My first official USAW competition is next Saturday. I had a rough idea of what my numbers were going to be. I used today to work heavy singles on both lifts just to “measure twice.”
Instead of opening with 65kg on snatch like I had thought, I will just play it safe with 60kg. Then working up to 70kg (my current PR) is contingent upon hitting 60kg and 65kg without missing. Barring any injury or nerves I should not bomb-out on the snatch portion with at least 60kg.
The clean and jerk is what worries me. Today did not help. Cleans are never a problem for me when training. However, they add some fatigue to the jerk where I am already struggling. I might have to open up with a 60kg clean and jerk just to ensure I have a total. Today’s power jerks at 70kg where tough. Again it is merely getting the bar behind my head that I struggle with.
I was going to use next week to rest and do bar work. However, I will use Monday morning (Labor day) to work the jerk again to see if I do need to stick with 60kg or if 65kg, 70kg or even 75kg would be a better opener. My ego is telling me higher. But I am going to regret bombing-out if I open too high. Maybe 60kg open. Then bumping it up to 70kg for the 2nd and 3rd attempt. Best case I get to shoot for 75kg on the 3rd attempt.
My best case competition total is 70+75=145kg. And worst case competition total is 60+60=120kg. And in the next few months if I can get the jerk up to my clean PR at 100kg my total will be around 70+100=170kg.
The days until my competition are running out. The only thing I can think about is not being able to lockout a jerk. I can split about 135# and even 155# if I REALLY try hard and usually get a lockout. But I can hold much more weight overhead. I have to figure out something that works better for me.
I can only rely on the initial momentum I put on the bar to get an estimate of how high the bar will go. I make this case because once I know how high the bar will go with significant weight, roughly 175#+, I can determine how much room I have underneath the bar to get into a position so that I can hold it locked out. A major realization today was that when I split jerk, my trailing knee is only a few inches off the ground to compensate for my long legs and long arms. I simply cannot get THAT low THAT fast.
Realizing that I have very little room for a stable split jerk (and even less if I am slow) I mentally cannot push my head and chest through. The weight stays out front. You know the rest.
So again I tried push and power jerks again as to avoid moving my feet as drastically (one less moving part). The push jerks are simpler as I have a wider base and don’t move my feet. However, I can drop under the weight faster doing power jerks. And with the power jerk I feel like I get more “oumph” (technical term) with a more athletic stance (not as wide as the push jerk stance).
This was step in the right direction. I am still undecided on push or power. Either way it doesn’t solve all my problems. However, I know just from my body type the split may never be a good option for me.
I sucked it up and did some front squats after about two weeks of only doing back squats. Shame on me.
If you follow my blog you know the jerk has been a struggle of mine for some time now. I cannot get the bar into the correct position fast enough with my arms locked out. And I push the bar forward A LOT!
With those facts aside I wanted to see if I could handle more weight overhead (in the correct position) in the event I do start to work the kinks out. Enter jerk lockout recoveries. Hat tip barbell shrugged.
- Heavy Single of Front Squat; 255#
- 3r3s of Front Squat @ 205#
- Heavy Single of Jerk Recovery; 225#
Not a bad day. I did a fair amount of scapular mobility work during the day before the gym in effort to not push my jerks in front of me as bad. Before trying for a heavier jerk I did the old faithful heavy single back squat. Even for not doing them as regularly as I would have liked over the past two weeks I still was able to shoot for the 300# PR. I missed. But not by much.
The jerks (BTN today) felt better. I did some BTN Push Press and Jerk complexes while working up to a heavy single jerk BTN. I did not seem to push the bar forward as much. And I kept it a little lighter on those today instead of pushing to failure. Tomorrow will probably involve two hours of stretching, mobility and heavy single jerks from the blocks to conserve energy while working out this issue.
With only twelve days until the competition and next week being a taper week I need to use the next five days get comfortable with another 10 kg (hopefully) on the jerk AND work the clean and jerk complex instead of just the latter lift.
- Heavy Single of Back Squat; 285#
- Heavy Single of Jerk BTN; 175#
Jerk. From. The. Blocks.
Another day of solely trying to fix/improve whatever is limiting my jerk. Today I tried power and split jerk (with the BTN variation) for a heavy single. I could always count on making 155#. It was hit or miss at 165#. But 175# and up was always pushed forward. With posture aside and grip-width aside if I stand up straight and pull my shoulders back they still point forward. I see a LOT of mobility work in my near future.
I would be interested in some jerk lockout recovery to see how much weight I can handle if I could get the bar in the appropriate position.