Four PRs, Two Weeks. How?


Yes. You saw right. 4 PRs in two weeks. Started with the Pendlay Seminar. Constant repetition during the seminar. Position to position, back and forth. Each transition done at least 10 times. Bam! 102.5kg PR for the snatch, 121kg PR for the clean. From a motor learning perspective, the emphasis on positioning during the seminar and transiting from one position to another built that learning effect. More importantly, like many coaches have constantly emphasized, perfect practice makes perfect. Ensuring that the positions were hit right, three of us (the coaches from the Strong Room) made sure we hit each position right and watched out for each other.


Following the seminar, I hit another PR 2 days later at 103kg. Missed 101kg 2 days later (not feeling the best). Then another 2 days later, I hit 104kg. The week after, I held it back alittle early in the week and went for 100kg for the next two training sessions. But then came the end of the second week.. Went for it and hit 105kg. Been awhile since I had such improvements in my lifting. Below is my session which I hit the 105kg..

So what happened? Nutrition? Recovery? Epiphany?

Just learning. Proper motor learning. Why do I attribute it to that? The program I was on simply made me do repetition after repetition of the classic lifts, similar to a "Bulgarian"-style program. But I am nowhere physically capable of doing such a program so I had to listen to my body. But the feeling of pulling something heavy off the ground made sure that technique was maintained.

Many think that to build technical strength (a term suggested by Bob Takano) is to use light weights and then put your focus on your technique. However, based on my research, bar velocity is no different from 100% 1RM after 88% 1RM. So even if you are not going to be hitting your maximum weights, hitting 90% will require you to maintain the same technique as compared to 100% 1RM. Based on that, I kinda kept the intensity around the range of 90-100% depending on how I felt. If I felt good, I went 100%. If I don't, then I kept it lower but no less than 90%.

It worked for me with 4 PRs in a span of 2 weeks. Of course there were other contributing factors such as getting sufficient sleep and eating enough which probably helped. But this is why I get the people I coach to go heavy if possible because to be able to maintain technique for a load close to your maximum, you simply have to lift close to maximum. I will have more information about how I came about with this sort of programming for the "busy" man (idea inspired by my discussions with JP from in an upcoming post.

Stay Strong and Keep Lifting Heavy,

The Training Geek