Using two dumbbells:
5 front squats
Do as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.
I did 7 rounds with two 30-lb dumbbells and 3 rounds with two 25-lb dumbbells.
In Scott’s class today I worked on the full snatch from the floor to a low catch position. I finally started making progress on getting all parts of the move down a bit better in the past couple of sessions after feeling way behind for a while.
It’s fun to start to feel the sensation of rotating myself into position under the bar instead of trying to throw the bar overhead. You elevate the bar during the pulls and then take advantage of its height to drop under it for the overhead catch. How high it gets depends on the power of the pull and the weight of the bar. The heavier it gets the, less high it flies. By the time you’re dropping under it, you’re no longer lifting/throwing/elevating it–your hands are rotating around the bar to get you under it in that instant. The heavier it is, the lower you have to catch it.
The weight I’ve been working with is still light enough for me to not have to drop very far. Catching it in a relatively high position is a power snatch. Rather than continuing to power snatch the weight today, Scott told me to catch it low. This challenged my stability in the catch but happily I started to improve on that part of the skill enough to work up to 31 kilos. I did lots and lots of sets of three at each weight.
When that started to fall apart a little, I worked on barbell presses, and worked up to two singles at 38 kilos. I think I could have done more but I didn’t want to risk failing. There is something nasty-feeling about failing at a press. So I’m going slowly. My goal, hopefully in the next two weeks, is a 40-kg single.
I never stop appreciating how good it feels to be able to do this stuff! To make progress on explosive overhead lifts, as someone who was never exposed to weight training or even rigorous workouts until my late 30s, feels fantastic. Working up very slowly is fine because so far I’ve avoided injuries. My cautiousness makes me not a competitor but a safe and healthy athletic person. My goal is to last a long, long time at this.
I arrived at 5:00 and we did a few sets of five front squats to grease the groove for the clean. We practiced shrugs and cleans. The workout then was to pair up and take turns doing one clean, until both people had done 30, for time, naturally. I stuck around afterward and did some stretching and barbell presses, then when the 6:00 group started I did the workout again with them. I love cleans.
Partnered with Andy, 35 kg, time: 6:10.
Partnered with Allison and Erin, 35 kg, 10:27.
Both of these groups were so much fun because they were so small. It was like old times, before the gym got big, with five or six people in each class.
We did sets of five heavy front squats, to find approximately a five-rep max. I used 50 kg for two sets and probably could have gone at least 5 kg heavier, but we stopped in order to do the “real” workout, which was:
50 kettlebell swings (I used 18 kg)
Run 400 m
I try to go to Scott’s Olympic lifting class every Saturday but I don’t always make it. Today, though, I started to make some progress on the snatch from the floor. I was using about 20 kg (the women’s bar with the two 10-pound plates). When pulling from the floor I had a tendency to leave out the shrug. Finally I started to get it, after practicing the pull and shrug from the hang and then lower and lower.
Then we worked on overhead squats. The heaviest I got up to was 30 kg for four reps.
I need to keep track of the weights I use in these training sessions in order to have some sense of how and when to progress.