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A Blog Post

Three gyms, One contest. Cardiff Weightlifting League’s inaugural competition.

Date: Sunday the 16th of June
Gyms: Daves Gym, Dragon Crossfit, Cardiff Crossfit.
Location: Dave’s Gym aka the Home of Champions
Competitors: 16 men and women, seeking immortality as the chance to solidify their status as Cardiff’s First Olympic lifting champion.

Platform of glory. Lets do battle.  

Greetings fellow lifters! Just a brief little entry regarding last weeks weightlifting competition. Firstly the idea behind setting this league up is to try and encourage people in our gym to try something new and to provide regular competitions to train for, effectively giving our members a training goal. The majority of our team including myself have only been practising the two lifts for no more than a couple of months, so going into the comp there was plenty of room for improvement.

For those of you unaware of the sport, Olympic weightlifting or ‘Oly Lifting’ as it is affectionately known by its aficionados is a sport consisting of just two lifts the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. Both lifts were devised as a way to get the most explosive outcome the human body can achieve by getting a barbell from the floor to over head as quickly as possible. The clean and jerk achieves this via two movements, the snatch accomplishes this in one.

Lidia Valentin snatching 112kgs

It was a sunny slightly overcast morning atop Dave’s Gym. Competitors started making their way in. Two at first, then four. Before we knew it, we were engulfed by a sea of beards and colour coded deadlifting socks. The crossfitters had arrived.

Each of the 3 gyms were required to bring with them a team consisting of 3 men and 3 women. The Daves Gym team consisted of James Lewindon, Dino Hodzovic and yours truly representing the men’s while Emily Broadhurst and Verity Eaton represented the Women’s.

Leg shot! The Daves gym team. Pre contest pump (me on the left)

Having been given a good six weeks to train for the event I felt confident yet cautious. I personally have toyed with Oly lifting in the past but never did it with an eye to compete. Having recently recovered from illness, my training was non-existent, my strength had all but diminished and my motivation to train was at an all time low. This was my chance not only to get back in the game, but to give myself something to train towards. Having something to train for, a goal if you will has always given me motivation to train. Cold rainy days where motivation is low and cant-be-arsedness is high gave me purpose to gather my things, swallow a man-up pill and get to the gym – for every work out missed is one workout subtracted from my goal.

But enough about me, on to the contest.

James Lewindon with an 80kg jerk.

The meet began with a motivational pep talk by head trainer Matt ‘Atlas’ Richardson aka ‘the Anomaly.’ His speech was not unlike the final speech in 300, just with more muscle. Competitors were given a chance to warm up, foam roll and stretch. Crossfitters were given a chance to play with their PVC pipes. Competitors were called in one by one to weigh themselves. This was necessary as we were to be ranked using the Sinclair System which is a formula used in weightlifting to normalise a lifters performance by gender and body weight.

As mentioned earlier, weightlifting competitions comprise of two lifts, the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch with three attempts at each to achieve the biggest total weight.

The first lift was the Snatch and this ran with an ascending bar whereby each competitor could come in and out on whatever weight they chose for each of their 3 lifts. The same format applied to the clean and jerk which followed.

The Top three competitors for male and female are as follows:

Laura from Dragon Crossfit came in third. Weighing in at 58kg she achieved a total of 100kgs managing a 45kg snatch and a 55kg clean and jerk.

Laura setting up before her snatch
from far left trainers Dan & Matt with myself and Dino. 

Angie from Dragon Crossfit came second, weighing in at a petite 57kg she came out with a 110kg total comprising of a 50kg snatch and 60kg clean & jerk.

Jess from Cardiff Crossfit won the ladies with a 115kg total at 58.5kg bodyweight. She left with a 45kg snatch and a huge 70kg clean and jerk. Great effort from all of them.

On to the mens – Ryan of Cardiff Crossfit came in third. With a beard that would make Dave himself green with envy I expected a lot from him, and believe me he did not disappoint. Weighing in at a solid 90kgs his total was an impressive 215kg comprising of a 90kg snatch and a 125kg clean and jerk both of which were accompanied by celebratory proclamation of victory in the form of a YEAAHH!!

Lee from Cardiff Crossfit came in second totalling with 210kg. Weighing in at a lean 85kgs, he threw up a 90kg snatch and got a 120kg clean and press. Notice I said press not jerk. For one reason or another he never managed to drop for his jerk. unfortunate as this would have brought his total higher. Having said that, a 120kg push press is pretty impressive!

And finally coming in first is Daves Gyms own Dino Hodzovic. Dino was a last minute recruit for the Daves Gym camp. Having recently come off a bulk he hadn’t toyed with Oly’s for a good few months. Reluctantly he agreed to step up and bring some heavy artillery to our team. I for one felt easier having him there as my lifts were nothing to brag about. Weighing in at 102kgs he snatched 100kgs and clean and jerked 135kgs to come away with the big W for team Daves.

An interesting side note, having opened with a 130kg clean, Dino panicked on the jerk and ended up push-jerking 130kgs.

Daves Gym’s own Emily finishing of a 32.5kg snatch

With little experience among the Dave’s Gym lifters, watching more proficient competitors was a crucial chance to see different styles up close. I for one found it very useful, not only watching heavier lifts, but little things like how they set themselves up before an attempt, even watching how they warmed up proved an invaluable experience to add to my mental training library.

Verity finishing off her snatch (insert inappropriate joke here) 

That being said all of the team performed admirably with some new personal bests. Hopefully this will inspire not only our beloved members, but anyone who takes their training seriously to have another solid month of training and to improve on their total in the next comp, which will be hosted at Dragon Crossfit.

Thanks for reading, and remember, if you cant finish the jerk, don’t chase the snatch. (couldn’t resist)

Danny Dakhoul,
Over & Out

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