Tournament Time and a Stubborn Elbow (Athlete Journal Entry 22)

This week was the week of my tournament. I was excited and ready for it, but unfortunately my elbow didn’t feel the same way.

Athlete Journal Entry 22 – 3/24/2014


Monday was the beginning of the last few sessions before the competition and I was focusing on my elbow. I took the time to stretch and roll my forearm and triceps of my right arm. I did a few snatches, starting with some speed with 40kg for six reps and finishing with 60kg for six reps. The next was snatch from the hang with 60kg for six reps and 70kg for six reps. I did a few full snatches, beginning with the bar and moving up in 10kg jumps. I did two or three reps until I got to 80kg, doing two sets of one, and 90kg for two sets of one rep.


Tuesday was a day stretching and rolling. My elbow was feeling better.


Wednesday was clean and jerk day. Again, a great deal of time was spent on the warm up. My legs were feeling great and I was moving well. I did speed cleans with 70kg for four reps and 90kg for four reps. The next exercise was power clean from the hang, using the same 70kg and 90kg. I dropped back down to the empty bar and did full cleans with a jerk, moving up 20kg at a time till I got to 100kg and did three single clean and jerk.


Thursday was the same as Tuesday.


Friday was again circuit day, lasting for forty minutes. I did every station but made sure each station was performed at about sixty percent.


Saturday was competition day. Our club had eight competitors and I was coaching them all. I was concerned that by the time it was my turn to lift I was going to be exhausted. All the lifters did very well, which is great, but at what cost to my lifting? As most coaches know, the energy expenditure during competition coaching is as severe as doing the lifting yourself.

I started my warm up and it was a little rushed. I usually like to take about an hour for the process, but it was much shorter than that. I tried to get some flow, but the tight time frame left me a little concerned as the small discomforts that usually fade seemed to be hanging on. The right elbow was getting worse with each jump in intensity, and by the time I was at 80kg, I could hardly lock out my arms. I did my last warm up with 90kg and it was ugly.

I still decided to keep my starter at 95kg. I did a power snatch with it, but the pain was causing some concern. I took 100kg and there was no way for me to keep the weight overhead once my arms were supposed to be locked out. Since they didn’t get that far, the weight crashed to the platform. I passed on my third attempt and continued to coach the remaining lifter from our club.

The warm up for the clean and jerk went no better, so I packed it in for the day. I have to find a solution for the nagging elbow. During my career there isn’t a discomfort I haven’t been able to fix, except for this sore elbow.

Terry Hadlow got started in Olympic weightlifting in 1970 and is the only Canadian to have competed in senior nationals in five different decades – 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Follow Terry’s journal here to learn about his approach to training and competing.