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jon.valentine

Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat.

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I had no idea you held/have held records, that's awesome!! I might have to come down and learn some weightlifting from you haha, there is no trace of it here.

 

Some pretty respectable goals you have there, I'm sure they are all within your grasp! What are you current maximum Squat, FS, and Deadlift?

I still need to form my goals for the year. One of which will be a 180kgs back squat also. 

 

I still have no idea what all this Nei Gong and other things of such are and I see it constantly mentioned on here haha.

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Jon, on the lying meditation front: daily practise will yield better results, much better results. I have some 15 minute recordings; start there. Deep relaxation is just a habit; daily practise for three lunar months is the gold standard. 

 

A great list for 2016.

 

Oxford commas are good (and logically defendable, too!).

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Hi Matt!

 

The good thing is that any PB's that I make from now on are State records, so that's pretty cool. The 69kg class in Australia tends to be an interim weight class so there's not too many 69kg masters lifters. But I still want those records.

 

If you're in Sydney you should drop in to the gym for sure, we've just moved to Sydenham and it's much larger than the PCYC so there is plenty of room for visitors.

 

Current maxes (that I've hit in the last 12mths):

 

Back squat: 170

Front squat: 140

DL: 181

Sn DL: 170

 

Nei Gong just translates as 'internal work', it's a form of qigong (chigong) or 'breath work'.

 

Kit: If you say daily, then I'll do it daily. I'll try to work it into my pre-bed preparation. Or maybe sometime during the day. But just. Get. It. Done. #AntiTAF

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Trying something slightly different with this block of training; I'll be doing a modified version of Easy Strength except that I'll have an A session (Snatch) and a B session (Clean) and cycle through those. Normally you would pick 5 exercises and just do those for the 8 wks. I need to keep both comp lifts in the rotation so an A/B split seems like a good idea (on paper at least). The principles will stay the same though, keep the weight manageable and only increase it when it feels smooth and easy.
 
Training 5 times a week means that one week will be ABABA and the next will be BABAB. 
 

Monday training (04.01.16):

 

Snatch off blocks 75 3x3
 
Push Press 70 2x5
 
Anderson FSQ 110 2x5
 
Sn DL 110 2x5
 
Pendlay Row (2s pause on chest) 55 2x5
 
Ab Wheel 2x5
 
I may have broken the cardinal rule straight off the bat. 75 felt pretty tough for Snatches, I'll see how the next session feels and then maybe drop it back a bit. Training always feels hard the first session back so it could just be that.
 
Everything else felt pretty good, although the Push Presses were also pretty hard as my shoulder was feeling a bit ropey and not awesome.
 
Did 30+mins neigong after training and felt pretty good.

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Tuesday training (05.01.16):

 

Was meant to be the B session but moved it to Wednesday as I was dead after accepting a late invitation to go trampolining at a place called Sky Zone. Super fun, but an hour of trampolining just killed me.

Probably good cardio though.

Dan John says that inefficient exercise is the key to losing fat and I think I was about as inefficient as it gets, so expecting to get shredded any day now.

 

Missed neigong today. B'oh.

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Wednesday training (06.01.16):

 

Clean off blocks 90 3x3
 
Pause BSQ 120 2x5
 
Savickas Press 30 3x10 x10, 2x5
 
Cln DL 130 2x5
 
1A DB Row 15 3x10
 
Farmers Walks 140 3x15m
 
This session was pretty good, although teh pressing after the pause squats were pretty rough on my shoulder and I had to drop the reps. I'll keep them around 5 until things start to feel better and then slowly increase them.
 
The Farmer's Walks were great fun, and the first time I've really used the proper bars. I look forward to getting outside so that I can get a longer walk in.
 
40+ mins Neigong done after training before eating.

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Dan John says that inefficient exercise is the key to losing fat and I think I was about as inefficient as it gets, so expecting to get shredded any day now.

 

It's a sad truth if you're looking to lose weight. But a very nice benefit if you enjoy efficiency! But you're already shredded, Jon :)

 

By the way, I saw a picture of you jumping on the trampoline in my feed. Always wanted to go to one of those places! Best friend growing up had a trampoline in the back yard that we would sleep on. Or jump onto off of the roof of the house. Good times!

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It was incredibly fun! Apart from the fact that it was bucketing rain outside, it is the middle of school holidays and it was packed with kids. 

 

Kit and Oli have a serious trampoline at Greenwell Point which I am going to jump on, a lot, when I visit. Probably not going to jump off the roof though, probably.

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Friday training:

 

AM: Nei gong ~30mins

 

PM:

 

Clean off blocks 90 3x3
 
Pause BSQ 120 2x5 (4,1; 4,1)
 
Savickas Press 30 3x5
 
Cln DL 130 2x5
 
1A KB Row 16 3x10
 
Farmers Walks 140 3x15m
 
This session feeling a bit easier, although I sped through it so kept the rest periods pretty short. Instead of the Savickas presses (which did not feel great for my shoulder) I included some Bottoms Up rack and BU overhead carries with the 16kg KB. Everything else felt pretty good, but I did have to rack the bar on the pause squats but that's nothing to worry about.
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Saturday training:

 

AM:

 

Snatch off blocks 70 3x3
 
Push Press 70 2x5 x5
 
Anderson FSQ 110 2x5
 
Sn DL 110 2x5
 
Pendlay Row (2s pause on chest) 55 2x5
 
Ab Wheel 2x5 (x4, Fail) x5 (not fully extended)
 
Waiter/suitcase walk (16/24KB): 30m L/R
 
Dropped the weight a bit for the Snatches which was a good decision, they were feeling faster and snappier so was happier with them.
 
Push presses not feeling great, will reduce the weight on these and see if that improves the situation, if not I will swap them out for some KB pressing instead.
 
Everything else feeling fine.
 
PM: 
~40mins Nei Gong
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Farmers Walks 140 3x15m

 

I like to think that's 3 sets of 15 minutes each ;)

 

Easy Strength sounds interesting. I've been a fan of Pavel for a long time and I like everything I hear from Dan, so I'm sure it's good. It sounds pretty similar to steady state cycle training for gymnastics stuff, although the focus seems to be more on allowing slower adapting structures (tendons, etc.) to catch up with SSC.

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15 minutes of Farmers Walks would be...hard, to put it mildly.

 

I cannot recommend Easy Strength highly enough, it's a great 'program' (not really a program as such but a really clear set of principles that you can play around with).

 

Not great if you have training ADD though, it does require you to be happy to do the same thing, over and over and over, for 8-ish weeks. Dan has got some great tweaks to help address that but if you always have to do 'something new' then probably not the plan for you.

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Monday training:

 

AM: Nei Gong. This felt pretty hard, mainly trying to keep focus. 

 

PM:

 

 

Clean off blocks 90 3x3
 
Savickas Press bar x10, 25kg 3x10
 
Pause BSQ 120 2x5 
 
Cln DL 130 2x5
 
1A KB Row 16 3x10
 
(I super-setted rows and FW's)
 
Farmers Walks 140 3x15m
 
Glob it was hot and humid yesterday, I was sweating my balls off. Despite that the session itself was good, things are starting to feel a little easier.
 
Cleans were good, pulling high and moving under the bar well. I'll increase the weight next session (probably to 93kg).
 
When I make weight increases it will be no more than 5% of the current weight, probably closer to about 3% as I'm looking to eke out as much volume at that weight (and make it feel easy as possible) before I go up.
 
Dropping the weight on the Savickas press worked, it was a little uncomfortable on the final couple of reps but manageable.
 
Pause squats went better, I didn't have to rack the bar mid-set which was probably due to removing a warm-up set (I went 70x5-90x5 then first work set on 120, instead of 70x5-90x5-110x3) which left me with a little more in the tank.
 
Cln DL's are feeling easy, I'm going straight to 130 with no warm up sets too so that's pretty good as well. I'll bump the weight up for these next session too (probably to 135).
 
Really enjoying the Farmers Walks (the actual distance travelled is about 17m but 15m is easier to do consistently), so I might give some longer walks a try on Saturdays. The road that the gym is on is pretty quiet so I can probably just do them in the street but I'll definitely decrease the weight (maybe BW, or 1.5BW).
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Tuesday training:

 

AM: ~40mins Nei Gong

 

PM:

 

Snatch off blocks 70 3x3
 
Push Press 60 2x5
 
Anderson FSQ 110 2x5
 
Sn DL 110 2x5
 
Pendlay Row (2s pause on chest) 55 2x5
 
Ab Wheel 2x5 (x5 But last one suspect) x5 (not fully extended)
 
Waiter/suitcase walk (16/24KB): 30m L/R x1, x1
 
Snatches feeling better, better pull, better speed under the bar and better catch. Will stick with 70 for the next session and then probably bump the weight.
 
Dropping the weight on the Push Presses was a good idea, way more comfortable and I was able to identify a technique flaw that was probably contributing to my shoulder pain (I was basically letting the shoulders 'slump' as I dipped, rather than having them actively drive into the bar and keeping the torso tight throughout the dip and drive).
 
Played with a reduced warm up for the Anderson front squats (one set of 5 at 90 and then straight to 110) and there were no problems so I'll keep doing that.
 
I think I'll switch to 3x3 for the Ab Wheel and try to work up to 5's again.
 
I added an extra trip for the carries, which are surprisingly tough. I need to get some more hanging in, help open up these shoulders so I can keep the arm closer to my head.
 
Later in the PM:
 
Started my lying relaxation practice with the fast relaxation recording done before I went to bed. I pretty much fell asleep during that (to be fair, I was REALLY relaxed), waking up when Kit said 'Wake up!' in the middle of it. Dropped right off to sleep after it though.
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Hahaha! Rude awakening ;)

 

It's really annoying how iPhone locks you into using one PC. Mine is currently locked to a different machine than I'm using, so I haven't been able to add the lying relaxation recordings. It wants to erase everything before letting me add anything from this PC. Which reminds me of a dream I had last night... I was checking out at the store and for some reason I gave the guy my phone and asked him to charge it. It took like 5 seconds and he gave it back. Then when I looked at my receipt it was more than I was expecting, and it turns out he charged me for resetting it, which deleted everything on the phone. I remember thinking, "oh well, now I can add those lying relaxation recordings." I guess maybe that's a sign ;)

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I just added the recordings to my DropBox account and then played it straight from the app over the home wifi, I didn't need to add them to iTunes. Maybe that could work for you?

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The reduced warm ups you're playing with are interesting. I've always done for squats 20 2x5 40x5 60x5 80x3 100x2 then 10kgs jumps to working weight, deadlfts is always 60 2x5 100x3 10kg jumps to working weight as well this is all after a general warmup and activation too, but last time I maxed out for squats I did 20x5 60x5 80x3 100x2 120x1 130x1 140x1 150x1 and deadlifts went 60x5 100x3 120x1 140x1 150x1 160x0 157.5x1 and I can honeslty say I performed way better and felt a lot better doing way less warm ups.

 

After that I decided when I can squat and deadlift again I'm going to do less warm up sets. I guess it's good to do more warm ups for practice and volume accumulation but when you are are past a novice level and have good technique is it even necessary?

 

My ab wheel form is dodgy as haha I haven't done them for so long I used to do sets 3x10 all the way to the ground now sets of 5 is questionable. The suitcase walks are great!! I use a 24kg KB to help my feel not slide forward when doing butterfly lifts and I suitcase carry the KB 20m to the stretch area and the oblique burn is real haha.

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Good idea, Jon! I have several apps that would allow me to add the recordings directly into those apps, but I hadn't considered Dropbox. I forget about the wifi feature. Will play around with some options before wiping my phone ;)

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Wednesday training:

 

AM: ~40mins Nei Gong

 

PM:

 

Clean off blocks 93 3x3
 
Savickas Press bar x10, 25kg 3x10
 
Pause BSQ 120 2x5 
 
Cln DL 135 2x5
 
1A KB Row 16 3x10
 
(I super-setted rows and FW's)
 
Farmers Walks 140 3x15m
 
Bottoms up rack walk 16kg: 30m (L/R)
 
Another hot one yesterday, I weighed in at 69.95 at the start and was 69.55 at the end, after drinking a litre of water during the session.
 
Cleans felt good (even with the small bump in weight), need to finish the pull more but it's getting consistently better.
 
Savickas press went well, shoulder started to get a little sore at about rep 8 but it was manageable. Good technique helps!
 
Reduced my warm up for squats to one set of 90x5 and it was okay, but the pauses are a real killer.
 
DL bumped up 5kg and it was easy, again no warm up sets for this.
 
Farmers walks are really fun! Definitely feel like one tough hombre when I do them. Probably need to get some longer ones in before I get too cocky though. I added in a quick lighter carry when I got the KB to do my rows, bottoms up stuff is also pretty fun.
 
[Edit: Forgot to add that I listened to the fast lying relaxation again before going to bed. Did much better than the previous night, I didn't fall asleep during it. Funny thing is that the previous night, it seemed like I was 'asleep' for ages before Kit said 'Do not go to sleep' and last night it seemed like it was only about 10mins in when he said it.]
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Hey Matt!

 

I used the long warm up with lots of sets when I was rehabbing my shoulder, although I looked at it more as technique work. And I think it has its place especially if you're not quite feeling it that day, sometimes a longer warm up helps you get into the groove of the exercise.

 

However, there are a few reasons why I use a brief warm up (or none at all).

 

Firstly, as I get further into the session I'm already warm so I don't need to 're-warm up' for each exercise, that's just wasted energy. 

 

Secondly, the exercises that I tend to skip the warm up for, that pattern has generally been covered earlier in the session because of the way I structure it. (Charles Staley was the first person I remember who talked about this and I have kept it as one of the principles that I use when I write a program.) Snatches and Cleans both have a pull and a squat pattern so I don't really need to 'warm up' again, plus my squatting and pulling technique is pretty much dialled in so I don't need the extra technique work. 

 

Thirdly, I think I should have the ability to walk up to a bar and squat or pull 75% of my best lift cold, so I'm going to train that.

 

Nathan: I wasn't sure it was going to work, but living in the future does have its perks. Technology that does the things you want it to do it one of them.

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Thursday:

 

AM: ~40mins Nei Gong

 

Missed the lying relaxation in the PM due to a late-ish night (and the power was out at my house due to the storm so couldn't charge my phone and needed to conserve battery).

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Friday training:

 

PM:

 

Snatch off blocks 70 3x3

 

Push Press 60 2x5

 

Anderson FSQ 110 2x5

 

Sn DL 110 2x5

 

Pendlay Row (2s pause on chest) 55 2x5

 

Ab Wheel x3, x3, x3

 

Waiter/suitcase walk (16/24KB): 30m L/R x1, x1

 

Everything feeling pretty okay today.

 

Push presses much more comfortable as I remembered to keep the shoulders active and think about driving them up as I drive with the legs, rather than thinking about pushing with the arms.

 

Played with the no warm up sets for the Anderson Front squats just straight to 110, tough but manageable. Will probably bump the weight next week.

 

Post-training: ~40mins Nei Gong.

 

Also had a guest lifter as Spencer is in Sydney at the moment so he came along to get a lift in.

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