Sunday, June 30, 2013

Speed kills

Met with my coach over the weekend to review a few small issues and one or two big ones. Many thanks to Scott Shetler of Extreme Conditioning and Fitness. I only see Scott a couple times a year, but he always makes time and always finds little things that I and other trainers have missed.

I need to work on speed. I'm strong enough for the lifts, but I'm not fast enough between positions. I hate to go back to this so often, but most of my speed is in my feet, not my knees. This also clearly shows that my strength training, while useful, has trained me to be slow. My squat training will be different for awhile.

Ironically, I'm about to have to trade deadlifts for swings and cleans.
Deadlifts, done correctly, have little to no eccentric loading (catching the weight on the way down). Kettlebell sport is full of eccentric loading, and it's killing me at this weight. I'll be cleaning 24s and 28s in my KettleGuards and 16s in my bare wrists until they land right; today's were better already. The guards will shift the strain to my back and hamstrings, while the bare-handed work will refine the alignment of my rack and wrists.

Lastly, when I asked about changes in my press training, Coach said "oh, your press isn't your problem; keep up what you're doing". This is the first time I've ever had my upper body not be my weak link.

I'll leave you with this footage of Honored Master of Sports of Russia, Sergey Merkulin. He's doing what I do, with the 24kg bells I'll be using this Autumn. He's operating at a whole other level, a world champion on exhibition at a regional meet. The young man next to him burns through his fast twitch fibers in the first 2 minutes and sets the bells down.

I added this for a small personal touch. What this young man went through is my own waking nightmare. I've mentioned before how the Russian and international circuits only have two men's classes, Amateur (24kg) and Professional (32kg), instead of the 6 sizes from 12kg to 32kg in most American meets. You go, and you're on platform 3, listening to Merkulin's heels count reps while you hyperventilate.

I have pretty good technique compared to this young man, to be honest. What I lack is youth, flexibility, strength, quickness, and athleticism. It's worth it to me to drive a 9hr turnaround trip to learn 3 new tips and be told my overhead isn't my problem anymore (like it was the last 3 years). This sport isn't about doing one thing extremely heavy; it's about doing one thing extremely well.

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