MinneSNOWta Barbell Open Meet Recap
Another year, another meet.
I am sure when Actin Fitt decide to host an Olympic Lifting Meet in the middle of December and came up with the name MinneSNOWta Barbell Open it never occurred to them that there may not be snow on the ground at this time of year in Lakeville MN. That is the way things go, our expectations do not always match what happens but that does not mean that is a bad thing.
In 2023 I set out to compete in my first Power Lifting meet, lose weight and compete in another Olympic lifting meet. I wrote back in January about how often we fail our New Years Resolutions and that we need to make small changes that can be sustained over time rather than huge changes that set ourselves up for failure when we cannot sustain it. You can read that here https://www.moestrength.com/post/new-year-new-you-not-likely
This past weekend I competed at the MinneSNOWta Barbell Open at Actin Fitt in Lakeville Minnesota. I competed in the 45-49 age group at the 96 kg weight class. I dropped a weight class losing 13lbs since my last competition in October of 2022. I enjoy competing because it focuses my training and gives me an outlet to push myself. It is the competitive spirit but I am really only competing against myself. I enjoy the meet with the intensity and focus but people encouraging each other in their success and failure is the best part. This is completely different than the sporting experience I wrote about here earlier this fall in Fan or Fanatic here
My freinds at Massenomics in Western Northeast South Dakota coin the phrase Lift Hard & Live Easy about training hard but enjoying yourself, having a good time and being a silly goose. That has been my journey.
I trained for 15 weeks leading up to the meet with a general template of 4x/ week. For the first eight weeks I followed this general template.
Day 1 = Power Snatch, Split Jerk, RDL &, Plyos
Day 2 = Power Clean, Front Squat, Chin Ups, Curls
Day 3 = Power Snatch, Push Press, RDL, Plyos
Day 4 = Power Clean, Back Squat, Chin Ups
For the next seven weeks I shifted to the following general template.
Day 1 = Snatch, Clean & Jerk
Day 2 = Front Squat, Clean Pull, Deadlift
Day 3 = Snatch, Clean & Jerk
Day 4 = Back Squat, Clean Pull, RDL
I train at home early in the morning before work for 45-60 minutes. My training is very focused and does not include a lot of down time or extras. In the first half of my training cycle the Olympic variations were caught in the power position with 1 rep being taken into a squat to prepare for the full versions later in the cycle. For the first 6-8 weeks I paired some jump & sprint training with my lifts. Pogo jumps with the snatch and Accelerations sprints with the Jerks. Standing Long Jumps were paired with the Power Cleans and Squat Jumps with the squats. Additionally, I did a little accessory work like rows and curls. As I progressed through the second half of the cycle, I stripped all of that away until I was only doing thee Olympic lifts in my final taper week.
In 2022 at the 102kg weight class I snatched 90kg and Clean & Jerked 120kg. This year at the 96kg weight class I snatched 87kg and clean & Jerked 117kg. I did hit 90kg & 119kg in training. I gave up alcohol during this training cycle to assist in losing weight and see how it would affect my training and health markers. I am 13lbs lighter in body weight than last year and have essentially the same strength. Two thirds of the way through training I hit a heavier squat at 6am than I did in my powerlifting meet back in March of this year. On Saturday I attempted 91kg on my second attempt of snatch and missed it in front. The third attempt I got under and missed behind. I probably should have just gone for 90 on the second attempt and then went up but you know what they say about hindsight. On the clean and Jerk I opened at 115. My second attempt was 117 and I missed the Jerk when I felt a strange twinge in my IT band and lost it attempting to recover my feet. I hit that same weight on attempt number three. I would have attempted 120 or 122 on my last attempt had I hit the second. That is how it goes. Meets like life do not go according to plan. I did not hit the actual number I had in my head. I also will not make the bodyweight goal I set for New Years Eve. That is ok! In the process of trying to achieve all these goals, I improved. I am as strong at a lighter bodyweight and though not the bodyweight initially set, I am on improving.
More importantly, I was able to spend time with family and friends enjoying life living easy as my friends at Massenomics like to say. I had some great food and fun with my friends, family, God Children and neices and nephews. I was able to watch my neice play hockey. The other part of living easy is staying strong, explosive and mobile as I age. Making the physical aspects of life and aging easier allows for freedom and enjoyment.
Living in South Dakota or MinneSNOWta eventually the cold weather and snow will fly. That means I will transition down to my basement gym and the best squat rack there is and begin Power Lifting training. I will take some time off from structured training until the new year. Breaks are important as well to allow recovery, decrease the likelihood of injury, mentally recharge and increase enjoyment. The trick is to set a timeline and get back to training. I am already signed up for the Lift Hard Live Easy Classic Powerlifting meet in July. I may do another one this spring at Liberty Barbell in Sioux Falls. I will do an Olympic Lifting meet as well in 2024. What are your goals for 2024? Remember they should be challenging but achievable. If they are too easy, they will not motivate you, if they are too hard you will have a similar issue and are not likely to stick with it. Goals need to be specific as well. A goal to lose weight and get in shape is not specific enough to have a positive effect. Spend some time reflecting on what you would like to accomplish, set some specific measurable goals and set a timeline for them. Signing up for a meet is helpful because it mandates a timeline for your goals. Then set a plan and progression to achieve those goals. For true long-term success and drive for improvement do not get too focused on the outcome (the actual number). Learn to enjoy the process and realize that in the pursuit of the goal (outcome) you will improve and be better than before even if you miss the mark.
“When You Reach for the Stars, You May Not Quite Get One, But You Won't Come Up With a Handful of Mud Either” - Leo Burnett