A word on training economy... One of the primary problems a coach must solve is 1) identifying weaknesses and 2) fixing them. That's usually pretty self-evident. What's not is how you go about doing it. . . Your athlete has a finite ability to recover. The exercises you select, the weights you choose, and total quantity of work all matter. That's why you need to utilize the most appropriate exercises, weights, and set/rep arrangements. . . @julialiftsbig is currently in an offseason phase where we know we want to train work capacity to form the foundation of her in-season training. Thus, her volume of work needs to be higher and its intensity lower. Now, what do we want to build? In Julia's case she needs snappier finishes in both the Jerk and Snatch. This is a speed/power problem, so lower intensities are necessary (which is convenient given the work capacity goal). What exercises are we choosing? . . Movements that challenge the qualities we mentioned above. Power Jerk + Jerk from Behind-the-Neck puts the athlete in a great position to drive through the legs, allowing Julia to focus more on finishing with the arms. Power Snatch from High Blocks challenges the turnover almost exclusively. We're doing sets of 4 because it serves the purposes of getting in lots of volume, while also being difficult despite the lower intensity. Putting it all together you can see how these choices fulfill the requirements of our training goals. . . Be intentional about everything! Lifting is simple. Achieving excellence in simple pursuits requires careful attention to all the details!
Well... It's been swell! @rebestorm and @yanick_sarazin_ are off to new horizons in BC! After coming to the club for over three years, today was their last workout here as Ottawans. These two were exceptional members. Always all smiles, ready to listen, but ready to be savages under the bar, too! Whatever club they end up at is lucky! We wish you (and Alexis!) nothing but the best in this new phase of your lives. Until next time!
Wish these two luck this weekend! Heather and Greg are lifting this weekend at the Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships! Let's wish them both well as they battle to bring some hardware back to Ottawa!
Flashback Friday? It turns out Coach @ryan.best also knows how to build a time machine, i.e. the most complicated rack setup ever.
We've got some new blood. Let's welcome Rich, Sam, and Erik to the team! . . @rich.davidson just won Gold at this past year's Nationals. @samsenyshyn is a promising 69kg who just entered the national scene. Both Rich and Sam recently relocated from Toronto to Ottawa, and will be regular faces at the club! Finally, @erikost20, who came in 4th in the 94kg category at Nationals, will be among our first competitive, distance athletes! . . Looks like we'll be bringing an even bigger team with us to meets this next season!
Five weeks out from the Young Hercules and @hey_mair is already crushing new records! This is Marie's first 50kg Clean and Jerk, and she nailed it (seriously, watch her face when she recovers the Jerk)! Marie's goal for 2018 is a 55kg Clean and Jerk. We might just be a little ahead of schedule!
Since I recently posted about neglecting my foundational work here's one about building stability. When we talk about building stability or balance what we're really referring to is this concept called proprioception. . . Even though it sounds like a $10 word it's simple. Proprioception is about how you sense and experience your body. Specifically, proprioception refers to the one's ability to understand position as it relates to joints, muscles, and limbs as they work together moving through space. Good proprioceptive ability is the sum of balance, agility, and coordination. You can probably imagine a lot of reasons why these details are important when it comes to lifting weights with good technique. . . How do you build it? Even simpler. Choose exercises that force you to pay attention to how you're moving that challenge your coordination. A Split Squat is a good example because most people regularly use both legs at once when they move. If you haven't done these before you might be shocked at their difficulty. I can Back Squat just over 600lbs, but struggle using 40lbs dumbbells for this exercise. Bottom-line: if it's an exercise that forces you to readjust or actually look at the limb(s) you're moving, then, it's probably useful for building proprioceptive ability!
Don't forget to do the work that made you strong in the first place... I wanna be the guy in the first clip again. Not the second. What can I say? I'm better as a coach than as an athlete. . . I used to do some kind of dedicated, unilateral leg work twice a week to keep healthy, and at some point I must have decided that I'm too good for it or something. Wrong. Hubris. It always catches up with you. I've been sideline with a janky SI Joint since the end of March. Even in my recovery period I neglected to do any corrective work. I just took time off. Bad idea. Avoiding injury becomes especially important the stronger you get. . . Foundational work doesn't just stop when you're past beginner status. It's just as important to maintain that foundation as you advance!
Told you the Oly 1 crew was set to crush some new PRs! These are just some of the Clean and Jerk records that got smoked by these folks last night. We've got Aaron with an amazingly powerful 88kg! Cheryl, continuing her recent habit of getting new records every week, gets 42kg. Then we've got @jkettles4 who went lift for lift with Cheryl, also successfully nabbing a new record at 42kg. . . Coach @mcgurk2.0 is definitely doing something right because everyone walked away last night with some new maxes! If you've never done this before it takes a lot of guts to to dive under a bar. These might be newer lifters, but they're proving that they, too, have the Will to win the war against weakness! I'm excited to see what they do next! . . Bonus: @crawdaddy, building off the momentum of his PR Snatch and the vibe of the night, also got a new CJ record at 152kg!
@crawwdaddyy just nabbed himself a new Snatch PR with 127kg! Adam got himself one of those surprise records. We just finished up a big Squat cycle where he nabbed himself a PR on Monday. Today was just supposed to be a heavy single for the day. I tell my athletes to listen to the bar, but 9/10 this is in relation to doing less. Once in a while, though, the Iron Gods gaze upon us with a smile, and it's the opposite!
Half-Kneeling Presses: are you doing them? Two of the biggest problems I see in the standing overhead press are: a lack of core stability, and an over engagement of the lower body (via some hip swing or a tiny knee bend). This exercise solves all of that! For one, the half-kneeling position is just fantastic for anything to do with trunk strength. Secondly, there's no way the athlete can really use the lower body to cheat. It's impossible to use leg drive here, and excessive backward lean just feels horrible in this position! If you aren't doing these give them a try. They're surprisingly challenging and can help everything from your Press to your Squat!
Here's another one of @oly.lifting.gal's workouts! This was a heavy workout we did last Friday. . . The lesson of Friday's training was to focus on positions while building leg/back strength specifically for the lifts. To do this we utilized heavy complexes between 85-95%. The first drill was Snatch Deadlift + Floating Snatch to 72kg, worked up to slowly. The second exercise was Clean Deadlift + Floating Clean + Jerk at 86kg. Starting with a Deadlift gives Nancy a chance to focus entirely on positional control. The floating lift variation maintains tension in the correct positions achieved in the Deadlift, while forcing her to extend even harder than she normally would in the lift because the legs are already beginning to fatigue. . . We finished with some heavy Snatch Pulls from Blocks (Above Knee) since we already did a lot of work from the floor (or close to it). This exercise gave her already tired low-back a break, and allowed her to focus entirely on a forceful extension in the pull with weights between 100-110% of her best Snatch. . . Accessory work for the day was comprised of ab work (I let her choose) and some Weighted Back Extensions. . . Next time I do this I'll show you what a big volume workout might look like!
Oly 1 had a great session on Saturday! As athletes and coaches we all have those days where something just clicks. This was one of those days. First we worked on Snatches w/ No Contact to work on pulling trajectories. Until Saturday I had never seen Aaron here Snatch so gracefully! Our next drill was Clean Pull w/ No Arms + Clean from Blocks + Jerk. Again, we were working on a nice, straight pull and Emily here demonstrates this beautifully with a Clean that goes straight up, and straight down. We even managed to get her Jerk technique down pat, too! Oly 1 is maxing out this week, and I think there will definitely be some some new entries coming to the June PR Board from these lifters!
I'm so proud of this kiddo! @hey_mair has been working really hard this year and it shows. Five months ago the numbers she's lifting here were attempts she'd take in competition. Now? They're weights she manhandles in her lighter workouts. Since the age of 10 she's always come ready to train. Of course, just like any other athlete, she's had her ups and downs. However, her trust in us has always enabled her to fight her way through training plateaus. I wasn't always sure, but now I'm certain that Marie can be a Canadian Champion someday!
@mediocre lifter is the first of the Oly 2 crew this week to nab their new Back Squat record! 165kg at a body weight that's just under 77kg ain't too shabby! We're finishing up an 8-Week Squat cycle tomorrow, so expect more! EDIT: Evidently I'm a techno-peasant.. go visit Nick's account to see the actual video. It was a slick Squat! #Repost @mediocrelifter (@get_repost) ・・・ Vid 1: 165kg back squat for a 10kg PR Vid 2: 77kg strict press for a 7kg PR I am getting close to squatting big weight and next max out I’m tossing 3 slabs of beef on the bar!
That's right. Triple Pause Squats. @julialiftsbig's offseason has just begun. Time to shore up positional weaknesses, and build some volume again! After a major competition it's important to take a break, but also get right back into training. One caveat, though: we need to rebuild work tolerance, while keeping the intensity low in order to dissipate any residual fatigue and give the joints a rest. Special exercises like this fit the bill perfectly. They're low-intensity (95kg is under 65% of Julia's Back Squat), promote structural stability via the increased time under tension at weak points, and are still quite challenging despite being relatively light.
Today's my first day back after a crazy competition schedule, and wouldn't you know it, @dkowa went ahead and broke a Back Squat record! Swipe left to see him getting crushed by 5kg less than this six months ago. Every lifter eventually gets to some kind of number that taunts them... Repeatedly. Dylan's been trying to break the 150kg barrier in his Squat for months now. I'm stoked to see that he blew past it right to 155kg! Way to go, buddy!
Another Canadian Senior Championships are in the books! I had the privilege of joining with @varbanov_weightlifting once more as Team Ontario's coaches while also having the essential support of @lindarose7148 as our Team Leader. The three of us were thrilled to witness and be a part of so many great accomplishments among best of #teamontario! . . Nationals is my favorite weekend of the year. Every time I go I'm reminded that I have friends from all over the country. It's been an incredibly meaningful tradition for me ever since I snuck in to coach at my first Nationals in 2013 in Edmonton (shhh; don't let the officials know!). I want to thank the OWA for giving me the opportunity to be half of the team's coaching duo once again, my partners Alex and Linda for being so great to work with, and finally you guys: the athletes! It was an honor to be trusted by so many great lifters, new and veteran alike. We had quite a few podium finishes this year, and numerous improvements in placing. That wouldn't have been possible without your dedication to training, and having the courage, come game day, to realize your potential on the platform. Very few can handle doing what you do; you should all be proud of yourselves! Now it's time to rest up and recharge. I don't know about you, but I can only contain the urge to think about what's possible next season for so long!
You ready #teamontario? Because I am!
I'm back from working with #teamcanada at this year's Pan American Championships!... Only to be off again this weekend to help coach #teamontario at this year's Canadian Senior Championships! Here are a few updates: . This Monday is Victoria Day! As such we'll be closed for the day. . In addition, the next two Saturdays will see Coach @ryan.best running the show, coaching Oly 1 and Strength 1.
Coach might be away in Dominican Republic for Pan Ams, but we assure you we are the ones having fun in the sun! @mediocrelifter @dkowa @camstinycalves #iamjustlift #sunglasses😎 #lifting #weightlifting #olympiclifting #oly #olylifting