By Coach Bud: Weightlifting and Competing

Hey folks, Coach Bud back here with more (somewhat) organized thoughts regarding training. This week we’re going to dive in to weightlifting competition, specifically how it fits into the life of the casual crossfitter. Let’s start with a quick review of what weightlifting competition actually entails.

At a weightlifting meet, you’ll arrive two hours before your lifting session is scheduled to start. You’ll be weighed to determine which weight class you’ll compete in, then have some downtime before the lifting starts. The competition itself consists of three attempts in the snatch, and three attempts in the clean and jerk for each lifter. The goal of course is to make these lifts as heavy as possible, and hopefully hit PRs in the process. This is one of the cool things about weightlifting: unlike CrossFit competitions, where the goal is to beat other people in order to podium, weightlifting is basically competing against your own bests. You may make first place and not have a great day of lifting, or you may hit PRs in both lifts and not make it on the podium. For most of us, the goal is to have the best day possible in terms of our own numbers, without worrying about placement.

That idea brings me to my next point; for most athletes at CrossFit Lando, competing in weightlifting will be something that’s done for fun. As such, we’re not worried about winning meets, or qualifying totals, or accumulating points as a team. You won’t be pressured to lose or gain weight, or forced away from doing CrossFit classes. Most recreational weightlifters are athletes who discovered the sport through CrossFit, and are still doing CrossFit while competing in weightlifting. In fact, most CrossFitters are people who are primed to compete in weightlifting without realizing it.

Think about it this way. Someone who is playing college soccer will definitely be going to soccer practice in order to improve their skills. But they’ll also probably be running, jumping, throwing and lifting heavy things in order to improve their overall fitness and performance on the soccer field. You guys might not be playing soccer, but you’re definitely doing all of the general training listed above. And because you’ve done all that, you’re better prepared for ANY sport, whether it’s running marathons, or playing soccer, or even weightlifting.

Just like soccer, weightlifting is a sport that requires specific, directed practice. And because you’re already strong and fit from doing CrossFit, most of the weightlifting training that you do will be focused on building skills specific to the snatch and clean and jerk. Anywhere from 2-5 times per week you’ll be doing fairly light sessions that emphasize technique, proper movement, and timing. These sessions will consist of specific exercises to correct technical flaws, as well as lots of lighter snatches and clean and jerks to practice the skill of weightlifting. As the competition gets closer, the variety of exercise will narrow and we’ll increase the weight on the competitive lifts, while not allowing technique to break down. This approach will allow you to hone your skills while not burning yourselves out, and use your combined strength and technique to set PRs at your meet.

So there is is. Hopefully this post has given you a better idea of how the training will be laid out for barbell athletes going forward. As always, if you have any questions about this post, or barbell training in general, don’t hesitate to ask me. Happy lifting everyone!