And.. we're back, after some computer trouble and me getting the bright idea that my domain registrar might be offering some free hosting. Since my last blog, I went to lifting camp hosted by East Coast Gold at Joe Delago's Moorestown, NJ gym. I must say it went very well, and my ass was kicked by the end, but my thoughts on it aren't very fresh after four months. I have also lifted in a couple of "non-peak" (aka: practice) meets - one at the York Barbell facility in York, PA, and another at Moorestown, the ECG Gold Cup Challenege. Since they were "non-peak," I didn't bother to cut all the way down to 77kg. Both went pretty well and were learning experiences. At York, I snatched 100kg/105kg/110kg and clean and jerked 138kg/146kg, missing the jerk at 150kg. That's a 5kg PR clean alone, and 146kg was a 1kg PR clean and jerk. I saw two very good lifters best me there - Peter Madow and Tom Tryon. Tom is even more impressive as a Masters lifter, and Pete just ran away with the whole thing. The brute strength of the kid is incredible. At Moorestown, on the other hand, I snatched 103kg/108kg and missed 113kg. I missed my opening jerk at 137kg and made it successfully on my second attempt. Going for broke (hey, why not?) we put 147kg on the bar, which I again cleaned but missed the jerk. So.. I guess it was clear what I'd be working on in training :-P. Finishing ahead of me in the class was Mark Kroll, who totaled 254kg to my 245kg. Interestingly enough, since I was the lightest in the class at around 79kg and he was the heaviest at over 84kg, I won best lifter for the entire 85kg/94kg session!
Some training notes: in the weeks following lifting camp my coaches and I pinpointed an error I had been making during my pulls (though interestingly only when I finished the lifts, not when doing only the pulls). In the explosive pull, I get on my toes early and pull very laterally rather than vertically. The end result is that the bar swings out, my timing gets off, and the bar ends up crashing down on me in the cleans or is too far out of position to catch in the snatch. So for about a month or two I focused on how vertically I was pulling on every pull, which had really great results, especially in the clean. After York it became clear that my jerk needed serious work, so I have since been working to take my time after the cleans and really get set for the jerk, then taking a slower, more controlled dip, and driving more on my heels so I don't lean forward. I have also started the habit of doing a jerk at the end of almost every light set of cleans and simulating just the dip on heavier cleans and front squats. It takes a lot of patience, but it really has helped my mental preparation by consistently preparing to do jerks after all my cleans, even if I don't actually jerk it, and it doesn't tire me out at all. As a result, people who hadn't seen me for awhile have told me that they've never seen me jerk the weight this well.
There's always more, but the big thing right now is the American Open coming up in two weeks. I fly out to Arizona Thursday morning next week, and I'll get a workout in both Thursday and Friday in prep for my session on Saturday morning at 10am MST. I'm almost as focused on making weight as I am on the meet itself. It was fun being an 85kg lifter while it lasted ;-). Wish me luck!