Back at it with one and a half observations from the 2013 Games…
(You didn’t think I was gonna finish, did you?)
7) An elite American Weightlifter is the second fittest woman on earth. That fact is very, very cool. Lindsey Valenzuela was massively impressive at the inaugural Outlaw Open. I remember thinking that she had raised her overall conditioning to a level that would be hard to beat in any competition, especially combined with her national level lifting numbers. The transfer of gymnastics to success in the “sport of fitness” (mostly on the women’s side), was made very clear at the 2012 Games (6 of the top 10 women). However, for an elite Weightlifter to earn a podium spot—especially at arguably the most endurance heavy Games ever—was truly impressive.
I’m not gonna go into a lot of detail on this, but success at Weightlifting requires a specific genetic predilection to a certain muscle-fiber type. This muscle-fiber type (Type IIb) is incredibly short burst, and usually athletes who are pre-disposed to having higher percentages of it have a very hard time sustaining efforts. Those who have VERY high percentages (think National level sprinters/throwers/weightlifters), usually have the same refrain when they try to develop themselves as competitive exercisers, “No matter how much I pace a workout, I just can’t maintain.”
We talk about this at our training camps… Everyone has a guy at there gym that walks in the door snatching 225# with no technique. You think you’ve finally got a chosen one who can put your gym on the map. His numbers keep going up, and you’re giddy thinking about watching him beat Rich at the Games. Then the first twenty minute workout of the Open comes out, and he can’t get past 838th in the region no matter how many strategy videos you watch. You’ve got two choices: tell him to quit exercising and we’ll take him on the Outlaw BB team, or tell him he’s going to have to put in three or four years of endurance work to try to switch those muscle fibers that make him a lifting phenom, into the kind that give him the ability to be competitive on a 13.1 mile row.
Lindsey choose option number two. IMO her most impressive performance was the fifth place finish she took on the hour-and-a-half rowmaggedon. Also, the development of the ability to recruit power from the hips that she learned as a Weightlifter, had clear carryover to her ability to utilize that same hip extension for both Muscle-Up workouts, as she finished sixth and forth on “The Pool” and “Cinco 2” respectively.
Remember, boys and girls, 36% of the total points in the sport (during the 2011-12 seasons) were Weightlifting movements. Imagine having the background to be easily one of the best in the field for that 36%, then adding the ability to be a top five on an hour-and-a-half long suckfest—that’s a pretty damn well rounded athlete.
If you really want to excel at this sport… Find a meet—actually, a bunch of them. Then find some skinny people to run with.
7.5) Ben Smith is smarter than you. Two words: bar oscillation.
I’m not even gonna comment on Matt’s pink “Klokov’s”. It’s too obvious.
(Wait… Did I already comment by saying I wouldn’t comment? Seriously – he looks like an aerobics instructor.)
Matt Hathcock – 365# Triple Rack Jerk: