Sicily is a place that you never forget – let us take you through a perfect day on our trips!
Siracusa is a 2700-year-old city, originally a major power in the ancient world, what an experience to be coaching and learning one of the original Olympic sports, and not just in the modern Olympics but in the ancient ones as well.
Stepping out of your hotel at 9am to the Sicilian hot sun and joining the lazy pedestrians making their way into Ortygia confirms that you are holiday but the Sicilians zooming past into Ortygia on their scooters lets you know that you are in Italy!
It is a reminder that the Italian morning sugar rush is a thing here – and an essential component of your pre-training ritual.
The old streets are full of small independent, family run cafes with a service and quality delivered with passion that reminds you of the contrasts of the “Costa circle of bland food” that is at every turn in the UK. Finding shade and the perfect spot to watch the world pass is your aim this morning. Perhaps you indulge in the traditional Italian Cappuccino and a sweet treat, or perhaps the traditional Sicilian Granita and Brioche bun tempts you as look around watching the locals dip the sweet bread into the pistachio granita. It is a reminder that the Italian morning sugar rush is a thing here – and an essential component of your pre-training ritual.
9.45 it is time to head to the gym for your morning training session. With your crew assembled and the Sicilian heat banishing your UK knee tendinitis away –it is time to move. With a game of musical wall balls (musical chairs) igniting your inner 8-year competitive nature, the group whittles down until there is a gallant winner.
Manipulating the technique triangle which involves your posture, weight distribution and bar path allows you to improve your efficiency of the movement and prep you for PB territory
The mind and body are ready for some weightlifting and snatch bunny hops are your primer this morning to warm up your receive position and overhead stability. This is a snatch technique day and the hang snatch is your weapon of choice. Manipulating the technique triangle which involves your posture, weight distribution and bar path allows you to improve your efficiency of the movement and prep you for PB territory. The snatch segment finishes with deficit snatch pulls to connect the whole movement together and to strengthen the quads and lower back. With these elements strengthened the heavy barbell will feel lighter physically and mentally – lifting weights is as much about tricking the mind as it is strengthening the body.
It is important to realise that learning weightlifting should be playful, feeling what is too far forward, too far back, too narrow, too wide, these are all feelings that help you learn the right position
The clean and jerk part is an individualised segment, training each movement separately is a great way to tease out the technical adjustments without overloading your mind. Pause jerks for those with jerk issues and pause cleans for those with clean challenges. Pausing in the receive of the jerk prevents the lifter putting all the weight onto the front leg and encourages a balanced receive position. It is important to realise that learning weightlifting should be playful, feeling what is too far forward, too far back, too narrow, too wide, these are all feelings that help you learn the right position and engrain the correct movement patterns into the brain through hitting those outer “dodgy technique” parameters.
The session is now time to counter the natural imbalances of the weightlifting movements through an accessory superset involving unilateral (single arm and leg movements) which help to strengthen your body and reduce the risk of injury. Bottom-up kettlebell press is a fantastic shoulder and arm strengthener which can also challenge your grip! Supersetting this with the Windmill, which is a great counter-weightlifting core exercise attacking your core and improving mobility. After a cool down to reset your mind and body, you towel off and grab a Wheyd protein sachet (the best protein and our sponsors) – the recovery starts now!
12.30 It is time for lunch, taking a walk back to Ortygia where the temple of Apollo (6 Century BC) humbly greets you at the start of the old market of Borderi, where the sights, smells and sounds of local farmers selling their fruit, vegetables, herbs, fish and meat fill your senses. However, it is time for the world-famous panini maker at Cafeificio Borderi, “the best sandwich in – and it does not disappoint with the passion and local produce igniting your taste buds. The temptations of the morning granita are the perfect refreshment choice to cool down In the lunchtime heat – hydration is a must you for your boat trip!
Sicily takes nature and humanity into your soul and brings you to life
Strolling to the bridge of Ortygia to meet Mauro – your Italian captain and the rest of the team, with plenty of sunscreen for yourself and the Irish cohort, you set sail. Hugging the southern coast, stopping at small coves alongside Sicily’s coastline and venturing to natural caves with phenomenal aquatic life and crabs to hunt along the rocks, this is so unusual in a place with a busy human population. Sicily takes nature and humanity into your soul and brings you to life. The swimming has definitely ticked your active recovery box!
Returning to land gives you some relaxation time back at your hotel before it is time to wander into the Piazza Duomo – the central square for some aperitivo, (is it Aperol Spritz time?) with local cheese and meats to warm your appetite before your primi course. The first course involves the essential Italian carbohydrate you have ventured here to consume – and it will not be skipped! With your body and soul complete, there is still time for a gelato hunt to complete your day – but perhaps the pistachio ice cream cannoli should be your night cap tonight? With your ice cream devoured you wonder back to your hotel with your teammates for the week knowing that sleep awaits because you have this all tomorrow!
Beaches and Barbells wants to bring the best of the holidays that you love with the sport that you love – why not join us in Crete?