May 10, 2013
1) take lifts to 90%.
2) Make 3 consecutive singles in a row.
3) Two in a row is “HEATING UP.”
4) Three in a row is “ON FIRE.”
5) You now get to “shoot ’till you miss” at 90+%. I recommend no more than 5 attempts beyond this point.
6) If you make a PR, “BOOMSHAKALAKA!”
May 2, 2013
My team will be hosting a meet at our gym this Saturday. We’ve had an awesome past 4 weeks of training and I’m expecting a good performance out of everyone. In this case, my role as a coach supersedes my role as a lifter, so I’ll be sitting this one out. I’d be a liar if I said that I was taking a big role in organizing this whole event. The club prez, Cameron and my boss, Tara have been putting a lot of work into setting this whole thing up. It’s gonna be a blast.
If you’re in the area, please come check it out. Lifting starts at 9 and if you’ve ever been to a weightlifting meet before, then you know that these things usually last through the evening. Wear your tank top, it’s gonna be a hot one.
April 27, 2013
The ENTIRE California Strength crew as well as our usual Sac State visitors joined us last night for heavy Friday. It was a proud moment for me. To see the platforms filled to the brim with not only my team but two other ones was just unreal. To put it plainly, it was a huge sesh, brah. I didn’t have the greatest day of lifting but the general mood of the gym was electric. Thanks for visiting, guys.
March 19, 2013
Here’s some highlights of training that took place post-Arnold Classic. I was still in Kansas at this point.
February 25, 2013
Cam finished another highlight reel. I’d have to say that personally, my favorite part is CC’s double body weight squat for a set of 3. With no belt. Pretty dece’ since that beats her previous PR single. I’m not going to pretend like we have some kind of grand, master plan . . . but according to the master plan, we’re going to keep her un-belted for at least another year or two (if ever). Young trainees (myself included) add the belt in too soon. She’s going to get a nice bump with her numbers as she gets a few years underneath her (figurative) belt. I’m anticipating it will help her jerks the most. Some athletes will need to introduce the belt sooner than others. It’s done WONDERS for Derek. But in her case, we’ve decided to hold out for a while longer.
February 19, 2013
Angela sent this to me the other night.
The next day she did this.
Also, here’s my 180 from Friday.
February 15, 2013
I clean and jerked 180kg tonight. If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know how much this means to me. I’ve come pretty close to quitting many times over the years and I honestly was beginning to think it would never happen. I’d like to thank everyone close to me for pushing me. You know who you are and I couldn’t have done it without you. And I’d like to thank YOU for reading. Starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve done with my lifting and I plan to keep writing as long as there’s a few people out there who enjoy reading.
Never stop pushing. Some people are meant to win world championships and some people are meant to clean and jerk 180. Some people are meant to snatch 50kg. The numbers are irrelevant the goal is what’s important. Decide who you are meant to be and whoever you are, never stop until you get there.
Well, time to drink. It IS my birthday after all.
Thanks for reading,
February 11, 2013
Here’s another highlight video of our training from last week courtesy of Cameron. I PRed in “swoleness” by breaking the 20 inch bicep mark. Also, there is some lifting.
February 7, 2013
Cam, captain of the men’s side and newly elected club president, has been hard at work collecting footage for training highlight videos. I kind of fell off the whole weightlifting mixtape thing when my flip camera died on me a few months ago. Cam took it upon himself to revive our highlight videos, first with the Electric Avenue vid and now this gem.
Now all (some) of our kooky antics will be proudly displayed on “teh youtubez” so you can see what kind of a show I’m running over here. One day, when I finally make a few dollars, I’m going to buy another camera so we can both share the highlight video responsibilities. But until then, be sure to subscribe to Cam’s Youtube channel so we can get mad hitzz.
January 28, 2013
I’ve got a special guest write-up today from one of my new lifters who competed in her first meet last weekend. She wrote this and graciously allowed me to share her experience for those out there who are new to the sport. But first, a few words of advice:
1) There is no “right” time. Face the facts, you will not get out there and wreck shop the very first time you compete. I don’t care if you can clean 150, you will never be a weightlifter until you play the sport of weightlifting. One does not simply learn to hit a golf ball really far and call himself a golfer. You must first learn the rules and strategy and then play an actual game.
2) Set yourself up for success. No one cares if you placed first in a local contest. So taking an 11 kilo increase to “beat” some other guy in your weight class is just plain asinine. You go to these things to make lifts. Unless you’re trying to break a record (an actual record, not a PR) or if you’re on the national stage it’s usually not a good idea to pull a Kevin Cornell and take a do-or-die attempt at 195 to get a medal. And let’s face it, odds are you aren’t Kevin Cornell. Make. Lifts. This means opening up a dialogue with your coach and choosing attempts that you know you can make.
If there’s anyone out there looking to compete in his or her first contest but has questions/reservations, shoot me a comment or an e-mail and I’ll do my best to answer.
And now, the write-up. Enjoy.
Last weekend I participated in my first Olympic weightlifting competition at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. There are tons of sites available that can better explain the details of Olympic lifting and how a competition is run than I can, but for the sake of this story, I’ll try to provide some basic information. The Olympic lifts are the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. In competition you get 3 attempts (at each lift) to make your heaviest lift. Add up the weights of your heaviest Snatch and your heaviest Clean and Jerk and that is your total. The person with the highest total, based on the lightest body weight, wins.
If your head is spinning already, I feel your pain, but bear with me.
I’m not new to lifting and I thought I was pretty strong, until I met Ben. Ben Claridad is my lifting coach. He teaches Olympic lifting at my gym on Saturdays. He also coaches a team in Midtown, but more on that later.
Ben is big, strong and intimidating yet patient and professional. He is very knowledgeable and lifts crazy heavy weights at speeds I never thought possible. He is also a blogger, artist and without sounding like I’m all sweet on him, a generally remarkable person. He is someone I trust and trust is very important to me.
After a few months of Saturday training, Ben invited me to lift at his gym in Midtown and I decided to give it a try. I was so excited!
How can I best describe my experience? With a random Patrick Swayze movie reference of course!
Ya know that scene from Dirty Dancing, when Baby carries the watermelon into the staff area at Kellerman Resort and observes “dirty dancing” for the first time? It was like that. I was completely stunned. This was not the pretty, sanitized lifting I’d been doing. This was hard core, bad ass lifting of incredibly heavy weights! It was loud music, graffiti, kilos, pit bulls and big guys in spandex, but it was also supportive and fun. It was freaking scary and amazing at the same time, as was the Olympic lifting meet last weekend.
I’d prepared as much as I could prior to the meet, but my stomach was still in knots. On the ride to San Francisco, my head was a mess. Why am I doing this? I’m too old for this. What if people laugh at me? Will I be sued by spectators who go blind veiwing me in this god awful singlet?
As nervous as I was, I couldn’t wait to get there. I knew once I was at the meet, I wouldn’t have to think anymore. Thinking was Ben’s job and he had a plan for me. All I had to do was follow the plan and that is what I did.
Weigh-in. Warm up. My turn. Lift the bar. Hold the weight until Ben tells me to drop it. Go sit down. Repeat 3 times for each lift. Done.
Wait. What? That was it?
I apologize if you were expecting some dramatic Rocky-esque ending to this story, where Ben tells me to dig deep, I find the strength of 10 Grinches, lift more than I ever have before to win the meet!
But that is not how it happened and I’m so grateful. A less experienced coach could have set me up for failure. Ben could have started me at much heavier weights hoping I would make my lifts in an unfamiliar place in front of dozens of strangers. Instead, he selected weights he knew I could lift and set me up to succeed. He gave me a perfect meet.
I’m still trying to figure out how Olympic lifting will fit into my life going forward, but for now I am just happy. I had an awesome first meet experience, which is all I could ask for and just what I needed.