Monday, February 26, 2007

Questions to ask yourself about the Snatch!

Finding an efficient and powerful groove in the snatch is essential if you want to make long term progress and keep your body healthy. You must find a technique that allows you to safely progress without trashing your hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders and back. Like any other exercise, the snatch can be abused if done incorrectly and with lack of focus.

Here are some tips that have helped me in my quest to find the ultimate snatch technique for my body. I was initially intrigued by the RKC power snatch (the more ballistic explosive type) rather than the relaxed and loose GS style. Having watched Federenko, Steve Cotter and other RKC's perform the GS version of the snatch I naturally started to include the more relaxed and "hip hinging" style. The challenge is that with my goals of maintaining some of my explosive ability to further enhance my sprinting ambitions, the PURE GS form doesn't quite work the explosive quality I need. At the moment I have tried to successfully combine both Hard Style and GS styles into one blended style. Effective? I think so. Of course doing this combination style doesn't really improve the extreme ranges of strength endurance as in GS or enhance Speed and Power as in the Hard Style Snatch.

The secret to having a great snatch is to ask yourself the following questions:

1) What is your primary objective in my training; Strength Endurance or Explosive Power/Speed? And if you are a competetive athlete, what dominant energy system do you need to train, AEROBIC or ANAEROBIC?

2) What are the current demands of your daily routine/job? If you are a Strength Coach/Personal Trainer and are on your feet on all day working with clients, ask yourself hwow resilient your body is by the end of the day? Do you have the endurance to withstand the stress of stretching clients, picking up weights through out the day, and actively teaching exercsies when needed?

3) Where are you weakest? Hip extensors? Quads? Your overall legs? Maybe it's your grip and shoulder stability?

4) Is your main goal just maintaining General Fitness? Fat Loss? Overall health?

Depending on how you answered the questions, let me suggest that you start by outlining your primary goals of training and design your training accordingly. Keep in mind that stagnation may occur quickly if your weak links are not strengthened. In my personal case I always know that my left shoulder is weak and unstable. If I completely forget about pressing, pullling and other accessory exercises, old injuries can rear there ugly head. You really do have to find what works for you by experimenting with different strategies, almost like a scientist would do trying to prove his hypothesis.

Is GS the holy grail for you? Maybe, maybe not. Is hardstyle KB NIRVANA? Maybe, maybe not. If your goal is GS, go for it. If you goal is more short, explosive power, I cannot see how GS would be a wise choice. There seems to be a storm brewing in the KB industry where the GS'ers are dissing the HARDSTYLER's and vice versa. What a joke. Get over it! There are numerous people that have benefited from doing both styles, so for all of you who are picking sides, get a life. Both have merit. If people would learn to THINK CRITICALLY and intelligently they would understand that choosing a snatch style depends on many factors. It depends on the learning ability of the clients as well as their orthopedic health and medical history. I for one think beginning KB students have no business doing 5 or 10 mintue snatch tests. Most of them cannot complete 1 good rep in good form, so what's the point of doing 10 mintues of it. Okay, RANT IS DONE!




A-1 Double KB Front Squats
20kg's 3 x 5

A-2 Pull Ups
12kg 3 x 5

B-1 KB Reverse Lunges


Bikram's Yoga

Friday (GPP DAY)

A-1 Reverse Lunges
16g's 2 x 6/6

A-2 Double Snatches
20kg's 2 x 6

A-3 MB Shouldering
100lb 2 x 3/3

A-4 Rope Waves
50 foot rope 2 x 30
16kg's 3 x 6/6

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday Training

After reading one of Rif's posts on the dragon door forum about being consistent, it really got me thinking about how important simplicity is in training. So often people(including myself) are so bamboozled by fancy complicated programs that we forget that at the end of the day the only thing that matters is doing something, and doing it well. A simple and effective program design that is actually applied will always beat out the fancy schmancy program that is too complicated and technical where one ends up burning themselves out or just getting too overwhelmed. Slow and steady is the name of the game. It reminds me of what told myself aftet I blew my lumbar disc out for the second time; THINK LONG TERM! If I cannot tolerate the training load, intensity and frequency, than how I am going to tolerate it over the long run? This is something I constantly battle with. My stupid ego gets in the way and I think am better than I am, big mistake.

I have the tendency to go too hard, too quickly which always leads to overtraining and in my case an orthopedically screwed up body. Slow progressive increases in training load and volume are essential if one wants to stick in this training game for the long run. God, please help me remember this post down the road. Don't overdo it Franz, you knucklehead!

Tuesday Training

A-1 Double Clean and Press
2 x 20kg 1 x 5
2 x 24kg 5 x 5

B-1 Single Arm Bench Row
24kg 5 x 5/5

C-1 Snatches
24kg 5 x 5/5

Felt good today, even though my legs are TOAST from my Sunday workout.


Bikram's Yoga (this helped my recovery and instantly made my sore legs feel better)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Back from Miami....and boy was it cold!

Just got back yesteday afternoon from Miami. Our objective of relaxing, disconnecting and taking advantage of the beautiful carribean ocean was axed; the weather was cold. Regardless we made the best of the trip and saw many of Yoana's Venezuelan friends as well as her immediate family. We also checked out a training facility and met its' owner, Julio Anta, a very a very accomplished martial artist and one heck of a nice guy. And the Venezuelan food we ate; OUTSTANDING and DELICIOUS! As soon as we got off the plane we knew we had to get a workout in, so that's what we did.

Sunday Workout:

A-1 Double KB Front Squats
24kg's 5 x 5 reps

A-2 Weighted Chin Ups
16kg 5 x 5 reps

B-1 Reverse Lunges with hip Flexion
2 x 16kg 3 x 8/8

This was a butt kicker. The lack of deadlifting in my regime has definitely made my back better but consequently has shrunk my hamstrings to the size of Pee Wee's hermans lower legs. I am going to try and pack on a little size on my hip extensors these next couple of months my focusing my workouts a little more on the legs. Of course I have to keep the weight in check and be smart. As of lately my workouts have been for upper body dominant. Where my my legs were once my strength, my upper body is now my strength. Balance, I need to balance out my strength levels by bringing up my legs a bit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

RKC Snatch requirements

Well after more than a week off of training my body is feeling better. One thing I noticed is that I lose strength in my legs very quickly. In my upper body that doesn't happend quite as much, but my legs seems to lose muscle size and strength very fast. I suppose neurologically there is a bit of an issue coming from the lumbar spine from two disc herniations.


Max body weight pull ups to neck:

Managed to get 16 reps. not too bad but not what I wanted. I guess not too bad after being sick.


RKC Snatch Test (I need to get 56 reps total)
28 R / 28 L

I was very pleased I got this considering I haven't been training the snatch too much. Ready for the RKC, woo hoo!

We're off to South Florida today until Sunday. Hopefully the sun will be out and the beaches are usuable!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Week off...........forced rest!

My body got a stupid cold last weekend in Phoenix, so this week has been RECOVERY week. I didn't get it so bad however my energy levels and breathing have been severely compromised. Therefore no training this week. My post today is right out of Jordan Rubin's amazing book called THE MAKERS DIET. One of the best nutrition books I have ever read. The following is an excerpt from his book on things to do make yourself sick.

HOW TO GET SICK: A Modern Prescription for Illness

1. Stay out the sun
2. Go to bed after midnight
3. Never let them see you sweat
4. Take Megavitamins
5. Use Fluoride Toothpaste and mouthwash, and drink fluoridated water
6. Use artificial sweetners and avoid natural sugars
7. Shower every day, but don't bathe(take a bath)
8. Swim in chlorinated pools(and drink and shower with chlorinated water)
9. Don't breastfeed your baby
10. Get Tattoos
11. Get all of your immunization shots
12. Travel in airplanes often
13. Expose yourself often to electromagnetic energy
14.Use alot of skin care products, cosmetics, hair care products, nail care products, shampoos, soaps, perfumes, shaving cream, suntan lotion, and antibacterial soaps
15. Take lots of medications
16. Get your cavities filled with mercury
17. Do aerobic exercise
18. Wear contact lenses and receive implants of other foreign objects such as silicone breast implants
19. Live in a toxic home with toxic paint, carpet, mold, paraffin candles, etc..
20. Wear synthetic fabrics
21. Breathe with shallow breaths
22. Swallow your food without chewing well (or at all)
23. Use plastic food storage products, the popular food wraps, and re-use plastic drinking bottles
24. Eat grocery store produce and processed foods treated with pesticides, herbacides, animal growth hormones, and anti-biotics, don't forget hybridized, irradiated, and genetically altered foods
25. Weart tight underclothing
26. Undergo surgery to remove "unnecessary body parts"
27. Visit your medical doctor often

Now some of you may read those and disagree with alot of them . Some of them are no-brainers while others I know people will debate about. Either way this is what Dr. Rubin notes as the most up to date scientific research and bibilically based info available today for optimal health. Follow these 27 guidelines and you will be sick and diseased. What's cool about his book is that he references the exact scritpures that explain God's reasoning for eating and not eating certain foods. Fascinating!

Be well!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Monday......back in the saddle

Yoana and I spent a nice weekend in Phoenix visiting my brother and his family. As we do not have children of our own yet I was reminded what a blessing children are. His two boys Aidan and Soren are 5 and 2 and are so much fun to be around. Honestly I cannot wait to be a daddy, hopefully this year! It was great my bro Keats and spending time with family really drives home what life is all about; RELATIONSHIPS!
Having a personal relationship with God and with others is what life is about. When you get to the end your your life the last thing you will be thinking about is all the of the "Stuff" you accumulated or how much success you had. You will thinking about the relationships you had and the people you love. If there is one truth and supreme principle of life, that is it; love God and love others.

Today's training:

Barbell Military Press

95 pounds 1 x 5
115 pounds 1 x 3
135 pounds (negative only) 3 x 1 rep

Pull Ups (weighted)

24kg 5,4,3,2,2 = 16 reps


32kg 3 sets x 5/5

Energy was not so good today. I think the trip smoked me. I need to rest up as not to get the cold that is going around. I can feel it coming on so I need to be careful. Day off tomorrow!