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Cycle #3 Week 3 Day 6.

I had a major mental breakthrough today. I finally started feeling more confident about getting underneath a “heavier” snatch (145# and 150#). And without straps, too. Taping my thumb, ring, and pinky fingers really help with my grip and make my grip less distracting. I also started to be more aggressive and intentional during the lift.

Now I am really having fun shooting for more weight. I look forward to getting faster, lower and more aggressive with the lifts.

I will treat myself to something nice on the day I snatch my original deadlift PR of 255#. It may take a year or two. But it will happen.

  1. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 255#
  2. Heavy Single of Snatch; 145#


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Cycle #3 Week 3 Day 4.

Not a bad day overall. The programming called for 5×2 Jerk BTN. I switched that out for some singles at medium and heavy loads. They are not consistent at all. It also seems like my chest is out in front of my hips. I’ll take all the help I can get on here.

  1. Heavy Single of Squat; 255#
  2. Jerk BTN work @ 135# & 185#
  3. 5r4s of Push Press @ 115#
  4. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 225#
  5. 3r3s of Front Squat @ 175#


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Cycle #3 Week 3 Day 3.

  1. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 255#
  2. Heavy Single of Clean and Jerk; 185#
  3. (2+1)r3s of Clean and Jerk @ 135#
  4. Heavy Single of Squat; 245#
  5. 3r4s of Pause Back Squat @ 185#
  6. 5r2s of Good Morning @ 45#


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Cycle #3 Week 3 Day 1.

Another day of just establishing a heavy single front squat and heavy single snatch. I am spending too much time on trying for these higher weights (relatively, of course) instead of just backing off 10# or 20#, being happy with the heavy single I establish and moving on to the other exercises in the programming.

Coming off the weekend doing high-block snatches I was curious as to what I could generate from the floor after getting 125# from the high-blocks. I just barely punched out 135# and failed six times at 145#. Maybe 140# was in the cards. But it seemed pointless to try.

I think the blocks help with my second pull. I feel like I cut the second pull short when coming from the floor. Now I see more than ever why the snatch pulls are important for upper back strength and confidence on bar height (as to get underneath)…

My current 1RM max snatch (with straps) is 150#. Getting 140# or 145# without straps would be a win for me. However, now that I have had the sensation of doing a high pull from the blocks and getting under with the third pull (at a lighter weight especially), I even think 135# is too heavy for me to execute the snatch with better form and speed.

When the weight gets heavier I don’t shrug as high and have less confidence about getting underneath. But when I am high-pulling 95# to my chin, of course I can drop underneath. I need to work on the blocks more hitting that bottom position so I can also do that when the blocks are gone.

  1. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 245#
  2. Heavy Single of Snatch; 135#


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Cycle #3 Week 2 Day 6.

I was unable to use my rest day, yesterday, to work on speed and technique drills. I decided to at least use the first part of today’s workout to try some high block snatches to help get under the bar faster. I ended up spending the entire time I was at the gym on these. I ended with working up to a heavy single of high block snatches for the first time–125# (only 115# captured on video). I was not pulling 135# high enough from the high blocks after 2 hours of training.

Early on in the set I told my coach that I had never done a third pull correctly. I knew to “pull myself under the bar” without knowing what that actually felt like. He set me up doing some 65# high snatch pulls from the high blocks (in the video after the first few slow 95# high block snatches). Then he said it was as simple as dropping/”pulling” underneath as soon as the high pull was finished. That definitely provided the appropriate sensation for me to understand the goal. It doesn’t look like much of a difference. But the feel of the third pull is something I can know understand a little better.


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Cycle #3 Week 2 Day 4.

I did not expect the transition through five major exercises each day to take so long. My day started with a warm-up of 15 minutes that really should have been longer. A good set of back squats working on a heavy single that took at least 25-30 minutes. Then warming up and doing a solid set of push presses for another 20 minutes. That’s already a little over an hour. It takes me 25 minutes to get to the gym. And 25 minutes back home for work. So in two hours I was able to get in a solid set of back squats and push presses.

Stringing five reps of push presses together at 105# was challenging. Not impossible; but challenging. I really enjoy shoulder work, though.

I almost titled my blog “weak shoulders” or “weak overhead”.

  1. Heavy Single of Squat; 255#
  2. 5r4s of Push Press @ 105#


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Cycle #3 Week 2 Day 3.

I hit a familiar wall today–the jerk. The workout started out great as I matched my current front squat PR @ 255#. It was a close as close gets. I am spending too much time with the bar racked, losing energy. And I am pausing ever so slightly at the bottom. Even with those two flaws I will take what I punched out today.

I was excited to man up to some heavy clean and jerks today. I have been struggling with jerks for the past few weeks. I thought today was going to be the day I get out of that slump. Nope. The cleans were going just fine as I worked from 95# to 185#. I was hoping to try 220# to reach that 100 kg mark. However, I never made it past 185# on the jerk.

I took the bar to the jerk blocks to skip cleaning the weight over and over. After a few failed attempts at 185# I dropped back in weight. I still had a hard time. I know I am strong enough to get 200#+. But not when I constantly push the bar forward, am slowing driving underneath and not getting my head through.

My night has been filled with watching as many Coach Burgener videos as I can find.

I am not giving up. I will get over this hurdle. Then I will get over the next one.

  1. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 255#
  2. Heavy Single of Clean and Jerk; 165#


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Cycle #3 Week 2 Day 1.

Another “meh” Monday. I am still love doing squats as often as I have been. My snatches are still high and slow. I will start supplementing with high blocks to hopefully help with speed and depth.

  1. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 235#
  2. Heavy Single of Snatch; 135#
  3. 2r3s of Snatch @ 135#
  4. (1+2)r5s of Segment Snatch Pull (knee) + Snatch Pull @ 145#
  5. Heavy Single of Squat; 245#
  6. 4r3s of Squat @ 185#


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Cycle #3 Week 1 Day 6.

After one week of this cycle I have added 20# on my back squat: PR of 275#! Only seven days ago I tried to squeeze any more out of my back squat after Cycle 2 and was able to get 255#.

Unfortunately, my snatches and clean and jerks have remained rather stale. I have not seen any strength or technique gain there. But since my squat numbers are coming up, I still feel like I am improving. I know I cannot improve on everything at once.

It is hard to be patient.

  1. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 235#
  2. Heavy Single of Snatch; 135#
  3. Heavy Single of Clean and Jerk; 155#
  4. Heavy Single of Squat; 275# PR


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Cycle #3 Week 1 Day 4.

Another compilation video of snatches at a light-ish weight. Getting towards the end of my first week in this heavier weight/squat-centric cycle is tough. The mid-hang cleans were brutal. I was just wore out. I was extremely happy to see a push-press. My shoulder flexibility and strength is a big hindrance for me.

  1. 1r of Squat @ 205#
  2. 2r5s of Power Snatch @ 115#
  3. 2r5s of Mid-Hang Clean @ 145#
  4. 3r3s of Push Press @ 95#
  5. Heavy Single of Front Squat; 235#
  6. 3r3s of Front Squat @ 175#

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