Week 2 – Cleans… and a little surprise too

log press
The Log Press, photo credit Fivex3.com

One of the events in the Strongwoman competition is Log Press for Reps. “Each contestant has 60 seconds to clean and press the log for as many reps as possible.  Competitor must clean the log each time.”

Over the last few months, I’ve become pretty comfortable with a power lift called the deadlift. Though it’s a good start to train for the Log Press, this event requires an Olympic lift, called the clean. You can really hurt yourself if you don’t have proper form. I haven’t done cleans before, so Buck and I dedicated a session to learn the basics of this movement.

First, I started off in a deadlift stance, pictured below. Feet are about shoulder width apart, I’m sitting on my heels, shoulders squared, spine aligned in a straight line as much as possible. Putting the weight on my heels, I extend upwards, bringing the bar up towards my chest before dropping down into a squat to catch the bar against the shoulders. Here’s a good video of power cleans for reference(I’m working on including more pictures and video!)

FullSizeRender (2).jpg
Deadlift starting stance

As I mentioned in a previous post, hip extension is so important in a lot of these Strongwoman events, including this one. Kettle bell swings will be a part my daily training. I’ll practice cleans with just the bar, maybe add 10lb plates on each end. When I’m comfortable with cleans, I’ll add presses.

In other news, Fivex3, the starting strength gym that hosts the competition, announced yesterday that the Yoke Carry weight for the lightweight novice increased from 275lbs to 300lbs. Not going to lie, I might have panicked a tiny bit. My current max is 245. The thought of me carrying more than double my weight on my back is a little daunting. I have 10 weeks to increase my max by 55lbs. I’ll just have to train harder! It’ll be difficult, but I’ll do my best with 300 as my goal.

Note: In training for Strongwoman, I’m very conscious about doing these exercises safely. I listen to my body, give it the fuel and rest it needs, stopping when my body’s reached it’s max. I also have guidance from my trainer! So no worries, I won’t be reckless. 🙂

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