Friday, December 31, 2010

I love Weightlifting!

I have always been curious about Olympic Weightlifting. I have finally started training Oly WLing on a regular basis, and I love it! I still suck... I throw the bar forward and jump forward when I snatch (a big no no). I muscle up my cleans. My jerks are a disaster on so many different levels; I lead with my big butt, I pitch forward and I often press out the bar (pressing out is a DQ in a meet). The cool part about my lack of skill is the fact I get to LEARN and improve!

Powerlifting is like the Iyangar Yoga asana in the world of strength. Lots of emphasis on alignment and technique. Weightlifting is the Vinyasa of the strength world. Moving the barbell from the floor to overhead. The better your path and technique, the more weight you can move, but you have to find your own way.

Some snatch highlights from last week's training...

The Oly lifts can be frustrating... I feel like I am making the correct movement, but when the lift falls apart before I can stick the landing is proof I took a wrong turn. I focus my efforts on leading the upward movement with my traps, but cast the bar out, or I focus on keeping the bar close and pulling my hips to the bar and totally forget about pulling the bar with my traps, lol! About 1 out of 10 lifts I will magically connect the dots and the lift sails up almost effortlessly. Once I actually felt like if I wasn't holding on the the bar it would have been flung through the roof, then I effortlessly received the bar in a full squat. That is the best feeling in weightlifting... like the clouds part, a ray of sunshine shines down on me and the angels sing! Hallelujah! I finally did it right. So far, I get a PR every time I train! I am up to 46k snatch and 59k C&J. Nothing to brag about, but progress.

The best part about learning is having a coach. It's almost like cheating, I have someone who watches me move and gives corrections. My coach is Roger Sedecki. Roger is patient and has a sharp eye for movement. When he assigns a wight for me to lift, I know I can do it because I trust him. I also have a fantastic group of people I get to lift with at Twin City Barbell. So far, it seams like the group is dominated by women, and these women are strong and fast! Even though I do not seek out group activities, lifting with a group of serious people has a way of making me feel stronger. Learning something new makes me a better teacher.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Something New

I've been a competitive Powerlifter for a little less that 3 years. In that time I have competed at several local meets, 3 national meets and the Arnold Sports Festival. I have met some of the biggest names in the sport of Powerlifting (Sioux-Z Hartwig, Ed Coan, etc.) and I have worked with some fantastic coaches (Mark Reifkind, Matt Gary). Best of all, I met some of the most generous and helpful people. Powerlifters are a welcoming group, eager to hand out training tips and tricks. I love Powerlifting!

Competition has taught me more about how to train, training cycles, strength, recovery, nutrition and mental focus than anything else. I have always said, Powerlifting has done more for me than I have done for Powerlifting. I am a much better trainer for having trained for competition.

I'm a curious person, I have always wanted to check out Olympic Weightlifting. Hurling barbells overhead has always appealed to me. Now I know it's more like hurling yourself under the barbell, lol! I'm working with a new coach, Roger Sadecki. The group at Twin City Barbell Club is great! It's exciting learning something new, especially something so incredibly technical like Weightlifting.

I was looking over some of my old Powerlifting videos and it was interesting to watch my form change and improve. Here are two videos marking the beginning of my learning Weightlifting. I am awkward and unsteady... still making tons of mistakes.

Snatch - 83lbs at BW ~128lbs

Clean and Jerk - 123lbs at BW ~128lbs