example, when I C&J'd 98 kilos (216lbs) at the Cal Strength Open, I wasn't very excited. I felt more relieved and yet still frustrated because in my mind I should have been lifting that weight long ago. And when I snatch balanced 203lbs (92kg) I couldn't help but be bummed that I still haven't gotten an 187lb (85kg) Snatch.

Say what you will, but that's just kind of been my attitude towards my own performance lately.

But not today.

Today I had to do 3 Position Cleans (floor, above knee, mid thigh) with 163lbs for 3 sets of 3 (this coming after 2 sets of 3 at 153lbs). When I looked at today's program I thought "there's just no way." I mean, how was I supposed to keep my grip with that kind of weight? I didn't think I'd be able to hang clean it once let alone 3 times. And yet here I was being asked to do 3 sets of 3 at 163lbs (74kg). That was my attitude and on my first set, guess what happened? ...I failed.

But then I sat for a moment and decided to adjust my attitude. I sat there thinking about the weight and decided I was just going to do it. That's right. It was a conscious decision. I said to myself, "suck it up and get under that bar dammit." I reached inside and mustered up the commitment. And guess what... I did it! Yay me. Yay for little victories.

Until next Wednesday... 2 pos cleans at 173lbs.

Muscle Snatch
63lbs x5 (29kg)
73lbs x4 (33kg)
78lbs x3x3 (35kg)

3 Pos Clean
153lbs x3x2 (70kg)
163lbs x3x3 (74kg)

Snatch Deadlift
180lbs x7x2 (81kg)
180lbs x5x3 (81kg)

Good Mornings
3x8 113lbs (51kg)

GHD Sit Up 1x50

KB Side Bends 1x20 ea side (53lbs)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pre Arnolds Week 2

Today is Day 2 of week 2 in my "Pre-Arnolds" training cycle. Arnolds is one of the biggest Olympic weightlifting meets of the year (besides Nationals and Americans) held in Columbus Ohio in March, along with a ton of other crazy athletic stuff (like body building and figure, bikini and even CrossFit). I'm hoping to show up for the meet at my strongest yet and have no doubt that if I put in the work my program and coaching will deliver:)

Snatch Balance
133lbs x3x2
143lbs x3
153lbs x3x2

P.Press
138lbs x5x5

Clean Pulls
203lbs x5x5 -ouch!

F.Squat
158lbs x6
173lbs x5
183lbs x5
193lbs x3x3

So far in this new cycle I've done a million pulls and Deadlifts (Sn or Cln). I pretty much cln or sn pull and cln or sn deadlift every Monday Wednesday and Thursday and heavy (well I think it's heavy) for tons of reps. It's the worst. Interestingly enough I feel like my back is already feeling stronger which is great for good postural position off the floor- but I also feel stronger with core stability in my squats. So I guess even though I loath those pulls they're probably very good for me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

On Having a Good Coach

Pre Arnolds Week 1 from Jocelyn Forest on Vimeo.

The above video is simply a highlight reel of my first week of training leading into the 2010 Arnolds in Columbus Ohio this March. Normally I go to see my coach Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics 2-3 times per week. But with the Holiday season in full swing (and a broken down car) I wasn't able to make the 45 min drive over the hill in the first week of a new cycle. Greg offered to coach me via video this week, in order to be sure I was on the right track.

I felt that my training went well- after all, I didn't miss any lifts, I felt strong, and when I watched my video footage it seemed to look pretty good besides my chest dropping forward here and there. But this is the reason EVERY SERIOUS ATHLETE NEEDS A GOOD COACH. Here's what Greg had to say about my video:

1) get that bar back more overehead in your snatches! you're still keeping the shoulders forward a bit. pin those shoulder blades back together and get the bar over the back of your neck.

2) more in your power snatches than snatches the bar is swinging out as you pull under. get the elbows high and to the sides so you and the bar stay in immediate proximity

3) on deadlifts, lower the bar in the same good position you lifted it rather than stiff-legging it down and/or dropping it. it doesn't need to be a slow eccentric, but control the position - that will double the time you're practicing and strengthening the correct position.

4) 3-position snatches - watch those hang positions. the last one especially you need to get your knees and hips back more and keep your shoulders in front of the bar slightly. don't rush that - lower the bar, set the position correctly, and then go. above the knee your shoulders should be directly above the bar, shins almost vertical. at mid-thigh, your shins should be vertical and the shoulders slightly in front of the bar - lots of tension on the hamstrings and glutes.

5) pulls - you MUST get your elbows to the sides even on pulls- they are moving backward, when they need to be moving out. this is just reinforcing that habit, and it will make it impossible for you to correct that swing of the bar during the 3rd pull of your snatches. force yourself to turn the elbows out to the sides maximally in your start position for every single rep.

6) jerks - stay back on your heels - you have a great jerk, but you get lazy and rush it sometimes and it throws you forward. that will catch up and bite you in the ass soon if you don't get a handle on it. once you're doing 100+, you won't be able to control an errant jerk so easily

7) pulls from blocks - in the start, you need to get your knees back - vertical shins, shoulders slightly in front of the bar. get tension in this position and lift directly from it each time. make sure you're opening your hips all the way.

If it weren't for the well trained eye and expert coaching of Greg, I'd just go on doing more of the same thinking everything was going well. I'd be wiring in, over and over, the wrong motor pattern, further ingraining bad habits.

From one athlete to another, don't ever get complacent just because you think you're feeling and performing well. NO ONE is above needing a good coach. If you really want to be your best seek one out, and for God's sake do whatever he (or she) tells you to do:)

Friday, December 17, 2010

American Open 2010

American Open 2010 from Jocelyn Forest on Vimeo.

7th Place finish! Next stop: Arnolds, March 2011.