Saturday, July 17, 2010

Snatching as therapy

In my last post, I was doing rehab on a nerve pinch in my right arm.  I've been doing upward isometric presses with 10lb and get-ups with 12kg and 16kg, plus lots of arm bars and windmills.  I've also found that I can snatch well, and my weekly snatch volume is 2x or 3x what it was a season ago.  I can press 12kg for sets and 16kg for singles and pairs now, which is improvement... and I need to pause on that for a moment.

In May, I had finished a 16kg Rite of Passage.  In June, I was doing double presses with 16kg and 12kg bells for 5 sets of 5 on the weekend and pressing 24kg for singles during the week.  I did that for two weeks before I felt a little trap pain at Whitley's grand opening on June 26.  I did another 5x5 double MP session the next day.  By the end of that week, I was in constant nerve pain and seeing a Z Health therapist.  I'm in no pain now, and I can finally press 16kg again.  I need to buy the 20kg and re-purpose the 24kg.  It was just too big a jump for my frame.

I lost easily 6 months progress on presses, pushups, pullups, everything upper body.  I am pretty sure that I can trace it back to a 24kg floor press and get-up on June 15 or June 22.  I was just barely over my head doing double presses, but they only taxed my left arm.  It was the floor press on the right arm that did me in.  I am re-learning the motion with lighter weights and isometric pauses, which is greasing the sticking points in my motion.  My left arm press is cleaner than it's ever been, if not yet as heavy.
Wknd 16+12 outdoors
Done as a circuit, 4-5 times depending on presses

+ 16kg Swings: 20 2H, 5/5/5/5, 20 transfers
+ Clean + Front Squat: set of 5 with both bells
+ 12kg Military Press: 3 presses + 2 upward isometrics (pause at 6, 4, 2, and 12 o'clock positions)
+ Double rack walks: 60 steps with both bells
Groups of swings as above until at least 240 total
Snatches: sets of :15/:15 seconds or 10/10 reps


2 Wkdy sessions
Circuits as above of swings, TGUs, and Pistols
Windmills and arm bars
Snatches: mostly sets of 10/10 each minute
This is working well so far.  What's odd is that the snatches are allowing me some terminal elbow extension without requiring a long push.  There is a small tolerance for a poor lockout at the top of a strong snatch, so I am able to practice locking out and stabilizing overhead without having to press the weight up there.  I would not even consider this if I did not already know how to snatch and have a strong swing.  I started with 12kg for safety before trying this at 16kg.

My swing volume is up.  My swing height is up.  My grip endurance is good.  My back feels great.  Last but nowhere near least, my snatch grip can finally do snatches 3 or 4 times a week without peeling my hands.  If I cannot press 75 reps each arm for the present time, at least I can learn to press properly and double my swing and snatch volume in the meantime.  Swings, get-ups, pistols, and snatches, and I can almost do pullups.  I'm actually excited about this.

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