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Catspaw Starts Strong


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Recently on Catspaw’s challenges...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
… that’s a big ol’ whitespace there, yo.  Okay, so I took a challenge off.  That’s allowed; s’good refocus and recharge time.  But even though the constant patter of my words here tapered off like sun breaking through rain, I wasn’t taking a break on the other side of the screen.
 
Notable accomplishments since my last challenge include:
 - 150 lb split jerk
 - 160 lb clean
 - 180 lb front squat
 - Below the brick line
 - Being a lot calmer work/life wise.
 - Basically just free-eating successfully.
 
It’s only coincidence that it feels like I’m coming back refreshed at the start of a new year.  I feel little kinship with those who will soon be hogging my squat rack for a few weeks before disappearing, giving the arbitrary delineation of “new year†too much credence.  But I know that amongst them will be a few who just needed a reason to start or restart, and who will stick with it, so I’ll try for patience. : )
 
Goals for this challenge:
 
1) Get that snatch PR I’ve been a hair’s breadth from for months now
 
I don’t want to just get it once on one particularly stellar day when all the stars are aligned.  I want to get it in a way that I can reproduce it.  I feel close … really close.  On many days, matching my PR feels easy sauce. I think if I dial in a few things, I’ll be there.
 
2) Consistent gym attendance (3x+/week)
 
The start of the year is gonna be pretty busy for me, so I just want to make sure that I prioritize getting in there.  Specifically I’m hoping for a back squat PR, but the actual goal is more about just getting in there and givin’ ‘er hell.
 
3) Be nicer to myself
 
Once a week, deliberately do something that helps me relax.  Long podcasted walk, massage, brunch with friends, live comedy show, whatever.  Something that’ll make me smile, breathe deep, and come back stronger. 
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You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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Fri, Jan 1st - Hyrule Workout

The gym is cold.

We’re the only ones in there, and my first warmup sets are done with my jacket on. Hyrule is clutching the coffee I brought him, payment for a workout session so early, and his breath is nearly visible in the air. The cold bar stings my palms, but that only makes me grip it all the tighter.

On Monday we did all snatch work and back squats, on Wednesday we did cleans+jerks and front squats, and today we’re doing a bunch of technique tomfoolery. Nothing heavy. Hyrule knows I hate days like this, so he’s being extra-patient with me.

Paused snatches (below knee) @ 105

I do a lot of these. Maybe a dozen. Miss a few, but for the most part they’re pretty good. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten faster, and the cue “push up on the bar†is finally something I’m able to consciously do. Hyrule has slight adjustment comments after each one, but no systemic problems.

Hang snatch doubles @ 95

The biggest problem that I have with these is not power snatching them. On Monday we’d worked a bunch on the stretch reflex just above the knee and now I'm outputting too much power for 95.

“Not every rep can be close to your 1RM,†Hyrule shakes his head at me.
I try to compensate by going slower. I try to compensate by pulling the snatch early. Of course, neither of these work. I’m bad at deliberately not giving something 100% effort.
“That’s why we’re doing it,†Hyrule says.

High-hang snatch @ 95

Easy. If anything, my biggest problem with these was too much muscle-snatching. I ask if we can bump up the weight and (unsurprisingly) am told no.

Power clean + split jerk

95 x 1 x 3
105 x 1 x 2
115 x 1 x 4
125 x 1 x 4

One of those frustratingly bad jerking days. The timing of everything was just a little off. I made them all, but too many of them were sloppy. Hyrule notes that there’s a huge weight difference between jerks that I can make (150 lbs) and jerks that I can make well (115 range). I usually have enough reserve strength to recover from slight jerk problems.

But, annoyingly, it’s never the same problem. If I focus on feet, the bar path is too far in front of me and I don’t push myself under the bar. If I focus on shoulders, my back sways and feet are too shallow. Which just means a whole hell of a lot more practice across the board with lighter weights to get the form down. Ugh.

What Hyrule is happy about is that in the cold gym, my delts are flush pink, which means I’m clearly using them. “Wasn’t too long ago you were jerking with your traps,†he teases.

Today’s my last “day offâ€; normal weekend ahead and then back to work. I’ve really enjoyed this week off and I’m gonna miss it. Gonna have to do another staycation sometime soon.

  • Like 1

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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Awww the mighty mighty Catspaw! How I've missed you!

I took too much time off but like you, I'm feeling like I'm coming back to the world of challenges with a renewed focus and a heightened sense of purpose.

 

Looking forward to seeing you around!

Hugs!

It's been too long, Miss Pixie! Tell me a story about something in your life!

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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3) Be nicer to myself

 

Once a week, deliberately do something that helps me relax.  Long podcasted walk, massage, brunch with friends, live comedy show, whatever.  Something that’ll make me smile, breathe deep, and come back stronger.

 

Went out for a long walk this morning, cuz it's part of my challenge, yo.  ...even though I already have a few things planned for later this week that'll meet this criteria, including going to see Judge John Hodgman live on Friday.

 

It's a grey and cold day, but I listened to some Idle Thumbs and downloaded a few videogames to play based on their recommendations for during my gaming lull post-fallout pre-witness.

 

Also picked up a bottle of D,L-phenylalanine (an amino acid) cuz I'm gonna try to reduce my coffee intake juuuuuuuust a little, back to more like two cups a day, and phenylalanine can help with withdrawal headaches.  The irony of picking it up while I had a cup of coffee in my cold hands was not lost on me.

 

I've been sleeping a lot recently -- a good nine hours on average -- but my new Sense confirms what I'd already guessed: less than two hours per night of it is good sleep.  The humidity in my room is a little low, but otherwise no good environmental reason for the lack of quality sleep: my room is quiet (<25 dB), dark (<0.1 lux) and air quality is good (~40 µg/m3).  So maybe reducing my coffee intake'll help.  I might also bring natural coma back into the mix, since I haven't been using that for months now.

 

Goal for the rest of the day is just that: rest and relaxation.  Hyrule wants me ready to kick ass tomorrow, and I want me ready to kick ass at work on Monday.

 

I'm gonna finish reading The Three-Body Problem, nom on leftovers, maybe play some Life is Strange, and try to put real life far into the back of my brain.

 

What media have you guys been consuming over the holidays?

  • Like 1

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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A wild Catspaw appears!

Scout 30/Ranger 1 (3 skipped)

Spoiler

"I must not fear. / Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."
-Litany Against Fear

Facebook | Twitter | Runkeeper | Strava
Shukar Still Isn't Lion

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<3333

Raptron, alot assassin

67666564636261605958 575655545352515049484746454443424140393837363534333231302928272625242322212019181716151413121110987 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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 What media have you guys been consuming over the holidays?

Besides my usual podcast list, I finished up "Just Listen" by Dr Mark Ghoulston on Audible and am working through "Blah Blah Blah: What to do when words don't work" by Dan Roam on my tablet.  So one on how to listen better and one on how to be more listenable...

 

edit...now on to "On Looking" on Audible.

Warriors don't count reps and sets. They count tons.

My psychologist weighs 45 pounds, has an iron soul and sits on the end of a bar

Tally Sheet for 2019

Encouragement for older members: Chronologically Blessed Group;

Encouragement for newbie lifters: When we were weaker

 

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Sun, Jan 3rd - Hyrule Workout

 

"We're getting a snatch PR today," Hyrule decides.  "We're staying here until 7pm if we have to."

 

It's a reasonable day for it -- I'm feeling strong and full of energy, even if my legs are still a little sore from the workouts earlier in the week.

 

Snatch

  75 x 1

  75 x 1

  85 x 1

  85 x 1

  95 x 1

  95 x 1

  105 x 1

  115 x 1

 

"Go up?" Hyrule asks.

"Once more at 115," I say, uncharacteristically conservative.  "I wanna really nail it."

 

  115 x 1

 

"How much do you weigh these days?" Hyrule asks after the particularly good snatch.

"150-ish   .....why?"

"We're probably gonna get you a bodyweight snatch in not too long."

I raise a skeptical eyebrow.  "Uh, I've been stuck at 115 for like 9 months."

"Yeah but you're still not really using the weight of the bar to pull yourself under except on rare occasions like that one right there.  And as we get closer to your bodyweight, you're gonna feel that it's easier to do that.  The fact that you do it occasionally gives me hope that a breakthrough is coming.  And your pulls are moooore that strong enough for you to have ample snatching potential if you could just get under it faster."

 

He adds plates to the bar: "Okay, let's go."

 

  120 x F (behind me)

  120 x F (in front of me)

  120 x 1 [PR]

 

Hyrule is jumping around the gym making whooping noises before I even stand it up, nearly making me laugh and drop it.  I go for a repeat performance to make sure it's not a fluke.

 

  120 x 1

  120 x F

 

I'm happy.  Mental barrier crossed.  Onto the next 5 lbs. ;)

 

Snatch pulls

  120 x 5

  130 x 5

  130 x 5

  130 x 5

 

Power clean + high hang clean + hang clean

  95 x 1+1+1

  110 x 1+1+1

  120 x 1+1+1

 

I ask why we're doing such a weird complex ordering and after getting past a few answers of "because I said so", Hyrule justifies it as the power clean just tiring my hips out a little and the subsequent two to be getting-under-the-bar practice.

 

One of my particularly deep callouses, just below my middle finger, starts to tear on these, making it really hard to reset my grip properly after the power clean to do the high hang clean.  Hyrule suggests we might need to start doing hookgrip.  (Yeah, I've been overhanding everything 'til now.)  Hyrule himself can't hook grip (his thumb is anatomically too short) so he's more lenient than most about not hookgripping.  I let out a little pained whine, and Hyrule shrugs.  "When you do deadlift warmups from now on at 135 do hookgrip deadlifts.  It'll suck for a while, but you'll adjust faster than you think."

 

Power clean triples

  120 x 3

  130 x 3

  140 x 3

  145 x 3 (90%)

 

My third rep is always a little sloppier/lower than the first two during triples, but these go actually pretty well.  "I didn't think you were gonna get to 145," Hyrule admits.

 

A great end to the holidays with that snatch PR finally achieved.  Now back to work. :)

  • Like 2

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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Congrats on the PR! You make it sound extra sweet :)

 

I can't even imagine snatching/cleaning those weights without a hook grip :o but Hyrule is right, you'll get used to it soon enough. Tape up your thumbs perhaps? That helps deal with the scratching of the bar. 

Main Quest: becoming a decent kettlebell lifter and a great coach

Current challenge: KB Girl dusts off her competition skills

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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 What media have you guys been consuming over the holidays?

 

I burned through the first novel of the Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes.  So good.  Made me feel like I was watching Firefly again, one of the protagonists kind of falling into the Mal-esque behaviors.  Really fun read.

 

Also reaplaying DragonAge Origins, because I was watching my brother-in-law play the game over Christmas, and I realized I wanted to play DA:O and DAII before I nabbed the DA:I Game of the Year edition.  And that's kind of on top of playing Fallout and Final Fantasy VII.  Because why not game overload?

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Watched a lot of Star Wars and the first 4 episodes of The Expanse series myself, plus the usual podcasts.

Scout 30/Ranger 1 (3 skipped)

Spoiler

"I must not fear. / Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."
-Litany Against Fear

Facebook | Twitter | Runkeeper | Strava
Shukar Still Isn't Lion

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Nerds got me hooked on the Mistborn book series in early December. Plowed through the first book, then had to buckle down and study for 30 hours a week for my thermo final. Working my way through book 2 now, almost done. Definitely gonna be on a Sanderson kick for awhile.

 

I'm interested in seeing how you adjust to hook grip. I've been playing with it for awhile, but hate it so hard that I keep saying fuck it and not doing it after 1-2 workouts.

 

Grats on the PR.

 

edit: Oh yeah, saw Star Wars 4 times, including twice opening night as well as being mildly addicted to 30 Rock.

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Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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I also took the past challenge off and I am so glad that I did. I needed the rest and mental recovery.

Congrats on the snatch PR!

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

Current Challenge

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YEEEE, SNATCHTASTIC. 

  • Like 1

Raptron, alot assassin

67666564636261605958 575655545352515049484746454443424140393837363534333231302928272625242322212019181716151413121110987 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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Besides my usual podcast list, I finished up "Just Listen" by Dr Mark Ghoulston on Audible and am working through "Blah Blah Blah: What to do when words don't work" by Dan Roam on my tablet.  So one on how to listen better and one on how to be more listenable...

 

edit...now on to "On Looking" on Audible.

 

I enjoy the idea that you're learning how to listen via an audiobook.  There's a sort of deep irony there -- if you're incapable from listening, you won't get anything from the audiobook (incapable of listening), but if you're already good at listening, you won't get anything from the audiobook (know it already).

 

Yes, I'm aware that it's likely about active listening, not "hearing things", but let me have my fun.

 

Also reaplaying DragonAge Origins, because I was watching my brother-in-law play the game over Christmas, and I realized I wanted to play DA:O and DAII before I nabbed the DA:I Game of the Year edition.  And that's kind of on top of playing Fallout and Final Fantasy VII.  Because why not game overload?

 

 Love me some Dragon Age (Origins and Inquisition, of course.  Game 2 is dead to me.)

 

I'm excited by the idea that Mass Effect 4 is going to use the DA:I engine.

 

In fact, I was so itching to replay some good bioware, that I downloaded KOTOR this holiday, which somehow I never got around to when it came out a bazillion years ago.  It's really cool being able to see how it evolved into DA:O and ME:1.

 

Also, finished Fallout 4 as the richest muttfruit farmer in the world, with over 100,000 caps being farmed by my nearly-500 settlers.

 

Watched a lot of Star Wars and the first 4 episodes of The Expanse series myself, plus the usual podcasts.

 

Have you seen the Robot Chicken Star Wars episodes?  The sketches are hit and miss, but there are several that make me laugh so hard that I have to hit pause to recover.

 

Nerds got me hooked on the Mistborn book series in early December. Plowed through the first book, then had to buckle down and study for 30 hours a week for my thermo final. Working my way through book 2 now, almost done. Definitely gonna be on a Sanderson kick for awhile.

 

edit: Oh yeah, saw Star Wars 4 times, including twice opening night as well as being mildly addicted to 30 Rock.

Ooooooooo Mistborn. Sanderson = so good.

Yeah I saw the movie twice myself. And actually liked it more the second time!

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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