Weightlifting Failure

I blog a lot about running, and a lot about success. Partially that’s because success is what inspired me to blog, and, to be honest, I haven’t faced a lot of real adversity. I ran slow, I’ve had a couple of worth-mentioning injuries, but overall the trajectory of my running has been really good. Sure, I had a heartbreaker when trying for sub-2 hours in the Half Marathon, but that’s not exactly a failure.

Well, last Thursday, I felt like a failure. My weight routine has been a consistent rotation of 4 exercises intended to be total body exercises. Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench Press & Pullups. The ‘centerpiece’ of it is effectively the Clean & Jerk, because it is a truly great total body lift.

If you do it right. Which I found out on Thursday that I don’t. And when I tried to do it right, I bashed myself in the collarbone, screaming out a curse at the top of my lungs. After that, I was pretty much done. I couldn’t focus, anger-induced adrenaline had replaced the functional excitement to do physical activity. I felt like if I picked up something heavy again that night, it was going to be to throw it.

I skipped my Saturday weightlifting session, hoping to get some distance between me and that miserable session, but when I arrived on Tuesday, I wasn’t feeling much better. I still don’t know how to do a proper Clean & Jerk. But I started over, reduced the weight and am trying to learn. Ideally, I’d have someone who knew what they were doing to tell me, rather than just my vague recollection of youtube videos. But alas, the trainers at my gym aren’t really interested in talking to me, and their style doesn’t quite mesh with mine, so I think I’ll just keep fumbling my way toward it.

Fumbling my way toward it is how I’ve gotten this far in everything else. Here’s to feeling like a failure, and getting back on the horse. Er, bench. I don’t really like horses.

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6 responses to “Weightlifting Failure

  1. ….I don’t even know what a clean-and-jerk is, if that makes you feel any better. It sounds vaguely dirty. So that fact that you’re even attempting it is impressive to me.

    Signed,
    The runner who is sore from the body-weight-only squats she did two days ago

    • It’s also called a cling, if that helps. It’s an olympic full-body explosive lift that has 2 parts – the clean, which you bring the bar up from the ground to your chest in one motion, then the jerk, where you lift the bar up over your head in a second explosive movement. It’s common in crossfit.

      And yes, it totally sounds dirty.

    • Yeah, “clean and jerk” does kinda sound like a college guys morning routine.

      Most weightlifting seems that form is easy to get at least somewhat right, or in the ballpark, but the Olympic lifts seem to be way more unintuitive.

  2. Fear of whacking my collarbone messes with my cleans too. A lot of it seems to be getting comfortable the rack position(what my gym calls bar at chest). There’s also a few stretches to adjust the actual angle of the arms which could also help with some of the collarbone mishaps.

  3. The standard overhead tricep stretch seems to work out well. There’s another one that needs a partner to kind of twist your arm to the side. It’s all about getting your elbows up high in rack position so that when you get elbow lasers installed you’ll be prepared if ninjas attack while doing cleans.

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