Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Redwood Empire Olympic Weightlifting Championships

Colin, Liz and I representing NorCal CrossFit @ the Redwood Empire Championships

Last week I competed in the 2012 Redwood Empire Olympic Weightlifting Competition, hosted by Myles Ahead Weightlifting.  This was my first oly meet I've been to and competed in so that was interesting.  Getting up on stage alone to do a lift in a singlet with all eyes on me was pretty nerve-racking.  Regardless, I learned a lot and I am glad I did it.  It was nice to establish a baseline total.  

The venue was pretty cool.  It was at La Plaza Park in Cotati.  The "stage" was in a gazebo and there were haystacks scattered around it for seats.  The competition started at around 9:30am and went until night time.  Lightweight women and masters went first, then lightweight men and masters, followed by heavyweight.  Weigh in for each class started 2 hours before.  Unfortunately, I missed my intended weight class by 1kg.  No big deal though, as I still lifted with the little kiddies.

Redwood Empire Championships: Results 2012 | 2012 Info | Results 2011
2012 PWA Schedule
  • Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each chosen weight for each lift.  Snatch first, then clean and jerk.
  • Total = sum of the highest successful lift for snatch and clean and jerk.  The athlete with the highest combined total wins.  In the case of a tie, then the lifter whose body weight is less wins.
  • You must wait for the signal to put the barbell down.
  • The barbell is loaded incrementally, in progression, i.e. the weight on the barbell is always increasing.  The barbell cannot be reduced to a lighter weight when a athlete has preformed a lift with the weight announced.  Weights are set at 1kg increments.
  • There are two side judges, and one head referee who determine if the lift is successful or not.  2/3 successes are required for an attempt to pass.
  • You have to be a USA Weightlifting member to compete.  Membership is like $40 or something and lasts one year.
  • Check out all the rules here: USA Weightlifting Rules
What I Learned:
  • Take your sweet ass time.  This was foreign to me.  Oly lifting is not like CrossFit where everything is go, go, GO.  The athlete has two minutes just to get the bar off the ground.  This means, well after the buzzer, you could still be chillin in the front rack position or wherever and you successfully complete the lift, it counts.
  • No funky business of any sort.  No press out on jerks.  No diving onto knees.  Those are all failed attempts.  We can get away with this in CrossFit but not in Olympic Weightlifting.
  • Before the first attempt or between two attempts, you can change your weight twice (or to buy time).
  • A lot of people strip all the way down for the weigh in.  At weigh in, you tell them what you want to open with for each lift.  The other two attempts for each can be determined later, on the fly.
  • Register for the meet early!  They always sell out.  Also, they still operate on snail mail and checks, so kind of inconvenient (good thing someone else did this for me, hehe).  

Some pictures:
2. The park.

3. Warm up area.

4. Hello snatchies.

5. Squats.  I could chill here all day.

6. Hillary, 58kg snatch.

7. He only power cleans.

8. Solid split jerk.  No press out.

9. First place in the 53kg weight class.

10. Hillary on stage for 2nd place!

I did not do as well as I wanted to for this competition. The lifts I made were all well under my PRs, but you know what, they were legittttt (no press out or funky business, bitches). Whatever, I'll take it and improve from there.

There were a lot of really impressive lifters.  A couple girls weighing in at about 150lb, were clean and jerking 225#+! I can't even deadlift that much, haha.  There were also a couple guys who snatched 320lb!  Ridiculous!

The oly meet was good for me.  I learned a ton about the competition, and the Olympic lifting sport itself. It also really exposed my weaknesses and what I should be working on.   For example, my poor jerk technique limits my clean and jerk number because of press outs.  I'm glad I was drafted to do this because otherwise I would have totally skipped out.  I am looking forward to doing another one soon and hopefully by then my technique will be a little cleaner!  Now off to the games!

Other Oly Comps I Participated In: 2014 Cal Strength Meet2014 Senior National Championships | 2014 Hassle Free Open & Invitational2013 American Open Championships | 2013 Ensign Gray Invitational | 2013 Fall Classic | 2013 Senior National Championships | 2013 PWA Senior Open
Other CrossFit Comps I Participated In: 2013 CrossFit Games Open | 2013 SacTown Throwdown | Occupy Strength NorCal | NorCal Regionals -Team | 2012 CrossFit Games Open2012 Sac Town Throwdown | 2011 OktoberFit