Saturday, March 27, 2010

Snatch Rhythm

Workout of the Day:

Snatch 3, 2, 1, 1, 1

10 minute AMRAP

20 calorie row

10 OH squat (65 kg)

10 toes to bar (strict)

Was feeling pretty sore still today, both in my lower back from Tuesday’s deadlifts and in my calves from Wednesday’s fireman carries up the stairs (I swear Niels weighs more than 83 kg). But I was feeling excited and ready to get it going, regardless. In fact, I spent probably 10-15 minutes just watching old Olympic weightlifting footage to try and visualize what those guys do. Something I noticed right away was the tempo of their motion. There’s a discernible rhythm that each man approaches the lift, usually unique from that of others but always the same for him. I focused on this today and could feel a difference. My motion felt smoother, I was more relaxed, and the weight felt lighter. Unfortunately, because my back was pretty beat up from earlier in the week I couldn’t push my weights too high. I finished with a top set of 95 kg and just kept working the timing there. Would have loved to see what I could’ve done fresh, was really feeling great about technique.

Afterwards, I loaded the bar with 65 kg (143 #) and prepared for a short, maximum intensity metcon: 20 calories on the ERG, 10 OH squats with the weight, and 10 toes to bar on the gymnastic stretching rack against the wall. I really didn’t know what to expect here. I pulled the first 20 calories at around a 1600 cal/hr pace, did the squats unbroken, and banged out the toes to bar without any hesitation. The 2nd row was down closer to 1500 cal/hr most of the way, the squats still unbroken but now burning in the quads, and the toes to bar took a second set after 7. At this point my heart rate was starting to jack up good, and the temptation was to linger around before getting back on the rower. This is what I heard Chris Spealer call the point of panic for most people. You haven’t reached true failure, but your body is sending up warning signals and your brain starts to get nervous. I fought this urge and continued on without any rest, felt pretty horrible while rowing at 1470 cal/hr but still managed to get the squats unbroken. I broke the toes to bar between 6 and 4, dropping to the ground with 2 minutes to go in the WOD. Again, the rower felt awful. The OH squats felt good til 5, bad from 5-8, and seriously shaky on the last 2. I finished them without dropping though and made it up on the bar for 1 repetition before the clock hit 10.

A few things I learned from this workout. 1st, 10 minutes is too round a number. I’ve been using it as a timeline too often and should vary it much more. When I was approaching 10 minutes my body was giving out. Not sure how well another 2 minutes would have gone keeping the same rotation. 2nd, strict toes to bar continue to be a bear of an exercise. They were the most limiting factor here, even though they appear to be the most harmless. Last, the point of panic is a mental hurdle that you have to expect during metcon workouts. Expect it to be there so when it happens you know how to respond.

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