this is me (circa 2010).

To me, things like art, sports and lifting weights all boil down to the same thing.  People must be able to express themselves in whatever way they can and no one avenue is better than the other.  So by that logic, I compete in Olympic Weightlifting for the same reason that I draw pictures.  A good friend of mine once gave me a snide remark; something along the lines of “pretty artsy for a weightlifter.”  My first thought was, “Bro! Weightlifting is artsy!”  So no, this whole “along the lines of” thing really isn’t about one subject in particular.  Whether its art or weights; makes no difference to me.

I am the weightlifting coach at Midtown Barbell club.  If you need to get in contact with me, shoot me an e-mail at

25 Responses to “About”

  1. Lee said


    I was wondering if you had some spare time, could you give me some advice on olympic lifting. I have a few questions, best lifts, how many sets, how often, technique etc. I attached my email, let me know if you wouldnt mind answering them. Would be a great help.


  2. iDressMyself said

    Possible to do some posts on how u started and learned how to draw? Im interested in learning myself. Mainly to sketch out BJJ techniques for reference but also because i’ve always wanted to learn how. Thanks. And cool blog.

  3. Marlon Valencia said

    Yo. Checked out your blog for the first time today. Read a couple months worth of posts. Pretty Reightous. For what its worth, im a fan.

    The Randy Strossen encounter was hilarious. A compliment of any sort from that man is equivalent to Musashi saying you’re good with a sword.

  4. Robert said

    Hi Ben, I’ve been reading ur blog for about a yer now and really enjoy the posts. I’m a British lifter (not a very good one but still…) currently training in Australi.a I also like your art work very much and would like to get a tattoo of the Samson pic you did with guy ripping the head of the lion a few week ago… I don’t want to get it without asking ur permission and I’d be happy to give you a donation for the work. Keep up the writing and happy lifting for 2011

    • bclaridad said

      Oh my God, are you serious!? That’s awesome! No you don’t have to donate anything! Can you take a picture of it so I can post it? What’s your e-mail?

    • bclaridad said

      you wouldn’t have to let me post it of course. I’m just really honored that somebody would want to get my art as a tattoo. Oh and I see your e-mail in the comments section. I’m an idiot.

      • bclaridad said

        nevermind. What’s your e-mail again.

      • Robert said

        That’s great news. I missed out the y on ymail. Can I have your opinion on how it should be presented as a tattoo? Does anything need to be added or removed? Eg. the top of samons head?? I’m gunna need month to find a deace tattoo studio I only came to oz in sept so need to check them all out… But after it’s done I’ll defo send you some pics for the blog.

      • Robert said

        So just to confirm it’s ….I’m the idiot!

  5. Sharif said

    Hi Ben, just wanted to say thanks – been reading your blog for a while now and I really enjoy it. I’m also a weightlifter and I definitely can relate to you on many levels both in weightlifting and life. Keep those posts coming!

  6. Nicolene said


    I would like to contact you to ask a question about the beard drawing you posted on your blog recently. Can you please send me an email?

  7. Oscar said

    What’s good big Ben! I been watching your vids on YouTube for awhile and never knew you had a blog. (I feel like a stalker now haha). I some times watch a video or 2 before I hit the gym for motivation.

    You remind me of myself; I’m a hip-hop head and my form of art is weight lifting and making beats as well. To me it’s an escape from reality and very therapeutic. Anyway, you seem like a pretty cool fucking dude. Thanks for keeping it real.

    Btw, do you know of any Olympic weightlifting clubs? I’m from the valley. I’m tired of 24hr fitness. Plus I don’t have a workout partner and everyone at your gym seem like they know each other. Sorry for the long ass post.. p.s. that Iron Witch band is dope af. Peace.

    • bclaridad said

      What up Oscar,

      Thanks for the shout, bro. Appreciate it. I’ll keep posting the videos if you keep watching em. Anyways, I’m based out of Sacramento and I know pretty much EVERYBODY who’s into olympic lifting in Nor-cal. I’m sure I could find some clubs close to you or feel free to come visit any time. Shoot me an e-mail.


  8. Lindsay Hall said


    I think I can make it to practice tomorrow if that works out for you.

  9. Hey Ben –
    I saw a woman wearing your Nice Jerk, Girl shirt at a meet last weekend and I fell in love. I see there’s another comment in the same vein and I am just wanting to check in to see whether your thoughts have changed on the subject, but it’s just simply the loveliest rendering of a female weightlifter and I would very much like to have it as a tattoo.

    Happy to make a donation, add a signature to the piece, and/or take photos. She is striking and strong and beautiful and will make the perfect addition to my canvas. Let me know your thoughts?


  10. Jb said

    Hey i was wondering if donny still gives lion shirts for donations

  11. Sam said

    Hi, I love your sketches of weightlifters and wondered if you’d be interested in selling the rights for me to use one of your images? I tried emailing you but it was rejected. My email is
    Thanks and look forward to hearing from you!

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