So you made weight.  Congratulations.  Now it’s time to do what you actually came here to do: the whole lifting of the weights thing.

I weighed in a whole kilo under what I needed to be last weekend.  and I was comfortable as fuck too which means I did a good job.  It then came time to ingest nutrients and more importantly, fluid as fast as possible so I wouldn’t be bloated and lazy when it came time to actually lift.  Remember, at BEST you only have 2 hours before your session starts.  I ended up with about an hour and a half.  So I took a grocery bag with me to weigh ins containing:

-Pedialyte

-Chocolate milk

-A banana

-Nutella

-Spoon

-Doritos

Remember a few key points from nutrition class: your body’s preferred fuel source is sugar, excess protein will basically be useless in the next 2 hours and fat slows down your digestion process.  So unless you want all this stuff sitting in your gut and not moving, I suggest you take it easy on anything fatty.  I had a spoonful of nutella to make me feel full and I was money.  The Doritos were just something salty to snack on but really served no other purpose.  The chocolate milk should be consumed first followed by you sipping on Pedialyte.  I drink other liquids as I compete, mostly just Redbull and shit like that.

If you start cramping while competing, don’t panic.  Just continue moving around and DO NOT sit down.  Pacing back and forth is preferred.

Once you’re done, go eat something delicious.  Just remember that you’re body will not be happy with you for the next couple days so don’t expect to feel really amazing right off the bat even after getting real food in you.

Hope this helps and good luck out there.

-Ben

Sup fatties,

So you still want to cut weight, huh? Well here’s how it’s going for me so far.  So I did my usual salt and water load early in the week.  By late Wednesday/early Thursday I was back to normal water consumption with no salt.  I’m a big fan of anything pickled and I was even chugging pickle juice Tuesday night. Try a shot of whiskey with a pickle back.  Delicious.  Side note: it’s a goal of mine to have a drink named after me consisting of a shot of Jamie and hot aus jus. 

So I landed in Florida and my BW was still 97.5. Not ideal.  But if you think about it, it’s cold as balls in Sacramento and I didn’t really train this week so I didn’t sweat at all.  So I trained today and took a bottle of saline laxative and I’m sitting pretty at 95.5 with a day and a 1/2 to lose the extra.  I’m money.  I’ll most likey get by without having to sauna which should be a last resort.  So this will probably be my last update before I lift but first, a couple of takeaways:

1) do your shopping for all your supplies, groceries and pedialyte right away.  That way you don’t have to worry about it later.

2) if you land at your destination heavy, don’t worry.  Just take care of your ABCs and the water should come off.

3) sauna should be your last resort.  

I’ll do a short post on what I do to rehydrate when I get back next week.  

I’m writing this because it could be of use to novice to intermediate lifters in the sport who perhaps do not work with a weightlifting coach.  I started my final weight cut yesterday for the American Open which for me will take place on Sunday.  But first, a couple of ground rules.

  1. I’m not a registered dietitian so I’m not qualified to give any advice when it comes to diet.
  2. Cutting weight is not done for health and is done at your own risk.
  3. This is a hard fact:  Cutting weight IS detrimental to weightlifting performance.  Given the rules of the sport, AT BEST we only have 2 hours to rehydrate and refuel after getting weighed in.  This process can often be as tricky as taking water out of our bodies and again, it’s only 2 hours so it’s impossible to get back to 100%.
  4. I do not recommend that anyone drop weight to make a weight class with 2 exceptions: you are trying to qualify for a national event or you are trying to get on the podium for a national event.  And again, there are further considerations here.  We’ve all seen lifters at local meets who are on the verge of barely qualifying in a lower weight class on their best day in the gym.  They starve and deplete themselves and then take attempts at weights that they have no business touching.  DO NOT BE THIS PERSON. DON’T DO IT.  STOP.  STOP IT NOW.  It always ends up like a train wreck.  Qualifying for national events is a big deal  and sometimes it’s worth it to just WAIT until you’re actually ready to be at one.
  5. I recommend to my lifters to not try to cut more than 3% of their bodyweight.  5% is the maximum for someone who is experienced both with this sport and cutting weight.  Yes, I’ve tried to cut more and done decently but I’ve also done not decently as well.  In either case, it’s not worth it.  I’ve been participating in weight class sports since I was 17, so I’m comfortable with the 5% range for myself.

K, so now that I got that out of the way, I started my cut yesterday.  I was exactly 1 week out and I weighed in at 97.5kg.  I’ve got to get down to 94.  That’s getting pretty close to 5% but still under, so this cut SHOULD go well for me.  The travel to the opposite end of the country will add to the difficulty but I’m overall confident.

I killed about a gallon of water yesterday and will try to hit close to 2 gallons today.  On top of that, I added salt to whatever I ate and had my last real decent meal yesterday.  This will bloat me up pretty good but by Wednesday I’ll even back out as I decrease salt and water.  By the time I take off Thursday morning, I’ll be back down to my original weight or perhaps a little bit less.  As far as diet goes, I don’t recommend significantly altering your regular “cutting” diet.  Remember, you’re worried about water this week, not fat.  If, you’ve  been good, than you’ve already shaved off enough fat going into this week.  As far as diet goes, SEEK HELP FROM A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL.  ONE WHO WORKS WITH ATHLETES.  NOT YOUR TRAINER.  NOT YOUR COACH.  NOT SOME BRO FROM THE GYM.  AND IF YOU’RE WORKING WITH SOMEONE ONLINE, FOR GOD’S SAKE MAKE SURE THEY HAVE PROPER CREDENTIALS.  DIET CREDENTIALS.  NOT WEIGHTLIFTING ONES.  I’m lucky enough to have a certified professional dietitian on my team and would recommend her to anyone if you are interested.

I’ll be back later in the week with an update.

I have a message for you,

Nothing bothers you for the next 3 weeks.  Understand?  All your problems that you have right now, and there’s sure to be many because ’tis the season and all that, WILL be there when you get back from Florida.  So relax.  You’ve come this far.  You’ve obviously made weightlifting a priority in your life even if you’re there to get dead last in the J session.  So take it seriously.  Unless you plan on stepping on the podium, you’re going to Florida to lose.  And that’s OK.  Take it seriously and go out there and compete.  That’s how you have fun in this sport.

“But that’s not a balanced or healthy mindset.”

Guess what: neither is peaking for sport; which by definition is not natural or done for health.  You obviously don’t care about that since you’ve gotten unnaturally strong enough to compete at the American Open.  So live it up for the next few weeks.  And when it’s all over, eat too much, have a drink or two with your true friends and take care of the rest of your life.  Don’t go right back to the squat rack (unless of course you ARE one of the top lifters in the country and this is basically your job).

I’m going to eat one last decent meal on Thanksgiving and enjoy my family and friends.  After that, I plan on being as extreme as I god damn want to be.  I’ll see you on the other side.

Big Lifts in LA.

August 18, 2016

I figuratively “hit some dingers” at my buddy, Jon’s meet in LA last weekend.  Snatches were OK. I hit 145kg on my 3rd.  But I went OFF on my clean and jerks.  3/3.  175kg, 180kg, 186kg for an all-time PR.  Footage shot by Rex Flores.  If you live in So-Cal and want some video work done by a pro, holler atchyer boi.

Thanks to everyone’s favorite weightlifting photography crew, Hookgrip.  Here’s some shots of my heaviest clean and jerk of the day.

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Check out my disgusting shoulder vein.

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I short step my front foot like a nOOb.

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Celebration.

I’ll post Emelie’s photos next.  I got some good training footage leading up to Nationals too.  I’ll post a cool video this week.  Stay tuned.

Savannah, GA with Jay, Jet, Zander and Heather.

JR Nationals 2016 Video.

February 25, 2016

Here’s the video from the Philly trip.  Voiceover videos are so 2012.

AO 2015 Part II.

December 17, 2015

Here’s the second featuring the rest of us who competed this year.

AO 2015: Cameron and Zander.

December 14, 2015

I had to break up the video from the American Open into a few different parts.  This one is dedicated to Zander and Cameron.

This track is definitely one of my favorites of the year.  Check out the whole album.  Dope.