Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ma Strength Seminar

Coach Ma Demonstrates While Coach Manuel Looks On

We were fortunate to have Coaches Jian Ping Ma and Manuel Buitrago for the day, March 14th, to educate us on the Chinese National Team thoughts and methods for teaching, learning and practicing the Olympic Weightlifting movements.

What impressed me the most about the clinic was the simplicity of the concepts: 5 ideas that if executed harmoniously will produce a good lift. I have long been a proponent of balance, timing and good footwork for the lifts and I was happy to see that these are fundamental concepts in the Chinese method as well. 

The big takeaway for me was that while the USAW method does stress balance over the base, it also teaches a weight shift over the base as the lifter moves. The Chinese method relies more on a centered, fixed balance point that the lifter moves around. There may indeed be a measurable weight shift to the rear, but as Coach Manuel told me, that would be for force plates to determine: the lifter should focus on balance, keeping the bar close, speed, timing and catching low. For some lifters, maybe feeling that weight shift is key, for others it might be "overcoaching" the movement. I'm finding the "balance point" a useful addition to the tool box.

I highly recommend Coach Ma's seminar. You can sign up for or find out how to host Coach Ma at http://www.chineseweightlifting.com/

Saturday, March 14, 2015

No Club Hours Saturday March 14

Due to the Ma Strength Weightlifting Clinic, the weightroom will be closed all day Saturday March 14. You can still register for and participate in the clinic, $475 at the door. Use the code: IKnowCouch and the price is $375.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2015 Colorado State and Open Wrap Up

The dust has settled from the weekend, USA Weightlifting just released a set of qualifying total grids for the upcoming year and as a result I have an even better meet report to share. This year's CO State and Open was the largest local meet ever held in Colorado. It was a two day, two platform event with close to 160 athletes. Paul Fleschler, the Front Range Weightlifting Club and host venue CrossFit SoCo did a fantastic job producing the meet!

Kicking things off for Flatirons Weightlifting Team in the second session session of lifting on the Blue Platform, 58kg Youth lifter Kyra Barnes in her first meet went 6/6, qualifying with an 84kg total for the Youth Nationals in May in Minneapolis.

Also lifting in the second session on the Red Platform in her first meet Kinsey Hindman went 6/6 snatching 53kg and C/J 70kg for a 123kg total. Masters athlete Julie "J-Rap" Mitchell had a 6/6 Gold Medal performance easily qualifying for National Masters, Pan Am Masters and World Cup Masters with her 52/75/127 performance.

In the third session of the day on the Blue Platform, 69kg Junior lifter Ben Jaros posted a 30kg total PR with a 5/6 185kg performance (80/105/185) which qualified him for the 2016 Junior Nationals and won him the Gold Medal and title of Co State Champion!

Lifting in the same session on the Red Platform, 77kg Jake Sterny improved on his University Nationals performance last September with a 5kg total PR going 3/6 with 100/115/215kg.

Session 4 featured the women's 63kg class. Unfortunately, Dr. Mandi Schaeffer-Fry suffered a bad strain a few days from the meet and couldn't compete. Alexis Bennett having moved down from 69kg class to the 63kg class went 3/6, besting her previous 63kg meet total by 28kg with a 61/73/134kg Silver Medal performance (which also bested her last 69kg performance by 3kg! Lighter, faster and stronger!)  Jordan Pepe, who recently relocated to Colorado from Alabama, won the Gold and the title of CO State and Open Champion  lifting 72/80/152kg and making all 6 of her attempts. We hope Jordan will be lifting with us on a regular basis!

The 85kg Men lifted in the last session of the day. Master Ron Robinson went 5/6 hitting 60/78/138 in his very first meet. Brian Bender produced meet PRs in the Snatch, C/J and Total with 111/140/251, an 8kg total improvement: enough to win the Silver Medal and qualify him for the American Open in Reno this December. Keeping the medals going for the team, Masters athlete Michael Herring took  Gold medal  honors with a 205kg total performance which qualified him for National Masters, Pan Am Masters and World Cup Masters.

Sunday morning Session 6 featured the 69kg women. Master Kandi Lagas, Senior Katie Bender and Junior Elizabeth Ady kept the medals coming. Kandi took Masters Gold (and made the biggest jump for a C/J PR I have ever seen in a meet, 13kg) going 5/6 with a 45/80/125 total which qualified her for National Masters, Pan Am Masters and World Cup Masters. Katie Bender brought home the Silver medal with a 5/6 performance, 62/76/138 for PRs in Snatch, C/J and total with a 5kg improvement! Junior Elizabeth Ady had a great first meet, going 5/6 with 48/67/115kg and taking the Junior Silver Medal!

The 94kg Class was a hotly contested session with an exciting finish. Alexios Anest moved up from 85kg class to 94kg Class and with a bothersome knee manged to go  3/6 with an 88/105/193kg effort. He went 150kg total as an 85 in his last meet, maybe 94kg is his
weight class! Nick Contino started his day off with a strong, easy 115kg snatch but failed to make 120kg twice. Clean and jerks were not much kinder, missing his opener at 145, he made 146 on his second attempt and missed 150 on his third. Nonetheless, Nick put up 115/146/261 enough to win the Silver and also qualify for the American Open in December! Jason Thomas started things off  strong with a PR 124kg snatch. After missing his opening 150kg Clean and Jerk twice, Jason needed the third attempt to not only stay in the meet, but to win it! It was a great clutch effort and he pulled it off with the last lift of the session, winning the Gold Medal, the CO State Champion title going 124/150/274 and enough to qualify for the American Open.

The last session of the day featured the 105kg and +105kg Men on the Red Platform and the 75kg and +75kg Women on the Blue Platform. Doug Gilkey, lifting in his first meet in the 105s put up 78/107/185 to take the Masters Silver Medal in his very first meet and enough to qualify him for Masters Nationals and Masters Pan Ams! Way to go Doug! Madeleine Foley lifting in her second meet went 5/6 finishing with 56/63/119kg which represents 10kg PR snatch, 15kg PR C/J and a 25Kg PR total over her first meet. Great job Madeleine! Finishing up for Flatirons, Erica Berzins had a very nice  5/6 performance with 60/85/145, a 1kg PR total for her. Erica has been on a long comeback trail with back issues, great effort and patience Erica!

Bottom Line: Out of our 19 lifters, we produced 1 National Junior Qualifier, 3 American Open Qualifiers, 4 Masters Nationals and Pan Am Qualifiers ( three of which also qualified for World Cup Masters) 6 Gold Medals and Six Silver Medals, not a bad weekend's work. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard and lifted so well!

There is absolutely no way we would have pulled this off without the dedicated work of our athlete coaches. Shout outs to Alexis Bennett, Jake Sterny, Steven Butcher and Mandi Fry for all their logistical work organizing and giving rides to and from the meet, keeping the athletes focused and on track in the warm up room and helping get the best out of them on the competition platform. Also, thanks to Brian Dwyer for his help in the warm up room and helping with rides, to Brian and Katie for schlepping me around town, providing Chipotle, Coffee and Jimmy Johns! And thanks to everyone who came out to cheer us on, I know how far the Springs is to travel, especially in iffy weather. Last but not least, thanks to Brian Rosol of Flatirons Performance Center home of Flatirons Crossfit for all the support and the best training facility one could hope for!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weight Room Hours 2/28 - 3/1

We will all be in Colorado Springs for the CO State and Open Weightlifting Competition this weekend. Weight room hours will be 9-12 Saturday 2/28 and closed Sunday. Sorry for any inconvenience. Come down to Crossfit SoCo and cheer the team on! 110 W Las Vegas St, Colorado Springs, CO 8090

Friday, December 26, 2014

No Weightlifting Today 12-26-2014

Due to the lovely weather, weight room is cancelled today. Saturday and Sunday Holiday Hours (12-2) are still a go.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Hours

Thanksgiving Weightroom Hours
Thanksgiving Day     12-2
Black Friday              12-2
Saturday 11/29          12-2
Sunday 11/30            12-2

Christmas Weightroom Hours
Christmas Eve           Close at 6
Christmas Day           12-2
Friday 12/26               12-2
Saturday 12/27          12-2
Sunday 12/28            12-2

New Year’s Weightroom Hours
New Year’s Eve         Close at 6
New Year’s Day         12-2
Friday 1/2                  12-2
Saturday 1/3              12-2
Sunday 1/4                12-2

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 FRCF Weightlifting Meet

A new format this year for the FRCF weightlifting meet; still a two day meet but this year Saturday was dedicated to weightlifting for non-USAW athletes and Sunday was a full day of sanctioned USAW competition.

We had 4 athletes competing Saturday in the non-sanctioned meet. Dayna Larson in her first meet went 6/6 in the 75kg class for Silver. Keith Stillman lifted in the 94 kg class and took Bronze while Sean Linehan, also in his first meet with a strong 6/6 218kg performance, took Gold in the 85kg class. Tyler Yoder made some extremely gutsy attempt jumps in the 105 class to total 200kg and take the Gold.


We had 11 athletes in Sunday's sanctioned meet. The day started very well for us with both Mandi Schaeffer Fry, 63kg and Katie Bender, 69kg taking top honors. Madeleine Foley,+75kg class, took Bronze in her first weightlifting meet.

Jan Michael San Pedro, 77kg, had a breakout performance in his first meet, especially considering how his work and travel schedule have interefered with his training time: 6/6 and a Bronze medal. Jake Sterny, 77kg, coming off competing recently at University Nationals, put up a 5/6 performance with a 3kg PR 115kg Clean and Jerk.

In a nail biter finish in the 85kg class, Brian Bender took Silver, losing the Gold on bodyweight in a tie 241kg finish that came down to the final lift. Alexios Anest in the same weight class finished out of the medals but had a fine 5/6 performance and a 1kg PR on his clean and jerk!

Michael Herring took Gold in the 85kg Masters division going 4/6 with a 206kg total.

In the highly competitive 94s, Jason Thomas had a huge day going 6/6 with PRs in snatch (123kg), C/J (150kg) and total, (273kg) to take Gold. Nick Contino put up a strong 260kg total and 4/6 day. David Wood, lifting in his first USAW meet, had a great 5/6 day; a fabulous singlet; and a PR 121kg C/J for an all-time PR.

Brian Dwyer moved up from the 94kg class and improved his total from last year's performance at this same meet by 20kg. Making huge jumps on his clean and jerk attempts, Brian finished out the day with a 96/112/208kg total with PRs across the board.

Flatirons Weightlifting, for the third year in a row, took Men's Team top honors and Third Place Women's Team. Jason Thomas took Best Lifter honors with his performance also!

It would have been impossible to get everyone warmed up and on the platform and have such a great team performance all by myself. Shout outs to E.J. Isla for loading and providing support in the warm-up room and for putting up with my stressed out shortness, and to my fledgling Level 1 Coaching Staff Alexis Bennett and Jake "Jack" Sterny for jumping in the deep end and coaching their butts off. Thanks to Sean Linehan and Coach Adam Dobrez for schlepping equipment (and me) from gym to competition venue, and back again, and for whatever support was required in the warm-up room. Everyone who came out to lift and then stayed around to help and support the team, thanks so much.

On a personal note, even though we may have had more lifters turn out to compete in the past, I think this was far and away the most excited, fun, and spirited team we have ever assembled, not to mention the most successful in terms of performances. We made a spectacular 82% of our lifts on the platform, which is key to both individual and team success! It was my privilege to be a part of it. Thank you!