I was fortunate to be able to attend a Sunday seminar dedicated solely to the clean. The session was lead by Coaches Stew and Ryan.

Stew is a chiropractor. He does a fantastic job explaining the biomechanics of various lifts that just makes sense to me. So I always enjoy his instruction. We also share a military background so he knows exactly how to push my buttons to light a fire under my ass. Ryan also explains the lifts extremely well, has a great eye for identifying challenges in athletes’ technique and just watching his technique is remarkable. The guy is just flawless.

Sharing two hours of their attention with only four other athletes and nothing but cleans to focus on was pretty awesome.

I said it Friday, the goal on the day was to clean 200#. My 1RM going into the day was 185#.

I’m pleased to tell you I have a new 1RM of 195#. In fact, I lifted that successfully twice! Once was very ugly, but successful. I lifted it a second time to ensure it wasn’t a fluke. The second lift wasn’t textbook, but it was ok. All of the elements were there.

200# was like trying to catch a soap bubble. You have to be in the right spot at the right time. Conditions around you have to be just so and you have to have just the right touch. Too hard, pop. Too soft and the bubble bursts before you actually make contact, pop.

Well, there I was Sunday trying to catch a 200# soap bubble. I knew exactly what needed to happen in exactly what order. There was no confusion. There was no lack of confidence. I wasn’t afraid to drop under it. The strength was there. I pulled the bar plenty high plenty of times.   I just never could quite find the touch!

I made about 5 attempts at over the course of the last 20 minutes of the seminar and never did get it.

I walked out of the seminar with a funky feeling. I learned a bunch and improved my clean a lot. I look forward to practicing what I learned soon. It was definitely time well spent. I’m pleased that I hit a 10# PR, but I’m not satisfied.  Still. 200# was right there in front of me and I didn’t grab it. Pop.