Monday, August 30, 2010
Client update - 1st Oly meet report
Mark approached me through my blog, wanting to learn explosive lifting to improve his vertical leap for basketball. He wasn't really considering competing at the time, but great to love the lifts and decided on his own to enter a local competition.
I worked with him steadily from December through May, learning technique from the ground up, since he had been self-taught and very raw. He also had flexibility issues in the low positions on both lifts and also squats, which we've gradually improved.
He started off missing 52kg in his first workout on snatch, and over 4 cycles ranging in length from 4-8 weeks, we slowly improved through May, ending up with a PR snatch of 85, and a PR C+J of 105, though he cleaned up to 111.
We were planning on 78/82/85, 100/105/108 or something similar for the meet, but due to fatigue and killer heat, he smartly decided to lower his openers to 75/95 to maintain confidence.
I'll let him take over now, in his own words, now that I have his permission to post this. He's describing his experience at the meet lifting with his friend James:
So I spend most of the day at my first competition and man was it AWESOME! The event, the people, the atmosphere...everything was way better than I imagined!
This was our first time in this kind of training facility. On the way there James told me that this place was very legit and some really good lifters trained there. We arrived waayyy to early so the only people there were the main coach (John Thrush) and a few lifters (David Rief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT4nKNXMuKc and this other girl). It was so crazy to see oly lifters like them cuz honestly James and I are the only two people who ever see in person do oly lifts right at the gym at UW. Coach Thrush approached us and was very friendly. He was intrigued that we were never officially coached and was curious to see how we would do :-)
James (Mark's friend) lifting
I could tell he was a bit nervous warming up and wasn't so sure he'd make his first attempt. He weighed in at like 67kg I think. He opened up with 61 and I'm not gonna lie, it was one of the most bizarre/scary/amazing lifts I've seen haha! He caught it and started leaning forward to the point where it almost looked like his torso was parallel to the ground while his legs and arms were vertical! He somehow managed to save the lift too! His second attempt (63kg) was much better and his third (66kg) looked great and he had it, but he let it slip behind him when he was standing up.
He looked more confident in his CJ's. Open with 74kg I think and had really no problems at all. Second attempt of 78kg was just as solid. His third attempt (81kg which would have been like a +2kg PR) was a bit too heavy and he couldn't jerk it. Overall, he did so awesome and his success pumped me up even more!
Honestly I had high hopes of just killing it, but a terrible night's sleep made me reconsider my goals haha! By the time I was up to lift (like 4 hours after James went because there were soooo many female competitors!) it was scorching in the gym! It got up to 94 degrees at one point! Anyways, I weighed in at 80.1kg and told them my first attempts would be 75kg and 95kg (just to be safe cuz I really wanted to hit my first lifts and I was feeling way too tired).
Warming up I felt fine...missed a few reps in front but I was sure I'd be ok when it came time to go up. Honestly I was not nervous at all. I put up all the vids so you can see what happened on each one :-) I probably could've done 80kg, maybe 82kg if I had a better night's sleep. As for the 107kg...UGH I had it. It's funny but it looks eerily similar to your miss of 106kg in your last meet...coincidence?
I loved every second of the meet! Everyone was sooo nice. People I didn't even talk to were cheering me on and that made all the difference. After my 78kg snatch, coach Thrush told me he wanted to talk to me after the meet!!! I was so excited but unfortunately I had to leave before it ended (I really had no choice) so I never got to hear what he was going to say :-( I'll email him though so hopefully he'll tell me then! Who knows...maybe he wants to train me!? HAHA just joking.
Anyways, I had a great time and cannot wait for my next meet, which should be in September or October in the same place.
And one more thing... I really would have NEVER got to this point this fast without your awesome help!! Seriously, you have done way more than I ever could have asked for! You're the man :-)
Of course Mark did all the work and deserves all the credit for a great meet, but more importantly for making a TON of progress towards his goals. Here's a recent quote from an email he sent me when I asked how his vertical training was going, as he progressed from hand just above the rim to actual full-on dunking:
"Also, just a little side note...so I went to play bball today (keep in mind that I was still sore from Friday) and I tried jumping to see where my vert was at. It was the best it's ever been!! So far I must have gained like 1- 1 1/2 inches since starting the program! I got like 2 inches below my wrist above the rim!"
"As for my vert...man oh man is it coming along!! And very honestly, I have done NO plyo work. I really want to but I'm super limited when it comes to time working out so I just skip them. However, like today for example, my dunks are getting easier and easier. Unfortunately I took videos when I was too tired so my "dunks" weren't really dunks, more like layups grabbing the rim. I really like the idea of measuring and keeping track of the vert. I know that was my initial goal, and of course that's always really important, but I LOVE oly lifting and just getting better at the lifts themselves and putting up bigger and bigger numbers is so satisfying in and of itself.
The best part of the lifting is that my overall game for bball has gotten so much better! I'm so much more confident driving the ball to the hoop. The best part is my quickness is wicked now!! No joke, I've never been able to beat guys off my first step before like I do now."
"-Just an update on my vertical...so I played some hoop before this last workout and finally was able to throw down some legitimate, solid dunks!! I must have added another inch or two since last I checked! Funny thing is that I have hardly played any bball or done plyometrics like I had planned."
NOTE: Since he wanted to keep benching through his Oly training, I kept it in the program for him, but really limited it. Once a week, varying the sets/reps depending on what else he was doing, and he managed to put 25 more lbs on his bench max during all this, too.
Here's the vid from his meet, following by a few comments:
Not too much to say about the lifts. The snatches got better and better. First attempt the adrenalin must have caused him to lose his focus and really swing the bar, but I thought that dropping the bar behind himself on the "down" signal was cool
He reined things in much nicer on the 2nd and 3rd attempts. Obviously still not perfect, but much closer to his form in training on his top weights (a few weeks prior to the meet he hit 81 for 3 straightforward singles, and wasn't missing anything 78 or over for a long time).
You can see he has tons of explosiveness on cleans (and jerks), but lacks the leg strength to finish the lift strong and take full advantage of his power. Before he started with me he was doing "parallel" squats both front and back. His very high and shaky front squat 1RM had been 225lbs. It's now a nice, deep 275lbs. Back squat has shown similar improvement. He's definitely got the power to be cleaning 120 now, so hopefully the legs'll catch up soon so he has the confidence to attack it.
If anyone out there is interested in seeing what I might be able to offer you, in programming, technique critique, or anything training-related, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My lifts are here if anyone's interested
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