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Thursday, December 31, 2009

CSA 12-31-09

Happy New Year!!!

Donnie says New Year's Eve is a day for PR's. Last day of the year to make a PR. Another wonderful day at CSA, as Jake and Lisa came back. Jake squatted, Lisa learned the Jerk from Donnie and made a big PR, then tied her Snatch PR from Tuesday, and I hit 3 PR's. I really enjoyed lifting with Jake and Lisa.

Snatch - 50/1 x 5, 55/1 x 5, 50/2, Hang Snatch 50/2
Clean and Jerk - 75/1 x5, 80/1 x 2, 85/1 x 5
Front Squat - 90/1, 105/1, 115/1, 122.5/m, 115/2 (PR)
Muscle Snatch - 40/5, 45/5, 50/5, 60/5
Jerk - 90/3, 95/3 (PR), 97.5/2 (PR) missed the third rep 3 times

Might have been cheating on the muscle snatches a bit. No one was around to verify if I was doing them wrong. Never really done them before.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CSA 12-29-09

Snatch - 50/1 x 3, 55/1 x 3, 57.5/1 x 3, 60/1 x 3
Clean and Jerk - 60/1, 70/1, 80/1 x 3, 85/1 x 3, 90/1 x 3
Front Squat - 90/3, 100/3, 105/3 (PR)
Snatch Grip Push Press x 3 + OHS x 3 - 50, 55, 60 ran out of time so had to stop

Lisa and Jake came to CSA with me tonight. Jake observed, Lisa lifted. Dave Spitz walked her through the Snatch step by step and she did really well! Made a Snatch PR and a Clean PR. Nice work Lisa!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

CSA 12-26-09


Snatch - 40/2 x 3, 50/2, 55/1, 60/1, 65/1, 67.5/1, 70/1, 72.5/m x 3
Clean and Jerk - 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 100/m x 3
Front Squat - 90/2, 100/1, 110/1, 122.5/m, 110/2 (PR)
Snatch Grip Push Press - 70/5, 75/5, 75/5
Back Extension - 3 x 10 w/ 20kg

Not much go in my lifts today. I did manage to lose the bar behind me, drop it, bouncing it off the base of my neck and down my back on the first 72.5kg Snatch attempt. Good fun.


Back Squat at work: 225/3, 245/1, 265/1, 285/1, 305/m, 280/1 and decided not to go for a double at 280 because there was no way that was going to happen. Should have gone with a higher volume rep scheme instead of the heavy single.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Squat and Jerk 12-24-09

Back Squat - 205/3, 235/1, 255/1, 275/1, 300lb/1 PR (+10lb), 275/2 PR
Jerk - 185/2, 205/1, 225/1, 240/m, 240lb/1 PR

Woohoo 3 0 0 !

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CSA 12-19-09

Snatch - worked up to 70 (90%), missed 3 times at 72.5
Clean & Jerk - worked up to 100 (95%), missed the clean 3 times at 107 (2 kilo PR attempt)
Back Squat - 100, 110, 120, 130 (tied PR), 132.5 needed a good amount of help with a spot to make it

I tried for the first time to use a belt while Snatching today just for the heck of it on the final couple lifts. I was hoping it'd make an awe inspiring magical difference causing an anti gravity storm and a huge PR ... No dice.


Ran out of time on the 19th to do Jerks, so I did them today.

175lb/1, 205/1, 215/1, 225/1, 235/1 PR, 240/m x 2

Friday, December 18, 2009

CSA 12-17-09

Snatch - 30/2 x 3, 40/2 x 2, 50/1, 60/1, 65/1, 67.5/m
Clean & Jerk - 50/2, 60/2, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 95/1, 100/m
Front Squat - 100/1, 110/1, 120/1 PR
Block Jerks - 90/1, 100/1, 105/m, 107.5/m, 95/1

Happy with my FS PR of 264lbs (+ 11.5 lb). I weighed 200lbs for the first time ever (middle of the day after lunch yesterday).

So in the 2 months that I've now been at California Strength Academy, I've gained 13-15 lbs, my front Squat has gone up 30lbs, High Bar Back Squat + 55lbs, Snatch + 10lbs, and Clean and Jerk + 26lbs. My form has also improved a good deal. I'd call that some quality gains that I'm very pleased with. It'll be interesting to see how long I can continue making similar jumps.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CSA 12-15-09

Snatch - 40/2 x 3, 50/2, 55/1, 60/1, 65/1, 70/m, 60/1, 65/1, 70/m
Clean and Jerk - 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 95/1, 100/m
Back Squat - 105/3, 110/3, 115/3 (PR)
Snatch Grip Push Press - 70/5, 75/5, 77.5/4

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sn, C&J, FS 12-12-09

Snatch - worked up to 170lbs/1, Failed at 175lbs
Clean and Jerk - 135lbs/1, 155/1, 185/1, 205/1, 225/m
Front Squat - 205lbs/1, 225/1, 245/1, 260/m

Friday, December 11, 2009

CSA 12-10-09

Snatch + Snatch Balance - 40/2, 50/2, 55/1, 60/1, 65/1, 67.5/1, 60/2
Clean and Jerk - 50/2, 60/2, 70/1, 85/1, 95/1, 100/m, 90/2
Back Squat - 100/1, 110/1, 125/1, 135/1 *needed a small spot to push through the sticking point*, 120/1, 120/1

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Squat and Press 12-6-09

Easy day today at home:

Front Squat - 200lbs/1, 200/1, 200/1
Shoulder Press - 95lbs/10, On 2nd set I stopped at 4 because of a twinge in my left anterior deltoid. Finished it off with kettlebells since that didn't aggravate it - 35lb/12, 35/12

After lifting yesterday my shoulder felt a little weird, but didn't think much of it because minor annoyances like that pop up regularly. I've felt that same shoulder twinge before and its never developed into a real problem, so I'm not worried about it. Hopefully by tuesday it'll be good to go.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

CSA 12-5-09

Snatch - 30/2, 40/2, 50/2, 55/1, 60/1, 65/1, 70/got it on 2nd attempt, 75/1, 77.5/M x 3
Clean and Jerk - 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 100/got it on 3rd attempt, 105 PR
Snatch + Snatch Balance - 40/1, 50/1, 55/1, 60/2, 60/2
Front Squat - 90/1, 100/1, 110/1, 115/m, 105/1, 110/m

Had an issue diagnosed that I think will be key in fixing my snatch. The culprit is upper body weakness in the bottom of the overhead squat position. The good news is we figured it out and its quite fixable. Get stronger! My pulls at 77.5 were strong enough, I was finishing my pull, was quick enough under the bar (all issues I've been working through), just need to strengthen my receiving position. I did the Snatch Balances in order to strengthen that position. On a good note, I got lower then I think I ever have before when doing those snatch balances because he kept yelling at me to get lower. Just felt like I sunk an extra couple inches that I didn't know I could. Kinda weird to just 'find' that extra depth.

At 100 I made the cleans but missed the jerk twice, before coming back a third time and nailing it. The jerk definitely felt lighter that time because I squared away my form. Funny how that works. Hitting 105kg (231lbs) felt really good. It was just a lot of fun to lock it out and stand up with that puppy. It was some hard work with the 3 attempts at 100 immediately before, but I'm glad I pushed and went for 105. Donnie thinks I'll have 110 in 2 weeks. Snatching 75 (matches my PR), and C&J 105 also gives me a meet total PR of 180. =) Best day at CSA so far.

I was worn out for the front squats, so not surprising they were nothing special.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

CSA 12-3-09

AM Session:
Snatch - 55/1 x 7, 60/1 x 3
Clean and Jerk - 50/1, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 85/1, 95/1
Back Squat - 100/5, 105/5, 105/5

Should have pushed the back squat a bit heavier. Thought I'd be more worn out from squatting 3 times already this weak. Glad to see I wasn't.

PM Session:
Front Squat - 40/3, 60/3, 80/2, 90/1, 100/1, 110/1, 120/m x 2

Grrrrr I was hoping to hit 120kilos (265lbs) so I'd be on track for a 105 kg Clean on Saturday. Just couldn't grind through it.

Talked with Donnie about some changes to the programming. Set up a schedule and it looks to be some tough work is coming down the pipe.

Mon: FS 5x5 *at home*

Tues: Sn, C&J, FS, and if time Block Jerks *at CSA*

Wed: PP: 5x5 - alternating weekly between Clean grip and Snatch Grip *at home*

Thur AM: Sn, C&J, FS, if time Block Jerks *at CSA*
PM: FS *at home*

Fri: Rest

Sat: Sn, C&J, BS heavy single, if time Block Jerks or other accessory strength work *at CSA*

Sun: FS (moderate) *at home*

The priority in this program is given to the three days at CSA. The other work done at home is as of secondary importance as my job/life will probably fairly regularly get in the way. He wants me doing Block Jerks 2 to 3 times a week if possible. Need to double check with him what he means by a moderate FS day on Sunday. This program also takes into account that I'm attempting to gain weight and move up to the top of the 94 kilo (207 lb) weight class. It also attempts to take into account my nutty work and sleep schedule by being a little flexible.

Squat and Push Press 12-2-09

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Squat - 95lbs/3, 155/3, 185/2, 205/1, 225/1, 245/1, 270/1, 290lbs/1 (PR)
Snatch Grip Push Press - 120lbs/5, 130/5, 140/5, 155lbs/5 (PR)

Most I've ever back squatted including Low Bar Back Squat! Thanks Dan for coming over, that was fun like the good ol' times in the gym.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Squat 11-29-09 and 11-30-09

After a conversation with Jon North who is ranked #5 in the 94kg class in the USA, it became apparent that I need to be squatting more. The elite team at CSA lift 6 days a week. Squatting 1 or 2 times a day. He was fully confident that I'd be able to handle that kind of volume and more if I had the time/discipline to do it. Stepping up my squatting game to 5 days a week may now be necessary. My only concern is the tolls of shift work and lack of sleep and how that may play into it. We shall see. Today took all of 20 minutes including warmup. Nice to get back into my garage and lift there again.

Back Squat - 95lbs/5, 155/2, 185/1, 205/1, 225/1, 255/1, 265/1, 280lbs/1 PR

300lbs should be here soon. So a PR Front Squat yesterday and Back Squat today. Might be something to this squatting 5 days a week thing.


Back Squat - 95lbs/3, 155/3, 185/1, 205/1, 225/1, 255/1, 265/1, 285lbs/1 PR

That matches my best ever low bar back squat! 3 days and 3 squat PR's. Not bad. Been sleeping good, eating tons and lifting heavy. Loving it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

CSA 11-28-09

Snatch - 40/1, 50/1, 55/1, 60/1, 65/1, 70/m x 3
Clean and Jerk - 40/1, 50/1, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 92.5/1, 102.5/1 PR!
Front Squat - 90/1, 100/1, 107.5/1, 115/1 PR
Block Jerks - 90/1, 100/m x 2, 90/2, 70/3

Snatch - grrrr
Clean and Jerk - Failed the clean twice, then 225lb x 1 (102.5kg) which was my goal for this year! Nailed it! Game Over!!
Front Squat - heavy, but it went up
Block Jerks- Sometimes I put my head through, sometimes I dont. Really need to square that away.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

CSA 11-25-09

Alex Honnold Half Dome Free Solo from Joshua Wagner on Vimeo.

Snatch High Pull + Snatch - 40/2, 40/2, 50/2 x 5, 55/1, 60/1, 65/1, 70/1, 75/m x 3
Clean + 2 Jerk - 40/1, 50/1, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 85/1, 90/1, 95/m the jerk
Back Squat - 100/5, 100/5, 100/5, 100/5, 100/5 (5x5 PR)

Snatch - First time I've snatched 70 in exactly a month. It went up quick, and like just about all successful snatches it felt easy and good. I think the keys to making that lift was being more aggressive at the end of my pull, being quicker under the bar, and snapping my hands up explosively. Glad I hit it, but tired of being stuck here. I've got some form issues that I need to iron out.
Back Squat - that was 80% of my max 5x5. Uoof. I don't know if I wasn't expecting to work when I came into the gym or what, but that was tough. Certainly doable, but the first set was harder then it should of been because mentally I wasn't ready. I also think a couple of my first set squats may have been shallow.

Now its time to load up on a lot of delicious calories today and tomorrow (2 thanksgivings, woot!) and go into my Saturday lifting session 2 kilos heavier. Yeehaww! Happy Gobbler day!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CSA 11-21-09

Snatch - 40/1, 50/1, 60/1, 65/1, 70/m x 3
Clean and Jerk - 60/1, 70/1, 85/1, 95/1, 102.5/ made the clean for a PR and missed the jerk
Front Squat - 90/1, 100/1, 107.5/1, 115/1 PR
Snatch Push Press - 52.5/5, 57.5/5, 62.5/5, 67.5/5 PR

Clean PR of 225lbs and a Front Squat PR of 253lbs. Both were absolute eye popping grind your teeth gut check maximums. Woot! The Snatch Push Press is a PR as well, haven't trained them much.

Friday, November 20, 2009

CSA 11-19-09

Snatch High Pull + Snatch - 40/2, 40/2, 50/2 x 6
Power Clean and Power Jerk - 60/3, 70/2, 75/2, 80/2, 85/1, 90/1 PR for Power Jerk
Back Squat - 70/3, 90/2, 110/1, 120/1, 125/1 PR, 115/1, 115/1
Jerk off Blocks - 85/3, 95/2, 95/2, 105/m, 100/1, 102.5/m, 102.5/1 PR

3 PRs. I'm a happy man. First time I've gone for a heavy single on a back squat while at CSA. Up to this point its been all front squats and when back squatting its been speed work on the tendo machine, or strength work for sets of 5. I was stoked with my 14 kg (31lbs) PR. That puts me at only 5 kg away from my previous best low bar back squat PR of 285lbs. It'll be fun to finally catch up with that and start squatting heavier then ever before. Now if I had continued doing low bar back squats I'm sure I'd be up around 300lbs right now. But I'll get there soon enough with the high bar back squat and its better for the olympic lifts (in my opinion).

Donnie was surprised with my 198lb Power Jerk. He figured I'd max out at 80. With a 90kg power jerk he said I should have a 110kg split jerk instead of 100kg. So something is off that is keeping me from the numbers I should be hitting in the split jerk. I've got some form issues to iron out or some weakness in that position to improve upon. Not sure what it is just yet. It could be based upon the large amounts of power jerks done in crossfit causing me to be stronger in that position then the average lifter who rarely works it.

Took a fight to make the jerk PR. I mean it was a grind. Rode that puppy super low, but managed to keep the arms locked out and got it done. 225lbs overhead is a good way to end a workout. Especially when clean and jerking 225 is my goal for the year. Should be happening in the next week or two.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

CSA 11-14-09


Snatch - 40/2, 50/2, 50/2, 60/1, 60/1, 65/1, 67.5/m, 72/m x 3, 60/1, 67.5/m, 65/1, 55/2, 55/2
Clean and Jerk - 40/2, 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 97.5/1 (PR), 100/1 (PR)
Front Squat - 80/3, 90/2, 100/1, 110/1, 115/m, 100/2
Dumbell Shoulder Press - 40lbs/12, 40/10, 40/8, 40/6, 40/6, 40/6

Stoked about the Clean and Jerk PR. Triple Digits!! SAt 100kg I made the first clean, missed the jerk, missed the second clean, made the third clean, missed the jerk and on the fourth attempt it finally went up. So that was also 3 clean singles at PR weight. Nice to know it wasn't a fluke to clean 100. A lightbulb went on today that I've gotta explode out of the bottom of the clean. I had been collapsing before today at the bottom of a real heavy clean. But I figured out if I don't wait around at the bottom of the front squat (though I wasn't doing this consciously) and instead concentrate on firing the weight back up as soon as possible, I don't collapse under the weight like I did before. A subtle but important difference. I'm now 5lbs away from this year's C&J goal of 225lbs. A good day. Now all I have to do is get those darn snatches to start coming along.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CSA 11-10-09

Snatch - 50 - 1 x 8, 55/m, 50/1, 52/1, 55/1, 57.5/1, 60/m, 60/1, 65/1, 65.7/1, 70/m x 3
Clean and Jerk - 50/1, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 95/1, 97.5/m, 97.5/clean then missed the jerk - that makes a clean PR
Back Squat - 88.75/5, 92.5/5, 92.5/5

Got some good coaching from Max today. He suggested box squats (bodyweight only for now) as a part of my warmup to get my hips, groin and hamstrings more flexible. On the Snatch need to raise my back/head faster in order to keep up with my hips which were coming up off the ground ahead of my back/head. My back squat is about the same as my front squat. Which says that my back is the weak link in the chain. I was happy with my Clean PR of 97.5, and I think that Jerk will happen next time. 100 is getting within range.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

CSA 11-7-09


Snatch - 40/2, 50/1, 60/1, 65/1, 70/Mx3, Snatch High Pull+Snatch - 50/2, 55/2
Clean & Jerk - 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 95/M on clean, 97.5/M on clean, 70/1, 80/1, 85/1, 85/1
Front Squat - 90/1, 100/1, 105/1, 90/2, 90/2
Snatch Grip Push Press - 50/5, 50/5, 55/5, 60/5
OHS - 60/3, 65/3, 70/3

Was hoping for a PR today. No dice. Probably should have gone a little heavier on the Snatch Grip Push Press.

Friday, November 6, 2009

CSA 11-5-09

Snatch - 30/3, 40/3, 50/3, 55/3, 60/3, 60/3
Power Clean, Clean & Jerk - 50/3, 60/3, 65/3, 70/3, 70/3, 70/3, 70/3
Back Squat (tendo) - 90/2, 90/2, 90/2, 90/2, 90/2, 90/2, 90/2, 90/2 - velocity varied between 0.67 - 0.83
Dumbell Shoulder Press - 40lb/8, 40/8, 45/6, 40/8
OHS - 60/3, 60/3, 65/3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CSA 11-4-09

2008 Bejing Gold medalist @ 105 kg - with an Olympic and World Record total of 436kg
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Snatch High Pull, Snatch - 30/1, 40/1, 50/1, 55/1, 60/1, 60/1, 60/1, 60/1, 60/1
Clean and Jerk - 30/1, 40/1, 50/2, 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1
Front Squat - 80/3, 90/2, 100/1, 102.5/1, 112.5/1 (PR +2.5kg), 100/3 (PR)
Jerk from Blocks - 75/3, 75/3, 75/3, 75/3
Sled Drag 50kg x 2
Back Extensions - 2 x 10

On the snatches stayed at a lower weight and goal was to have zero misses. Missed twice with 60 on 2nd and 2nd to last attempts. Immediately redid them and made the lifts.

Donny just wanted me to C&J to 90. No misses. Which ended leaving my legs fresh for a Front Squat PR of 112.5 kg or 248lbs. And then a PR on the triple of 100 kg or 220lbs. My legs felt strong and I had a little more left in them but Donnie called it there. He said with a triple at 100 on the front squat I can be confident that I'll be able to clean 100 on Saturday no problem when I go for a PR C&J. Interesting because I was tired after a long night of work ridden with overtime. I almost didn't train today and didn't think I'd have much in me. I hadn't planned on going for a PR but Donnie told me to try. The outside voice of a coach is so important. Its not always best to listen to our bodies but rather the voice of an experienced guide.

Jerks went up pretty well with no misses. Need to have quicker feet.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

CSA 10-31-09

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Snatch - 30/3, 40/2, 50/1, 57.5/1, 62.5/1, 67.5/m x 3, 60/1, 65/1, 67.5/m, 60/1
Clean & Jerk - 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 100/mx3, 90/1
Front Squat - 90/3, 100/1, 105/1, 107.5/1, 100/2
Push Press - 40/5, 50/5, 60/5, 65/5 (PR)
Back Extension - 10 x 3 with 5kg bar

Just wasn't my day to snatch

C&J - Missed all three attempts at 100 on the clean. 2nd attempt was close but couldn't stand up with it, failed at the sticking point. Would have been a 4kg PR. All the pulls looked good, it was just too heavy to front squat it.

Push Press - I think I have more in me if I approached a 5 rep max fresh.

Friday, October 30, 2009

CSA 10-29-09


Snatch - 20 in 20 minutes at 55kg
C&J - 50/1, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 85/1, 70/2, 70/2
Back Squat (on tendo machine) 70/2 -0.97 80/2 -0.87 90/2-0.73 90/2-0.72 90/2-0.73 90/2-0.69
Jerk from Jerk blocks - 70/3, 75/3, 80/2, 85/2, 90/1, 95/m, 95/1

Snatches completed with no misses.

First time using a tendo machine and it was pretty cool. They had it set to measure velocity. Worked on speed out of the hole. The faster you can explode out of the bottom using stretch reflex the better you'll be at pushing through the sticking point and the heavier weights you'll lift.

Never used Jerk blocks either. Good stuff.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CSA 10-27-09


Snatch - 30/2, 40/2, 50/2, 60/1, 65/1, 70/1, 75/f, 76/f, 50/2, 50/2, 50/2, 50/2
Clean and Jerk - 50/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 96/1 (PR), 98/f, 90/1, 90/1
Front Squat - 90/3, 100/2(PR), 110/f, 105/1

Snatch - Working on staying on my heels the entire lift instead of drifting forward toward the ball of my feet as I get the bar past my knees. Also need to stay over the bar longer and explode my second pull off the hips instead of off the thighs. I was also brushing the bar up my quads/hips and never really contacting them solidly. I need to connect with the bar in an aggressive, solid explosion in order to really explode. More like bouncing the bar off my legs explosively. I'm not explaining this very well at all.

C&J - 1k PR. I'll take it. Couldn't clean it at 98kg. Coach Pendlay said I was pulling it real high...higher then I needed to, which caused the weight to crash down on me when I receive it and that makes it a lot heavier and harder to recover from the front squat.

I brain farted on the front squats and did a triple at 90 instead of 70 and a double at 100 instead of 80. Which in turn wore me out and caused the failure at 110. Oh well.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

CSA 10-24-09

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At California Strength Academy

Snatch - 30kilos/2, 40/2, 50/2, 60/1, 65/1, 70/Miss x 3, 55/2, 50/2, 50/2, 50/2

Clean and Jerk - 50kilos/2, 60/1, 70/1, 80/1, 90/1, 95/Miss x 3

Had to rush the workout so didn't get to work any doubles at a lower weight on C&J or get to squat

At home got in my Front Squats - 155lbs/3, 175/1, 200/1, 220/1, 230/1, 240/1, 250/Miss x 2

Snatch - Got a great cue from John North. I wasn't pulling from the hip, I was exploding when the bar got just above my knee. This caused me to muscle it up and not get my legs/hips into it as much. When he gave me that cue and I made the fix of pulling from the hip by staying over the bar longer, the bar flew up much faster. There was a very noticeable increase in bar speed. Felt much more explosive. I love it when a light bulb clicks on in the ol' brain. Now all I need to do is finish better and pull myself under the bar to drop it into the slot. And keep my upper back tight by pulling that bar apart thus giving me a stronger receiving position. And once I have that dialed there will be plenty more to work on. But every improvement in form leads to more weight on the bar, so I'm loving this.

C&J - Hit the clean on the first attempt at 95, then missed the Jerk and missed the following two cleans.

Front Squat - At 250lbs, I almooost had it on the first attempt. Couldn't quite grind past the sticking point on the way up but I was close. A little greedy to go for 250, which was a 8lb jump from two days ago when I got a 7lb PR. I'll get it soon enough though.

Friday, October 23, 2009

CSA 10-22-09

Session coached by Donnie at California Strength Academy

Snatch - 30 x 3, 40 x 2, 50 x 2, 60 x 1, 65 x 1
High Hang Snatch - 40 x 2, 50 f x 2, 50 x 2
Clean & Jerk - 50 x 2, 60 x 1, 70 x 1, 80 x 1, 90 x 1
High Hang Clean & Jerk - 70 x 2, 75 x 2
Front Squat - 70 x 3, 80 x 2, 90 x 1, 100 x 1, 110 x 1 (PR)
Rack Jerk - 60 x 3, 60 x 3, 60 x 3

On the Snatch I need to 'spread the bar' or 'pull it apart' when receiving it. My shoulders will tend to roll forward some and create weaker shoulders and upper back. I believe that may be an important key to fix a lot of my frustrating misses where I pull the bar high enough, get under it, the bar falls into the slot, but I kinda collapse under the weight starting with my upper back. Its nice to have that diagnosed!

On my cleans I'm hopping forward some and need to stop that.

Front Squats - PR! Thats a 7.5 lb PR. I need to be quicker out of the hole. Need to learn to work the bounce out of the bottom. Gotta keep my back tight. Used a belt on the last rep as Donnie thought I'd benefit from a belt on squats and when going overhead with Jerks. Looks like it'll become a regular part of my lifting. As Donnie said, any tool that will make us stronger, we'll use.

Kept the rack jerks light to work on the following:
On the Jerks I need to focus on 'putting my head through', and 'reaching for the shelf' - getting full extension of my arms and shoulders when receiving the bar. I also need to slow down my decent on the dip so I don't lose contact with the bar which causes it to crash down on me in the bottom of the dip, making it feel heavier then it is. And plant the front foot better.

There's no replacement for good coaching.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bike 10-20 and Lift 10-20-09


1 hour mt bike ride with the Academy


65lbs x 2, 85 x 2, 95 x 2, 115 x 2, 135 x 1, 145 f then x 1, 155 f then x 1, 160 f, 165 f x2, 137.5 f x 3 For some reason after hitting 155 which was my PR as of a week ago and 94% of my PR from Friday, I all of a sudden couldn't Snatch 137.5 for the life of me. Blahh.

Clean & Jerk

95lbs x 2, 115 x 2, 135 x 1, 155 x 1, 175 x 1, 185 x 1, 195 x 1, 205 x 1, 215 f on clean. Good pull and got under it but was in a bad position to receive it and bailed (would have been a 6lb PR) 175 Clean and 2 Jerks, 185 Clean and 2 Jerks

Front Squat

205lbs x 3, 215 x 1, 225 x 1, 235 x 1 (ties PR) - This was possibly the slowest front squat I've ever done, was barely able to push through the sticking point.

I fashioned my workout similar to what I did with Donny Shankle on Saturday and what he explained will probably be my programming. In general he said the programming for someone like me tends to be 3 days of: Snatch heavy single, Clean and Jerk heavy single, and front squats. Usually percentage wise it should be close to lifting with 95% on Mon, 90% on Wed, and 105% on Fri. Then if anything extra is added it is decided by Glenn Pendlay who will pick a little accessory work to address whatever specific weakness I need to work through. Seems pretty common to hit a heavy single for the day and then drop back down about 10% or so and hit a few doubles or triples.

I have a private session scheduled with Glenn on Saturday which I'm really looking forward to. I'm thinking I may schedule a few of them in the next few weeks. I hope to establish a baseline of my lifting mechanics with him so he gets an idea of what I need to work on. Also I'm hoping to get put on a specific program. I'm very interested to see what exactly it will be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snatch worked up to 70k
Clean and Jerk - worked up to 90 where I failed on the jerk three times. then did clean and 2 jerks at 70, 75, 80
Front Squat - 100 x 3, 105 x 2, 110 f x 2 (would have been a 3.5 kilo PR), 95 x 2

Got coached by Donny Shankle. How cool is that???

Friday, October 16, 2009

California Strength Academy

First up in this video is Donny Shankle

Snatch - 40 x 2, 50 x 2, 55 x 2, 60 x 2, 65 x 2, 70 x 1 f on 2nd, 75k (165lb) x 1 PR, 80f
Clean & Jerk - 60, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95 (209lb) PR, 100 f

I went for it. Jumped in with both feet and joined the California Strength Academy Weightlifting Club. Head coach? None other then Glenn Pendlay. The team is stacked with some powerhouse athletes. Everybody I met there were nice and encouraging. It was such a great environment to train in. And not just because of the quality Werksan training and economy bumpers with Werksan, Pendlay and Elieko bars. Though having quality equiment like that to lift with sure can't help but put a smile on my face. The atmosphere is awesome really because of the level of intensity in that place. Gets me fired up now just thinking about it. No wonder I had a 10lb PR in the Snatch and 4 lb PR in the Clean and Jerk. What a great day it was. I'm exited about the future strength and power gains to come. As David Spitz put it after watching me lift...he said there are a lot of kilos I will add to my lifts by cleaning up my technique and becoming more efficient and not becoming a kilo stronger. But not to worry, I'll be getting plenty stronger while I'm there too. If I can swing it and get the time off work the first meet is in November.

Wow. I'm stoked.

Monday, October 12, 2009


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Had to run with the academy today. 16 min run.

Felt scorched after the run so I 86'd the mass (a)gain programming.

Did some overhead squats with another trainer - 95 x 5, 115 x 3, 135 x 3, 155, 165, 175, 185 (PR) 190 f

That makes for a bodyweight OHS. Woohoo!

Previously I've failed when going for a one rep max during the jerk portion. I was push jerking it. Today I tried split jerking the weight from behind my back in a snatch grip and it worked much better. The failure at 190 was losing it at the bottom.

This was the final day of my second week on the mass gain program. Pretty much a wasted week primarily because of redman extra academy PT and business. I'll get back on track and redo week 2, starting on Wednesday.

Mass Gain/Redman


Back Squat 77% 3 x 10 - 180lbs
Ring Dips - 10, 7, 6


8 hours in Redman suit

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mass Gain Day 4

The warmup

And the Snatch in competition after the warmup

Clean and Jerk


Front Squat – 75% x 3 x 5 - 175lbs
Snatch – heavy single - 95, 115, 135, 145, 150, 155 f, 160 f
Press – 75% x 3 x 5 - 90lbs

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mass Gain Day 2 & 3

Mass Gain Week 1, Day 2 & 3


Power Snatch – 60% (of snatch) x 2 x 3 - 95lbs
Power Clean & Jerk – 60% (of CJ) x 2 x 3 - 125lbs
Max Pull-ups – 30, 19, 12


Deadlift – 80% x 3 x 3 - 275lbs
Weighted Ring Dips – 5 x 5 - 5lbs
Max Weighted Pull-ups – 10lbs - 11, 11, 6

Deadlifts were heavy. I've regressed on them some. That sucks. Weighted dips were harder then I thought. 1st set of pullups I came off the rings before I hit a true max. d-u-m-b.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mass Gain Day 1


I'm on to a new program. Greg Everett's Mass Gain program from the Mass (a)gain article found in Performance Menu.

Mass Gain Week 1, Day 1

Back Squat – 75% x 3 x 10 - 172.5lbs

Jerk – heavy single - 135, 155, 175, 185, 195, 205, 215 f

Push Press – 75% x 5 x 5 - 130lbs

Squats felt pretty good.  Except my left hamstring got super tight.  I was supposed to do a heavy single for clean and jerk but decided to drop the cleans out because of my hamstring.  No sense injuring myself.  Push Press were tough.  Going to have to progress in real small increments on them.  Normal progression in this program is 2-3% per week.  At the end of the 9 week program that means if linear progression is successful, I'll be real close if not at my current one rep max on back squats for 10 sets of 3.  Not bad.  


Saturday, September 26, 2009

CA WOD # 25 & #26 9-26-09

On 9-24-09 a buddy Matt came over and I worked up to 150lb snatch.  Worked on his deadlift form and tried hammering silly bodybuilding thoughts out of his head.  Thats all I got in.

Snatch heavy single -  65 x 3, 85 x 2, 95 x 1, 115 x 1, 125 x 1, 135 x 1, 145 x 1, 150 x 1, 155 x 1, 155 f x 3, 160 f x 3
Clean and Jerk heavy single - 135, 155, 175, 185, 195, 205 f on jerk
Front Squat heavy clean single weight 2 x 2 - 205
Toes to Bar 3 x 10

I really wanted a Snatch PR today.  I failed to get 155 3 times.  But I stepped up to 160 anyways.  Couldn't feel really much difference between the two.  Failed 3 more times at 160.  No bueno.  

Thursday, September 24, 2009

OL WOD # 25 9-23-09

I'll stop calling what I'm doing Catalyst Athletics because I've been off of it for so many weeks now.  I've basically been stringing together Catalyst Athletics type workouts together on my own.

Snatch heavy single - worked up to 150, 155 f
OHS - 135 x 9 PR, worked up to 175, 185 f on push press portion

A couple buddies from work came over.  Worked on snatch and ohs form with them and talked shop which slowed us way down.  No time for more.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CA WOD # 24 9-21-09

Snatch 80% 1 x 5 - 125lbs
Clean and Jerk 80% 1 x 5 - 170lbs
Snatch Balance Heavy Single - 95, 115, 135, 145, 155, 165 f x 2

Felt good to get in some lighter weight, skill work.  Better day today.  Concentrated on keeping the weight on my heels which I think helped me not lose the weight in front of me in the receiving position.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

CA WOD # 24 9-20-09

I need a kick in the rear.  Some motivation.  Gotta get out of this slump.  Maybe this video will help a little.  Iron Mike had a heck of a work ethic.

Snatch Heavy Single then 90% of that 1 x 3 - worked up to 145 then 130 3 x 1
Clean and Jerk Heavy Single then 90% of that 1 x 3 - failed my clean at 175.  Pathetic.  Quit cleaning and just jerked on up to 195 where I failed.  Threw in the towel.  So Front Squats and ab work didn't happen.

Crappy day in the gym.  Well rested so I thought it'd be a good day.  Boy was I wrong.  These are the dividends of being an inconsistent lazy nogooder.  Don't be that guy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CA WOD # 23 9-17-09

9-15-09  No time so ...  Weighted Bar Dips 10lbs - 10, 10, 9

9-17-09  Week 9

Snatch Balance - 95, 115, 135, 145, 155 f x 3
Jerk - 155, 175, 185, 195, 205, 215 f x 2
back squat with today's max jerk weight 2 x 3 - 205
Windshield Wipers 10 x 3 - 135lb

Checked the workout box today despite my lazy intent not to.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mt Shasta

Mt Shasta - view from ~7000 ft.  Our base camp was at the treeline at the center of the photo.

Heading up the trailhead on the first day.

Base Camp

View of the summit from 13,800 ft

Summit Proof

Summit Success!

Clear Creek Route:  Trailhead 6,400 ft.  1st day hiked to base camp at 8,700 ft.  2nd day hiked to the summit at 14,126 ft and back down to base camp.  3rd day hiked out and drove home.  Crazy steep slopes covered in loose scree and talus.  One step forward, half a step back.  Winds constant 20-50 mph with gusts up to 70 mph!  On the 2nd day started at 4:15 am, summitted 10 hours later and made it back to base camp 5 hours after that.  Intense and epic adventure!  

Thursday, September 10, 2009

CA WOD # 22 9-9-09

I'd be very remiss if I didn't finally make a point about some of the new folks following my blog.  ekh2004, buff, and golift.  I don't know you guys, so feel free to leave a comment whenever the thought strikes you.  Are any of you on Brand X's forum?  Is that how you bumped into this blog?  Feel free to let me know what you do and don't like about the blog and if you have any thoughts for improvements.  Golift I like your site.  I need to start checking it out regularly.  

On to today's episode ...

Catalyst Athletics Week 8, Day 2

Snatch Balance heavy single - 95, 115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 160 f x 2, 160, 165 f

Jerk heavy single - 155, 175, 185, 195, 205, 215 f x 2

3 Rounds for time

15 KB Swings - 2 pood
15 Burpees


That was a good one.  I shouldn't call what I've done in the last number of weeks Catalyst Athletics programming.  Its so far from what is prescribed its sad.  But I'm getting some work in at least.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Snatch 9-8-09

3 sets of weighed bar dips with 10lbs


Snatch heavy single - worked up to 150lbs

Ran out of time so did

4 Rounds Run 400m
3 min rest in between

1:12, 1:16, 1:24, 1:22

Interesting.  I did 10 rounds of 10-12 second sprints w/ 3:00 min rest on the beach a week ago.  I may have been more out of breath at the end of the 3:00 min rest doing those sprints then I was doing these 400's.  

My workouts have been a very sad state of affairs since I went on vacation.  After I get back from climbing Mt Shasta this weekend I'll have to yank up on the ol bootstraps and get back into it.  Hard routine style.  

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CA WOD # 21 9-4-09

Catalyst Athletics Week 7, Day 3

Snatch heavy Single - 150
Clean and Jerk heavy Single - 190, 200 - failed jerk
Front Squat 85% of max, 2 x 3 - 200lb

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CA WOD # 20 9-2-09

Catalyst Athletics Week 7, Day 2

  • Power Snatch - 75% x 1 x 5 - 117.5 lbs
  • Power Clean & Jerk - 75% x 1 x 5 - 157.5 lbs
  • Back Squat Heavy Single - 135 x 3, 155 x 2, 175, 190, 205, 225, 235 (PR) with belt, 245 (PR +15lb) with belt

3 Rounds 

600m Row  
1 Min Rest

1:48 pace for first round unknown time, 2:18, and 2:17

CA WOD # 19 9-1-09

Catalyst Athletics Week 7, Day 1

Snatch Heavy Single ...  Worked up to 155
Clean and Jerk Heavy Single ...  Worked up to 190 and called it.  

Its been 8 days since I last lifted and it shows.  Lots of misses today.  Though I ended up doing respectable on the Snatch, my cleans were straight ugly.  My pulls were weak and had no pop.  

Spent some time gathering gear for my climb in two weeks.  I'll be climbing Mt Shasta (14,162 ft) with zero training for mountaineering specific fitness.  It'll be interesting to see how Catalyst Athletics prepares me for it.

Ocean Kayaking 8-31-09

Took an Intro to Sea Kayaking class with Half Moon Bay Kayak Co.  Learned a ton of great info.  Paddled for ~5 hours and worked on rescue techniques. Good fun.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Academy Run 8-28-09

I'll make up for my lack of good workouts with an awesome K9 video.  Not many German Shepherds, but man are those Malinois fast and athletic.  My favorite part is at 4:19 .. Land shark action at its finest!

Run with the Academy ~2.7 miles  in ~20 min

It was 103 degrees and for this pantywaist that is hot!  The run sucked.  More then usual.  A slight tweak in my hamstring from those beach sprints and my wrist from who knows what and thats all it took for me to not lift. 

Luckily this week was a rest week for this Catalyst Athletics program.  However it was just lower intensity weightlifting, and NOT no weightlifting.  Oh well, it'll be good to lift again this week.  And despite my newfound sea kayaking endeavors, and contrary to popular belief, I'm not giving up crossfit or lifting.  I am however going kayaking again tomorrow.  Woot!

**Update**  As of today (8-30-09) the wrist and hamstring are feeling better.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ocean Kayak 8-26-09

4 Hours AMRAP of paddling:

9+ miles of epic water

It was my first time ever in a Kayak.  What a complete blast.  We paddled out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.   Setting out for open ocean and Sail Rock the most notable ocean feature in the area.  Within 20 minutes of getting in the kayak we surfed our first wave off of Sail Rock, a 6 footer!  What a rush.  I'll admit I was in a little over my head but my top notch guide was absolute money.  With massive experience that comes with thousands of miles paddled including expeditions such as a 3 months straight into the heart of Honduras, and expert knowledge of the local waters, he was the ideal teacher and guide for our adventure.  And I was game to be pushed and have a steep learning curve shoved in front of me.  Sink or swim time and it worked out great.  

We headed on to the world famous Mavericks where some of the largest waves on the globe are found during the winter.  We paddled through the exact spot where those crazy surfers drop in on 30-60ft foot waves.  Luckily for me the waves were nothing remotely like that at this time.  Next we cruised over to the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and shot through a trough made of two lines of sizable swells breaking over a line of parallel reefs.  The risk was getting capsized and pushed by the big swells pounding you into the reef.  It got a little sketchy but we pulled hard and made it through unscathed.  Circling around we headed back for Sail Rock and surfed a few more 6-8 ft waves.  We got dumped twice in the process and went for a swim in the drink.  One of them hammered us pretty good and even blew off the rear ballast neoprene as well as the plastic cover causing the kayak to start to sink.  Quick work was in order to pump out the water to rescue our boat.  All in all it was a great time and I couldn't be more pleased with it.  

Who knew some of the most dynamic ocean water in North America is only 45 minutes from my house??  Combine that with the beautifully rugged Northern California coastline and we've got a winner.  I've always been partial to the mountains and have never gotten into a hobby involving the ocean . . . until now.

I think I may have the kayak bug.

Post Script:  If you ever find yourself in the area of Half Moon bay, make it a priority to treat yourself to a few hours on the water with Half Moon Bay Kayak Co.  

Beach Sprint 8-25-09

Who says working out on vacation isn't fun?

10 Rounds 

10 -14 Second Sprint on beach
Rest 2:30

Sunday, August 23, 2009

CA WOD # 18 8-23-09

Catalyst Athletics Week 6, Day 1

  • Snatch - heavy single 65, 85, 95, 115, 135, 145 f, 145, 150, 155, 160 f x 3
  • Front squat - heavy single 135, 155, 175, 195, 205, 220, 235 PR, 240 f

  • It calls for an easier week this week as a recovery week.  Thats fortunate because the wifey and I are going on vacation for a few days in a land with no Olympic Lifting access.  Sounds like some cruel form of torture, not a lovely vacation..I know.  But I'm sure I'll survive and be ready to hit it hard when I get back.

    Had my first class which combines Danzan Ryu Jujitsu and Krav Maga on Saturday.  Two hours of knife defense.  Fun stuff.  I'm going to try it out for one day a week for a month and see how I like it.  There is a Krav Maga school that I'm very interested in attending that has Law Enforcement specific training, but I think its a bit too costly for me to jump into right now.  Hopefully this training hits the spot.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    CA WOD # 17 8-21-09

    Catalyst Athletics Week 5, Day 4

  • Snatch - heavy single 75, 95, 115, 135, 140, 145 f  blahhh
  • Clean & jerk - heavy single 145, 155, 175, 195, 205, 210 f on jerk

  • That makes a clean PR of 210lbs   Cool.  Was a bit light headed as I stood up out of the bottom of the squat.  Felt like a real load.  Good times.

    Was at the Academy running PT so no time for anything else.  I'm looking into starting up some Danzen Ryu Jujitsu & Krav Maga classes again.  I took them for a while before I got hired with the PD.  Finally getting around to training again.  As long as all goes well at work, I'll check out a class on Saturday morning.  Should be fun.  

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    CA WOD # 16 8-19-09

    Catalyst Athletics Week 5, Day 3
    • Snatch 70% 1 x 3 - 110lbs
    • Snatch balance - heavy single - 115, 125, 135, 145, 155f, 160 (PR), 165 f x 3, 165lb (PR +10lb), 170 f x 2
    • Jumping squat from rack pins - 90% (of back squat) - 210lbs x 3; 95% 220lbs x 3; 100% x 3 230lbs
    • Jerk Rack Support 100% 230lb, 125% 275lbs, 150% 330lbs
    3 rounds for time of:
    300 m row
    10 Turkish get-ups (5/side) - 30% BW - 1.5 pood


    First time ever doing TGU's in a metcon.  Interesting.  I think I liked it.  You aren't moving the load quickly, but there is a heck of a long ways that you move the load so that may make up for it slightly as a functional movement.  Its certainly a total body movement.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    CA WOD #15 8-18-09

    Catalyst Athletics Week 5, Day 2

  • Jerk - heavy single 155, 175, 195, 205, 215, 225 f x 2 Real close on the second failure, locked out arms but bar was leaning towards the right and I lost it
  • Push press - 84% x 3 x 3 - 155lbs
  • Clean deadlift - 109% (of clean) x 3 x 3  245lbs
  • Back squat - 81% x 3 x 4 - 195lbs

  • 3 rounds for time:
    "Max" pull-ups 
    10 box jumps - 38"

    5:52  Pullups - 30, 12 (complete mental failure after slipping before final pullup), 16 = 58

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    CA WOD #14 8-16-09

    Olympic Lifts make you EXPLOSIVE!

    Catalyst Athletics Week 5, Day 1

  • Snatch - 80% x 1 x 3 - 125lbs
  • Clean & jerk - 70% x 1 x 3 - 145lbs
  • Snatch pull - 100% (of snatch) x 2 x 3 - 155lbs
  • Front squat - 84% x 2 x 4 - 195lbs
  • Weighted GHD sit-ups - 1 x 10 - 45lbs - broke my GHD!!!!  Then did 2 x 15 Toes 2 Bar

  • The GHD broke on the square tubing at the bottom of the leg support piece.  The metal simply split, not even at a weld.  Shoddy piece of equipment.  I've used it all of 4 times and it already broke.  What a joke.  There is definitely a reason its the cheapest GHD on the market.  Not very adjustable.  The foam pad sucks bad.  And the metal can't even handle normal use.  Blah!!

    I recommend AGAINST buying a Yukon GHD.  

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    CA WOD #13 8-14-09

    Old school Wanderlei is the man. Watching a highlight reel of his is what first turned me into a MMA fan.

    Academy PT - 1.8 mile run ~ 13:00 min

    Snatch heavy single -  65, 75, 95, 115, 135, 145 f a bunch of times grrr

    Clean and Jerk heavy single - 145, 155, 175, 185, 195, 200, 205 PR +7lb

    I think I had 210 in me but I decided to stop there and hit it next time.  Happy with my PR.

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    CA WOD #12 8-12-09

    • Snatch - 75% x 1 x 3 - 115lb
    • Clean & jerk - 70% x 1 x 3 - 155lb
    • OHS heavy double 135, 145, 155, 160 failed on 2nd rep
    • Front squat - 81% x 3 x 4 - 190lbs

    No time for a metcon or more lifts because of drama at work.  

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    CA WOD #11 8-11-09

    Snatch heavy single:  115, 125, 135, 145, 150, 155 f

    Snatch Balance heavy single:  115, 125, 135, 145, 150 PR, 155 PR +10lb, 160 f, f

    Jerk: 135, 155, 175, 185, 195, 200 PR, 205, 210, 215, 220 PR +22lb!!!!

    PR DAY!  Woohoo!

    Guess a couple days off did this body good.  Pretty pumped with this PR.

    Changed the programming up because of the missed days.  If I keep on missing so many days, I won't be following the CA program, but a hybrid of it and my own tinkering.  Gotta fix that.

    Backpacking 8/09/09 & 8/10/09

    Went backpacking for the past 2 days. Hiked about 13 
    miles. Not much of a workout but had a good time. I'll 
    be climbing Mt. Shasta next month. I don't plan on doing 
    any specific training for it other then the CA wod, so it 
    should be interesting.

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    Academy PreTest 8-7-09

    Train weapon retention!

    No O-Lifts today as we had the first day of PT for this Academy.  

    1.5 mile run - 11:22

    7 Rounds

    7 Thrusters - 75lbs
    7 box jumps - 24"
    7 clapping pushups