Hello Chris,

Steve has talked about you on several occasions. Let me start by giving you some information about myself and then I will try to explain some of the methods that we employ when training.

I am 20 years old today, March 23; I have been training for about 18 months, six of those with Steve. Recently our training has been interrupted by a rotator cuff problem that is starting to heal.
When I first started lifting I broke both of my first ribs, once when front squatting and once when cleaning, aside from that there have been no major injuries. I have competed but only a few times on the local level and once at Jr. nationals I think my best total was somewhere around 200 kg.

Now that you have a somewhat vague idea of my experience I will try to explain some of my feelings toward what we do and how the training works.
I don’t like to refer to what we do as working out, or following a program, but rather it is way of living, that nurtures and focuses ones desire, and allows him to turn it into success.

Every training session is about making progress, whether we approach our goals by doing singles in a lift until we make a PR or make it less intense so as to save energy (Physical, Nervous, Emotional...etc) we always have the same goal in mind every single training session.

I have found that the more often we training the more ready I am to lift. There seems to be an interesting phenomenon that would be best described like this.
When you are driving in a car and you are cruising at 90 mph if you slow down, to say 25 mph you feel as though you are crawling.
Now if you are training say 8-10 times a week at a very high intensity and then you "back off" for a week then your body starts to feel like it is week, slow, rusty etc. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Every session we Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and front squat at least once, but almost always more.

In the mornings I usually just Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and front squat somewhat lighter than the afternoon maybe 5-10 kg less than what I would hit in the afternoon.

Most afternoon sessions however look are more like Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Snatch, front squat with 30 min breaks between the different lifts and maybe five minutes before the squat.

Another typical model for an afternoon session would be Front squat, Snatch, Break 30 min, front squat heavier than before, Clean and Jerk, 30 min break, Front squat yet again heavier than before, Snatch.

The way we squat is probably the most effective way we have come across for developing leg strength. I can recall many times when we have done no more than 4 or 5 reps total in the squat workout.
One thing I have noticed when we squat is taking large jumps and starting at medium heavy to heavy weights seems to have an effect on how well I am able to recruit all of my forces (muscular, nervous, emotional, mental…etc) I feel that this is necessary to develop the type of mental attitude it takes to lift heavy weights every day, the other reasons for doing few repetitions is that recovery is greatly increased when the excess work is removed.

Here is a sample training of two weeks last year, the training sessions from Monday, November 24 thru Saturday December 6:

Note that my best lifts at this point were a 105-107.5 snatch and a 142.5-145 clean
I was still having a lot of trouble with my shoulder being able to hold weight over my head.

Monday 11/24 No morning workout
Snatch: Empty bar to practice movement, 50x2, 50x2, 50x2, 50x2, 70x2, 70x2, 80, 80, 80, 80, 90, 90, 100m, 100m, 100m, 90m
Clean no jerk: 50x2, 80, 100, 110,120, 130m, 130m, 130, 100, 110, 120x3
Break 30 min
Power snatch: 50x3x2, 70x2, 80, 90, 95, 100, 105m, 105, 105m, 105,
Front Squat; 70x3, 120x2, 150, 170, 180, 190, 195, 190, 185x3

Tuesday 11/25 no morning workout
Power snatch: Empty bar 50x3x2, 70x2, 70x2, 80x2, 90x2, 90x2
A note from Steve regarding the snatches reads, Looks heavy/slow/tired
Break 30 min
Power Clean and Jerk: 50x2x2, 80x1+2, 100, 105, stop jerking 110, 115, 120, 122.5, 115, 120, 122.5, 122.5
Break 30 min
Power snatch: 50x2, 70x2, 80, 90, 95, 100, 105m, 105m, 105
No break
Clean (full): 50x3, 80x2, 100,110,120,127.5, 132.5, 137.5m, 137.5
Break 8 min
Front Squat: 150, 170,190,195, 200,190x2

Wednesday No workout because of last two days

Thursday 11/27 Thanksgiving
Snatch: empty bar, 50x3x3, 70x2, 70x2, 80x2, 80, 90, 90, 95, 95m, 95, 100, 102.5, 105, 100, 100, 90x2, 90x2
Break 30 min
Clean: 50x3, 80x2, 100x2 120x2 130x2, 135x2 140x2*pr 120x2 130x2 140x2
Break 30 min
Power snatch: 50x3, 70x2, 80, 90, 100, 105, 107.5, 110, 100x2, 100x2
Break 10 min
Front squat: 120, 150, 170, 190, 200, 205, 195x3*pr

Friday 11/28
Power snatch: Bar, 50x4x2, 70x280, 90, 90, 100, 100, 100, 100, 100, Note (all strong power snatches
Break 30 min
Power Clean: 50x3, 80x2, 100, 110, 120, 125, 130, 130, 130, 130, 120, 120, 120, 110x2, 110,2
Break 30 min
Front squat, 120, 150, 170, 190, 190, 190

Saturday 11/29
Snatch: bar, 50x3x3, 70x2, 70x2, 80x2, 90, 90, 100, 100, 105, 105, 110m(close), 110m(close), 110 make, 115(Note “there”), 115m, 115m, note from Steve, all close but not close enough
Break 30 min
Clean 50x3, 80x2, 100, 120, 130, 137.5, 142.5,
Break 15 min
Snatch: 50x2, 70x2, 80, 90, 100, 105, 110, 112.5m, 112.5m, 112.5m, 105x2, 105 all 112.5 close
Break 12 min
Front squat: 125x2, 155, 175, 195, 205
There is a note that reads Torn palms-both hands Right shoulder gave out on all three attempts at 112.5

Monday 12/1 Am workout very light
Snatch: 50x2x3, 70x2, 70x2, 80x2, 80x2
Clean: 50x280x2, 100x2, 110x2

Pm workout
Snatch: 50x4x2, 70x2, 70x2, 80, 90, 90, 90, 100, 105m, 105, 105, 90x2, 100, 105m, 105, 105, 105, note reads too little sleep no energy
Break 30 min
Clean: 50x3, 80x2, 100x2, 120, 130, 140, 147.5*PR, 150*PR
Break 30 min
Snatch: 50x2, 50, 70, 80, 90, 100m, 100, 105, 110, 115m right there, 115m, 115m behind, 115m lost during recovery standing up, 115m overhead for several seconds
Three attempts were there
Break 10 min
Front squat: 125, 165, 185, 205, 215*PR, 202.5x2*PR

I would like to note that this workout (Tuesday 12/2) ended up much worse because of an impatient decision to start jerking out of the racks by both Steve and myself; it really threw a wrench into the machine.
Tuesday 12/2 no am workout
Push Jerk from rack: 50x3, 50x3, 50x4, 70x2, 80x2, 90x2, 100x2, 110x2, 115x2, 120x2*PR
Break 30 min
Power snatch: 50x3, 50x3, 50x2, 70x2, 80, 80, 80, 90, 90 my rotator cuff was causing me serious pain because of the push jerks so we stopped snatching prematurely.
No break
Power Clean and Jerk: 50x2+4, 50x2+5, 50x1, 80, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 105, 115, 120, 105, 115, 120
Break 20 min
Power snatch: 50x2, 50x2, 70, 80, 85, 90, 90, 95 again rotator cuff was causing problems
Break 12 min
Front squat: 120x2, 150, 170, 190, 190, 195, 200
Wednesday 12/3
AM workout light
Snatch: worked up to 90x2
Clean and Jerk: worked up to 120 for a single
No squat

PM workout
Snatch: bar, 50x3x2, 70x2, 70x2, 80x2, 90, 90, 90, 100, 100, 105, 105m, 90x3, 95x2
Clean and Jerk: 50x2, 90x1+2, 90x1+2, 105, 115, 125,125, 130, 130, dropped the jerk just cleaning now/ 137.5, 142.5/142.5m, second rep was racked but bounced off
Dropped down and started jerking again: 110, 110, 115,120, 122.5, 125, 127.5, 130, 132.5,135missed jerk, 135, 135,
Break 30 min
Snatch: 50x4 70x2, 80x2, 90, 95, 100, 100, 70x2, 90, 90, 100, 105, 107.5 Right shoulder was in pain from rotator cuff
No squat

Thursday 12/4 no am
Front squat” 70x2, 120x2, 150, 160, 170
No break
Power snatch first rep from floor second from mid thigh: bar, 50x3, 50x2, 50x2, 70x2, 70x2, 80x2, 90x2, 80x2, 85x2, 90x2
Break 30 min
Clean and jerk: 50x2+3, 80x2+2, 100, 100, 110, 110, 120, 105, 115
Stopped because the rotator cuff was in pain
Front squat: 140x2, 160,180,190,195

Took off Friday 12/5

Saturday 12/6
Power snatch: 50x2x2, 50x4, 50x1, 70x2, 80x2, 90, 90, 95, 100
Break 10 min
Clean: 50x3, 80x2, 100x2, 120x2, 130x2, 137.5 dropped down to 100, 115, 125, 135, Back was tight so we heated it up
Break 30 min
Snatch: 50x3, 50x3, 70x2, 70x1, 80, 90, 90, 90, 90, 95, 100, 100, 105, 107.5, 110m, 110, {112.5, 112.5, 112.5, 112.5, 112.5} all dumped because of shoulder 90x2, 90
Front squat: 120x2, 160, 180, 200, 210, 190x2, 195x2

As you can see most of the progress was thwarted because of my shoulder impingement
Had I not been forced to drop most of the snatches I would be making much more progress in that discipline.

Something to note about the Snatches, is that about 95% of them are caught above parallel, al la power snatching, with the idea that a missed power becomes a full.

The most important point I can stress to you is the communication between Steve and me.
There is constant feedback from Steve, after every lift and I respond with an honest explanation of how I am feeling. I can’t stress enough the importance of how much we communicate during training and outside of training (he calls me everyday). I think this is one of the reasons that our training is so successful.

I am sure you will have questions about this so feel free to e-mail me again.

Max Aita