The So-Cal Trip.

March 19, 2012

CC and I traveled to Fullerton this weekend to catch a “yoke sesh” at a local weightlifting meet held at CSU Fullerton.  We checked the schedule on our local weightlifting committee’s website about a month or so back and thought it would be a fun to get out of town and see what local meets were like outside of NorCal.  Also, CC is currently preparing for The Collegiate Nationals held at LSU Shreveport.  This meet happened to be in synch with our current lifting schedule and would give us some time to re-evaluate our training and make adjustments if we need to.  As far as myself is concerned, I’ve been away from the platform for a long time and have had a rough few months of training. Working (as full-time as I can) and going to school (full fucking time) with a varying sleep schedule is not what I would call conducive for making gains in the gym, but more than that I lost a lot of confidence in myself.  After Americans, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this anymore but continued to train regardless.   I gained some momentum from my PR front squats a while back and have been working my way back up slowly ever since.  This weekend was the first heavy day that I felt like myself on the platform again.  My bar was fuckin’ movin!  Brown Thunder!

I had been to a few smaller So-Cal meets in the past, so I expected to see around 30 lifters max.  WRONG.  This place was packed.  I’m talking like 50 dudes in one session and 15 more in the women’s session.   CC stole the show by finishing out the snatch session.  Well, it was pretty much a duel between her and another much more experienced 69kg lifter, Evelyn Hernandez.  Both wrote on their cards that they were going to open at 65/85 and both knew that they were going to bump up.  It was just a question of how much.  I’m not sure if those of you who are new to the sport are savvy with the warm-up process in a meet situation, but the coach actually plays a large role in properly warming a lifter up and strategically choosing attempts based on what you think your lifter can do and what you think her competition can do.  In the end, it doesn’t really matter because it’s a local meet and we were just there to PR, but CC had a great opportunity to go back and forth with an experienced lifter and I had fun choosing her attempts.  It feels kind of like gambling.  (I don’t actually know anything about gambling.  If I were to go to Vegas, I would go to drink and dance.)  Anyways, CC went 3 for 3 on her snatches (66, 69, 72 Meet PR).  Her clean and jerks were more of a battle.  CC opened at 86; Evelyn at 87.  CC took 90, cleaned it but missed the jerk.  Evelyn took the same 90 and made it.  The thing about CC, is when she’s in competition mode, she ALWAYS gets motivated after a miss by loading a few more kg’s on the bar.  Had this been a national meet, I would’ve had her stay at 90, but we came to make some meet PR’s and a 164kg total would be huge.  So we asked for 92.  She grinded out the clean like a champ but missed the jerk.  I knew she would be bummed about missing, but I still couldn’t be more proud.  She handled a high pressure situation like a champ and I know she’ll be able to do it again when it really counts.

Here’s another look at her 72kg. snatch courtesy of our new friend, WILMAR

That got me all fired up.  But now it was time to take my coach’s hat off and get into the lifting mindset.  No problem.  Throughout the day, I got a chance to meet a bunch of new homies; all of which were friendly, supportive bro’s with whom I formed instant bro-ships with.  That got me even more fired up to lift.  There was just one problem:  our flight was scheduled to take off at 6:55 and it was already 12:30 by the time the men’s session got started with 50+ lifters.  No biggie.  I’m not the type that likes to stress out.  I decided I would just snatch.  And if there was time left to clean, great.  If not, I wasn’t going to worry about it.  I’d probably just take them up really quickly in the warm-up area then bounce.

My snatch warm-ups went great.  I felt like I was brand new.  My knees felt great, my bar was moving and I felt so fast, the devil must’ve filled my legs with heavy metal and bad intentions.  I put down 130 as my opener and planned to take it in the back and bump up if it felt good.  I crushed it.  “Fuck it.  CC, let em’ know I want 134.”  I used this as an opportunity to teach CC how to count cards.  During my session, she and I would walk up to the card table and each of us would get an approximate count and then compare what we got afterwards. “10 out . . . I think.”  Sounds good to me.  I waited a few more and took a135 before I took my chair and sat in the gymnasium underneath the bleachers.  Her count was right.  By the time I sat down I was 3 out.  134, make.  138, miss.  Fuck it, gimmie 140.  MISS!

I was slightly angry.  I knew I was good for it, I just didn’t believe in myself.  I hadn’t walked 10 feet off the platform before CC runs up to me and asks (basically demands) that I take 140 again in the warm-up area.  The old Ben was back; the one full of piss and vinegar.  Her and I marched over to a warm-up platform that everyone was avoiding because of the absurdly shitty training bar sitting empty on it.  We loaded 140 and 5 seconds later it was over my ears.  It wasn’t pretty but I was happy.  This was the first 140 I’ve made in months.

By this time, there was about 20 minutes left before we had to leave.  So I decided to take up my clean and jerks (hurry-up style.  Load it and lift it.)  70, 90, 110, 130, 140, 150, 160.  I decided to go for it and get the 170.  3 misses later, CC and I exited the gym with new friendships and smiles on our faces.  On the plane ride home, we excitedly discussed what we think has been most beneficial in our training, what we need to individually work on and our plan for the next 4 weeks leading up to Collegiates.

14 Responses to “The So-Cal Trip.”

  1. From what I can tell this is at CSU Fullerton, which is where I happened to graduate from. I am happy to see them putting on meets as they were a terrific school with regards to their strength and conditioning program. Professor Lee Brown is a huge advocate for S+C, weightlifting and such. Great vid!

  2. Daniel said

    Dude sickest shoes ever

  3. I hope you got SLOSHED when you got back for st. patty’s.

    Good times again! Good luck at collegiate nationals!

    • bclaridad said

      I got VERY drunk but totally failed at going out. We tried to get a cab to pick us up from our place at 11:00 on St. Patty’s day. Needless to say, it would’ve been at least an hour wait or some cab companies just straight up said NO. Probably for the best though. I saved my self 12 bucks worth of PBR and at least another 12 for cab fare.

    • Ainul said

      Great instruction viodes! a0Keep’em coming. a0Questions: a0As a fairly tall, long-legged lifter (6’2 , 34 inseam), it seems that keeping my knees back results in a stripper snatch with my butt coming up before my hips start to open. a0If I try to keep a constant back angle, the bar has to go around the knees. a0I’m having trouble finding middle ground or should I? a0Is a stripper snatch acceptable for a tall person?thanks.

      • bclaridad said

        Having never seen you lift weights before, I would say that a few general guidelines that should help you are: 1) from the ground up until the bar reaches your knees, you should be pushing them (your knees) back and out of the way. 2) once the bar reaches your knees, your shins hould be vertical to the ground ans shoulders in front of the bar.

        Hope this helps.
        -Ben

  4. John Harry said

    They are opening a regional training center similar to the LSUS center. It’s a pretty big deal around campus within the Kinesiology faculty and S&C programs here on campus. It’s “scheduled” to be up by this Fall or next Spring at the latest.

    Ben, you like the new Adidas over the Romaleos?

    P.s. next time you come to SoCal for a meet, my ass will be lifting this time…..

    • bclaridad said

      Waddup John,

      The new Adidas are the bee’s knees. They feel like you’re slipping your foot into an autobot specifically designed to crush weights.

      And you better git yo ass in a singlet and lifting shoes next time I roll through. Heavy Duty.

  5. Charles said

    Hey Ben

    Glad to finally meet you instead of just reading about your adventures – bromance in full effect…next time we’ll share a gallon of milk. Whole, non of that 2% junk. Word. Keep the music and artsy stuff comin’ too!

    • bclaridad said

      Charles, We’ll share a gallon of milk AND some beers. Hope you don’t mind tallboys of PBR or 32oz Highlife, because I’m a cheap bastard.

      • Charles said

        Well than I’m a fancy mother fucker because I like my beer like my Van Damme movies…Belgium, awesome, and gratuitous helicopter kicks to the face good…

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