I learned how to power clean last night! I stopped at 70 lbs. because I wasn’t confident enough to catch anything heavier with the lack of wrist mobility since my fall, which is also known as Colles’ Fracture. I struggled with the technical part of the exercise from the knee and up. I have a hard time translating “explode at the hips” into a body movement to propell the barbell upwards. I have a lot of technical aspects to learn from the movement and most definitely a lot to perfect before I can say that I am able to “clean.”
Below is a video of Lydia Valentin from Spain performing a Clean at a competition. She is always impressive to me because she keeps the bar so close to her body and her elbows jut out so very far forward, both things that I struggle with at the moment. I think she’s my gold standard for performing the Clean, but if there are any other female lifters that can perform this lift beautifully, please let me know! I’m interested to seeing more beautiful lifts!
For fun’sies, here is a picture of my legs the day after learning how to do cleans.
As for the other exercises like the variations of squats, I am happy to report that like magic, my hips stopped hurting when going below parallel! Okay, maybe it wasn’t so much magic as I have been working on releasing tension on my hips, and also working on mobility for weeks, but it seems to have finally paid off.
Now, since mobility has been fixed (for the most part), time to work on stability!
I have been clicking every link that Google tells me to when I am researching “Squat Mobility” and this gem came up. The video is super interesting, so if you have an hour and a half and feel like reading English subtitles if you aren’t fluent in German, have a watch! It opened my mind up just a little bit more about how important mobility really is for lifting.
I went from not knowing a damn thing about lifting weights to somehow surviving to Week 6 of my Powerlifting class and the first session of this week was an insane way to kick it off.
Today was a lot of bench pressing exercises that seemed excruciating: the pause bench press, which consists of a 2 second pause at the bottom of the movement; and what my coach called an ‘eccentric bench press’ which is a reallyyyyyyy slow movement down (5 seconds from top-to-chest), and then explode up.
Surprisingly, the exercise that kicked my ass the most was the barbell curls. I had to do 3×12 @ 25 lbs. and I failed my third set. I’m a little upset but at the same time, I know that I pushed myself as hard as I could and there is still room for improvement; I don’t think that I’ll be able to raise my arms to wash my hair tomorrow.
A quickie update from my iPhone app!
I managed a 145 lbs. 5-rep-max lift!
My booty be sore!
I’m still working on my 5-rep-max for other workouts at my gym. Keep in mind that I’m not using any machines for these workouts, just me and the barbell.
Last night, I worked on my max for the overhead press. I ended up at 55 lbs. for my 5-rep-max but I am bummed that I messed up on my 5th rep @ 60 lbs. and couldn’t clear it, so I had to dial the numbers down. I know that it’s typical for a female to not do very well on overhead press when compared to males due to anatomy, so I don’t feel so bad.
I’ve had a shoulder problem for a few weeks, if not two months now; the causation (according to my chiropractor) is that my front shoulder muscles are stronger than my rear shoulder muscles (the deltoids???), and it’s a continuous tug-a-war that my rear muscles are losing, thus the moving of the humerus bone.
Because of my overhead press work last night, I am paying a very big price with slight pain in my left shoulder due to it already having problems before and I am being a doofus and adding (lots of) weight to it.
Not only will I have to work on my overhead press work, I’ll need to do deltoid work to keep everything in line.
The squats are hard as hell for me, I have not perfected my form. I feel like my squat stance starts too wide; it makes it hard for me to track my left knee over my toes, and it makes my knee hurt. I can’t go narrow stance because my hips just won’t let me.
I am able to break below parallel for reps 3 through 5 on a 5-rep set, but never able to break down low for reps 1 or 2. I’m being told by numerous people such as my coach and gym mates that it’s not a mobility issue. They are basically telling me without telling me that I’m mentally roadblocking myself, and I’m having issues un-roadblocking myself.
Still, I managed to do a 70 lb. 5-rep-max, and I’m a little disappointed that it wasn’t more, but I don’t want to injure myself because my form isn’t close to perfect yet.
I was pretty weak when I started my powerlifting class about 4 weeks ago, and today, they finally let us attempt 5 rep maxes for weights.
Today was the first day for the 5 rep max, working on different lifts through the week, and it was with the bench-press. I had started with just a 15 lb. aluminum training barbell and had slowly worked my weight up to 60 lbs., being very slow and cautious.
Today, my coach encouraged me to go “balls-to-the-wall,” and I managed to upgrade to the 45 lb. steel barbell — THE BIG GIRL BAR!
I ended up being able to do a 5 rep max @ 95 lbs. — I surprised myself!!!