Weightlifting is COOL.

Wait, before we go any further, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page.

When I say ‘weightlifting’, as one word, I’m referring to the SPORT of weightlifting – the snatch and clean & jerk. Ya know, the only barbell sport contested in the Olympics.

Please don’t confuse this with ‘weight lifting’ – two words, referring simply to the act of lifting weights.

When we talk about weightlifting in the box, make no mistake that we are referring to the sport.

Yes, we are weightlifting snobs.

Well, at least I am.

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Anyhow, back to the opening line: Weightlifting is cool.

It just is.

Watching someone smoke a good lift is a portrait of beauty.

And that was never on better display to myself and a handful of our athletes this past weekend as two of them competed at the 1st Annual Tampa Area Classic Weightlifting Meet held at CrossFit 813.

Coach Stephanie and Jay Bradley both competed in their first ever WL meet and I coached in my first ever.

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Man oh man is it much different than every single CrossFit competition I have ever been to.

For those unaware, in weightlifting you are given just 3 attempts to record your max snatch and your max clean & jerk. To make a successful lift, you need 2 out of the 3 judges to give you “white lights.” Two or more “red lights” and your attempt is considered a ‘No Lift.’ There is much more that goes on behind the scenese, but thats the gist of it.

You HAVE to hit lifts. Period.

Athletes are separated by bodyweight classes and age divisions when they are below 18 and above 35.
Unlike when we do 1 rep maxes at the box, at a WL meet, it is just you.

On a stage.

All alone.

With three judges roughly 10ft away, starting dead at you.

Along with a huge crowd of people.

It’s dead silent when you step onto the platform.

Oh, and you’re in a singlet.

Things don’t get much better than that!!

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Watching all of the athletes (there was an 11-year old boy who snatched 50kg or 110lb!!!) was simply inspiring as they dealt with the nerves and pressure of walking onto that platform.

Miss that opening lift and the pressure skyrockets.

Thankfully, Steph and Jay both nailed their openers.

Steph went on to a 6 for 6 day – meaning she hit all 3 of her snatch attempts and all 3 of her CJ attempts. Pretty stout for a 1st timer!! Her best snatch was 51kg (112lb) and best CJ was 65kg (143lb), to make for a 116kg total – or 255lb!

As for Jay, he went 4 for 6, hitting an 85kg (187lb) snatch and a 10kg (237lb) CJ, good enough for a 193kg total (424lb). That total, by the way, would have given him a SILVER MEDAL at this years Masters Weightlifting World Championships!

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And you know what is super cool about both of these performances? Neither of them are full time weightlifters. They show up, do the same programming that you all do, and went out and killed it!

Congrats Stephanie and Jay – I am beyond ecstatic to have been a part of your first of many WL meets!

(And yes, everything in weightlifting is measured in KGs – or kilograms. Silly Brits!)

(Check out more photos here)

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