Recent training and staying healthy

As we come within two months from the American Open, I am preparing to celebrate my own milestone: one full year without a significant injury!

It was around this time last year that I pulled my groin severely testing front squats. I had a string of injuries prior to that, each of which put me out of commission for at least a week and limited my ability to train for months. Not surprisingly my progress slowed and my numbers stagnated. I haven't hit any significant PRs since the summer of 2010.

You don't realize how wonderful it is to be healthy until you get hurt. I didn't use to get injured much, but weightlifting is such a specific exercise that you need to work harder to fix your auxiliary weaknesses, especially as your weights increase. You also need to put extra effort into recovery and learn when to back off.

Fortunately this approach has been working for me.

I have also been working exceptionally hard at building my strength over the bar, including lower back and hamstring stability. As a result I have gained more and more control in the pull phase of the lift, my weakest point. I have let loose on RDLs, doing snatch grip and clean grip every week and increasing my 100% reference point by over 20kg. On heavy weeks for the first time I have routinely put American record weights on the bar.

191kg is a lot of kilos. The first step to cleaning it is learning to pull it correctly.
There's still a long way to go before I reach my goals or my potential. It's a wonderful thing to feel the same weights get easier and easier. I rarely test in training, but I'll have a chance to see where I am in a couple weeks at the ECG Gold Cup Challenge.

UPDATE: I hit training PRs in both the snatch and clean and jerk this week! We weren't even testing, I just felt good enough to bump up the percentages.