Allison and John make rope climbing look easy.
My Masters Camp at the Olympic Training Center ends tomorrow. I am super happy I had this opportunity to train with the Olympic Team coach and with so many amazing people. This camp has definitely tested my mental toughness.
I have been doing two 2-hour training sessions twice every day. My first session is from 7-9 AM and my second session is from 5-7 PM. This is more volume than I usually do in 1 week (I usually workout only 4 sessions per week.) I was very concerned I wouldn't have the stamina and endurance to handle that much training. Each training session consists of 4-6 specific drills with at least 6 sets per exercise. On the first day I was getting my butt kicked and by Wednesday I had adapted.
Our training sessions started with a gradual ramp-up to only 50% of our best lifts, but with lots of repetitions at 50%. On Day 2 we went to 60%, on day 3 we went to 70%, etc. This has enabled us to handle the high volume of training. If I had approached this camp with some expectation that I "should" be lifting heavier I certainly would have crashed and burned. In fact, if one of our 4 coaches (2 of whom are Olympians) said to take weight off, we were expected to do so with no questions and no ego.
I have learned a ton of new drills. Learning new aspects of the snatch and clean & jerk is challenging as it's easy to get into a rut of doing what's familiar and comfortable. I've had my form and position corrected, changed, and altered by all 4 coaches. I've had to remain open to all cues, and even though a new position feels awkward. After several repetitions it finally begins to feel comfortable. I've had to trust this process. It's easy to slip back into old bad habits because they feel familiar. I've had to really work on making a new position feel normal.
I am frequently called upon by the head coach to demonstrate a movement. While it's very encouraging to know that I'm doing well, it's very mentally demanding to have everyone watch. I'm used to that in competition, but this is training and practice, something I usually do alone, or with Coach Heidi, and no one else watching. I have to immediately go to a mental state where I can just do what I'm here to do and not stress about people watching me. Although, after a snatch session it's great to have a 3-time Olympian tell you how excited they are for when "You finally put some weight on the bar." That will happen on Friday.
I've learned so many things I can use as a coach and as an athlete. I'm very much looking forward to bringing this back to True Spirit. I plan to offer an Olympic Weightlifting specialty course starting September 18th, after I return from the American Open Championships in Las Vegas. It will be a great opportunity to refine your lifts and to prepare for the Montana State Championships on Oct 27.
I look forward to returning to the gym next Monday and hearing all about your amazing accomplishments. Until then, have fun in the gym and work hard!
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