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Graham Hayes 04-25-2006 04:36 AM

For the past two months I've been focussing on improving my front squat since it was the limiting factor in my clean and jerk. I did front squats once a week, once every other triplet ie

Day 1: WOD
Day 2: WOD
Day 3: WOD
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: WOD
Day 6: Front squats
Day 7: WOD
Day 8: Rest

The front squats weren't always on day 6, but replaced the most appropriate WOD like another lifting focus day. The workouts were 8 sets of 3 front squats with one weight. I started at 85kg which was ~80% of my max and added 2.5kg every week. My plan was to keep adding 2.5kg until I was unable to complete the workout. I finally failed two months later on the sixth set with 105kg, which was my 1RM before starting.

The next week I tested my max in both the front and back squat and got 115kg and 120kg for a +10kg and +5kg pr respectively. Yesterday I was shooting for a new clean and jerk pr, unfortunately neglecting my jerk past two months left my form ropey and lacking in confidence, this saw it regress 2.5kg to 90kg. But my squat clean came in at 100kg for a 7.5kg pr.

I don't know how good that progress is, but I'm calling it a success. I found that if you're wishing for a car accident or lightning to strike you down so you don't have to attend your next squat workout you must be doing something right. Anyway hope this is usefull to someone.

Jesse Woody 04-25-2006 04:54 AM

Perfect practice makes perfect! Keep in mind that elite-level Olympic lifters train these movements as often as possible without overtraining. The trick is to perfect the neuromuscular pathways. Perhaps next cycle, perform front squats one day, jerks or push-presses the next and power cleans (from the hang or from the deck) the next. Basically, coach Rut's ME-Blackbox.

So, you could do:
front squat
rest day
Split Jerk, Push Jerk
Rest Day

Conversely, I've been thinking of implementing this schedule:

Front Squat
rest day

On that, I would switch the order each week. Either might be worth a try as it allows you to practice the movements themselves a bit more each week, even though it doesn't come close to matching the frequency of a typical O-lifting program.

Tom Brose 04-25-2006 06:58 AM

Another possibility is to supplement the WODs with some O-lift specific work. I try to add in some of the exercises that I am not very good at after regular sessions. Specifically, I am practicing the snatch balance series and "shrugging under the bar" on a more regular basis.

I also have realized that my O-lifts wont get much better until my front squat and OHS move up. Current goals are 275 FS and 185 OHS. I will be practicing getting under the bar, but not testing my Max until i reach those #s

Graham Hayes 04-26-2006 08:33 AM

Thanks for you comments, my priority isn't the O-lifts but CrossFit style cicuits which is why I kept one triplet all basicly worked out that I wasn't doing other lifts in the WOD schedule and front squats instead. As you can tell from my numbers my squat is weak which is why I've been addressing it. Now I'm doing back squats since I can use more weight, so it's better for leg strength. I also add split jerks to the end of my squats to get my form back up to scratch.

Jesse Woody 04-26-2006 08:41 AM

I think the idea of increasing strength to give yourself a foundation from which to develop metabolic conditioning is a cool concept...that's my goal...or one...of about a thousand :p

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