My First Oly Competition

REMINDER: Tomorrow is closed for the United For Youth event.  We hope to see you there!

Ever wonder what it would be like to try out an Oly competition?  Last weekend Colleen and Andrew decided to test it out.  Both had great results.  Here is a peek inside the experience from Andrew M.


This past Saturday I participated in my first Olympic weightlifting meet, the Don Wilson Golden West Open at Cal Strength. I have been a competitive athlete most of my life, but until now my experience has been limited to endurance events with the occasional CrossFit Open thrown into the mix. Olympic weightlifting was a completely different beast. I am totally hooked.

This lift made the meet 6 for 6 and was a lifte-time PR C&J at 102k.  ... What?  He doesn't look excited you say?  That's just Andrew's "Taking care of business" face.....

This lift made the meet 6 for 6 and was a lifte-time PR C&J at 102k.  ... What?  He doesn't look excited you say?  That's just Andrew's "Taking care of business" face.....

An Oly competition has a simple format: each lifter gets 3 attempts at a one-rep max in the snatch, then 3 attempts at a one-rep max in the clean-and-jerk. Lifters are called to the platform in order of the lightest attempt to the heaviest with one minute to complete each attempt. The athlete with the highest total (snatch + clean-and-jerk) wins.

The Oly format tested a new athletic dimension: my ability to perform under pressure. All of the competitions I have done before were either fixed time (AMRAPs) or fixed work (a 5K run, or 21-15-9 for time). The details differ, but the theme is the same, and no matter how nervous I was going in, I had time to settle down and get into a rhythm. There is no opportunity to build a rhythm at an Oly meet. I would either make the lift or I wouldn’t.

Mental preparation was key. When I walked in the door, adrenaline was already coursing through me: my hands were shaking like I’d just downed a pot of coffee. I needed to keep myself calm and in control, so I put on my headphones and opened up my copy of Mind Gym. When it was time to lift, I took a deep breath, cleared my mind, and let my body do what it was trained to do.

The results were better than I could have hoped for. I made all of my attempts and set PRs in both the snatch (83Kg) and clean-and-jerk (102Kg). Many thanks to Coach Jenny for making it possible, to Tuesday AM Oly crew for pushing me to be my best, and to everyone who supported me on my competition day. The Golden West was incredibly fun, and I expect it to be the first of many Oly meets to come.