Northern Masters on Saturday

Sometimes the world seems to conspire against you and this is one of those times. This weekend is the Northern Masters olympic weightlifting competition and my last chance to qualify for the BWLA British Masters championships for 2009. But things are not going well.

When I attended the Yorkshire and North East Counties Open back in November, I managed a total of 165kg, which was close to attaining the qualifying total of 175kg (which contrary to my previous post on the matter, has not gone up after all). Especially as I got a 75kg Snatch up, but it was discounted for a slightly bent arm, and I got the 100kg clean but not the jerk. So I came away from there feeling quietly confident of lifting a 75kg Snatch and 100kg Clean & Jerk this coming Saturday (2 months later), for the 175 total I need. However 4 things have conspired against me in the last 6 weeks:

1) Xmas and New Year, always a time of jolly merriment, and less a time of focused weight lifting training.

2) I have altered my techniques for both the Snatch (wider stance) and Jerk (wider grip). Like changing your grip in golf, both have require relearning the timing associated with the lifts and practice to regain consistency of lifting.

3) I did my back in (stupidly) messing around with the back of a computer, which put me out of the gym for a week, followed by another week of reduced activity.

4) And lastly, I go to the gym in Cardiff for my last 2 sessions this week and what do I discover… they have retired the old Apollo bumpers (cos they are falling to bits!) but have yet to take delivery of the York replacements. So I was unable to practice any Snatches yesterday!

I was hoping to open with 70kg and achieve a 75kg for the Snatch on Saturday, but considering I have yet to get a 70kg since November last year (failed 70kg 3 times at the weekend) this is now looking very doubtful. I had to substitue my planned Snatch session with this:

  • 5 x 3 Snatch Pulls @ 80kg
  • 5 Hanging Snatch Balances @ 75kg
  • 3 x 3 Overhead Squats @ 75kg

There was no way I could bring 75kg down safely with a Snatch grip, so the last 2 exercises had to be done inside a power rack of all places. I set the side bars up as high as I could manage with (and still squat) so that I could dump the bar directly onto the side bars when I was at the bottom of a squat. Crude, but just about manageable.

So I’m hoping beyond hope, that the gym take delivery of the new York bumper plates today. Tonight is my last training session before I take it easy for the comp on Saturday, and I was hoping to do some heavy clean and jerks. I need more practice with the wider jerk grip for starters as I currenly have a habit of pressing the bar up (catching with slightly bent arms) and I need to train myself out of that.

If when I go tonight however, the new bumpers still aren’t there, I guess I’ll have to settle with lighter cleans, although I might be able to do some cleans in the power rack cage thing too (but the bars are thick power lifting bars), front squats and maybe some jerks off the rack (think bars again).

My plan at the start of Januray was to open with 70kg Snatch and 95kg Clean and Jerk. This would give me 2 shots at the 75kg Snatch I need and 2 shots at the 100kg C&J I also need. Now however I think I will have to settle for opening with a 65kg Snatch and a 90kg C&J. Incrementing in 5kg steps, I need to make all 6 lifts then: Snatch @ 65, 70 and 75. And Clean & Jerk @ 90, 95, 100. We shall see soon enough if that’s realistic.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Steve J 5 February 2009, 12:49 pm


    I hope you make it, if not, set your goals for a more realistic time scale eh?

    Christmas knackered me up training wise too. January is just horrible and should be banned too.

  • Chris 6 February 2009, 3:14 pm

    best of luck Colin, I know you can do it but you absolutely need to believe that you can make these lifts when you approach the bar tomorrow especially the first ones!

  • Colin McNulty 6 February 2009, 10:23 pm

    Cheers guys, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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