Weightlifting

Italian Stallion: USAW Nationals Prep


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Hello guys,
 I am going to talk about my training post Pan Ams qualifier that was held in Reno the first weekend of April. At the competition I made a snatch opener of 150kg, then missed 154kg 2 times, Pretty close misses. I then opened my CJ at 178kg just to try and get a successful lift in. I made it however I was called on a press out. I then decided to make the jump to 184kg cause that was the lucky number that was needed to make the pan am team. I made the clean successfully on the first attempt then proceeded to press out another jerk. I took the same weight the 3rd attempt but I was just out of gas by that time and didn’t even attempt the jerk. Overall I was disappointed with my performance because I really wanted to total 334kg and make the Pan Am team however there were a lot of good things that came out of it too. I made a competition PR in the snatch at 150kg and made a very close miss at 154kg. On the CJ side I PR’d on my actual clean and did it successfully for 2 reps and showed that the strength was there for the jerk just not the technique.

So after the meet I sat down with my coach and discussed training strategies for the upcoming month’s. He decided it would be a good idea to switch things up all together to trick the body into new positions that I needed in order to be successful with the heavier weights that I was now lifting. So we kicked it back old school with exercises such as;  jerk supports and recoveries out of the squat cage, pause squats (3 sec. count), Front squat from pins, jerk complexes (press, push press, push jerk, jerk), heavy deadlifts (3 reps), good mornings, Barski Cleans ( this is an exercise that was introduced to him by his coach Bill Starr, in which you perform 3 hang cleans without dropping the bar on the floor between reps), front rack overloads,   pin squats (my least favorite), pull progression from the block all levels ( start with an strict row and work your way to a clean extension-pull). All these exercises were aimed at correcting positions in the jerk and clean. I was performing this routine 3-4 times a week for the past 4 weeks after the qualifier. As far as the snatch goes he told me continue doing what we have been doing on the snatch cause it has been working and by improving your CJ your snatch should benefit as well. So every Mon, Wed, Fri, I was performing snatches, usually up to a heavy single with some drop sets after and on Tues, Thurs, Sat I was performing the exercises he prescribed to me. Every week I was seeing a lot of improvement in the weights I was lifting for these new exercises which made it fun to train. Some times the best way to improve is just to change it up a little.
Over the past 2 weeks we have started to get back into doing the classic lifts every other day, basically taking it up to a heavy single and then doing drop set singles from there. This is currently being done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday we are still focusing on those other exercises to keep improving positions etc. I have about 6 week until I move to Colorado Springs to train at the Olympic Training Center, I want to make sure I am in the best shape possible when I arrive cause nationals is only 8 weeks away. Please stay posted for training video’s and Q&A’s. Thank you for taking the time to read this I hope you all enjoy and maybe gain some insight to my training strategies leading up to Nationals in July!
-Anthony
Anthony Rocco Pomponio, based in Palm Desert, California, is a 2016 Olympic hopeful. After starting for 4 years as a running back in college and graduating with a degree in Kinesiology and Nutritional Science, Pomponio played professional football in Switzerland for the Basel Gladiators. After a brief but very successful bodybuilding careeer, Pomoponio discovered weightlifting in September 2010. The owner of The Yard, a weightlifting gym in Palm Desert, ‘Pomp’ owns PRs of 150kg in the snatch and 180kg in the clean & jerk in the 85kg class. 
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