July 31, 2011

As you can tell by my last few training posts, I’ve been mixing up my training a bit.  With Nationals over with, I’m re-shifting my focus back over to my squats and fundamental strength training.  Last summer I switched over to training pretty much exclusively with the Olympic lifts.  Now it seems that I’m going in the opposite direction with more of an emphasis on building up a strength base in preparation for heavy attempts to come.  I have always said that I never fully bought into one training system over another and instead look at training by what an individual needs at that point in time.  Last summer I needed to up my total.  This summer I need to get stronger to prepare myself for an even higher total.  Next summer, who knows?

What I do know is that:

A) I’m enjoying my training.

B) I believe that what I’m doing is helping.

C) There is variation in what I’m doing. (Even when I was only snatching, C&Jing and squatting, I was always sure to give myself some variation.)

These are three things that I believe are essential to any training program.  Even if the program sucks, you will make progress if these components are present.  That being said, I’m going to add in more of my regular practice with the lifts starting this week.

Here’s me in a Team Supertraining video.

If powerlifting is your thing, check out their WEBSITE.



July 30, 2011


Friday AM:

Snatch:  110kg.  Took it back down and did some pause snatches for doubles.  It’s going to be fun working on bringing these back up again.

Friday PM:

Clean x2, jerk x1:  took it up to 140kg.

Front squat: Hit a nice 170 and then got buried underneath 180.

Pull ups and other miscellaneous.


Deadlifts:  I worked on these with Juan of Team Supertraining.  Took it up to 5 plates no problem.  Conventional stance.  Alternating grip.  Went for 525lbs and missed.  Took it back down to 3 plates, took of the belt, added straps and did 315lbsx5, 365lbsx5, 405lbsx5.

Clean and jerks:  120kg a couple times to practice.

F. Squat:  These were feeling great but my hip flexor kept giving me shooting pains at 140kg, so I kept dropping it.

B. Squat:  Tried doing these and felt no pain.  Grinded out a nice 190kg, no belt, no knee sleeves.  Then I put this song on.

Then I hit 210kg SUPER easy followed by 180kg for 6.


July 28, 2011

Last night, I saw Woods play at Sol Collective in Sacramento, which I guess is an exceptionally hip thrift store that also serves as a venue to music and art events.  Needless to say, I felt pretty damn cool.

I really like these guys.  The show was a lot more “jammy” then I expected.  And for a mere 10 bucks at the door, the price was right for such a cool band.  I would suggest checking them out if you are into druggy, low-fi goodness. HERE is a review of their album, “Songs of Shame” from Pitchfork.

Also, I love indie kids.  I looked to my right and I swear this guy was standing motionless with his hand on his chin the ENTIRE 45 minute set.  I wanted to ask him what he was so concerned about.



Front Squat:  took it to a surprisingly easy 170kg. for a single.  Still holding off on the rehbands and belt.  I’m considering trying to hit 180-190 tonight.

Power clean and jerks:  I just took a few at 100 to see if I still remembered how.

Box jumps and long jumps: for funzies.

Light conditioning and pull-ups.


Front Squat: Worked up to an easy single at 180.  I’m pretty sure this lift gets the “no belt peace prize” as I don’t think I’ve ever tried to front squat anything over 170 without my rehbands or a belt on.

Clean and jerks:  took it to 140 and missed the jerk.  Not at all concerned.  They actually felt pretty good.

Behind the neck push press:  PR at 140.  The reason I’m doing these is to give me a break from strict pressing from the front while still getting some upper body work in.

Good mornings from the pins: 3×5 at 60.

Reverse planches:  Set up 2 boxes, put your shoulders on one and your heels on the other.

Glute-ham raises:  Standard ops.


Tuesday AM:

Power snatch: 3×1 at 90.

Box Squat:  I had never done these before and I was going to workout with Team Supertraining that night, so I wanted to practice.  3×3 at 150kg.

Conditioning: (Remember I’m still dropping weight.  I’m just over 240lbs. in the morning).

30 loops with heavy ropes.

30 (gasp!) Burpees.

Farmers walk to S Street with 24kg. Kettlebells.

Prowler sprints: “To and from” on a 25 yard track.  I would add 2x10kg. plates after every sprint.  After 5 sprints, I would take off 2 plates after every sprint until I once again had an empty cart.

Tuesday PM:

I worked out with Team Supertraining to mix things up a bit.

Box Squats: worked up to a single at 515lbs.

Deadlift: Worked up to a single at 475lbs. Set of 5 at 315. Set of 3 at 405.

Rack supports: 3×5 at 405lbs.

Wednesday AM:

2x F. Squat, 1x Jerk: Took it up to 140.  The front squats actually felt a little bit lighter than they did on Monday.

Behind the neck push press:  took it up to 130 for a single.  Missed at 140.

Wednesday PM:

Unfortunately, I overslept during my mid-day nap and there was no time for front squats.  But I snuck in some presses right before I coached the 5PM class.

Press:  Worked up to a single at 90kg.  Dropped back down and did sets of 5 at 50, 60 and 70.  Then I did 3×3 at 80.  Then I did 2 more sets of 10 at 60 and then 50.  (I did this within like 10 minutes.)


July 25, 2011

National Championships marks the “midpoint” of my training year, after which I take a step back to re-evaluate my training goals for the year.

Initial Goals:

Snatch 150/clean and jerk 180:  This was meant to be done by Senior Nationals and obviously wasn’t met.  Earlier this year, I snatched 147 in training but have not been able to match that number since.  Recently, I Clean and jerked 175 in training and actually managed to clean 182 on the same day.  After this, my training took a turn for the worse.  Still, I managed to post a pretty good total at National with a meet PR snatch of 143.

Squat 250: I came pretty damn close to this one day with a strong looking 245.  That’s about 15kgs. of improvement for the year.  However after looking at what other lifters are squatting compared to me, I think I should change this goal to at least 260.

Front Squat: Admittedly, I haven’t been paying enough attention to these but I at least wanted to get up to 210.  My best is still only 200.  That will change starting next week with my new goal of reaching 230kg.

Revised Goals:

150/180: This remains the same.  I want it before American Opens.

-260 Back Squat: 250 would be dece’ but 260 would be super dece’.

230 Front Squat:  This will be most challenging but 200kg. is just unacceptable.

Fun/Other Goals:

Press: On top of these goals, I’m also going to start pressing/push pressing heavier.  I’m not going to post a goal weight for these because frankly, they’re just not as important as far as being a good weightlifter is concerned.  But I started doing them more often and on top of being kind of fun, pressing more often will help me become a more muscular 105 which will be useful if/when I ever decide to move up to a super (a real super), plus I also enjoy having a strong upper body.

Attend a couple live performances: I used to go to shows all the time back when I was cool.  However, training for weightlifting means that you don’t waste money and make an effort to not be on your feet for hours at a time.  Still, I can afford to attend one or two shows if I plan in advance.  The last good show I went to was Arcade Fire in Berkeley.

Art: I’m going to make some more progress on my children’s book as well as continue to do artwork.  I need to start practicing my figure drawing chops on a regular basis as well as branch out into different mediums.  It’s easy for me to just keep on doodling in ink and watercolor because it’s the fastest and easiest.  Alongthelinesof T-shirts could also be a possibility.

Move: I’m planning to do this by September.

School: School.



Power snatch: 3×3 at 90. 3×1 at 100.

Power clean and jerk: 3×1 at 120.

F. Squat: worked up to 140 for a single. No belt. no rehbands. (I’m saving ’em for later).

Press: 5×5 at 40.


Clean and jerk: Worked up to 130 for 1.

F. Squat: Worked up to 160 for 1.  Still no sleeves or belt.

Press: Pressed my 1st 100kgs. today.  Then I followed this up with a few more sets of 5 at 70.  I’ve never really done them before outside of catching a pump.  My usual protocol is 1 benbata set at 50kg.  My new pressing goal is 120kg. which I think would be dece’ for a guy my size.

The song in the video is Get Away-Yuck.  Sounds SO 90’s.

Deadlift: Threw these in for fun.  Took it up to 220kg.

Finished up with pull-ups and other miscellaneous stuff.

New New Wave.

July 24, 2011

70’s Big.

July 22, 2011

National meets are fun.  You never know who you’re going to run into.

Gettin' 70's big at Senior Nationals.

I met Justin of 70’s big last year at Nationals.  We made friendly and then ended up warming up together in the back before taking our attempts.  Later I would have him and AC over at my house for a sleep over, complete with pizza and video games.

Anyways, I know most of you guys have already seen this because you found my blog through 70’s big.  But HERE is a podcast interview we did the other day via teh internetz.


Here’s a picture that I got razzed for because I didn’t know how to properly do the 70’s big face.


Months later, I began to grow tired of not having a big, intimidating 70’s face.  So I began to practice.


This, I think, should deserve some extra points because I believe it to be an accurate representation of myself if I actually had existed in the 70’s.



July 20, 2011

Nationals.  Done.  I didn’t reach my goal of hitting 150/180 at this competition, but I am happy with the progress I’ve made in the past 6 months.  I clean and jerked my 1st 175, cleaned my 1st 182 (400lbs!), and got a 310 total in a meet (twice!).  I’ve also almost reached my goal of a 250kg. back squat.

Here’s video of all my attempts from Nationals.  If you check the results posted by USAW, I only achieved a 308 total, when in fact it was my 2nd attempt clean and jerk that got turned down, not my 3rd.  I have video proof and have already talked to multiple officials about it, sent e-mails and made phone calls.  Realistically, my results won’t change.  And in the end, it’s only 2 kilos, so I should probably stop bitching about it.

Like I said, I’m happy with how I performed at the meet.  If you could zoom in on my face on the 143 snatch, you would see a big ass smile on my face.  The last 4 weeks leading into this were pretty dismal as far as getting quality training.  And with that whole back spasm thing the week before the meet, I knew that if I were to re-injure my back it would be while snatching.  143 meet PR snatch?  I’ll take it.  It also felt good to have the last lift of the snatch session.  Made me feel slightly badass.

My clean and jerks went well too.  I decided to open super conservative at 160, which is funny, because that was my best clean and jerk at Collegiates a few months ago.  But since I cleaned that 182 in training, I haven’t really been able to take it up much past 150 without running into problems.

So I opened at 160 and stuck it.  165 also felt good but was turned down due to boggle at the top of the jerk.  I still wanted 170, but I knew that 167 would be the better choice because there was no way in hell I would miss it.

After talking to a few officials about the incorrect total, I walked to the nearest chain restaurant and proceeded to get smashed at the bar.  6 shots of whiskey and a few beers later, I stumbled back to the venue site to watch the rest of the sessions. At this point, it occurred to me that weightlifting was a lot more fun to watch while drunk.

I’m just going to put this out there.

Beer will make weightlifting meets less boring.

Pat Mendez clean and jerked 212.  Could you imagine the reaction from the crowd had they been drinking?  They would go apeshit.  Something to think about.

Anyways.  I’m taking the rest of the week to have fun at my gym/workplace.  We have so much cool stuff that I never get to use.  I’m also going to drop back down to 235lbs.  Being extra big is fun and all, but I’m just more comfortable at my “fighting” weight of 235.  Before next week, I’ll post my revised short term and long term goals for my next training cycle as well as a very rough outline of how I plan to get there.

I’m also going to start doing some more damn artwork.  Dammit.


July 17, 2011

Here are my final lifts from this weekend.  I’ll do a write-up for the meet when I get home.

143 snatch. 167 clean and jerk.


July 16, 2011

HERE is the link for the live stream of Nationals this weekend.  My session starts at 9AM (Iowa time).

(edit: apparently there will be no webcast tomorrow.  Sorry ya’ll.)

Or alternatively,

If watching weightlifting online isn’t your thing, the Pitchfork Music Festival is streaming HERE. All the coolest, most relevant indie buzzbands will be there.


This conversation makes me laugh.

“Fluuuuuuuush with CAAAAAAASSSSSHH!”