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Roo's "OK, what now?" challenge


msuroo

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So it's time to write some goals down, I guess. I was feeling pretty good about myself at the end of the last challenge, having finally gotten back into a semi-regular training schedule after ~6 months off.  The overarching goal for this challenge is to not fuck that up.  (Spoilers: I'm not off to a good start.)  These goals are minor tweaks of ideas I was having at the end of the last challenge:

 

PR Time

So I actually did set a 1 kg snatch PR during the last challenge, but for the most part, I was just rebuilding lost strength.  It's time to forge some new ground.  The one I really want to hit is a bodyweight C&J - I'm kind of ashamed that I haven't gotten there yet.  My best C&J to date is 78 kg, and I hit a 76 easily in my meet a few weeks ago.  I'm currently weighing in around 81 kg, so this should really be happening.

 

Training will be loosely based on Everett's simple template.  I'm shooting for four days a week, with the following basic programming structure:

 

D1 - Snatch/front squat

D2 - Jerk/overhead squat

D3 - Clean/back squat

D4 - Snatch/C&J

 

I know that realistically, 4 days every week isn't going to happen, so depending on what days I miss, I'll just wing it as appropriate.

 

50 presses a day

Ok, here's the deal.  My upper body strength sucks.  Like, reeeeaalllly sucks.  I know that my body is built for pulling, but my best clean ~20% better than my best jerk - that's no good.  So I want to try an experiment, which I'm unimaginatively calling "50 presses a day".  In the world's least shocking reveal, this experiment will involve 50+ shoulder presses a day (I'm doing them behind the neck).  I'm going to start witn 25 kg and bang out sets of 12-15 whenever I can throughout the day, and add 2-3 kg a week depending on how it goes.  Kind of like greasing the groove, but for my shoulders.  I had started this at the end of the last challenge, but didn't keep it up while I was travelling.  Early returns seemed good, so it's time to do it for real.  Brocountabillibuddies, keep me in line here.  I just decided right now that any reps I miss I owe double (!!) for the following day.

 

Not quite return of the scout

So for those of you who weren't around for my challenges way back in the day, I used to run.  A lot.  For some crazy reason, I thought it was a good idea to run a marathon, so I spent about a year working up to that.  (For some even crazier reason, I feel like someday when my kids are older I might do it again).  People are constantly asking me to sign up for races, but I've already decided that I'm not going to do any this year, since I once I do, I feel like training for those needs to take precedence over lifting.  That said, I do like to run, and my office running club does a once a week casual 5k/10k after work, so I'm going to try and participate in as many of those as possible.

 

Make time for games

Ok, this is a straight ripoff from Seth.  I just got back from PAX, where I played all the games, but realistically at home, I'm lucky to crack a game open once a month.  Gonna try to make time for games at least 3 times throughout the course of this challenge, even if it's just with Mrs Roo.  I'll also try to tell you guys about what I'm playing - something I had started to do at the beginning of the last challenge, but fell off with once I got busy (and stopped playing games).

 

Ok, so that's basically it.  Nothing really new or exciting, but always helpful to write some stuff down.  I'm dying to get back in the gym, having not worked out in a week.  (PS, in the immortal words of Straw Squat, it's hell getting old.  I went to a 3 day con and it's taking me like 5 to recover - all with good sleep too.)  I'm finally feeling pretty good again though, so let's get to it!

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Are you doing to do BTN presses every time? While I think they'll help your turn over and lockout strength on snatches, I would think that strict/push presses from rack position should make their way in to you life at some point too. 

You ever see those guys who look like they totally used to be in shape?
I'm working to get back to that...

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Are you doing to do BTN presses every time? While I think they'll help your turn over and lockout strength on snatches, I would think that strict/push presses from rack position should make their way in to you life at some point too. 

 

I'm going BTN every time for my 50p/d experiment - throws some hidden mobility work into the shoulder volume.  Time permitting, there will also be proper push presses on jerk days.

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So it's time to write some goals down, I guess. I was feeling pretty good about myself at the end of the last challenge, having finally gotten back into a semi-regular training schedule after ~6 months off.  The overarching goal for this challenge is to not fuck that up.  (Spoilers: I'm not off to a good start.)  These goals are minor tweaks of ideas I was having at the end of the last challenge:

 

PR Time

So I actually did set a 1 kg snatch PR during the last challenge, but for the most part, I was just rebuilding lost strength.  It's time to forge some new ground.  The one I really want to hit is a bodyweight C&J - I'm kind of ashamed that I haven't gotten there yet.  My best C&J to date is 78 kg, and I hit a 76 easily in my meet a few weeks ago.  I'm currently weighing in around 81 kg, so this should really be happening.

 

Training will be loosely based on Everett's simple template.  I'm shooting for four days a week, with the following basic programming structure:

 

D1 - Snatch/front squat

D2 - Jerk/overhead squat

D3 - Clean/back squat

D4 - Snatch/C&J

 

I know that realistically, 4 days every week isn't going to happen, so depending on what days I miss, I'll just wing it as appropriate.

 

50 presses a day

Ok, here's the deal.  My upper body strength sucks.  Like, reeeeaalllly sucks.  I know that my body is built for pulling, but my best clean ~20% better than my best jerk - that's no good.  So I want to try an experiment, which I'm unimaginatively calling "50 presses a day".  In the world's least shocking reveal, this experiment will involve 50+ shoulder presses a day (I'm doing them behind the neck).  I'm going to start witn 25 kg and bang out sets of 12-15 whenever I can throughout the day, and add 2-3 kg a week depending on how it goes.  Kind of like greasing the groove, but for my shoulders.  I had started this at the end of the last challenge, but didn't keep it up while I was travelling.  Early returns seemed good, so it's time to do it for real.  Brocountabillibuddies, keep me in line here.  I just decided right now that any reps I miss I owe double (!!) for the following day.

 

In just cause of that. I like your style.

 

I mean for all the rest of the awesome as well, but that's what sold me right there.

There is no signature here.

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Ok, so what was the overarching goal for this challenge again?  Not lose momentum after getting solidly back in the groove?

 

Week 1: F--

 

Diet has been awful, and I haven't had a proper workout in like a week and a half.  Ugh.

 

Anyway, today is a new day, so back in the gym (finally).  Didn't keep a detailed log - took smaller jumps than normal and worked up to around 85-90% in the snatch and the back squat.  Surprisingly, I felt pretty good today - usually I'm stiff as a board.  Added bonus, I even took videos to participate in the mini challenge!

 

Snatch at 54 kg (PR is 61)

 

 

Pretty happy with this - keeping the bar nice and close and the result is a pretty crisp looking lift.  Sidenote: I don't normally strap up when snatching from the floor, but I gave myself a wicked papercut this morning and chalk = ouch. Also, I wish the slo-mo on my camera was better.  I spent a fair amount of money on it when Little Roo was born, but I wish someone with a crystal ball would have told that GoPros were going to be a thing.

 

 

Back squat triple at 95 kg (Haven't attempted a PR in ages, estimating 1rm at 110)

 

 

What do you guys think?  A little bit of tail tuck maybe, but otherwise ok?  It's been a long time since I looked at a video of my squat.

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Ok, so what was the overarching goal for this challenge again?  Not lose momentum after getting solidly back in the groove?

 

Week 1: F--

 

Diet has been awful, and I haven't had a proper workout in like a week and a half.  Ugh.

 

Anyway, today is a new day, so back in the gym (finally).  Didn't keep a detailed log - took smaller jumps than normal and worked up to around 85-90% in the snatch and the back squat.  Surprisingly, I felt pretty good today - usually I'm stiff as a board.  Added bonus, I even took videos to participate in the mini challenge!

 

The biggest thing NF has taught me is that every new day is a chance to pick yourself up and try again. It's been the best lesson of my adult life. :)

 

Snatch is looking good! You are definitely stronger than you think. I see nothing wrong with the squats. You have great depth and I didn't see any form issues. But, I also like to remind people that there is a reason I have a coach and I'm not a coach.  ;)

90+ Masters Weightlifter

Current Lift PRs
Snatch: 93kg/205lb // Clean and Jerk: 113kg/248lb // Back Squat: 170kg/375lb

Spoiler

 

2016 USAW Senior Nationals - 6th place

2015 USAW American Open - 8th place
2015 USAW Senior Nationals - 9th place
2014 USAW Senior Nationals - 9th place

2013 USAW Senior Nationals - 9th place

 

Instagram - MyFitnessPal

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Workout - 4/22

 

Warmup

 

Rack Jerks

20 x 2 x 2

40 x 2 x 2

50 x 2 x 2

55 x 2 x 2

60 x 2 x 2

63 x 2 x 2

66 x 2 x 2

68 x 2 x 2

70 x 2 x 2

72 x 2

 

And that's it.  Actually took me quite a while, but looking at it written down, I can see why.  Really really happy with it though - most of them were really sharp.  And 72 is the biggest weight (by a lot) that I've done for a double.  (There was a little press-out in the second rep though, and I didn't want to risk all of the clangor that would have come with a miss, so I didn't try a second set).  Anyway, can't wait to try full C&Js this weekend.  I feel a PR coming on.

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Nothing wrong with the squat in the video above, it looks real nice. If I was to be super-nitpicky I'd suggest maybe trying to get your arms under the bar more rather than "chicken-winging" at the back as this would help you to keep your chest up and move more weight. This only springs to mind because it's something I'm actively working on myself at the moment :)

 

The snatch looks really nice and sharp - there's definitely a good bit more there.

 

Also, that's a hell of a lot of rack jerk volume!

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Oh man, I almost forgot - I actually got a few games in last weekend.
 
First, Mrs Roo and I played a game of Letters from Whitechapel.
 
18z906j6orsdujpg.jpg
 
It's a hidden movement game wherein one person plays Jack the Ripper and the other 1-4 people play as the London police trying to catch him.  (In my experience, the game plays best as a 2 player game with one person controlling the entire police force).
 
The board is a map of the Whitechapel district of London, where Jack the Ripper committed his serial murders in 1888.

18z9038spl1wyjpg.jpg
 

Gameplay involves the Jack player picking a hideout (one of the numbered circles on the board), then committing five murders while attempting to return to his hideout after each one (by tracking movement on a hidden notepad).  The police chase Jack from the murder sites by searching for clues (Jack must reveal a clue if a policeman searches in a space that he has been in).  If the police can arrest Jack (identify the space Jack is in) or prevent him from reaching his hideout before a set number of moves, they win.  If Jack commits all five murders and returns to his hideout safely each time, he wins.
 
I love this game.  It has this incredible way of making both players feel like they are hopelessly fucked at the same time.  The police feel totally lost as they have no idea where Jack is or where he's going, while Jack is always one move away from being arrested - it's great.  The theme is a little grisly, and I can totally understand how it would turn certain people off from the game, but even Mrs Roo likes it, and she's pretty picky on theme (a game about murdering prostitutes in the 19th century slums of London is about as far from her preferred theme as possible).  Mechanically, I suppose the game would work the same if you just called it hide-and-seek or something, but the blood spatters on the board might give it away :).  It also includes some optional rules to make it easier on either Jack or the policemen, depending on how your games tend to go, which is nice.  I'm always on the lookout for good 2-player games, since it's rare that I have someone other than Mrs Roo to play with, and this one is a big hit.
 
 
The other game I got in a few plays of this weekend (and lots and lots more at PAX) was Hanabi.
 
hanabi_box_front.jpg
 
This is a simple little cooperative card game in which everyone works as a team to try and "launch fireworks".  The theme here is super un-important - the game is really just about numbered and colored cards (it may as well be UNO), which look like this:
 
hanabi-banner-620x250.jpg
 
Cards are numbered from one to five, and are one of five colors (red/blue/white/yellow/green).  The object of the game is to lay them on the table into five colored stacks, in order from one to five.  Easy, right?  The catch here is that everyone holds their hands backwards, such that you can always see everyone's cards but your own.  On any given turn, you can play a card, discard a card (gaining an info token), or spend an info token to tell someone else something about their hand.  And then hilarity and frustration ensue, as you forget about what you had or where you put it, or you try and play cards based on incomplete information and subtle hints from your cohorts...which you interpreted completely backwards.  My favorite thing about Hanabi is that it solves the problem that basically every other cooperative game has, in that one person can't take over and dictate the game for everyone else.  I love cooperative games (Pandemic, Forbidden Desert, Flash Point, to name a few), but they all suffer from this problem.  In Hanabi, no one has complete information, so this is impossible.  Anyway, highly recommended.  Best bang for the buck I've gotten out of a game in a long time - we got our 10 dollars worth on the first play.

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