Today’s lifting was pretty alright, given that I wrote a pretty difficult test this morning, then a paper, and promptly spent the rest of the day sleeping and feeling like shit. I wasn’t even going to go, but tomorrow I’m off to visit my family so I figured I should get some lifting in. Drop snatched up to 53kg, did snatch pull triples up to 70kg, and front squatted up to an easy single at 85kg.
The main two things I need to fix about my snatches right now, based on my completely uneducated opinion, is that (1) I’m too slow and hesitant to get under the bar, and (2) I don’t always finish my pull. Getting the bar up to my forehead is absurdly easy compared to how difficult getting under it is, even though all I have to do is pull myself under and sit the fuck down. I’ll do the pull, everything’s fine, and then I get the bar up and just sort of look at it… and look at it… and contemplate, I don’t know, the significance of man’s place in the universe or some bullshit, at which point it’s already coming down and I’m lucky if I can get under in time. I’m guessing it’s probably due more to being a wimp about it than anything else; even doing light sets of drop snatches I don’t always have confidence in the fact that I can get shit overhead. And even if I can get it overhead, I’m not always sure that I can keep it there. Time to fix that shit up.
Pulls were okay. I’m never actually sure if I should be doing them or focusing on something else since I can rip shit off the floor like nobody’s business, so today’s were more about slowing the fuck down from the floor to the knee and making sure to get it at high as possible. Going really heavy on these never really seemed to help me with anything, but then again, I also pull like a jackass if I’m not careful.
Squats: nothing interesting to say. My ass still hurts from Monday. I haven’t done front squats in a while, and I forgot how fun they were, although I really didn’t need a complete random to try spotting me on my last single. But maybe when I’m a little less tired and better fed I can hit 90kg+ in the near future.
Hips feel a little achier recently, so I’ve been doing lots of this and this and this. I’ll take ‘achey’ over ‘can’t walk without limping’ any day, but doing mobility stuff + getting really intimate with a lacrosse ball seems to be doing wonders.
In other news, engineer guy was there again, this time recording force curves on snatches, which made for some interesting conversations. And that’s about everything I have to say about that.
Today’s Olympics schedule includes weightlifting, with medal events in the Men’s 69kg and Women’s 63kg categories. Weightlifting has been an event at the modern Olympic Games since the beginning, but women have only been allowed to compete in the sport since 2000. Each competitor gets three attempts at each of two kinds of lifts: the snatch, and the clean and jerk. In the snatch, the lifter must lift the bar straight from the floor to overhead. The clean and jerk stops the weight at the shoulders before pressing the bar overhead.
Tommy Kono is shown above doing a snatch lift at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, where he won the gold medal for the United States. Kono won another gold in the 1956 games and silver in 1960. He then went on to coach the US weightlifting team in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
Photo: Center for Sacramento History PastPerfect-Online collection
I can’t even come up with a caption for this photograph. I think it’s pretty clear, though, that I will never be this cool.
EDIT: Apparently this photo is not from the Helsinki Olympic games but rather from a short exhibition not too long after them.
Paper here. Really cool stuff, although I’m not quite sure what to make of it.
Also, here’s some desiccation cracks found on Mars from some research done three years ago. I’ve never really heard about deep-sea sediment patterns like that, so I’m curious — how do these things form? How are they different from, say, plain old mud cracks like the ones in the 2009 study? How would you tell them apart just from using overhead photos? Is it just the size that’s important? I guess the northern hemisphere does make sense for a large ocean of some kind, but still.
Once I’m done this course I think it’s time to hit the geology and planetary science books again, because holy shit am I rusty on this stuff.
Wang Mingjuan trying out for the Chinese women’s Olympic weightlifting team at the national sports training center in Beijing. At 48kg (105 lbs), Mingjuan qualified for the team and is competing the London Olympics.
China has developed some of the toughest women weightlifters in the world. TIME contract photographer James Nachtwey documented China’s team as they prepared for the 2012 Olympic games in London.
I don’t know what she’s doing with it, but it appears that there’s 200kg on that bar (assuming it’s the men’s bar and not the women’s), and I can only assume that to do anything with 200kg you pretty much have to be a boss.
So the cut’s really starting to get to me. I felt pretty good getting into the gym so I decided to try to go heavy, but even warming up felt really really wobbly and I ended up just doing a billion hang cleans and tall snatches. Top sets were 43 for snatches and 55 for clean and jerk, followed by doubles of hang cleans (one from the knee, one from the hip, sometimes followed by a full clean) at 50kg. Nothing particularly impressive.
Squats were pretty much the only thing that went well. I was exhausted even warming up and skipped some of my warm-up sets, going straight from 80kgx3 to 97kgx3, which, if I get it for five this Friday, puts me well on track to a 250lb/115kg squat by my birthday at the latest. It did take a ridiculous amount of grinding to get three triples at that weight, but I attribute that to FOOD. By the fourth set I just ended up dropping the fucking thing and called it a day. My back-off set was supposed to be 87kgx8 but that didn’t work out either, so I did two sets of four and finally wobbled out of the gym.
Talked to an engineer dude at the gym who was working on some sort of apparatus that measures force and acceleration on lifts like squats and whatnot and feeds the data into your phone. Kind of cool.
Anyway, more tunes. Life is boring otherwise: work work work, study study study, lift lift lift, hunger hunger hungnggnnggnngger.