Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reflections from OPT athlete camp

I have a lot of other fun titles for this post, but I think I'll keep it simple for this one
After introductions, we jumped right in to the first test...
Test 1:
Find Power Clean 1RM
8 min AMRAP power cleans @ 90% 1 rep
150# powerclean; 26 reps at 135#. I PRed my powerclean today so I'm pretty happy. My max squat clean was 145# (got that at the I CAN games in Hilton Head), and I've power cleaned 140 before...and today I got one rep at 150. hooray! I was super excited about it, until I saw what the other females were doing (160...165...185?!), BUT if I don't compare myself (which I shouldn't), I did pretty damn good. I obviously need to get stronger in order to be more competitive...but my battery was pretty good. A very good score is considered 40-50 (I think?) I would consider a score of almost 30 pretty good

After this lovely workout, we discussed how to prepare (and not prepare for a CNS event) as well as some brief nutrition stuff. Moral of the story...we need more carbs (like a loooooooot). Annnnd debriefed the first test. We discussed the 3 ways to improve our score (Skill, Aerobic, and CP battery work) and I feel like I could benefit from all three. I feel like my main goal right now is to get stronger...but I can't let everything else fall by the wayside. Thankfully, we were also given examples of types of workouts we can do to improve all of those things.

We then had lunch...talked about some more nutrition stuff and timing out meals...THEN

Test 2:
Max Effort:
250 m row
10 kbs
10 burpees
10 kbs
10 burpees
10 kbs
250 m row
x3; rest 12 min in between
I equate this to how being punched in the balls repeatedly must feel. I almost puked...twice...briefly contemplated laying down during burpees and playing dead...and actually laid on the tile bathroom floor at the end because it was air conditioned and cool (judge me..please). Anyhow, this was supposed to test our lactate training..and apparently I failed. Apparently your times are supposed to increase each time and not plateau like mine did. oops. This means I either sandbagged it (false) OR I need to work on lactate training so my body can work more efficiently. Sidenote: I had to use the kettle bell of shame (20 kg) even though the workout was supposed to use the 1.5 pood one (24 kg). This was because the other one would have been too heavy and slow me down too much..and I would not have experienced the glorious effects of this test aka: nausea, blurred vision, burning muscles, drying heaving, cotton mouth, and overall death. Here's a clip of the fun.

What'd we start the day talking about? more lactate training. This time it was in the context of preparing for different competitions...what to focus on...and how to train..I took a fair amount of notes, but right now I don't think this applies to me as much as it did to some of the other athletes that were at camp. I don't have any expectation of qualifying for regionals (this year)...and I'm not planning on competing anytime soon...but all this information was useful nonetheless. AND it brought back some information from my undergrad classes (specifically ex phys and principles), which got me excited about my education, and made me happy face that (one of) my degree(s) applies to something that I am very passionate about. Woooo exercise science! Insert periodization...macro cycles...meso cycles...cycles cycles cycles...and cut.

Test 3:
5 Rounds:
45 double unders
20 wallballs (14#)
10 toes to bar
1:51/2:54/2:58/4:22/3:46. Total Time: 15:51 Difference between fastest and slowest: 2:31. The goal was to do these movements as fast as possible, while keeping a minimal difference between the fastest and slowest round. This was an aerobic task other than the obvious objectives, it shows us that we need to know our engines. From this, I know that I need to work mechanically on my toes to bar (and WB for that matter), and train to finish strong. Below I outlined each round:
Round 1: I went too fast out of the gates on round 1; the DU were smooth and I knocked them out unbroken at a very good pace, I did the WB unbroken as well which in retrospect I think I should have partitioned. The toes to bar weren't slow because I was tired...more so that I mechanically broke down and can't string together multiples. obviously these need work Round 2:  knocked out double unders pretty easy. They felt a little tougher, but I managed to focus on being relaxed and cue myself to keep my head up. Broke up the WB into 5s and had no problem with that. Toes to bar were about the same. I think I got 5-3-2...not positive but that sounded right. Round 3: similar to round 2. Messed up on my double unders and went something like 35-15 Round 4: not really sure what happened other than I mindfucked myself. DU were relatively strong but I had a few misses and took some time to calm myself and get back on track. Wallballs SUCKED. I tried to stick to the 5-5-5-5 method, but I had to drop the ball a couple more times. Toes to bar were toes to bar. It was harder to hold on to the bar though, so I dropped a bunch. I think I adopted a 2-2-2-2-2 scheme. Maybe a 3 was thrown in...but that's the general idea. This round is really where the role of my partner/coach came into play. Dustin was right there yelling at me to get back on the ball/ breathe/shake it out...etc..and I found it really helpful. I have noticed that I have an issue with people cheering for me (in my twisted mind, I think they're doing it because they feel bad for me), but I do well coaching (most of the time). I try to coach myself through workouts, for example when I get tired and have to break...I yell 3-2-1 go in my head (sometimes I talk to myself...), but it is helpful to have an outside source..Round 5: At this point, I just wanted this workout to be over. I missed a few more times on my double unders. I think mostly because I was tired and flustered. Wall balls were exponentially harder...but I also had the added encouragment of Kunze and Steve. Toes to bar were status quo. I just kept telling myself that next time I do this workout, I'd freaking beast those t2b. And then I was done.

THEN we talked about other shit (sidenote: if I had a dollar for everytime James said "shit", I would be living the dream doing exclusive coaching decked out in lululemon)..and when James mentioned some mental shit (see what I did there?), I capitalized on that and asked him how to improve mental toughness. There's a lot that I could say about this, but I think these pages from my notebook sums it up quite nicely.
Yep...there you have it. Be smart...and have balls. To be fair he also said ovaries..lout I guess I'm sexist..resilience is also key. In all seriousness though, this was probably the most important thing for me to hear this entire weekend. Yes I need to get stronger, Yes I need to get faster, Yes I need to work out A,B,C and D....but I feel like so much of my problem is that I stand in my own way because I get in my head. This was good. I may post a copy of this page on my bathroom mirror...and maybe hide it somewhere at the gym....

 Test 4:
lactate power training:
3 rounds
6-7 TnG power cleans at 85# (was supposed to be 45-60% 1RM...this was a little under 60)
6-7 No push burpee box jumps to a 20 in box
20 sec AD sprint
rest 5-7x work
1:03/:57/:55. Looking back, I feel like I could have burpeed faster...and pushed everything a little more. overall, it was pretty good I guess.
30sec max effort/30sec rest on the rower
153m/144m/131m/126m. Honestly, I surpassed my own expectations on this. My goal was to keep in under the 2 min pace for 500 m....and I definitely did.  That is not to say that I don't need to improve, because I do. Buuuutt I think it's a good way to start. This is an easy thing to train; doing intervals at a steady state.

We had another debrief session and then it was time to go. I came out of the camp with a sweet shirt, some more bruises, a tired body, and a new sense of where I am and where I want to go. Shit's about to get serious..real fast.

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