Sunday, 26 November 2017

Week ending 26/11/2017

It feels like the dominant trend of the week was sleeping poorly, but there was a lot of good numbers in the gym and a couple of hamburgers, so I can't rightly call it bad overall.

I think it was the same thing that made sleep so shit that made lifts so good, the heat. Lockie programmed a bunch of 1RM efforts to reduce overall loads I guess to manage the heat a bit better, but the upside was that more rested means stronger lifts a nice little raft of PB's

Front squat 1 x 3 @ 92.5kg
Overhead squat 1 x 3 @ 67.5kg
Squat snatch 1 x 1 @ 60kg
Power snatch 1 x 1 @ 60kg

I wasn't feeling like it was about good numbers early on Tuesday though. Even after two coffees I was feeling the affects of others fitness. Warrack and Tom hauled us through to Templestowe where Rick decided to assert himself. I gave chase, but that left me exposed to an express train powering up Pony Club. It was taking no passengers and ejecting many.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Week ending 19/11/2017

For many a year now, my joking criticism of triathalons has been "why be shit at 3 sports?", which is a jibe at how perusing multiple athletic goals means you'll fail to be excellent at any of them. Ignoring that there are many triathletes who're better at riding than I've ever been for a moment, it's the hypocrisy of my current situation I want to highlight.

You see, I would like to be a little bit fitter on the bike... but I'm not yet willing to compromise my goals with a barbell. It seems this body of mine is capable of holding contradictions as well as burritos.

Anyway, talking of barbell goals, I finally achieved a squat clean at/above body weight. I'd hit 90kg a month or so ago, but despite dipping down to 89, in general my weight is 90 or 91kg. Saturday I got 92.5kg for a lift that could do with a bit more vertical extension and a lot more confidence getting under the bar after (I caught it a good chunk over parallel), and suddenly find myself thinking about 100kg as achievable. Some more deadlifts, some more front squats, and clean work at around 80-85% to drill in the right movement patterns when the bar begins to feel heavy.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Week Ending 12/11/2017

I smelt the edge of the road to fitness this week and again I realised that the entry to it requires me to be with someone else.

I'm not the strongest guy at CFStK, and I'm not the fittest dude on the bike, so trying to keep up with others in both this week meant I had to be conscious to be efficient with generating an output, and to ignore my body's protestations.

In the gym it was another partner workout with Tommy that kept me pushing. There was no time to wallow after a rep because he needed the equipment, the team.. the whole... the partnership... the thing bigger than just me, demanded it. Do the movement, then move out the way. There was more than just partner workouts too, front squats, squat snatch and squat cleans all made sure my quads were ripe for riding on Sunday.

The route was about Ironbark and Flatrock, with the intention of conversation everywhere else, but being the gents we are, half wheeling abound* and any conversation was achieved between importunate breaths. For the first time since venturing back on to a bike I had moments where I could spin a gear at high power, though they were mere interludes between the wallowing 50-60rpm range my ripe legs naturally fell into. Again though, it was the presence of others to challenging me that directed me towards that aforementioned road... the one that smells leads towards fitness.

For the moment I'm happy to know I'm near that road, that I'm heading in a direction and might even have some choice about the destination.

* It's possible I'm guilty for this behaviour, but I'm not here to point fingers at myself.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Week Ending 5/11/2017

I spent a lot of time in the rubber floored CFStK this week, due to a combination of weather and life commitments. Sadly that meant not a lot of time on the bike, but I did manage to sneak some quick trails in on Sunday and was reminded that dirt is the best.

In the gym I had high and low moments meaning I'm simultaneously feeling pride and frustration... which sounds dangerously close to multitasking... a concept I'm completely incapable of.

So the highs, Tueday I was working from home after an early call from the US office scuppered plans to ride. To make physical amends I rolled into CFStK for a load of snatching that felt smoother than ever and resulted in a PB.

Wednesday was fairly neutral, with some heavy clean and jerks that got done, but not always beautifully... Thursday though... Thursday I failed to squat more than 110kg... again! I think it was last Saturday that I tried for a 120kg single. I got an inch out of the bottom and stopped dead, the bar being ejected backwards. Thursday I went for a single at 115kg with the exact same result, the barbell rolling across the floor behind me

Monday, 23 October 2017

Week Ending 29/10/2017

Before delving into the daily detail of this past week, I had a general sense that I didn't do too much, but now that I've gone over the days, I realise I trained 5 times. I guess that's not that lazy.

There was bikes with on Tuesday and Sunday, with the later session involving some rocky random roads courtesy of Strauss and Grover.

There were barbells on Wednesday and Friday, including enough squats to leave me with still tender hamstrings. Saturday was a quick feisty session at CFStK that resulted in sweat angels.

I guess that sense of laziness stems from these moments of exercise being mostly unplanned, that they're slipped into a busy schedule and around ongoing injuries. Knowing that I used to squat more and ride faster isn't offset by the ability to clean heavier. Is it too high standards? Is it greener grass? Is it the recipe for disaster?

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Week Ending 22/10/2017

I got to practice giving up my ego this week. I don't mean give up thinking I'm the best, I mean give up the feeling of being something or someone, to just concentrate on the process at hand. I figured Pony Club was a good place to practice that, to push into the pain and not squirm around looking for release, to just fucking pedal.

Rick didn't help. We rolled in and he decided to sit on the front so I called out for 550W. A few pedal strokes into the hill proper, enough to settle on a rhythm, and I was doing 750W. On the false flat it was 500 trailing down to 450... but it didn't feel easy, it felt like I was on the rack being slowly torn apart, but don't think about that, just concentrate on the job of pedalling, just make each one strong and smooth... then Rick swung off. To me those are the moments that matter, you're in pain and you have to make a decision about volunteering for an increase in pain. To pull the pin, or to push deeper into the hurt and try and hold everything together. For me the deciding factor was Warrack on my wheel, I pushed on to ensure his effort wasn't disrupted.

I got a few of sessions at CFStK in, but it was 8am on Saturday morning that was the quality. Up early to get some exercise done before a day of looking at houses. I was giving up the Olympic lifting session, so I was eager to feel like I'd achieved something... and it was a partner work out.

A. With a partner - alternate after a full round each, not after each exercise:
14min AMRAP of:
4 Clean and Jerk 50/35kg
6 Toes 2 Bar (I scaled this to knee raises)

Rest 4mins

B. With a partner - alternate after a full round each, not after each exercise:
14min AMRAP of:
4 Burpee over the Ergo
6 Cal Row

I was working with Tommy and he talked me into 50kg for the Clean and Jerk. I worried that his greater strength would mean I'd slowly get deeper and deeper into the hole on the first time through. I worried that I'd hit a failure point in terms of power and technique. So I concentrated on the process, I concentrated on making each lift technically good and on just getting it done before thinking about the next one. Power clean the bar, and just cycle straight into the jerk, don't stand it up, don't think about standing it up, just snap the hips and elbows open, do it again, then again, then again... right now do the knee raises.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Week Ending 15/10/2017

The week started with legs barely functional after last Saturday's CF session, I'm going to point my finger at the 180 air squats that got done. Pain wasn't going to stop me getting out for a roll and a coffee on Tuesday (where I tried to push myself and ended up exploding and both metaphorically and physically dribbling to the top of pony club.

Sore legs also didn't stop me from a rolling into the olympic lifting session at CFStK on Wednesday evening. There were only 3 of us and no direct coach, so the vibe was very different to the normal tunes, jokes and heavy thuds. Saturday's Olympic lifing session was all about jerks, with a lot of split jerks prescribed. I so need work on my split jerk. My weight is forward, meaning the back leg isn't doing much of anything, and when the weight starts to feel heavy (around 55kg), I can't even rely on my brain to coordinate a leg to go forwards and the other to go backwards.

I probably could have fit a crossfit session in, maybe two... but after coming home hollow from a ride with Rick and Cam on Sunday, it's hard to argue I have the physical capacity for heaps more. We rolled out in the cool air that lingers for the first few hours post sunrise. We chatted until Bonds Rd, we half wheeled until the end of Mt Pleasant, then I assumed we were turning for a lazy roll home. I was incorrect, as Rick routed us through some lumps on the North/West side of Eltham that left my quads screaming at me, and me whimpering at my stem.

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Tueday's Strava
Saturday's Strava