John Grace's Training Journal

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  • John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226213

    I started this training journal for anyone that is interested in my training leading up to USA Weightlifting University Nationals. Right now I am 7 weeks out from the competition. I am also eligible to compete in 2015 so I hope to continue this training journal throughout next year as well. Nick Newman, a familiar name on this website, has been structuring  the training plans for the previous 3 months or so. I will try to update every couple of days (I would say every day, but I know that won’t happen).

    Current Body Weight: 76kg

    Weight Class: 77kg

    Current PRs:

    Snatch 93kg
    Clean & Jerk 118kg
    Clean 120kg
    Back Squat 154 kg
    Front Squat 145 kg

    This week started a new cycle. (I am training Monday through Friday, or subbing in a Saturday session if the training doesn’t fit well during the week.) This cycle is a leg strength block (my weakness right now).

    Monday:
    -I came of a big meet (PR Clean & Jerk and PR Total) so I was feeling confident.

    Front Squat 3RM – 130kg/286lbs
    RDL – 3×6 @ 70% of B Squat

    Tuesday
    -No misses today. I’ve been in a Snatch rut as of late and today feels like I got back in the groove. Feeling good

    Snatch 5×2 @ 80%
    Clean & Jerk 6×1 @ 80%
    Snatch Pull 4×3 @ 100% of Sn

    Wednesday
    -This was one of the days Nick made a big suggestion… Unfortunately for me, I took his advice.

    Back Squat
    Work up to 6 Rep Max, then add a few kilos for a 5RM, add a few kilos, 4RM… down to 2RM
    I hit 130kg, 134kg, 137kg, 140kg, 142kg… This was awful. Plain awful

    Finished off with some “easier” hamstring curls (3×10) on low gymnastics rings (think TRX)

    Thursday
    -Legs a little heavy and tight from the obvious day before. Only 1 miss today (Snatch)

    Snatch 6×1 @85%
    Clean & Jerk 5×2+1 @75%
    Clean Pull 3×3 @100%

    Friday
    2-Step Front Squat 5×3 @76 % (If you’ve ever seen Mike’s 3-Step Squat, it was the 2-Step Front Squat version. I was supposed to go 80% today, but that wasn’t happening.)

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by John Grace John Grace.
    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226249

    I was pretty beat down this week. Mediocre across the board this week. I went away from the plan slightly based on fatigue levels to actually conserve the quality of the sessions.

    Monday:
    2RM Squat – hit 82.5%, went for 90% and missed.

    Tuesday:
    Snatch 3×2 @ 82.5% (77kg)
    Clean & Jerk 4×1 @ 85% (100kg)

    Wednesday: Bad day… one of those days where I couldn’t even come close to required %
    Back Squat (attempted a few rep maxes at 4 reps, but wasn’t happening)
    Ended up at 3×3 @ 75% (115kg) just to get some squatting in.

    Thursday:
    Snatch 3×1 @ 87% (81kg)
    Clean & Jerk 3×1 @ 90% (106kg)

    Friday:
    2-Step Front Squat 3×2 @ 80% (116kg)

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226263

    Test Week (8.18.14 – 8.24.14)

    Monday – Maxed out Snatch and Clean & Jerk

    Snatch – went all the way to 85kg (91%) with no misses then missed 90kg (97%) twice so I moved on to C&J

    Clean & Jerk – had a really nice day on my cleans. Jerks weren’t falling into place. Worked up to 119kg (101%) and stood up the clean twice, but missed the jerk both times.. Overall, happy that I hit the clean twice in one session, but I should have been able to convert the jerk.

    Tuesday – Technique / Flexibility

    Went up to about 55-60% in both lifts for 3 sets of a pull + full lift. Trying to get my footwork consistent. I have a habit of sweeping my feet out from under me a little too far and I’m not getting the bar in the correct position at heavy weights.

    Did 10′ of flexibility work on hip flexors and hamstrings.

    More max week to come soon…

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226273

    I had another max day on Wednesday of this test week

    Wednesday 8.20.14
    Clean Max
    Front Squat Max

    Cleans were on today. And I mean ON. I ended up with a 4kg PR on the Clean and could have very well been more (I got a little greedy and competitive)

    Here were my lifts in kg: (50)2, (70)2, 90, 100, 110, 115, 121 (PR), 124(PR), 129(miss), 129(miss)

    My 124kg lift felt like 110… So in my head I knew I was having one of those days that doesn’t come around too often. My teammate has a 128kg clean max so naturally I wanted to beat it. I went straight from 124 to 129kg with a lot of confidence. Ended up getting under it twice but with a pretty poor rack position and slipped off my shoulders both times.

    My legs were smoked after cleans so Front Squat Maxing was tough. Went to 130 and barely stood it up so I cut it there to save my legs for the final test day.

    I’ll be finishing out max week tomorrow (Saturday 8.23.14) with Snatch Max and Front Squat Max

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226286

    Thursday and Friday (8.21 & 8.22) were off days. I was advised to take those days off (even though I hate it)

    Saturday I maxed Snatch and Clean & Jerk

    Snatch
    (40×2)2, 50, 60, 70, 80, 85, 90 (miss), 90, 95(miss), 94(miss), 94(miss)

    Clean & Jerk
    (50)2, 70, 90, 111, 120(miss), 120(miss), 120 (new PR)

    Both were wins in my book. I haven’t Snatched 90kg or above in training in a couple of months, so I was pleased with that. Obviously I was pretty pumped for a 120 C&J and a new PR total at 210kg.

    Starting a new cycle tomorrow.

    Avatar
    Participant
    Uros Zivkovic on #226320

    Hey John, great lifting there bro. Awesome that you are so positive aswell. But to my question: What are your 100m and 200m PR’s?

    Thanks.

    Avatar
    Participant
    Matt Norquist on #226325

    Those are solid lifts for your weight. Nice work.

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226341

    @Uros
    Appreciate it. I have never tested 100 or 200. I don’t think those would be of major benefit in training. I have sprinted shorter distances during training though (10-15m).

    @matt
    Thanks. Luckily they were just good enough to pass the qualification standards.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by John Grace John Grace.
    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226343

    Week of 8.25.14

    This is transitioning into more of a power phase.

    Monday
    Snatch 6×1 @ 75% (70kg)
    C&J 2×1 @75%, 2×1 @79%, 2×1 @83% (90kg, 95kg, 100kg)

    Tuesday
    Power Snatch 5×2 @75% (70kg)
    Power Clean + Jerk 4×2+1 @75% (90kg)
    Front Squat 5×2 @82.5% (120kg)

    Wednesday
    Snatch 5×2 @ 70% (65kg)
    Clean & Jerk 4×2+1 @70% (84kg)
    No misses, but for the percentage, everything felt much harder than it should have.

    Thursday
    Seated Box Jump 6×5
    Alt Lunge Jump 5×3 ea leg (used an unloaded barbell)
    MB Throw 3×5 w/25lb MB

    Friday – OFF

    Saturday – Heavy Singles
    Snatch – (40)2, 50, 60, 70, 80, 85, 88, 91, 94(miss), 94(miss), 94(miss)
    Nice day on the Snatch. 91 is the best I’ve hit in a while and 94 was right there. I was actually surprised I didn’t hit it today.

    Clean & Jerk (50)2, 70, 90, 105, 112, 118(miss), 115(miss), 115(miss)
    Jerks were awful today. Even my 105 / 112 were very rocky and probably wouldn’t have counted in competition. I couldn’t really pinpoint what I wasn’t doing wrong. I think it just came down to timing. Hoping that it works itself out.

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226387

    This week was mediocre… my jerk has been suffering as of late and missing many easy lifts because of it. I bruised my pelvic bone last week on Saturday. I think I just made contact on a Snatch a half an inch lower than usual and it was bugging me all week.

    Monday (9.1.14)
    Snatch 4×1 @ 80% (74kg)
    C&J 2×1 @79%, 2×1 @83%, 2×1 @87.5% (95kg, 100kg, 105kg) missed 3 or 4 jerks today… pretty rough all around

    Tuesday
    Power Clean + Jerk 6×2+1 @ 80% (95kg)
    Front Squat 3×1 @ 85% 3×1 @ 90% (130kg)

    Wednesday – OFF (not planned, just a lot of work that day)

    Thursday –
    Snatch 5×1 @ 75% (70kg)
    Clean & Jerk 4×1 @75% (90kg)

    Friday –
    Seated Box Jump 5×4
    Alt Lunge Jump 4×3 ea leg (used an unloaded barbell)
    MB Throw 3×5 w/25lb MB

    Saturday –
    Saturday – Heavy Singles. We have daily max Saturday between our entire team and the winner is the person who puts up the highest percentage of their PR total. We limit attempts to two total misses each lift.

    Snatch – (40)2, 50, 60, 70, 77, 82, 87, 90(miss) 90(miss)
    Clean & Jerk (50)2, 70, 90, 100, 110, 115(miss), 116(miss)

    I ended up with a total of 197 (93.8% of my PR total)

    Avatar
    Participant
    Matt Norquist on #226404

    John,

    That volume seems low. Are you doing a lot of other work (plyos, sprints, dynamic work, etc) that is not in the journal?

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226409

    It gets fairly low at the end of the second week of the three week cycle, if that’s what you’re referring to. I have been working with Nick Newman and using his methods. He uses a reverse step method. 1st week is the highest overall load, with the 2nd week’s loading dropping by ~30% and the 3rd week is test week. Something I was not too familiar with from the start, but it seems to be serving me well.

    Everything I do in my sessions is listed and honestly by week two Thurs and Fri I wish I could do less most of the time. Between work, grad school, and training, I’m pretty out of it by week 2.. I have 60-90 minutes a day (sometimes less based on work schedule) so it’s hard to add in more volume. I would like to on that first week, but it’s difficult.

    John Grace
    Keymaster
    John Grace on #226412

    Week of 9.8.14 (Test Week)

    Monday OFF

    Tuesday
    Snatch 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 87, 91, 94 (3 misses)
    C&J 50, 70, 90, 100, 110, 117, 121 (miss jerk), 121 (miss jerk), 121 (miss jerk)

    Cleans felt really nice that day. 121 would have been a PR C&J, but ended up cleaning it 3 times which gives me a lot of confidence as long as I can connect the jerk.

    Wednesday OFF

    Thursday
    I was supposed to have another max day (was planning on Clean and Front Squat Max) but I had a lot of work that day so I did a quick session testing my jerk as well as little technique work.

    I’ve had an issue with my jerk lately. I shorten my front foot slightly in the jerk, and lengthen my back too far which is pushing my body and the bar forward during the split (I’ve been missing everything out front). Working on lifting my front foot a little more and making contact with my back foot first.

    Jerk – 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 (miss), 110 (miss)
    went back down to 80kg for a few singles working on the technique.

    Friday – OFF

    Saturday –
    Snatch 40, 50, 60, 70, 77, 82 (miss), 82 (miss)
    C&J 50, 70, 90, 100, 110, 117
    Pretty poor day. One of the worst in a few months.

    Avatar
    Participant
    Matt Norquist on #226416

    Everything I do in my sessions is listed and honestly by week two Thurs and Fri I wish I could do less most of the time. Between work, grad school, and training, I’m pretty out of it by week 2.. I have 60-90 minutes a day (sometimes less based on work schedule) so it’s hard to add in more volume. I would like to on that first week, but it’s difficult.

    Hmm – one of the things I do, with similar time constraints, is work in extra volume in my warm-ups. So I’m maybe doing 36 reps on a snatch workout, but only 15 or so are at anywhere above 65% of 1 RM. Or doing 200m volume of acceleration, but getting another 200-300 submax as part of warm-up.

    Or a long tempo workout, but some good steady state in warm-up and/or cooldown. Or low intensity stuff like KB swings that gets in good amount of hip extension volume with relatively low CNS or metabolic cost.

    Avatar
    Participant
    Matt Norquist on #226417

    Week of 9.8.14 (Test Week)

    Monday OFF

    Tuesday
    Snatch 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 87, 91, 94 (3 misses)
    C&J 50, 70, 90, 100, 110, 117, 121 (miss jerk), 121 (miss jerk), 121 (miss jerk)

    Cleans felt really nice that day. 121 would have been a PR C&J, but ended up cleaning it 3 times which gives me a lot of confidence as long as I can connect the jerk.

    Wednesday OFF

    Thursday
    I was supposed to have another max day (was planning on Clean and Front Squat Max) but I had a lot of work that day so I did a quick session testing my jerk as well as little technique work.

    I’ve had an issue with my jerk lately. I shorten my front foot slightly in the jerk, and lengthen my back too far which is pushing my body and the bar forward during the split (I’ve been missing everything out front). Working on lifting my front foot a little more and making contact with my back foot first.

    Jerk – 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 (miss), 110 (miss)
    went back down to 80kg for a few singles working on the technique.

    Friday – OFF

    Saturday –
    Snatch 40, 50, 60, 70, 77, 82 (miss), 82 (miss)
    C&J 50, 70, 90, 100, 110, 117
    Pretty poor day. One of the worst in a few months.

    One thing I’ve seen helping guys I see get big C&J numbers keep the weight back and get confident under heavy weights is doing back jerks (from back of shoulders). I can get about 10% more weight here than a normal jerk and it gets me used to catching and holding a big weight – so a front jerk of 135 feels easy after a back jerk at 145.

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