Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

Training Log 007

Published on November 24th, 2012 | by Amna Al Haddad


Training Phase #3 (November): Corrective & Strength

Yikes! It’s been a while since I updated my training log – yet again X_X!

Picking up where I left off in my last post from German Volume Training, I had one more week of GVT where my progress has been steady and it was time to change things up.

Corrective phase:

But before changing things up, I have recently went to a chiropractor for a check up as I still had some imbalances and my body wasn’t responding (or we thought) the way my coach and I wanted – mainly my midback. During my visit to the California Chiropractic Center (who are really awesome at what they do); I found out a number of imbalances which in just about four visits got fixed :D. Some of those were:

  • Tight  (more like asleep or dead if you like!) left Psoas, which meant I relied heavily on my right hip flexors and left quads resulting in a torsion.
  • Overdeveloped left paraspinals, compared to my right.
  • Overdeveloped pulling chain vs my pushing chain in my upper body (caused rounding of the shoulders)
  • My T3 (mid back) is very much strong and working, and one of the reasons I never felt it because my back been compensating for my weak pecs or pushing chain.

So the result is that my body was “out of alignment”, and being out of alignment could result in a number unfavorable things:

  • High risk of injury.
  • Wasted energy while performing exercises.

With deep tissue, myofascial, a lot of stretching, foam rolling, and corrective exercises my body is doing very well thank God, however, I have to keep seeing a chiropractor for maintenance as the level of my training is intensifying – BIG time.

Strength gains:

While taking care of the corrective exercises part of things, my training in the past three weeks have been focused on gaining strength and slowly getting back into weightlifting with a focus on technical work.

One of the things I did recently (that got me some AWESOME news) is a fitness test at Train with FAST that shows your strength levels in different exercises, but mainly between my pulling and pushing chain and  it ALSO shows whether your muscle fibers are made up of either slow twitch  = endurance sports OR fast twitch = power and speed sports. And to my luck, my muscle fibers are FAST TWITCH! For the nature of my sport, Olympic Weightlifting, this is a great thing as it means producing quick burst of maximal strength or speed in a short period of time. Learning about this is great for me as an athlete, and it all makes sense – my endurance was never up to par no matter what I did, but I was always more on the powerful and speed side of things. so it happens that I am genetically lucky for the sport that is my passion and I chose to pursue!

Some of my current training includes:

  • Doing strength-related traditional lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press, dips, and other assistant exercises for my imbalances. Most of the exercises I do are still with a tempo as I am on a relative strength based phase, rather than maximal lifts. This is why I am still doing the 4010 tempo I wrote about in my previous posts. The nature of the tempo used also affects the nature of adaption, so following tempo to the T is very important.


  • In one of my previous posts I also talked about using fatgripz, well, guess what? That sh!t works ;). From being able to do 40 strict chin ups in a training session to doing fatgrip (or fat bar) weighted chin ups without failing in any repetition, in a matter of weeks! So I have seen a big improvement in my grip strength which will translate into my Olympic weightlifting, especially in doing Snatches.



I have seen a lot of progress in my strength levels, more awareness about how my body moves and why it moves the way it does, improvement in technique while lifting, and mostly the importance of periodization in training. I may be a weightlifter, but my body is still not ready to be training as a weightlifter 100% until I have increased my strength levels and ensured as much balance as possible. So some of things I am still working on are:

  • Ensure to achieve an upright position while squatting and not “dive,” this also applies when I snatch.
  • Ensure my weightlifting technique in the Clean and Jerk and Snatch are consistent before I start doing any maximal lifts. Weightlifting requires three things; sound technique, strength, and mental toughness, all of which are work in progress!
  • Ensure my hip flexors (psoas) are open (as they pull me forward a lot), so a lot of stretching and foam rolling.
  • Ensure my pushing chain is balanced with my pulling chain.

Here is a video of me practicing the drop under the bar in the Snatch. Once I master this movement, the weight I will be snatching will start increasing – CAN’T WAIT!

My training is being programmed by Head Strength Coach, Olivier Lamoureux from FAST athletic training in Dubai.



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About the Author

Amna Al Haddad , born in 21 Oct 1989, is an Emirati who always had a passion for health and fitness. She made history by being the first Emirati and GCC national to ever to participate in the Reebok Crossfit Games Asia Regionals. Since then she embarked on Olympic Weightlifting with being an IWF Arab and West-Asian Champ -63. A NIKE sponsored athlete, a motivational speaker and published author.

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  • My Profile

    Age: 23
    Height: 5’2
    Weight Category: 53kgs

    Competition total:
    Arnold Weightlifting Championships: 82kgs

    Personal Records (kgs):

    Deadlift: 105
    Back Squat: 68
    Front Squat: 60
    Clean and Jerk: 51
    Push Press: 45
    Bench Press: 43
    Shoulder Press: 37
    Snatch: 36