So the hard work has begun. Unfortunately, OFSTED(educational inspectors) turned up at work a few weeks ago. This meant dropping everything except work and getting little sleep for a week. The impact on my training has been pretty far reaching because the stress and lack of sleep left me open to a throat infection. I couldn’t rest the following week as I didn’t want to let my team down by going off sick, so I’m still unwell two weeks later. Fortunately school is now closed for a few weeks so I can rest and ease myself back into training again.
Mastering the jerk with confidence has involved some hard work but I’m just about there now. Last week I managed a few sets of long cycle and 16kg jerks, despite illness, so am pleased with myself about this. Developing efficiency and volume is now important, using tension and relaxation at the correct points helps a competitor perform at a high level for longer. I’ve ordered some weighlifting shoes which may stop me moving too far onto my toes (they’ve just arrived!). An essay on sport training has also helped my understanding about what is important and what is not. So I have been trying to improve the rack position by moving my elbows nearer my hips and have planned to work on the breathing routine next week when my cold should have cleared up.
Snatch work has centred around ensuring the kettlebell lands properly and, once again, efficiency of movement. I’ve learnt to open my hand a little earlier rather than pulling the kettlebell upwards. This involves trust that there is enough momentum behind the kettlebell at hip height to keep it moving upwards. Old habits die hard but we’re getting there. I’ve also learnt the corkscrew movement, used to guide the kettlebell down, letting the kettlebell fall in front of me and catching it at the bottom.
The workouts have been simple. The last program involved cleans ladders, extended swings (10 mins) and sets of jerks. This was mostly skills work. Now onto the volume. My next program has snatch and jerk ladders and then sets of increasing weight – 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, both snatch and jerk. Alongside both programs has been assistance work, developing both strength and flexibility. For example bouncing with a kettlebell on my back or one arm swings strengthening grip strength.
Honing my skills to this extent has been fun, I’d rather do this than simply turn out workouts without attention to detail. I still have two sessions of bootcamp each week which gives me some cross training, boosting my cardio endurance and working muscles not used during kettlebell training. Not a purest approach I know but I don’t mind if it’s effective.