A new beginning.

I hope this journal will be of interest and I can get some guidance. I think it will be interesting because it’s going to be a mixed bag. I will be doing OL competitions and athletics meets, and I’m largely making up as I go along, largely coaching myself, rehabbing myself, and hopefully not injuring myself.

My goals are a mixture as well. At the moment, I’m too overweight, but losing weight quite fast. That’s one thing, to get my bf% down to a reasonable level. I’m around 100kgs now but I want to be in the 94 category, should be the right category for me. Second, I need to do a lot of GPP, as (OL) workouts are taking too long and I need better overall fitnes. Thirdly I want to perform well in OL comps. Fourthly I want to be a consistent winner/second placer in athletics meets next year (throws/LJ). It’s not a high standard division (but could be tough if we get promoted).

So at the moment GPP/weight loss takes priority, then OLs, then throws. At the moment I’m in quite a calorific defecit, and working on improving speed/power while maintaing strength as well as possible.

As far as diet is concerned I’ve narrowed supplements down to Fish oils (5g a day), Multivitamin, and Vit C while I’m on a tight budget. I will buy some cheap protein from the pharmacy (designed for people with disabilities) as was recommended by my OL coach. Breakfast every morning is porridge with sweetener, almonds, protein powder (leftover) and psyllium husk. Lunch is a sandwich (unrefined brown bread, with 5 slices of turkey/chicken, dinner is usually fish/chicken with oven chips/potatoes and veg. I have 3 portions of fruit a day, and try to get a variety of them each week. These are either with the meals or between, depending. I also have 1 yoghurt in the afternoon. PWO is protein powder with milk (pint). Apart from the odd ice lolly, that’s my diet until my weight is where i want it, then i will add some protein/MRP shakes between real food meals. The diet is working well so far. :slight_smile:

Over the last few months my best lifts have been -

Snatch:86 kilos
Clean and Jerk:120
Clean: 125
Squat: 190 & 2x2x180 far down as I could go.
Deadlift: 200
Bench 135

And best throws

Shot: 12.03m
Discus: 35.XXm
Hammer: 28.XXm

I’m not happy with the throws, but I’ve hardly done any training or practice for them, because I don’t have a throws coach. I want to get back into long jumping, OL training should help with that, and maybe sprinting next year or the year after, depending on how things go.

I have a problem with piriformis syndrome that I will get ART for as soon as I can, but in the mean time I am going to try intense stretching after every workout for a couple of months. I also have tight calves in the full squat position, preventing me from getting in a deep position in the clean and snatch, and full squat. I’ll get my shoes adjusted, but will have to stretch my soleus as well. Thirdly I have had a problem with an intercostal for 10 weeks now, due to failing a jerk behind (and maybe lack of ab exercises due to piriformis syndrome!). This has been most aggravated by benching, so I’m not doing any bench/speed bench for a few weeks. Lastly I have a problem with my hand, from a bike accident 18 months ago, which is aggravated by OLing if I train regularly. I’m going to get an x-ray for that.

So without further ado: My last training session.

Sunday 24th July: Plyo/speed development workout
Overhead Shot (7.26): 6reps,4reps, best of 13.00m
Standing LJ: 10reps, best of 2.60
3 step LJ: 3x3, best of 3.85
9 step LJ: 4x2, best of 4.45

Total foot contacts = 20+20+27+72 = 135

first time doing plyos/jumps for ages and ages, enjoyed the workout. A bit sore today in the adductors, lower abs, thighs, but not too much. I didn’t really know how many plyos to do, but I think I got it just about right. I will keep these sorts of workouts brief but intense. I’m going to concentrate on that 9 step LJ, try to get that over 5m by end of year. I also chose about 8 stretches for the hamstrings/glutes to work on my trapped nerve, will give them a go starting tonight.

Tuesday 26th July: ‘Home-circuit’

I started a circuit I can do at home for GPP last week, to save time and expenses, it goes like this;

Split squat (back knee to ground) 15x each side
Press up (belly & hair to ground) x15
Step up 15x each side (step is a wall just below knee height.
Dumbbell row 15x each side 17kgs

for 5 minutes non-stop, rest 5 minutes, then 5 minutes, rest, then again. So 3x5 mins with rests inbetween.

These exercises are all done strictly, i.e full extension every rep. I may add in crunches/medball throws sometime soon as my intercostal injury is getting better.

First time I did it I did 390 reps total, then 435, tonight I really went for it and did 465, in less time as well. I was really drained afterwards, and felt normal only after resting for half an hour!

Otherwise I have decided to spend 2-3 months where GPP & weight loss is the focus of my training, and also rehabbing my leg. This means that OL workouts will be shorter than normal, to allow more training time and energy for GPP. Also, speed/power is prioritised over strength, so only a limited amount of squats to maintain strength; 3x5 twice a week will do.

My rough plan is:
Monday: OLs
Tuesday: GPP/Active recovery
Wed: Plyo/speed devt.
Thursday: GPP/Active recovery
Friday: OLs
Sat&Sun: GPP/Active recovery

starting next week.

and basically 2 hard weeks then one easy week with reduced volume, 9-12 weeks total. GPP can be mixed up a bit, including cycling (mini hills)/swimming, may even give tempo runs a go. I am a bit unsure of how to measure when I have a satisfactory level of GPP, if anyone knows how or has any other comments, let me know.

I did my new stretching routine last night for hamstrings and piriformis-syndrome sciatica, it goes like this;

1.Standing hamstrings stretch feet shoulder width
2.Standing hamstrings stretch feet wide (1 meter apart)
3.‘Standing Twist’ (I think they are also called windmills but held statically)
4.‘Hip opener’ sitting on bum, feet together hands around toes, feet to bum, lean over.
5.‘Spinal Twist’ lying on back, knees to chest, then roll side to side.

Numbers 2,3,4,5 are taken from a yoga book, 6 from a webpage that Flash directed me to on another thread.

Each stretch apart from spinal twist was held for 2x20 seconds if I could bear it, and I went beyond the point of mild discomfort to quite a lot of discomfort. After each stretch I felt very relaxed, and felt very relaxed generally towards the end and after.

The sciatica has disappeared, now I can’t get it no matter how much I slump or tilt my pelvis. It did disappear for a short while some weeks ago, after a training session. To this sequence I will add two or three stretches for gastroc and soleus. Once my sciatica is cured I will add some stretches for my hip flexors and quads. Things are looking up!

I think I will swap Wed and Fri around from my rough plan above, to get more recovery from the more dynamic exercises.

Wed 27th July: OLs


Snatch technique with bar.
PC&3 Jerks: 90, PC&2 Jerks: 4x90.
Hang Snatch: 3x60, 3x65, 2x2x70, 2x75, 80, 85(f), 90 failed 4 times.
Snatch Pulls: 3x80, 4x3x90
Snatch Grip Lockouts: 10x80, 2x6x80
Front Squat: 4x3x110 (lost it due to imperfect rack twice)
Situps: Incline#1 - 15 reps, Incline#3 - 12 reps

I had all of the snatches at arms length, but the bar was too far forward on all but one, and on the one in the right position, my arms collapsed.

I have a number of things to work on besides calf flexibility;

  1. Second pull delay opening up
  2. Second pull - keep it close and extend fully
  3. Snatch receiving - don’t slide feet out so far
  4. Weak in the lockout position for the snatch.

Those are the main ones so far. There is a competition on the 13th of Aug, I haven’t decided whether to go yet.

Friday 29th July: Tempo runs!

As my sciatica has been virtually non existent the last few days, and as my knees are aching, I decided to do some tempo runs on grass this evening. I will add some quad stretches to my stretching routine starting tonight for those aching knees, and superset them with ham/glute/back stretches to save time.

I did 3 sets of runs, on grass, 100m (length of soccer pitch end to end). 5 reps, 3 reps, 3 reps, with the rests getting longer as I went a long, lol. These were very hard for me, remember I’m carrying around 25 kilos lard with me. I can’t find my stopwatch, so I just counted strides instead, they were between 56 and 59 from beginning to end. I was trying to run smoothly and keep relaxed.

I think my gpp sessions will mostly be tempo runs now depending how my leg feels tomorrow, those circuits are taking a toll on my knees. I’ll still mix it up somewhat though.

Yay, I can run again :smiley: .

P.S my weight was 102.5 on wednesday weighed myself before and after training, bit heavier than I thought, but my waist has continued to shrink.

Sat 30th July: Athletics meet.

Awful weather for throwing, we had a league meet at our club today.

Shot: 11.44, appalling tecnique, but to be expected with no technical training.
Discus: 32.93 - standing as the circle was too wet to throw properly with running shoes.

No training today as my legs and core need to recover from the tempo runs lol. There is another athletics meet in three weeks, and I have a weightlifting comp in two weeks, so I have to decide which to go for by Monday. Can’t train well for both as I have to be careful with my core. I mainly have to decide whether to focus on over head strength or chest strength, and spending most training time on weighlifting technique or throws. May have to flip a coin.

Edit: if I seem fickle well I am, but our athletics team is very close to getting promoted, so I can put some effort in to throws for 3 weeks for the last meet to help our team get promoted, then switch back to my original goal order!

Sun 31st July: Plyos/Throws

I decided to skip the OL comp and train for throws for next 3 weeks (without flipping a coin). My adductors are still a bit sore so no tempo or LJs this evening.

SLJ: 3x3, best of 2.60
Overhead shot 4x2, best of 12.15 felt sluggish on these
Shot: 12 throws, best of 11.15
Standing shot 8 throws, best of 10.10, my best standing so far.
Shot: 4 throws, best of 11.50

I will have a stretching session this evening, I should probably stretch my adductors as well now, so I’ll add some stretches in for them. I will write out a plan for the next 3 weeks tonight, it will basically be two hard weeks and then a taper. There will be lots of throwing, bench twice a week, overhead pressing twice a week. I am risking my intercostal injury flaring up again, but I think it’s gone now.

Mon 1st August: OL based workout

Pushed it hard today.

Bench test: up to 110, quite hard, guess max is 115.
Hang Snatch: 2x2x70, 2x2x75 (1 fail), 80, 85 fail twice (in front)
PC and 2 Jerks: 2x100, 105, 107.5
Clean: 115 (supposed to be 120 but misloaded (lopsided), still made it!).
120 fail (in front fell off shoulders)
Snatch Pull: 3x2x90
Squat: 5x3x140
Bench: 2x100 (too heavy) 3x3x90
Situps: 4 sets 8-12 (2 sets straight 2 twisting)

I’ve lost 20 kilos ish on my bench and will try to bring that back up in the next couple of weeks. Just easing back into the bench today. I’m also weak in the squat, because of a loss of strength and because I’m in a deeper position than when I was heavier. Weaker in the squat than I thought, I will have to work on that as well, like I did today. Military Press, Rows and Chins tomorrow after throws, assuming uni gym is open still.

I wrote down my rearranged goal order for the next 3 weeks at lunch today:

1.Throws (discus,hammer,shot)
i)Technique for all three
ii)Specific speed in arms
iii)Upper body strength
i)Snatch technique
ii)Overhead strength
iii)Squat strength
iv)Jerk technique
v)Clean technique
i)Tempo runs/circuit as active recovery
iii)Continue weight loss, not at the expense of gaining strength

This means for the next 3 weeks:

1)High volume on throws, lower volume on OLs and GPP, but normal volume on limit strength exercises.
2)Increase food consumed by 500-1000 calories a day, extra food on top of diet detailed above.

With the goals clearly stated it is easier to adapt the training as I go along. Now rough plan is;

Tuesday=Throws,Rows,Pulldowns,Military Press, GPP

Tuesday 2nd August: Throws & upper body weights

Hammer: Turns and a few throws off one turn up to 27m
Disc: 1.75kg about 20 throws, full throws for rhythm and release, up to 37m
Overhead shot: 5kgx4 up to 14.90
Shot: 5kg about 15 throws, full throws for rhythm, best 12.50ish
Standing Disc: 1.75 4x4, not far
Standing Shot: 5kg 2x5, up to 11.50

Dumbbell Rows: 3x5 up to 34kg
MP: 3x5x50
Chins: 2
Lat Pulldowns (chin grip): 5x68, 2x5x73

Got talking to a hammer coach at our club who comes down irregularly, he can give me some pointers as he did today.

Wed 3rd August: OL workout

Hang Snatch: 4x2x70 better technique
PC&2Jerks: 100, 105, 110 (full clean) - failed second, at arms length but unbalanced
Clean: 2x115 (failed second not pulled hard enough) 2x110
Snatch Pulls: 2x90, 4x2x80
Front Squat: 2x3x110, 3x3x115, 3x120 (dropped bar on 3rd - slipped off shoulders)
Situps: 3 sets straight situps
Stretches for hams and glutes

Squats noticeably stronger than last week already. Shoulders are sore, may delay bench to friday depending on how I feel tomorrow. Abs are sore but did some light situps anyway. Sciatica has returned, I haven’t had time to stretch yesterday or monday and I am paying the price.

Thurs 4th Aug: Throws, tempo and bench

Discus (1.75): 15 throws, a few at 37-38m
Hammer: 5 single turn throws, best 29m, some turns
Overhead Shot (5): 2 throws, best 14.30m
Shot (5): 5 throws, best 12.60m

Shoulder was feeling beat up so I left it there

Tempo runs: 3x3x100m, 55.5-57 strides

Bench: 4x5x85

Rhythm and release on discus is improving, got to work on getting it flying higher still. I was slipping a lot in my trainers on the hammer turns, I might get some proper throwing shoes next week, it’s about time. Next week I will swap bench to tues and friday, should be better for my shoulder.

do you have a shoulder injury.

No I don’t think so, I was just feeling some discomfort around the joint during the throws last night. I think I did a bit too much on Tuesday, in combination with the OLs and bench.

Fri 5th Aug:

Messed around a bit today some jumps and sprint starts before heading to the gym.

SLJ: 5 jumps, best 2.50
3 step LJ: 5, best 3.70
9 step LJ: 4, best 4.00
15 step LJ: 4, best 4.20

Decided to do some sprint starts, measured strides again.

10m: x6, all 6.5 strides
20m: x3, all 12.5 strides
30m: x2, both 18 strides

Squats: 4x5x135
Dumbbell Row: 2x5x32, 2x5x34
Military Press (MP): 3x2x60, 1x60, 2x3x55
Lat Pulldown (normal grip): 3x5x73, 5x68

I’ve put on a kilo or so since I last weighed myself, assuming my hydration is at the same level. Over the weekend and earlier this week I had some ‘refeed’ days as weight loss has become less of a priority, and also had some cheat meals i.e junk food. I think this is why my performance on the jumps has deteriorated so much.

I was moving my right arm about and it seems the rotator cuff is playing up, so I won’t throw tomorrow and let that settle down for Tuesday’s session. Also my shins were bothering me on the runs today and tempo last night (less so), that’s one thing I didn’t think about and is no doubt a problem due to lack of GPP and being so overweight. So back to the circuits for GPP, and OL based workout instead of jumps or sprints in the mean time. I wanted to stick to two OL sessions a week due to my hand becoming bothered when training regularly, but I can do three a week and get round the injury by not doing anything overhead in one of the sessions. I’ll switch back to tempo and jumps/sprint starts when I’ve lost 10 kilos or so.

I got my hand x-rayed today and will go back to my doctor in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling I have a condition (forgot the name he mentioned) that requires stretching, as the pain goes once I am warmed up.

I believe ignorance is weakness, so I have started to read up about shin splints and my hand condition and associated anatomy and physiology. In between watching the world champs I have been meditating and reflecting and I feel courageous; I will not let my injuries bring me down, I will fight them, bravery is freedom! I will find a way through and around them, and I will prevail. Though this may seem madness, don’t forget there is a method in it: You’ll see in the meet; the meet is the thing, wherein I’ll some righteous kickass bring! I will do well. Anyway more matter with less farting around… I’m going to do two stretching sessions today as I need to loosen up, and one ‘home-circuit’ with abs at the end, will update with the results later.

Sat 6th Aug: Home circuit

I pushed hard… again, and got 445 reps in 3x5 mins. Forgot to add crunches but I will do some tomorrow instead.

I’ve changed my mind about tempo runs after an insight, I have a bad habit of decelerating quickly at the end of my tempo runs, and I just realised this has irritated my shins. I can try some tempo without doing this and see whether it is ok.

I have added some stretches to my stretching routine and now I am stretching almost the whole of my lower body with it, it is now like this;

1: Hamstrings standing feet shoulder width apart
2: Quads kneeling
3: Hamstrings feet wide
4: Quads standing
5: Windmill static
6: Warrior (for hip flexors)
7: ‘Hip opener’
8: Warrior with twisted torso and tilted pelvis to stretch ITB
9: Lying twist
10: Calves straight (cat stretch)
11: Pigeon
12: Calves bent knee - leaning against wall (knee at 110ish degree angle)
13: Adductors - that groin stretch that you see soccer players doing
14: ‘Salute to the sun’ ab stretch

7 ‘supersets’ each held for 2x15-20 seconds apart from lying twist.

So the only major thing I am not stretching is my gluteus medius, and I will add a stretch for that if the need arises.

Tomorrow will be a restful day, with some light exercise probably biking with the wife.

Sun 7th August

You’re not going to believe this… I changed my mind again! I did some throwing and bench today, as my rotator cuff feels better.

Shot (7.26): 25+throws, standing and glide, best glide 11m, best stand 9.90. I was concentrating on technique - mainly footwork and arm position.
Discus (1.75): 16+throws, most spin some stand. Best spin 37-38m, best stand 32-33m. Concentrating on footwork and getting some height.

Bench: 6x2x95

I only have one shot of my own for training - a cheap one which is too big. I throw best with 110mm sized shots, and badly with 128mm, the one I have is around 128 and comes out my hand badly. There was a nice ‘mature’ woman of Austrian origin (there with her daughter and son in law and grandchildren), who was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She didn’t hesitate to advise me, and she actually gave me some useful advice. That was nice. I’m starting to improve footwork on the throws, it’s good that it’s worth the effort. I have also made a change to my diet thus:

(excluding supplements edit… I mean excluding pills edit#2… I mean excluding tablets and capsules)

Breakfast 0730ish: Large bowl of porridge with 10g protein (calcium caseinate), sweetener, seeds.
Snack 1030ish: 250g yoghurt and a portion of fruit
Lunch 1330ish: Sandwich with 5 slices lean meat on healthy style brown bread with olive oil spread
Snack 1600ish: 250g yoghut and a portion of fruit
PWO: 500ml skimmed milk with 20g protein powder, portion of fruit
Dinner: Usually fish or chicken with oven chips/potatoes with olive oil spread and vegetables.

That should give me around 100g protein, I’m not sure if that is optimal or not, probably not quite enough. I made fast gains earlier this year getting not more than 100g protein a day (read 50kg on squat in 6 weeks). I may add a protein shake in depending on how my weight loss goes.

The scale at the gym told me I weigh 101kg now, been eating well this week. Off to spend some time with the wife now :slight_smile:

Mon 8th Aug: OLs

My weightlifting coach was so upset that I didn’t want to do the OL comp this Sunday that I have changed my mind and I will do it, doing as well as I can while training through it.

Snatch: 5x1x75, 5x1x80, 1x82.5
C&J: 1x100, 6x1x105
Front Squat: 2x115, 6x2x120 (not all that hard)
MP: 5x3-4x55
Hypers: 10xbw, 10x5, 8x10
Situps: 2x12-15

I cycle caffeine on and off and I am having a caffeine week this week, mainly to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. I had 250mg this morning.

Since I started doing situps (which I’m not sure I should really be doing, my (old fashioned?) weightlifting coach has all his lifters do them) I have had some discomfort in the lower back. As I suspected I have exaggerated lordosis - excessive forward curvature of the lower back, the situps have exasperated the problem. This problem is common in our training group.

Anyway, for me I know this problem is due to:
1.Weak abdominal wall muscles and/or
2.Tight psoas/iliacus/rectus femoris
3.Weak lower back/posterior chain muscles
4.Edit - possibly also due to my large gut.

So I will therefore:
1.Temporarily eliminate stretches 1 and 7 from above stretching routine, no rounding of back on stretch no. 3
2.Increase frequency and volume of stretching for hip flexors and abs, up to 3xper day, the rest of the stretches normal (once per day)
3.More volume & intensity on pulls and hypers, less on squats and situps.
4.Twice a day perform anti-lordosis ab exercise seen in Zatsiorsky’s text.

Edit: in fact I will stop doing situps and start doing crunches with legs on a bench instead for the time being.

Tuesday 9th Aug: Throws

I realised that the line in the shot sector I thought for some reason was 14m was actually 15m (lines are at 5,10,15), I’ve edited the previous overhead throws accordingly.

Discus (1.75kg): about 25 throws total, most spin some stand, best of 37m
Overhead Shot (5): 5 throws, best of 15.50
Shot (5): about 30 throws total, most glide some stand, best of 13.60
Varied effort in both the shot and disc.
Hammer (6): a few drills doing turns, 6 throws off two turns, best of 35.50.

Bench: 6x2x100 90 sec rest
Lat Pulldown: 5x3-4x73-77
Tricep Pushdown: 2x10x46 with the rope, at the top notch (in case I forget for next time)
Dumbbell row: 3x6x32

In all three throws I am sending the implement out too low. In the Discus, I am staying in the circle more often (most of the time), but still leaning too far forward into the throw at the end, not standing tall and throwing around, if that makes sense. In the Hammer, I am not leaning back enough during the entire throw. I am finishing the throw well though. In the Shot, same problem with leaning into the throw and not standing tall, and not throwing around.

In the shot and discus I have been lax on staying in the circle, going for max distance regardless of if I fail or not, first focusing on the rythm, hoping that the footwork would just come. It has to an extent but could be better.

I’ve done some more reading of articles and I’m going to add some of those bridge exercises for the glutes, and possibly some other glute exercises, when I can fit them in. Starting a new job tomorrow, it’s going to be fun fitting all this in, looking forward to not having to throw for a few months after next weekend as all this is taking up a lot of time!