December 31, 2013

sick and training

So far after 6 weeks of Olympic weightlifting I've built up to a 53k power snatch. A 53k snatch is much much weaker than I was hoping for, but I'm still much better at Olympic weightlifting after 6 weeks of training than I was after many many months of triathlon training, and I eventually became an excellent triathlete.    

My Olympic weightlifting coach Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting says my biggest attribute is my enthusiasm and effort. It was the same way with triathlon. I had the worst body type for triathlon, but my dedication and willingness to push myself harder and train more made me an excellent triathlete. I'm hoping my determination and willingness to work hard will make me as successful at Olympic weightlifting as I was at multisport. So far after 6 weeks of hard training I was feeling sluggish, fatigued, and ended up getting sick. Getting sick is a good sign in regards of my training. It means I was pushing myself to my bodies limit. I used to get sick every few months when I was training for triathlon and I was an endurance beast! I'm spending this week lifting light weights to recover, next week I'll come back stronger.

"Success is often nothing more than moving from one failure to the next with undiminished enthusiasm."
-Winston Churchill

I'm currently 260 pounds. 20 pounds lost so far in 6 weeks of Olympic weightlifting.

December 28, 2013

Stress and the holidays

I needed the workout the day after Christmas. I needed it for stress relief. This Christmas was horrible, I'm still stressed out and heart broken. I grew up in an abusive family. When I was a kid holidays and vacations were the times of my life that I'd suffer the most abuse and stress. Most people who grew up in an abusive family abuse their children, and their children abuse their children, and the cycle continues indefinitely. I'm one of the few who has been able to stop the abuse cycle. I'm a great parent.... most of the time. Still to this day I get stressed out when we have large family functions, ESPECIALLY when it is Thanksgiving or Christmas. But for some reason this Christmas this year was even worse than usual.

My wife, 3 children, and I decided to spend Christmas holiday with my in-laws. From the time we got to their house I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't relax, I couldn't sit still, I kept pacing, I didn't want to play with my kids, I didn't engage anyone in conversation, and when anyone tried to talk to me I did everything I could to end the conversation as quickly as possible. I didn't mean to be, but I was an ass and I'm sure I made everyone feel uncomfortable. I never yelled at my kids, said hurtful or abusive things to them.  But by the end of Christmas eve my 6 year old had a melt down. On Christmas day my 4 and 8 year were grumpy. I'm certain it was because they picked up on my anxiety.

Next week I have family coming to visit for 6 days. I don't want to act like I did at Christmas, but I'm afraid it'll happen again. I seem to be broken.

December 22, 2013

sleep for Olympic weightlifting recovery

I must really be into this whole Olympic weightlifting thing because I just took a nap for no other reason than to get more gains from my Olympic weightlifting training!

December 21, 2013

post tabata cycling exhaustion

Yesterday I did my first cardio routine that is fast twitch muscle tissue specific. This morning I was so tired! I had a hard time waking up, no amount of coffee seemed to help. Even when I started my workout I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I think my fatigue is because of the cycling tabata I did yesterday. That workout really tore me up! I'm really excited about having started fast twitch muscle tissue building type cardio. I think it's the last missing piece for me to become a great Olympic weightlifter.

December 20, 2013

cardio for CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting

When I first started doing CrossFit the athletes and coaches told me I shouldn't do any long and slow workouts, or "base training" as endurance athletes call it. At the time I vehemently disageed. I used to be a hard core triathlete and saw first hand how beneficial base training was to me for fat burning and endurance. It wasn't until I watched the CrossFit games that I realized the things CrossFitter's are training for uses almost exclusively fast twitch muscle fibers. If they did any long and slow training at all it would build slow twitch muscle fibers, which would minimize the amount of fast twitch muscle fibers they could build. It would also recruit some of their fast twitch muscles to act more like slow twitch muscles. Ultimately they were right, the long slow workouts that build endurance will hurt the performance of CrossFit'ers and also Olympic weightlifters. The entire 6 weeks I've been training for Olympic weightlifting I've had a very hard time giving up endurance workouts. I justified doing long slow workouts by telling myself, "I have to lose more fat to get out of the super heavy weight division and get to my goal of being able to lift in the 94k weight class (187-206 pounds)."

After yesterdays workout I realized that I'm weak. My lack of strength is partly because I've only been Olympic weightlifting for a month and a half and partly because I'm still doing the long slow workouts that an ultra endurance athlete would do. I have finally come to grips with the fact that to be good at Olympic weightlifting I MUST give up slow twitch muscle fiber building workouts. Today I did my first high intensity cardio bike ride. I had to bust out my old cycleOps indoor trainer to do it.

I was a little worried about using my bike on my indoor trainer at my current weight of 262 pounds. I was afraid I'd crush my carbon bike or the trainer, but amazingly both held up! I did a tabata on the bike which consisted of a short 5 minute warm up, then rode HARD for 20 seconds, then peddled softly for 10 seconds. I kept that up until I could no longer hold a 20 MPH pace on the hard sets. My legs gave out at the 15 minute 19 second mark of the workout. When I calculated my results on Dietpower I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I burned 300 calories in a little over 15 minutes.  I'd only burn a little over 400 calories in 30 minutes when I was doing long slow cycling. I think I could get used to this high intensity cardio training! More calories burned in less time plus I'll be building the type of muscle tissue that will make me a stronger Olympic weightlifter! Boom goes the dynamite!

December 19, 2013

Nike Romaleos 2

For the last 6 weeks I've been saving up for a pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes. I finally horded enough to buy them!  I bought a pair of Nike Romaleos 2. They were expensive but everyone at Miller weightlifting agreed that a good pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes will last years, so I figured I should buy a pair I'd enjoy. I'll post later what I think of them.
Until now my Olympic weightlifting coach Shane Miller has been letting me use his Olympic weightlifting shoes. How cool is that?

December 18, 2013

less overtime, more sleep and calorie inceases equals olympic weightlifting increases

Last week I hit my max lifts in a few exercises and have been obsessing on ways to start getting stronger. I've decreased the amount of overtime I've been working at the New Mexico state penitentiary from an average of 30 hours a week to around 3 hours a week so that I get more sleep. I've also slightly increased my daily calorie intake which will slow my weight loss but increase my strength gains. Those things have worked. Last week I could only get an 82k bench press 3 reps on my last set of the day, this week I was able to get a full 5 reps with 1 kilo more weight. I was also able to get faster on the cardio workout coach Miller has me do at the end of my strength training by a full 45 seconds. The only thing I didn't make significant increases on was the power snatch.

December 15, 2013

The 2014 South West challenge series rule changes

I was surfing the web and saw that there was only 1 Clydesdale who completed the 5 race minimum for the 2013 South West Challenge series, which is the oldest and largest multisport series in the world. That got me excited. The South West Challenge series old rules says all I'd need to do is complete 5 races in the series to be eligible to win. While I was browsing their web page I saw they have changed their rules and the minimum amount of races I'd have to compete in is now raised to 8. That would be fine except the SW challenge series kicked all the races in Northern and Central New Mexico out of their series. There's only 1 race in the entire series that is closer than a 5 hour drive from my house. I cant afford to drive 10 hours round trip 8 times in 2014! Uncool SW challenge series, very uncool.

December 13, 2013

hit my current max lifts

My Olympic weightlifting coach, Shane Miller, has had me gradually increasing the amounts of weights I'm lifting. Today I hit my max lifts of 5 sets of 5 reps on the power snatch, squat, and bench press. For the snatch it was 50k, for the squat it was 92k, and for bench it was 83k. I was disappointed at how weak I was. But when I thought about it I realized I've lost 18 pounds the last 5 weeks, and dieting causes a person to be weak, and that I'd spent the last 9 years doing nothing but training for ultra endurance athletics. In that time I did 66 triathlons, 20 duathlons, 2 Ironman triathlons, 7 70.3's, 8 olympic distance triathlons, 48 sprint distance tri's, 1 off road triathlon, 2 marathons , 2 half marathons, 2 10K's, 2 5k's, 3 cycling centuries, and 1 cycling road race. That type of training and racing builds slow twitch muscles almost exclusively and recruits fast twitch muscles to act like slow twitch muscles. So I need to realize I'm going to be a weakling until I can build some fast twitch muscle tissue, particularly type 11B, my body realizes that I'm no longer an endurance athlete, and I stop restricting calories.

December 10, 2013

eating after olympic weightlifting

I know how important it is to eat after a workout. I always did when I was a hard core triathlete. It made a huge difference in my training and recovery. I hadn't yet started the habit of eating after  strength training.  I knew I should have been eating after strength training for glycogen replenishment, the protein window, etc. Yesterday was the first time I ate immediately after Olympic weightlifting. I feel much better today than I have been used to feeling the day after strength training. Well, I'm a slow learner, but this lesson has been learned... again. Refuel immediately after working out. Duh!

December 09, 2013

The 2013 Nutcracker triathlon race report

After virtually no swimming. cycling, or running training for over 2 years I decided to sign up for the 2013 Nutcracker triathlon. This was my 86th multisport race and was the 4th time I've raced The Nutcracker triathlon. The Nutcracker triathlon used to be called the Jingle Bell triathlon, but due to a copy right problem with another race they changed the name.

The Nutcracker triathlon is RD’d by Mark Mico of  Every time I race a multisport event put on by Mark Mico I’m amazed. His events are always extremely well organized and stress free events. The race results were posted online by the evening of the race. He always hands out the nicest age group awards of any local sprint. This year each and every athlete who placed top 3 in their AG received a wood plaque that had “The Nutcracker triathlon 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place division” on it. The registration fees of his events are always much cheaper than any other sprint distance races.

It was a Run-Bike-Swim at the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center. The bike course was an out-and-back (moderately hilly) 20K. The run was a hilly loop 5K course. The swim was a serpentine 400 meter swim, up/down one lane at a time.

Because of my lack of endurance training and because of my current weight my run was horrible. I'm slow and to be honest I was humiliated by my physique and performance. I finished the 5k in 38:34.

The bike course was shortened this year to a 20k. I felt a little stronger cycling than I did running. I passed a bunch of people and only got passed once, but I was still sad. I was mourning for the athlete I used to be. For over 2 years I finished almost every triathlon I entered in the top 10 overall. I was mourning for the way I used to look. I used to have a 6 pack, now I weigh 265 pounds. It's been so long since I was in shape and looked good I forgot how great it felt until I saw the top triathletes speed by me on their bikes in their aero position. That used to be me...... But today the bike took me 61 minutes.

I've always been a natural swimmer. I had a great swim passing many more athletes and even swimming over a few.

I finished in 1 hour 50 minutes, took 72nd out of 100 athletes, and 1st place Clydesdale.

Even though I was sore it felt great to show up on Monday at Miller weightlifting. It felt good because I was taking another step to being the top notch athlete I used to be, but in a completely new sport of Olympic weightlifting. Even though my body was fatigued from the Nutcracker triathlon yesterday I threw up some of my biggest weight yet. I'll be a great athlete again. I'll look good again. It'll take awhile, and a lot of effort, but I will. And some day I plan on outlifting my current golden carrot Barry Schroeder of CrossFit Sandstorm in Bernalillo NM

December 05, 2013

week 4 of Olympic weightlifting 105k+ division

This week, my 4th week of Olympic weightlifting, my coach Shane Miller has me doing some new training exercises. He's added overhead squats, front squats, power cleans from the floor, and snatches from the floor to my training regimen. I've also come close to hitting my max weight on some of the exercises I've been doing like squats. On Wed I left the gym feeling wiped out. Today I woke up and my body is still very tired. My legs still feel weak and my shoulders are sore. It feels great.

After maintaining my weight for all of last week this week I dropped my calories about a thousand a day below my metabolic weight, which will allow me to lose approximately 2 pounds per week. My short term goal is to get to the lower end of the super heavy weight division. I'm currently 267 pounds, 35 pounds from my 1st goal.

December 02, 2013

week 4 of Olympic weightlifting and weight loss

Today I start my 4th week of Olympic weightlifting. The last 3 weeks I've mostly been training to learn correct form, yet my strength is still gaining quickly. The first 3 weeks my coach Shane Miller, had me doing power snatches and power cleans from the knee, dead lifts, presses, squats, etc. This week my coach is going to have me start doing power snatches and power cleans from the ground. I'm excited about progressing to this next phase of Olympic weightlifting.

So far my weight loss has been progressing quickly and effortlessly. During the 7 years of hard core dieting and triathlon training I learned my body responded much better to weight loss if I dieted for a few weeks, then spent a week maintaining my weight. In the first 2 weeks I'd been averaging 2,500 calories a day and I lost 12 pounds. For the 3rd week of Olympic weightlifting I raised my calories to 3,400 and maintained my weight of 268.8 for the entire week. This week I'll be returning to a calorie restricted, high protein and fat, moderate carbohydrate diet. I'm going to try and keep my weight loss at about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds a week. If I stay consistent with this schedule I should hit my goal of being in the masters 105k class by May, just in time for the New Mexico state games.