Squats & Cleans

Despite starting a new job, I’ve still made it a priority to get to the gym five days a week. This usually means I go at 7AM or 8AM on the days they offer an 8AM class, an as I mentioned before, adjusting to a morning workout schedule has been pretty rough. I feel like I’ve been operating at about 60%, but yesterday finally felt like I was getting somewhere when we did our day of heavy deadlifts.

The goal was to do 5 @ 75%, 3 @ 85%, and 1+ @ 95%. I was able to get 3 reps at my 95%, and I’m actually really excited to find my new 1RM for deadlift as I haven’t tested it since April. Additionally, it was a nice confidence booster to feel like my body is finally getting used to being active and moving weight around in the morning.

I did want to include a few video clips, mostly because some days I find myself crunched for time, and I find it crucial to really make the most of my time. Long gone are the days of rolling into the gym at 4 PM and leaving at 7:30 PM, where I could really take my time and get good rest in between whatever it was I was doing. Apparently efficiency is a skill that is desirable and sought after, so I’m looking to increase my efficiency on the days when I don’t have a spare 4 hours to hang out at the gym.

When I got sick for a good five days, I was itching to get back into the gym. I am a firm believer of “if you feel sick, stay home.” When you get sick, that is your body’s way of telling you that you’re pushing too hard, and it needs time to rest and repair itself; going to the gym to “try and sweat it out” is something that rarely works, and all you’re doing is prolonging your recovery (and infecting other people, which is gross). This squat session happened towards they very end of my being sick; I didn’t feel up for a metcon, but wanted to get out and move a little bit after being pretty immobile for four days (the first day I was dumb and did a team competition). I worked up to 5 sets of 3 at 65% of my back squat, and then did some rowing and walking dumbbell lunges.

Clean pulls! This was this past Friday, when I showed up to 7AM itching to do something strength related. My gym offers an olympic weightlifting class on Friday afternoons at 4PM, but with my new schedule I can’t make it there to get in the skill work they put us through. I asked the oly coach for some stuff to do, and he told me to do 3 sets of 5 clean pulls at 110% (153 lbs). These work great and really do force you to recognize your weaknesses.

Lastly, here is one of my cleans + front squats at 75% (103 lb). My mobility looks pretty terrible here, but again, recognizing your weaknesses only give you room to improve. I actually have really good mobility, but apparently I forget that sometimes when I’m actually doing things like…squatting. Duh.



I am happy to say that I did eventually how to transfer this mobility into my front squat later on in the training session. My new goal is to get comfortable catching my snatches and cleans lower -I can, but for some reason I seem to overlook this when I’m doing it. So, if I can learn to a) be quicker pulling under the bar and b) get comfortable being in a lower squat, I should be golden. Ok not golden, but on the road to golden.

How about you?


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