The last week of serious training before the Open has just ended, and it’s been a good week. On Thursday we had a good go at a complex of a Power Clean, Hang Power Clean, Push Jerk and Split Jerk. My Split Jerk is something I need to work on desperately as I’ve been at the same weight for the last year with no improvement. This has mainly been down to a reluctance on my part to even attempt a higher weight, mainly because of confidence. On Thursday however, during the complex I was only 5kg shy of my clean and jerk, and it felt pretty good too. I’m confident that my clean and jerk has improved and I’m looking forward to re testing it at some point soon, but not until the Open is over with.
Sunday was a chance to re test my strict press and front squat 1 rep maxes. If you’ve been reading these last few updates, then you know that I’ve been working through a progressive loading programme over the last month. It seemed to have done the trick as I improved my strict press from 50kg to 52.5kg. If I could take 2.5kg on my strict press every month, I’d be a very happy man, so I’m delighted with the improvement. Everyone else on the programme with me also improved their strict press by 2-2.5kg, and it was great having the whole gym watch those PB reps and cheering the bar up.
We then moved onto front squat, and again, the programme seemed to have done the trick. I moved up from 100kg to 105kg, with 107.5kg nearly going up. That feels like a huge improvement in such a short space of time. It goes to show that once you train the areas you neglect and commit to training them, they will improve. I’m now looking at a press up programme to follow alongside the Open.
I finished off Sunday with re testing one of the old Open workouts, 16.5 or 15.5. My training partner Matt wanted 16.5 and I would have prefered 15.5. My only reasoning was that at least 15.5 will be over quicker. We decided to flip a coin, heads for 16.5, tails for 15.5. Heads. Balls.
I’ve completed 16.5 twice so I should be well versed in just how horrible it is. For those that haven’t had the pleasure, 16.5 consists of:
Bar Facing Burpee Over Bar
The Rx weight for men is 95lbs (42.5kg), and female is 65lbs (30kg). Although I could complete it at the Rx weight (whilst spending a lot of time staring at the barbell willing it to move on its own), I wanted to retest against my time from last year’s Open where I went scaled, which was the same weight as the female Rx. It’s an extremely tough workout, not just physically, but it’s a very mentally taxing workout. Trying to picture an end to the workout whilst you’re still deep in the 15s seems impossible. The best advice I can give to anyone trying this; or if it does come up again this year which I doubt, will be to think about how you’re going to tackle the thrusters and stick to the plan. Abandoning a plan midway through a workout like this is a bad idea. We’ve all done it. You have a plan, the first set feels super easy, so you bin the rep scheme you had in mind and figure you’ll go with you gut. 3 minutes later, the workout seems impossible and you’re scrambling to try to keep it together to get some sort of respectable time.
I managed to cut 127 seconds off my old time in under a year. If that doesn’t qualify my improvements in fitness and strength over the past year, I don’t know what else would. It’s a super tough workout with nowhere to hide if your fitness and engine isn’t on point. Going into the Open confident.