CrossFitters & Oly Meets! – Ryan and Joe’s Oly Lifting Experience!

Two of our 6am’ers Joe and Ryan recently took part in their first Weightlifting meet over at LOWA. Weightlifting competitions test 1 rep maximums in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk and each lifter gets a maximum of 3 lifts per movement in which the heaviest of each lift are added together to create their “Total” for the competition.

As we all love a good bit of weightlifting I thought it would be cool to get a little insight into the goings-on and preparation of a Weightlifting meet.

Here are their experiences!

1. What made you sign up for a Weightlifting competition?

Ryan: I decided to give it a go for experience purpose only, often in crowds and adrenaline I find my lifts excel better & hit a much higher 1rep then I would on a normal training day, however, the main reason was for personal growth on coming out of my comfort zone of everyday training!

Joe: Ryan sent me the link via social media along with one of my goals for 2020 being to experience more competitions and this competition allowed me to test my Oly ability under pressure. Also, it would help me identify my strengths and weaknesses and then translate them into my CrossFit/Oly training.

2. How did you prepare leading up to the event? Did you alter any of your training to prepare for your event, or just put your trust in Crossfit?

Ryan: I stuck with my normal CrossFit, I had a couple of days of technique work leading up to it, but I didn’t want to get my head around changing anything or overthinking something in the lead-up.

Joe: The lead up to the event was balanced. It was my very first competition in the world of Oly/CrossFit so my main goal was to have fun and anything else was a bonus. The week leading up to the event was more relaxed in regards to effort in classes but still moving and feeling good. I did some drills throughout the week focusing on how to warm up for the Oly lifts along with working up to my opening weights per lift in my PT with Milo. So, I didn’t want to be a classic case of fail to prepare, prepare to fail but also didn’t want to stress too much about my expectations etc.

3. How did you feel going into the event?

Ryan: At first I was ok, then I realised I was needed to pee a lot, then I had butterfly’s … so I knew I wanted to do well!

Joe: Honestly, I was more relaxed than expected throughout the week and then boom Saturday morning came haha. The journey to the event consisted with me saying to Ryan I’m chill but having a mini movie in my mind of how I wanted it to go vs second guessing about something I had no control over haha.

4. You had to weigh in for your event, what did you do prior to the competition regarding nutrition and what did you weigh in at?

Ryan: I weighed in at 68.2, which was the lightest guy there!  I kept my nutrition the same as it wasn’t a focus for me and Sinead to tailor towards this meet, I just ensured I woke up and had my morning breakfast shake, as soon as I weighed in I ate all my food.

Joe: Luckily, I have the best support and approach to nutrition I could ask for via Sinead and knew I was always in safe hands even if the competition was for fun! I stuck to the usual calories throughout the week with the only change being a little less intake in regards to food/water Saturday morning until weigh-in and then indulged in some carbs and protein but most importantly stay hydrated after having little water in the morning. I weighed in at 72kg which is my usual body weight when not competing so happy days.

5. What were you opening weights and how did you choose them?

Ryan: I opened with a 77 snatch & 103C&J, I picked weights that I knew I would be able to hit & leave room for the ability to have movement up from there!

Joe: This was the tricky part with my little knowledge on approaching a Weightlifting competition. However, I had tons of support as always from Milo and Ryan which helped when finding out what I can hit without a doubt and what my end goal was by attempt 3 for each lift. Here are my numbers for each lift attempt:

Snatch – Attempt 1 – 55kg, Attempt 2 – 65kg (matched PB), Attempt 3 – 68kg (new PB)

Clean & Jerk – Attempt 1 – 85kg, Attempt 2 – 95kg (matched PB), Attempt 3 – 96kg (new PB)

6. How did you warm up for each lift?

Ryan: I focused a lot on an empty barbell, a lot of snatch high pulls, muscle snatch then snatch balance to help me shift under the bar with speed.
With the clean and jerk, I was a tad naughty and warmed up with 70KG straight from my snatch

Joe:  My warm-up consisted of the same drills when at Thames in PT’s and Oly classes. For example, empty bar high pulls, hang snatch/cleans, below the knee snatch/cleans, overhead squats, front squats, split jerks etc. Once I felt super warm with the empty bar I continued to add a little weight until I reached close to my opening attempts per lift, So, 50kg for Snatch and 80kg for Clean & Jerk.

7. How did you feel stepping on to the platform for the first time?

Ryan: Awkward actually, CrossFit is known for being loud and supportive, you can hear your team whilst you’re on the comp floor and they are at the side, however, there was minimal music, no one was talking and it was all eyes on you! It was a very different experience to the competitions I have done before!

Joe:  Full of fear…but that’s natural and I knew what it was and didn’t let it control me, I did my best to control it. My mind wanted me to look around at how other people warmed up, the weight they lifted and whether the guy just before me made his lift or not but that wouldn’t have helped me and my performance. I made sure I took my time when setting up with my foot placement, hand placement and focused on an object in the distance rather than the people sitting down in front of me. Deep breath, 3, 2, 1…go haha.

8. How did it go?

Ryan: I managed to hit an 80kg snatch & 107kg C&J, which I was pretty happy with, both so close to my highest numbers so I’m proud of myself!

Joe: It went amazingly and I’m still smiling now haha. My main goal of having fun was achieved and lots of bonuses came along too with PB’s etc. I was super happy I got 6 successful lifts but overall, I was happy with my performance under pressure because growing up in various sports or any event I would let fear take over and dwell but that’s what CrossFit and everyone at Thames has taught me over the last year. Have confidence in yourself and that you’re good enough whatever the outcome.

9. Would you do it again?

Ryan: Not anytime soon, maybe towards the end of the year to see how I’ve progressed from the start of 2020!

Joe: 100% yeah man, they do it every quarter but even if I did it annually it would be just great to continue to learn and grow.

10. What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to do a Weightlifting competition?

Ryan: Remember it’s not CrossFit, it’s not something that’s done at 100mph, your technique matters as soon as you touch that bar & have confidence in your mind & body!

Joe: My advice to someone thinking about competing at a weightlifting competition would be to challenge yourself of just signing up and showing up. Because If we don’t face fear and decide to stay comfortable we’ll never grow in all aspects whether that’s life or training.

Wednesday Oly Club

1) Hang Pull + Hang snatch (off blocks)
4 x 2@ 70-80% or RPE 7-8

2) Back squats
2 x 2@80-85% or RPE 8-9
2 x 1@85-90% or RPE 8-9

3) Snatch pulls
3 x 2@RPE 9
1 x 1 @RPE 9

4) Pull ups
3 x 5-10

5) Tricep work
3 sets

Sunday Oly Club

1) Hang Power clean
3 x 2@75-82.5%

2) Front squat
3 x 1@80-90% or RPE 8-9

3)Jerk dip+ Split jerk
3 x 1+1@75-80% or RPE 7-8

4) Clean Pulls
3 x 2@RPE9
1 x 1@RPE9

5) Hamstring curls
3 x failure