First, I need to get out of the way my recent PR, since I just updated my status on my goals for the year – I hit my bodyweight on my floor press 1 rep max! Soon I need to retest actual bench press, since that was the official bodyweight goal. I think floor press is more difficult than bench, so hopefully that means bench is even higher!
Onto business – I’ve gotten addicted to getting stronger and watching all my weighted numbers go up. It’s incredibly motivating. Problem is, on some lifts, my rush to get a heavier weight on the bar than last time has caused me to overlook some technique and form work. Things that could actually catapult my strength numbers if I could learn the technique better instead of always just relying on raw muscle strength.
For example, cleans. The way I clean, it’s all in my shoulders. I don’t have a powerful opening of the hip, where my thighs come in contact with the bar forcing it upward. Because of this, I’m not getting the most out of what my body could do. For me it’s a coordination thing – figuring out the timing of when to pop the hips forward and propel that bar up and then get my hips back into a power position to balance the catch. I have the same challenge with snatching. So I’ve added a couple lunch hour dates with myself to just practice technique work with lightweight. I’m practicing lots of cleans and snatches form the hang position to get used to using my hips more. I’ve actually PR’d on my hang clean just doing this (95 lbs). I used to hate the awkwardness of starting with the weight of the bar pulling down on my shoulders and back, but now it’s feeling a little more natural. Next I need to work on my pull, and actually getting the timing from the ground to when my hips need to go. I’ve found really focusing on keeping the bar right next to my body is helping (duh – they told us this back in On Ramp a year and a half ago and I’m finally taking it to heart). I’m going to have to be ready for some bumps and bruises. Ronnie’s cue to help me? “Hump the bar!” And I’ve been focusing on that, every single rep.
I’m enjoying my little technique lunch dates – it’s nice to have no pressure of what weight is on the bar – just focusing on getting smooth, purposeful but natural movements. I’m hoping these practice sessions will help make the work we do in regular class more beneficial and not so awkward and frustrating for me. I already felt better during today’s heavy-ish hang cleans (ok heavy for me, I PR’d!) after both last week’s clean practice and this week’s snatch technique work.
Also, this was a really boring post. I’ll probably never go back and read it again :-)