Yes. Me. Olympic Lifting. It’s an amazing privilege to have somebody at my box who is as inspiring as Coach Holly and last night I actually got brave enough to go down and take an Oly class.
I’ve sat in on the class before. I was writing a weightlifting radio play over the summer and sat on the sofa and listened to the instruction from Holly and the sounds of the weights and the athletes, rather than participating, so it was a very different experience to be joining in with the rest of them.
Of course I was a beginner – actually I was ‘the’ beginner but that was okay, I knew it was going to be challenging enough, and it was. I have no idea what Marta, Rosie, Tom, Camo, Ash and JR were doing: my focus was entirely on trying to master some basic techniques with a 12 kilo bar. I practiced Snatch Pulls, Power Snatches, Overhead Squats (at which I am dire), Clean Pulls (yes it sounds dirty), Power Cleans, Front Squats and Push Jerks. I don’t know how many I did. After a while Holly said I could put some weight on my bar … woo hoo! Then I did another endless amount of the same things with 17k.
My elbows are too slow, I don’t keep the bar close enough to my body, I forget to open my hips, my knees don’t push out enough and my shrug is weak. Apart from that I’m doing great! I actually felt great – once I was able to really try and open my hips explosively I could feel a difference in the way the bar moved and working on my grip was good too, as I don’t have confidence that the bar will go where it needs too, so I’m not following through and I started to understand how that inhibits a good lift.
Bruises: we did front squats and cleans, of course I’ve got bruises!
PB: Yup, push jerk at 17k – not a great weight but my movement was good.
Wishlist: hmmm, I think I’m adding a good overhead squat to my desire for an unassisted pull-up!