Here’s some shots of me lifting at the American Open used with permission from Hookgrip.  Be sure to check out their site for sweet weightlifting photos, T-shirts and more.

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Center judge: “Smile!” Me: “I am smiling.”

 

Ironmind headband and flowing locks combo.  Can't go wrong with dat.

Ironmind headband and flowing locks combo. Can’t go wrong with dat.

2013 in Retrospect.

December 22, 2013

And I’m only talking about weightlifting here.  I had a pretty marked increase in performance and here’s why and what I think about it.

1) I finally got my diploma.  Yep, I graduated with a BS in exercise science.  For years, school had been a thorn in my side, always in the back of my mind (the very back), always taking away from what I really wanted to do at the time, whether it was work or lifting.  Now it will just be a thorn in my bank account but that’s another issue altogether.  Now that it’s over, I’m glad I have the degree.  It will open up doors in case I ever want to work in a different environment and adds legitimacy to my whole operation.  Lots of people like to talk science nowadays in the fitness industry, a much smaller percentage of these people actually have a formal background in exercise science or kinesiology.  But more than that, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders the day that I received my degree in the mail.  I felt like there was more room to put more actual weight on my shoulders and invest more time and energy into this whole “weightlifting project/buisness thing” that I’m doing.

2) I’ve settled on a training system that works for me.  It’s my system.  It’s my team’s system.  And I’ve finally figured out a way for us to both improve in harmony with one another.  I’ve begun to train separately from the team for the majority of my sessions.  They need the team environment, not me.  They need eyes on them and I don’t.  A pretty simple concept but it took a while to actually figure out the logistics.  That’s not to say that I’ll NEVER train with my team.  In fact, I think it’s good for them to see me workout and the pace I would prefer that they work at.  But important workouts for myself, I’ll usually schedule for myself so I don’t have to keep my head on a swivel.

3) I lost CC.  This was a big thing for me.  She was my first weightlifter with a lot of talent and my program was originally designed solely for her success.  Weightlifters will often shift around and find training environments that suit their needs the best.  I was just happy that I had taught her enough about training so that she could make an informed decision based on her personal training needs.  Job well done.  But now that she was gone, I really felt the need to try and improve my performance, whereas before I could say “well, I clarked 90 today BUT CHECK OUT WHAT CC DID.”  So the pressure was now on and I really think that my training and the team’s training are a lot more balanced now.

4) Towards the end of the year I stopped back squatting altogether.  The focus of training was ONLY the snatch and clean and jerk.  I’ve now resumed back squatting and am building up my general strength along with the rest of the team but I honestly felt at the time that my body couldn’t handle any more than it was already doing.  I started seeing progress once again and kept my training consistant with my schedule from the late summer until winter.

5) Improved start position for both lifts (but especially the snatch).  Self explanatory I think.  My main focus while i’m lifting right now is to BEGIN the movement properly.  I’ve been a dynamic start guy my entire (weightlifting) life.  I now favor the consistency of a static start.  I’m not saying that you CAN’T be consistent with a dynamic start, but personally, I have a harder time being consistent.

I’d like to thank everyone that follows along with this blog and anyone that has taken interest in my training or my team’s training.  If you’re someone who’s training alone or is just getting started, don’t hesitate to shoot me any questions and I’ll help you out the best I can.  I’d also like to thank anyone that has to deal with me on a personal level.  Yeah, I’m a real jerk sometimes and I’d just like to thank you for putting up with me.  I’d like to thank my gym for being THE COOLEST gym that I’ve ever been in.  I feel so honored to work where I do and I’m always very humbled and thankful for the amount of support I receive from the MTSC community.  Here’s to a new year of training, tears, laughter and PR’s my friends.

-Ben

American Open Video.

December 20, 2013

Check it out.

Very proud of how much the team has grown this past year.  Billy Squier-The Stroke FTW.

Midtown Classic Footage.

December 16, 2013

Here is some footage from the meet this weekend.  I caught most of my athletes’ lifts on film, only missing a few due to me running back and forth in the warm up area.  Big thanks to Cameron, who volunteered his time to act as meet director.  The contest ran efficiently the entire day then he went on to lift himself like a boss.  Thanks to everyone else who volunteered to help the meet run smoothly including Lia who announced the sessions the entire day.  Thank you, Tara for being the best boss anyone could ask for and thank you to the Midtown community for being so supportive and just awesome in general.

I had new lifters competing in their first meet, I had lifters go 6/6, most made contest PRs and all had an awesome time.  The club is thriving.  Thanks to everyone for their support.

Sweet Shirt, bro.

December 15, 2013

Check it.

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We’ve got Vanev on our meet T shirt! Yesterday, we held our annual Midtown Classic. I’m sure you’ve heard if only because Ian Wilson broke another American record. It’s been amazing watching him and D’anglelo progress over the years.

Secret Training Footage.

December 11, 2013

Well, I guess I can show you guys this now.

ONEEIGHTYFUCKINGFIVE.  Yeah, I’m sure you could tell I was just a little bit excited.  I chose to keep it off the youtubez until after the American Open.  The plan was to go in there and surprise a few people.  Not that any super heavyweights are losing sleep over what Ben from California is doing.  It was still a motivating thought.

 HERE is the link to the live feed.

Jason lifts this afternoon and both the girls lift tonight.  I’ll be on Sunday.

Also.

Image Here is the warm-up area for all THREE of the platforms being used in contest today.  I attended the technical meeting last night (where I reunited with my old training partner, Jon North) and apparently this is like the biggest meet like ever.  As a matter of fact, today, they are going to attempt to put as many lifters through as they did in all three days last year at the American Open.  Best of luck to those coordinating the meet and best of luck to everyone lifting this weekend.  

 

AC4.

December 5, 2013

Sooo I haven’t posted anything in a while.

Here’s why.

Just kidding.  I’ve been busy getting ready for the American Open.  But seriously.

Check the USAW site for the schedule and webcast info.  Jason, Emelie and Rae will also be competing.