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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Redwood Empire Championships!!! 7-3-10

Pacific Weightlifting Association: Redwood Empire Championships

My lifting in its entirety for your viewing displeasure:

Might want to click on the video to open it up to fullsize.

My first meet. Its long past time that I get out on the platform to compete. Before you start you never feel quite ready. You are too weak. You won't do well compared to others. Blah blah blah Everyone says to just get out there and start. But when I compete I want to win. And yet as a novice weightlifter you won't be winning. You'll be competing against yourself. And I can live with that. There is a lot of room for improvement for me in this sport and I believe I can make some big strides forward. It won't be easy and it will take many years but I think it'll happen. But that doesn't mean I should wait for some type of undefined 'success' before I start competing. Everyone starts somewhere. Journey of 1,000 miles starts with the first step ... and all that good stuff. I started working out for the first time with Crossfit 2.5 years ago. I started focusing more on Oly lifting and trying to get bigger and stronger a year ago. Doesn't seem like its been that long. I've taken a few steps forward already and to finally compete is another big one. Speaking of competition its been a good 7 years since I've competed in any kind of sport. Faar too long.

3 weeks ago I had a PR bodyweight of a soft 216lbs. Then I got sick for a week and lost 3lbs. When I signed up for this meet I figured it would make more sense to cut down to the 94kg (207lb) weightclass rather then be at the bottom of the 105kg (231lb) class. I weighed in at 93.19kg (205lbs).

An hour and a half drive to the meet with Glenn Pendlay and Jon North. Talk of lifting, guns and big game hunting. A good start to the day. I'm very very fortunate to have the company of these guys. To be coached by Glenn who is one of USA's best lifting coaches. Wow. And coached by Jon who in the meet today reclaimed his #1 ranking in the USA as a 94k lifter with a PR 155 Snatch and 177 C&J (missing the jerk of a 185 PR attempt) for a 323kg total! Are you kidding me?

I only spent 3 months training at California Strength Academy at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately had to stop due to financial woes. But CSA was generous enough to let me tag along and lift for the team. Glenn broke down how he figures out the warmup and the timing of it all. Very helpful info. If I had been on my own I would have warmed up too much and too early. I saw some of that from other lifters. He has the system down pat. He entered my warmup numbers in his leather bound little coaching notebook. A few pages before is the warmup and competition numbers from his lifters at the Pan Am games in Guatemala. Sweet. I didn't have to think about my warmup. I just did as I was told. Lift that bar. Yes sir. Sit down. Sir yes Sir.

I believe my warmup was: 30x2x2, 40, 40, 50, 55, 60, 65 missed it behind me (I always miss in front so I wasn't too concerned), 70x1 since it was my first meet I warmed up with 70 even though it was my opening lift. Usually Glenn doesn't have his lifters warmup with what they'll lift on the platform. I hit all my Snatches save 1. Not bad since I've been struggling with the Snatch. Before I walked up there to lift I was a bit nervous. Some adrenaline coursing through me. A few tactical breaths to calm me. But I didn't want to go up too relaxed. I wanted to use the controlled excitement. I opened with a 70kg Snatch. 90% of my 1RM. Hit it easily. Now that I had my first lift out of the way I became much more confident. It was going to be a good day of Snatching. Had planned on a 75kg 2nd lift, but Glenn bumped me to 76. Its a constant game of checking what the other lifters are doing and making small adjustments on the fly to get the highest lift and the proper amount of rest in between lifts. Successful lift at 76 (96% of my 1RM). I was feeling strong and confident. Ready to tackle the PR attempt. My PR is 175lbs (79.5kg). Glenn called for 82kg (180.4lbs). I nailed it! I was getting my hips through with an explosive 2nd pull, hitting that bar of my hips and finishing better then ever. Jon said these were the best Snatches he has ever seen from me. Cool! 3 for 3 in the morning.

About an hour later, Clean & Jerk warmup: 50x2, 70, 80, 90, 100. Opened with 102 (224lb). Easy. Felt light. Then 108 (237.6 lb). Not bad. Though I thought I had a small pressout with my right arm, but got 3 whites. I was ready for 114 (250.8 lb). I had goofed with my math somehow and told Glenn my PR was 113. 114 would be a PR attempt but only by 0.8 of a pound. I probably should have gone for 115. Training with lbs and competing with kgs sucks balls. Need to remedy that. Pendlay elite colored bumpers are coming out shortly and I'd really love to get a set. The clean was out front a bit and wasn't super tight in the bottom which made it pretty rough. Ground it out though. Pretty much locked the Jerk out but it was in front and I was leaning back some instead of head through. Missed it. Doh! 5 for 6 with a Snatch PR. 200kg total. Kinda cool benchmark.

The meet was separated into two divisions. Sub 190kg total and above. I lifted with the boys in the sub 190kg total. When I signed up for the meet my best lifts put me at a 187 total. Since then I had hit two PR's in the C&J. In the last month and a half I've had 2 PR's totaling a 16lb improvement on the C&J. The last of those PR's was 9 days prior I nailed a 250lb C&J. Whereas on the Snatch I've been stuck at 175lb for a long time and had some very close attempts with 180lb on multiple occasions. So I was due for a Snatch PR whereas I'm a bit more topped out at the moment on the C&J.

Thanks to Glenn and Jon for coaching me. That was a true privalege for me.

What a great experience! A humble beginning but I'm happy with my performance. I'm very excited to continue to improve and compete in the sport.


Dan said...

Again, studly work my friend! You're crushing those Oly PR's pretty regularly and gettin' up some decent weight. Proud of you, pal!

Glad it was an awesome experience.

NewWorldMan said...

Just stumbled onto your blog. Congratulations on the first meet and thanks for sharing the great write-up!

I am entering my first meet on the 24th and enjoy reading/learning. I've been posting my log on Glenn's 'pendlayforum' and am jealous that you had Jon AND Glenn to handle you at the meet!

By chance, did you 'taper' at all for the meet or did keep training pretty much the same leading up to the meet?


JAK said...


Thanks for commenting. I just took it a bit easier that last week, and didn't workout the 3 days before the meet. Though it might have been good to hit some light (60-70% snatches and C&J) two days before. But if you look at my workout log, I haven't exactly been training for an Oly competition. I have been on a general strength and bulking cycle for 4 or 5 months with some Oly lifting thrown in here and there. I decided pretty last minute to compete and wasn't training anywhere near ideal for a competition.

Mainly I recommend in the next 3 weeks to get in as much successful snatches and C&J's as possible and front squat heavy. And then drop your front squats off in that last week prior to your competition. One of the biggest lessons for me was the importance of consistency.

I was thinking of starting to post on Pendlay's forum myself. I found your log and to answer a question you posted in regards to a singlet:

I got the Adidas Atenus and I'm very happy with the quality. I'd guess you would be an XL at least if not maybe a XXL. Might want to check with some other 105 lifters to find out what they think. Speaking of which, do you plan on cutting down to the 105 class? I'd guess you are right about perfect for that class.

Congrats on signing up for your first meet. Keep me in the loop on how it goes for you.