Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What exactly did you train today?

I read a few senior trainers' personal training logs, and I'm noticing a pattern.  They don't seem to organize their own training like the rest of us.  So many group sessions and forum posts at "my level" will include snatches, Russian twists, Renegade Rows, KB deadlifts, floor presses, but I less often see "long cycle clean & press" (LCCP) or "swings and get-ups".  The first elective, advanced training workshop I was privileged to attend in the RKC school was all about swings and get-ups, by MRKCs David Whitley and Jeff O'Connor.  The answer to every question was "swings and get-ups", and yet it was revolutionary when SRKC Zar Horton proposed a season dedicated to swings and get-ups to start 2011.  Rather than be surprised, we all should have seen it coming.

I laid out a recent group session with get-ups, front squats, LCCP, and swings.  I thought it was a little busy, but those were the elements of ETK and the HKC and should be familiar to everyone.  It caught some of them completely off-guard.  They were accustomed to 6-8 different things a session, some of which I'd call assistance drills.  I was accustomed to drilling 2 basics.  I've done just LCCP for 45min every weekend of the last three months, but I didn't think it would fly for a group class.  Maybe I should have tried it.

The journals of many elite trainers have entries like "snatches and pistols" or "pullups and long cycle".  It may be 5-7 days between repeats of a particular exercise.  Some of them will do those two exercises for dozens or hundreds of reps, as practice.  Some of them have a seasonal focus, like Rif's gradual return to the press or Dave's bending stuff while his knee heals.  More often, it's because they don't need a whole week, like I do, to put in a significant volume of practice.  They, better than I, can answer the question "what exactly did you train today?"

I spent a year-plus working my press to the next heavier bell.  It was successful, but it took forever.  Now I'm taking a season to work a) the "rest of my body", b) get-ups and swings with a heavier bell, and c) competition lifts.  I'm by no means an expert, but I've learned to recognize a plateau and I'm learning to focus.  Pistols and pullups (largely therapeutic), carrying a heavy weight, snatches and jerks.  That's maybe 6 months of work, with a good sense of focus.  My blog's going to be BOR-ing, but I like what Rif reposted recently: "Simple and boring usually is code for consistently basic, heavy and progressive."

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