Day Two of Outlaw Columbus
“…and you wonder how he fuckstomps everything.”
Just shoveled some Chipotle down my mouth hole, put the Alabama/Auburn game on TV, and tried to get my thoughts together to make sense of today. I may or may not be a wee bit tired… emphasis on the may, either way, tally ho!
Today was a Clean & Jerk day, lecture day, and continued connectivity exercises. Also, in most of the Midwest, it was an annual tradition known as THE GAME. According to the bearded wizard himself, this was the best camp thus far – we were faster to pick up what they’re putting down, better lifters top to bottom, and our skill work was awesome, and way beyond ahead of schedule (and I’m taking that as gospel, so suck it other Outlaw Camps).
Clean & Jerk morning was fun. Limited clean instruction, because really it was the same exercise as the snatch work yesterday, but with a closer grip. Continued to rep the same warmup as yesterday, which felt CONSIDERABLY easier to do – muscle memory is the best thing since sliced bread. I will continue that warmup for a while to come, because it gets my shoulders activated early and keeps them active – especially through the duck walk. Burgener as a warmup feels like it disconnects the squat too much, but that’s probably just personal preference.
We warmed up with some weighted cleans at a low percentage before moving on to the jerk. Here the rubber met the floor, and the instruction got very detailed. We continued the theme of having Gerald Sasser’s recent PR C&J analyzed in a live coaches eye of sorts (rudy drawing lines on an image projected onto a whiteboard), which was super cool to watch. Nitpicks over some things, uses them as teaching moments, and there is a lot of knowledge being thrown around. I did not get much out of this phase until the moment where the heavens opened, angelic music started being played, and Rudy showed how the back leg does not move much farther than a foot’s length (read: the length of your foot, not 12” genius). BAM. Cue I had never heard before. The vertical torso dip, bend of the knee, emphasis of weight in the back leg, rear foot hits first and drives the jerker forward, etc. was all repetitive information. But THAT was new. Turns out I was jerking a bit further than I needed to, which is a big improvement – so now I just need to drill it into consistency.
We did drill this repeatedly to try and drive home the concept, mostly as jerk drives, and used a weight behind our back foot to help provide a “stopping point” or reference. It was remarkably effective, though two people had to go into what Rudy called his “jerk jail” to help fix some massive holes. GREAT stuff to take back to the box, and hopefully coaches reapply this.
It caused all of my jerks to feel like shit while repping this at a low weight, but hey, after drilling for a while I hopefully won’t be such a nancy boy about it in the future. We did get 20mins to PR, and Rudy actually put on some good music (read: not everyone’s favorite crossfit song - radioactive). After he made a joke about Hatebreed, I reminded him of all the love and joy spread by Earth Crisis, and it was like I gave him a christmas present. He actually started jumping up and down, giggling like a school girl, and hopped and/or pranced over to the ipod. Yes, the bearded wizard that everyone loves to hate actually did a bit of a prance. Considering no one will actually read this, his secret is safe. Anyway, he flipped Earth Crisis on the radio, we had a bonding moment, and I PR’d my Jerk. The only thing missing was a group hug.
PR’ing my Jerk was a BIG thing for me. Past 3 months I have not really gone overhead with more than 165# because of my shoulders being injured. 6 weeks of that was no lifting overhead AT ALL, and then it was slowly building back up. It may not have been the world’s prettiest jerk, but I got 215# in my split jerk today (+10# PR). I may or may not have yelled, screamed, and jumped around like a cheerleader… don’t hate. If Rudy can prance, I can do some cheerleader kicks and spirit fingers. Or something like that….
After lunch, which for us was Piada: Italian Street Food (apparently an Italian Chipotle and fucking awesome) – we watched some of the Ohio State game… I am so glad that the bucks are 24-0 under Meyer and that for two years in a row Michigan is our bitch. Also, Brady Hoke wears t-shirt undershirts with sleeves longer than his actual polo shirt, looks ridiculous, and also happens to probably is drowning his sorrow in donuts right now. Deal with it.
After lunch we did 90 minutes of “connectivity” work with everyone’s favorite stud-muffin Mike Poppa and my personal hero, Emily Caruthers. Without a doubt, Emily made the entire camp for me today. She is one tiny ball of incredibly awesome gymnastics ability (former Olympic team alternate and all), carries one MASSIVE smile, and really made the entire camp for me. Today was all about connecting the hollow rock/arch work from yesterday into handstands (and then pushups/walks). For those who have never had the privilege of seeing a man go up into a handstand so hard that he bounces off the wall… well, I am more than happy to demonstrate at the drop of a hat. As one guy at the camp said today “he’s like a wrecking ball…” and that’s the gospel of paul right there. I quite actually attack the wall like a wrestler attacks a single leg. It’s brutal, it’s painful, and the noise is loud enough to hear across THE BIGGEST GYM EVER. The thud heard round the world…
Moral of the story, went up into a handstand with my arms too far away from the wall, my back therefore bent which drove my ass against the wall, and it was a whole pile of disaster. Again, as I mentioned yesterday, I learned how to do the movements and knock them out with speed, which probably lost track of a bunch of key details on how to do them properly/efficiently. We probably did 10-15 reps as we worked through these progressions and Emily routinely would grab me afterwards and say something. She did a few tweaks for others, but kept coming back to me. I like to think it was because I am dashingly handsome as opposed to being a wrecking ball, but we all know the truth there. One of her cues actually turned on a lightbulb for me and it already felt a ton better, so much so that I was so excited that I hugged her – yes I was THAT happy, and Mike Poppa would have had the same thing happen if he was coaching our group. True story. Further, after all the drills, she said stone cold to me: “After this is all over, I want to work with you to fix that whole mess you have going on there when your butt hits before your heels.” BAM. She wanted to help ME get better at something and was willing to spend extra time with me – that spoke volumes.
From there it was lecture, discussion and introduction to conjugate, periodization, prelipins template, and other jazz. The nerd in me was one happy camper, though I realized that I would kill someone twice over to have access to his athlete performance numbers and play with them to see what comes out. From here I can really go into a whole separate rant/blog/discussion on programming and periodization, which is truly where the giant pocket protector wearing nerd in me snorts while laughing at a Pokemon joke and finds zen. That may happen down the line, but I need to actually see numbers tomorrow during lecture before I go “AH HAH!” or anything.
Of note today I came to realize two things.
1) Gerald Sasser is one of the quietest dudes EVER that can snatch 300#. He’s crazy sheepish, very shy, and a great guy top to bottom… which leads me to number 2.
2) I kind of wish Daniel Tyminski was there. All things equal, I get the distinct impression that DT never shuts up and is always engaged in everything… also may or may not be about 5 screws loose. Which would be awesome, because of the sheer hilarity and the fact that Sasser doesn’t really add a TON to the camp. Except sweet videos and a constant reference point for Rudy.
3) Bonus round. Someone needs to walk around as a full time ‘tech guy’ for Rudy, and work with him to develop some top notch handouts/manuals, visual aids, and other niceties. These things are grossly lacking, and could add a serious polish to the camp and lecture session. I fully volunteer for this job, salary free, so long Spencer Arnold can make me into an anti-christ jr. Or ya know, just not suck at my OLY lifts. I’m not kidding either Rudy – I’m a fucking ninja at this shit and can make your life 100x easier and make you look 100x prettier when you’re showing things on a computer. 100x! That’s totally like 10x more than 10x better than before!
Afterwards Emily made good on her statement from before and we hung out a bit to work on my stuff…. It’s more like l hung out upside down really. In the course of maybe 3 reps she cleaned up how I approached the wall, and in the course of 3 more got to a point of her saying “okay, that was perfect.” (we all know it wasn’t, but I’m taking it for what it was dammit!) We connected it into the HSPU and some other things, and I now feel much more graceful and in control when I approach the wall. The biggest thing is truly being tight. I was ‘tight’ before, but it’s the difference between a 500# deadlift (heavy) versus a #750 deadlift (HEAVY). Once I engaged my back and posterior chain properly, it was so much easier to get against the wall, a lot more graceful, and actually provided tension on the insides of my legs. WHAT!?! That girl is awesome.
Sidebar: some people do belly to wall exercises by doing a wall walk to get there. Emily Carothers does them by doing a cartwheel to the wall and then moving her hand over… that explanation doesn’t quite do justice to what I saw, but it was incredible and it made me go “wait, what, huh… how did that just happen?!?!?!” Ridiculously awesome.
Also, she said “I’m surprised you could walk on your hands with your back being so out of position before…” yeah… that’s me. The wrecking ball. I’m a bad music video away from having Miley Cyrus on top of me wailing…
Anyway, since this starts page four, I’m going to shut the hell up, get cleaned up, and go to the Outlaw group outing to cause a ruckus.
Don’t wait up.