May 29, 2014

clean and jerk day

Today was the most strenuous day I've had of lifting. I did 5 sets of form work, then did 3 doubles of 89 kilos at the clean and jerk. 89 kilos is my PR clean and jerk, so getting 6 at 89k felt wonderful, but was also the hardest thing I've done thus far in olympic weightlifting. It was the first time I felt unsure if I'd be able to finish my workout. After the CJ's I completed 2X3 front squats at 104k. I left feeling beat, but wonderful. I celebrated by buying myself some pork ribs and strawberries. Not the best way to celebrate since I want to get down to  the 94k weight class, but they still tasted magnificent. Turns out success tastes even better!

My shoulder felt much better today. Through trial and error I've found that the faster I move my feet on the jerk the less my shoulder hurts. Imagine that! The better my form the less it hurts my body.

My wife passed a very difficult test in nursing school today. She passed with a 95%. In her entire class there were only 6 people who passed. Nursing school is getting difficult, but she's smart and capable. She'll continue to do great, I'm sure of it.

May 28, 2014

treadmill tabata #4

Today I did a light recovery workout for strength training. Then I hopped on the treadmill and did a tabata. I warmed up for 5 minutes the ran at a 12% grade at an 11:45 pace 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. This was the fastest pace I've been able to keep since I started doing cardio a month ago. This workout was absolutely my max effort! I'm going to need to stay at this pace for awhile.

I did snatch's, squat's, and deadlift's yesterday. It was a great day. I PR'd my snatches, building up to 3X2 at 69k. I then completed a 5X5 at 104k on squats. I rounded the day off with six sets of heavy deadlifts setting another PR on my last set with a single at 356 pounds.

May 26, 2014

An old shoulder injury flaring up

Since the New Mexico games my right shoulder has been hurting after clean and jerk workouts. I couldn't figure out why until yesterday. Then I remembered my shoulder got separated in a cycling accident awhile ago. I've never had to train through an injury or pain while olympic training before. I'll keep you posted as I learn more about training under these conditions. This may be interesting.

May 25, 2014

heart broken again

Back in February my wife, kids, Dad, and I went to Kansas for a funeral. While there my Dad promised he'd go camping with us on Memorial day. As usual he bailed on us. I haven't heard from him at all since February. You'd think after all these years I wouldn't let it hurt me anymore, but it still does. Even though I'm so angry and hurt, I still miss him and desperately want to have a relationship with him. I think what hurts the most is that I have no idea why he doesn't want a relationship with me.

May 23, 2014

creatine monohyrate and olympic weightlifting cycle #2

I started taking creatine monohydrate on Monday. The last time I started taking creatine I made the biggest gains I'd ever made in strength and weightlifting. The last time I cycled 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off. This time I'll take creatine for 12 weeks on, 8 weeks off. The only thing I really don't like about taking creatine is that I'm so much hungrier all the time. Seriously, creatine makes me hungry! All the time! I understand that the hunger is because I'm making more muscle and strength gains so my body needs the extra calories. I know that I wont get fatter because of the extra calories. I'm trying not to freak out, but it's hard for me because I know how I look right now. I'm 280 pounds. I'mcrea obese. I'm in the process of losing fat while gaining muscle, and that process takes time. I didn't gain it all in a year, so I can't expect to loose it all in a few months either. I'm working in the right direction every day. In the mean time I'm trying to be gentle with myself.......

May 22, 2014

treadmill tabata #3

Today I did my 3rd treadmill tabata since starting up cardio again a little under a month ago. Today I did my usual 5 min warm up, then put the treadmill to a 12% grade and ran 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for 4 minutes. I did the first 2 minutes of the work set at a 12 mile an hour pace, the 2nd 2 minutes at an 11:45 pace. I felt like it was a struggle to keep that pace up, but I like pushing myself. Next Thursday I'll attempt the full 4 minute work set at an 11:45 pace.

Everything I've ever read says you can tell your getting in shape if your heart rate returns to normal after being elevated through exersion. My heart rate is lowering more quickly after cardio now, and also I'm not as out of breath when I'm training at olympic weightlifting. Progress baby. Progress.

May 21, 2014

the 2014 New Mexico games: weightlifting

The 2014 New Mexico games weightlifting competition was an all around awesome experience and a perfect event for someone who is lifting in their first competition. There was so much going on, so many people involved in the experience, and so many emotions involved that I seriously doubt I'll be able to explain in one post how wonderful the event truly was. I was a nervous wreck the night before the meet. I realized this was going to be nothing at all like any of the 86 triathlons and duathlons I'd competed in before. This was all new and somewhat overwhelming territory I was in. I ended up contacting the best female American super heavy weight Sarah Robles and top female 69k lifter Jenny Lyvette Arthur on twitter. Both of them were quick to respond with support and suggestions. I was kind of in awe. In no other sport in America outside of weightlifting could an athlete get an almost immediate response from a top level pro to give support to a newbie in their sport. Think Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, or George St Pierre would have responded to a stranger claiming to be competing in their first game in the morning and asking for advise? Nope. 

A very experienced lifter, Dominick Ferris, decided to drive up with me the morning of the competition. I was so very grateful for the company. He was great at keeping the conversation going and keeping my mind off of being nervous. (Dominick ended up being the top lifter of the day).

Thanks to a detour on the interstate we got to UNM with only 10 minutes to spare until weigh in. And then of course finding parking was difficult, so by the time I walked into the UNM weight room I was freaked out that I was going to miss weigh ins. Turns out the 1st group of lifting ran late so i had plenty of time to wait.

All the other lifters I met were awesome. I'm a chatty guy before races, tournaments, and meets. Part of it is nervous energy, some of it is that I love the life style of competition, but mostly I just really love people. So there I was bouncing around from person to person starting small conversations with people I'd never met before but would be doing something with them that is, in my mind, special. As i was talking to the other lifters I found out that there were only 3 athletes lifting in the 105+. Each of the three 105+  were in a different age group, so as long as each of us got a single snatch and clean and jerk we'd all get a gold medal. I was the 2nd lifter to lift in the 2nd session which comprised of the 94k, 105k, and the 105k+. When i walked out onto the lifting platform I just about had a heart attack. Every judge, spectator, athlete, and coach was looking right at me. That was COMPLETELY different than I was used to at a triathlon. It rattled me. I got so nervous it was ridiculous! I actually froze half way to the platform and stared out at the audience. Coach Shane Miller actually had to tell me from the side lines, "It's ok Cody, go on, you got this."

Even though coach Miller had me start out with an opening lift that was ridiculously easy, 60k, i was still amazed I made the first snatch with how nervous I was. My form was horrendous. My shoulders didn't stay over the bar long enough, the bar swung out away from my body, I didn't pull long enough to get the weight up high enough, and I started to drop into the squat position too soon. After the 1st lift was successful I calmed down a bunch.

By the 2nd snatch of 65k I'd calmed enough to be better at concentration of form. But I wasn't expecting the adrenaline to make me so strong! I pulled that weight up so high and back so much farther than I ever have before that I ended up not able to catch the bar, the weight went flying one way, and I fell the opposite direction landing right on my butt!

On the 3rd snatch I repeated 65k. I was expecting the adrenaline and was able to make a good lift. It felt easy.

Clean and jerks are my weakest event so I was nervous again and doubting myself. On my 1st clean and jerk I tried to force myself to stay calm, but I made the mistake of putting all of my focus on ignoring the crowd and trying to stay in the moment. I totally forgot to think about the lift at all. Thanks to muscle memory I made my 1st attempt which was 80k. It was an ugly lift, but it was ruled good by the 3 judges.

The 2nd clean and jerk was 84k, which was only 3k below my lifetime PR. I made the lift relatively easy.

On my 3rd clean and jerk i attempted 89k, which was 2k above my lifetime PR. I'll tell you now I love adrenaline in regards to weightlifting! I lifted that bar up like it was nothing!!!!

I ended up succeeding at 5 of my 6 lifts and taking 1st place in my division of 35-39 age group in the 105+ weight class and setting a clean and jerk lifetime personal best lift!!!! It was a good day.

May 16, 2014

tune up session before my first weightlifting meet

Today was my last day of lifting before my first olympic weightlifting meet tomorrow at the New Mexico games. All I was scheduled for was 5 or 6 sets building up to my openings lifts. I missed a couple lifts even though the weights I was using was lower than anything I'll be lifting tomorrow.  I assumed I wasn't going to be nervous because I've competed in so many competitive events from triathlons, duathlons, jiu jitsu tournaments, running events, cycling races, and CrossFit competitions. And truth was I wasn't nervous until today. But today I realized I'd done so many endurance races there was nothing I could have happen to me that I hadn't had happen before. Now I'm a rookie. Up until today I was confident and ready for anything. But now I realized an olympic weightlifting competition is like nothing I've ever done before! Before if I had a bad swim, bike, or run  it was ok, because I could make up for it in the other events.  There was room for error. I've realized that if I make a mistake in olympic weightlifting it pretty much grantees I'm going to miss the lift. Now I'm nervous.

May 14, 2014

last heavy weightlifting day before the NM games

I work nights and sleep during the day. Yesterday I wasn't able to sleep because my neighbors were blasting music. This morning I was forced to work a 16 hour shift at the prison. After my shift I slept for 2 1/2 hours, then woke up and went to the gym. I was exhausted, but I didn't want to miss the last heavy training session before my first olympic weightlifting competition, The NM games, which will be held this Saturday. I'll wear my old NM outlaws triathlon bib for the competition. I trained in it today, it was tight, but it worked. Next time I post I'll let you know how my competition went. Thanks for tuning in.

May 11, 2014

strength gains at Miller weightlifting

Back in the late 1990's I did nothing but strength training. I was semi-strong and looked good, but the strength gains I ended up attaining took SO LONG to get! The gains came so slowly I finally gave up and swore off weightlifting forever.
Here's a picture of me after I lifted my bench PR of 270 lbs in 1999. I weighed somewhere around 210 then, I still had low body fat, and hair- at least a little hair.... more than I have now that's for sure! As you can tell I've been posting a lot of pictures from when I was still in shape. Even though all other aspects of my life are doing great, better then back then even, I have a hard time being content when I'm as overweight as I am now.
15 years later (last November) I decided to try olympic weightlifting. But this time I hired a weightlifting coach rather than struggle on my own again. It's amazing the difference having a coach makes. Coach Shane Miller of Miller weightlifting has been training me for only 5 months now and I'm already at a 265lb bench, 5 pounds away from matching my lifetime PR. All my other lifts are already greater than they had ever been.  I've developed a love for weightlifting I never had before. Now if I could just lose some weight so I'd feel better about myself and so that I'm not lifting in the super heavy weight division. I think the 94k weight class would be best for my body type.

May 10, 2014

wife now at Miller weightlifting too!

Just when I thought marriage couldn't get any more fun, my wife started training with me at Miller weightlifting. This week we had so much fun working out together. Now on our down time she and I talk olympic weightlifting and training. Can life get any better than Olympic style weightlifting with your spouse? I think not.

Yesterday I did a moderately heavy workout of snatch, clean and jerk, and went heavy on squats. I set a new 5 rep best on squat. It was a good day. Today I was scheduled for cardio and an easy strength day. I started with a 5X5 bench press at 75% and realized my body was very fatigued. So I stopped my workout and went home. Today is now a recovery day, I'll also take Sunday completely off from any training too. I'm only a few weeks into supplementing my workouts with cardio and the cardio I do is high intensity, thus very draining. My body hasn't acclimated to the extra work load. I'm trying to take the slow and steady rout rather than do what I used to do which was push myself as hard as possible until I got sick and/or burned out. So far that mentality is working. I'm getting close to doubling my max snatch in the last 5 months and I've put 35 pounds on my bench press in the last 6 weeks. I'll take the gains and be happy while taking an occasional rest.

May 09, 2014

US and Pan am masters olympic weightlifting records

Since I'm currently lifting above the New Mexico state olympic weightlifting records for the 40-44 age group 105k+  I thought I'd look up the masters US and Pan American records. Those records are unbelievable! They can snatch almost as much as I can squat!

the 40-44 AG 105+ for the US is:
snatch 155k
clean and jerk 188
total 335

the 40-44 AG 105+ for the Pan am is:
snatch 150k
clean and jerk 190
total 340 

May 08, 2014

2nd treadmill tabata workout

Todays workout was a day for recovery from strength training, and hard cardio. I did a bench press workout of 5X5 at 65%. After the easy bench press routine I did a treadmill tabata. I did a 5 minute warm up then put the treadmill at a 12% grade, then ran 4 minutes of 20 seconds hard and 10 seconds recovery at a 12 min per mile pace. I felt like I was working hard at that speed. I'm pretty sure I could have ran at a slightly faster pace-, not much more though. I was close to max effort. Next Thursday I'll try the same workout with 2 minutes at a 12 minute per mile pace and 2 minutes at an 11:40 pace.

Man am I in horrible shape! It's hard to believe I used to be so good at running back in my triathlon years. I used to be able to hold a 7 minute per mile pace indefinitely. Now I struggle running sprints on a treadmill at a 12 minute per mile pace. But as long as I'm moving I'm going in the right direction. I have to keep this up and start eating healthier. Being this heavy is not ok. Yesterday my 6 year old was in a play. It hurt to sit in the chair through the whole performance. My belly is so big it pushes against my legs and makes it difficult to breath. No one should allow them self to get so fat that it's uncomfortable to breath while sitting in a chair. I'm currently 279 lbs. My first weight loss goal is to get to the 105k (232lbs)weight class in olympic weightlifting. My 2nd goal is to get to the 94k (207 lbs) weight class. Back when I was training and racing for triathlons I felt best at 200 lbs. Here's a picture of what I looked like at 186 pounds, my body fat percentage was eight & a half percent.
I figure I'll have a lot more muscle now that I'm a weightlifter, so 207 should be pretty lean and healthy for my body type. My #1 goal is to get to a healthy body weight again. While in triathlon I was at such a low body weight it was causing health problems, now I'm at the oposite end of the spectrum.

Healthy. That's where I want to be. Healthy for my wife. To support her through nursing school and the start of a wonderful career that she's always dreamed. To be be a parent and spouse with her, not just a memory. To live long enough to show my baby girl what it's like for me to love her, respect her, treat her with kindness, and listen to her thoughts, feelings, and opinions in the hopes she learns not to settle for anything less than a man who treats her the same way. I want to make sure I'm there for her to walk her down the isle. One of my wife's friends had to get married without her Dad there because he died young. I don't want to do that to my baby girl. I want to be there long enough to teach my boys how to be good, strong, and kind men. If I don't change my eating soon I wont be able to be there with them and it'll be my fault.

May 06, 2014

5 minute AMRAP

Today was cardio day. After doing 5 sets of 5 reps of bench press I did a short and hard cardio session. Rion, my 4 year old, did the cardio session also. The cardio was a MetCon (metabolic conditioning) workout that was a 5 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of
5 push ups
5 burpees
5 wall balls
I was able to finish 4 rounds exactly, no reps on the fifth round. Rion completed 4 rounds and a some extra reps into the fifth.... Yes, my 4 year old beat me...... Since starting up cardio again a couple weeks ago I've made some pretty great gains, but I'm still REALLY out of shape. After the workout I thought to myself, "I'm glad I'm not in CrossFit right now, because I'd have been an embarrassment". I know that if I continue training the way I am, in no time I'll transform myself from a fat and out of shape olympic weightlifter to an olympic weightlifter who is in great shape. Today was another step in the right direction.

My weight has stabalized at 280.

May 05, 2014

Increases in bench

I maxed out at bench press this weekend. Since the last time I maxed out 6 weeks ago my max bench has increased 35 pounds!!!! I'm now 5 pounds away from matching my life time bench PR set back in 1999! Life is good here in the strength training side. Join us and feel the power. Muahahaha!