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Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

Your First Weightlifting Meet – Part 1

How to Prepare for Your First Weightlifting Meet

Probably the most intimidating thing about a weightlifting meet is not knowing what to expect or how they work. So let’s go behind the curtain and clear all of that up!  We will go through the pre-meet details here, and part 2 will cover the day of.

Step 1: Pick a Meet & Register

You will want to find a meet that is at least 6 weeks out so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare & train. I personally prefer to go 12 weeks out so I can complete a full training cycle prior.

In order to register you will need to know a few things.

Determine your weight class

They are in Kilos, so take your weight in pounds & divide it by 2.2 to get your weight in Kilos. I would select the one that you fall into at your mid day weight eating as you usually would. You can cut or mass to hit another weight class but I would not recommend doing that for your first meet.  Use the first meet to get a feel for the flow of these events vs worrying about weigh in.

If the competition day rolls around and you gained or lost weight, you can still declare a new weight class.  You just need to tell the judge at the weigh in prior to stepping on the scale.

Weight Classes

USA Weightlifting Membership Number

You will also need to register as a USAW Member in order to compete, so make sure to do that when you sign up for the meet itself! Here is the link to join: USAW Registration.

Search for a local meet that is at least 6 weeks out and get registered HERE.

Step 2: Train & Prepare!

Pick a Training Program/Cycle: Now that you’ve determined when you will be competing, it is time to get a plan together.  There are some great free programs out there, or we can help you put a plan together based on your goals for the meet.  (More to come on this option in June!)

Learn the Rules: If you’ve never seen a weightlifting meet before, I would highly recommend reading through the rules so you are prepared.  There are a long list of rules, and if you’d like to nerd out you can read them all HERE.

A few basic rules are:

  • You get 3 attempts at the Snatch, then 3 at the Clean & Jerk.
  • The order of lifters goes from lowest attempt and builds up from there.You will need to declare your next lift to the scores table so you can be worked into the lifting order.
    • Once a barbell is loaded weight cannot go down. So you will want to make sure your next attempt is submitted so you don’t miss the weight on the bar you want to attempt. (Have a coach or friend help with this, it makes life much easier).
  • You have 1 minute from the time the bar is loaded and you are called lift.
  • If you are following yourself (for example you missed and want to repeat a weight and no other lifters will be attempting that weight), then you get 2 minutes for that lift.
  • You must catch the barbell with locked out arms for it to count. If you press out it will be a no lift.

Determine your Openers

Your opener should be something you can hit for 2-3 doubles during training. You should be able to hit it 1-2 times in the back (for the snatch, not the clean & jerk) with 100% confidence. Then walk out and crush it for your first attempt.

Second attempt should still be something you’re confident in, and not more than a ~4kg increase from the first on the snatch. For Clean & Jerk not more than ~6kg for the second attempt. The third attempt can be a bit more risky, but something you typically make at least two out of three times in training.

Set Goals: This is your first meet, so set your goals accordingly. My first meet’s goals were

  • Have fun
  • Learn as much about meets as possible
  • Get a Total (AKA hit at least 1 snatch & 1 Clean & Jerk)

While it is possible to hit a personal best lift at your first meet, I would plan to pick an opener you know you can hit. Be a bit more conservative as nerves are a funny thing during that first lift with all eyes on you.

Practice!

Find some time to get together during an open gym with friends for a mock meet (we are happy to help). Two weeks before a meet is a great time to try out your openers in this format.  Even if it is just lifting with a few friends with the timer running. Ask someone pretending to be the judge that will be in front of the “platform.” Have them simply give you the “down” call, which is what the judge will do at the meet once you have the bar controlled.

Up next: A Guide to the Day of the meet

 

The Power of Breath

The Power of Breath

Our physiology (body) drives a lot of our behavior and the way that we approach a situation.  

Breathing is one of the few, generally, automatic processes that we, as humans, can exercise some control over.  And it has a great deal of control over which mental state we experience, that is, which part of our central nervous system we are experiencing the world through.

  • Sympathetic Nervous System – Fight, Flight, Freeze
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System – Rest and Digest

Check out the video below for a quick tutorial on the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems:

So what does that have to do with what we do at Icehouse?

In a word…”Everything”.  Understanding which state you’re in and how to bounce seamlessly between the two can be the difference between a BIG personal record lift, or a meltdown mid-workout.  And it can help you determine which of our 3 tracks is best for you for that training session.

Don’t I just want to go hard every training session?  

The short answer is…”No”.  As humans we have a limited supply of fuel for “fight or flight”.  If we stay in that state constantly, it becomes less and less potent, it loses its punch, and we just become highly alert (burned out) and exhausted.

So if going hard isn’t always the “go to”, what are my options?

To make it simple, we’ll keep it at aerobic (oxygen for fuel) and anaerobic (everything else as fuel)

Aerobic – you’re able to breathe through your nose; if you’re unable to do that you have to slow down until you can.  These workouts are designed to move your body and build that base of cardiovascular endurance (allow you to go low and slow for a long time) and are the cornerstone of training for the long haul.

Anaerobic – you’ve got to use your mouth to some extent to bring air in or get air out.  These workouts are designed to create a hormonal response that make you better at everything (quick punch of relatively hard and fast).  We don’t do these often, and to make changes, we don’t need to.

How do I know which state I am in?

One quick check is to pay attention to how your mouth is organized.  This is a quick check for efficient nasal breathing, aerobic and parasympathetic (rest and digest).  

  • Tip of your tongue is at the roof of your mouth
  • Teeth are slightly apart
  • Breathing into your belly through your nose

For more information on the fundamentals of breathwork checkout the Power Speed Endurance blog here

Fitness Outside of the Gym

Fitness Outside of the Gym

It is not about how good you are at exercising.

Even though our members do get quite good at it. There is so much more to Icehouse then just helping you get into the best shape of your life.  Our favorite success stories aren’t around the total number of pounds or inches lost, or how much strength and/or speed is gained.  Those are all awesome & amazing accomplishments, but not what it is about.

Here are 2 of my favorite changes other then just improved fitness we see in our members:

1.Gained confidence

It is not uncommon for someone new to say or think “I can’t do that” when they read the workout.  CrossFit works because it is hard work, but it is absolutely possible.  If it wasn’t it wouldn’t work, and we would not ask you to do something if we didn’t believe you were capable.  We are all capable of so much more then we think!

Slowly we lift a couple more pounds, get a little faster, and/or loose a few pounds.  Before you know it you don’t even bat an eye at the workout because you just know you can do it. You even start trying tougher versions of movements because you’ve been killin’ it.  THAT is amazing!

Even better when a big project/opportunity at work, or a challenge out in the real world shows up you roll up your sleeves and take it on.  Because you are strong.  Because you are capable.  Because you CAN!

2. Saying YES to life

This is my absolute favorite reason to be fit, and why I stick with it.  I never want to have to say no to a fun outing, vacation, or adventure because I am concerned about being fit enough.

When someone shares a post about how they were able to go for a hike with their family on their annual vacation for the first time in years, or go outside and play a game with their nieces or nephews without getting winded THAT is what it’s about.

I understand that at this point you may have back pain, or you may have some knee pain stopping you from getting in shape. We are in pain so we don’t move, and we don’t move because we are in pain, and our bodies are not meant to just sit.  Find someone who can help you with those issues (we have coaches who have experience with all of those issues and can help you build the strength needed to solve them), or check out my recent blog of 5 places to start your fitness journey if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Take care of your body, surround yourself with people who believe in you, and say YES to life!

I Need to Get Healthy!  Where Do I Even Begin?!

I Need to Get Healthy! Where Do I Even Begin?!

I’ve got to do something, but what?!

There are SO MANY conflicting ads, posts, diets, cleanses, wraps, shakes, lollipops (seriously don’t get us started on that one) workouts, out there.  No wonder we don’t know where to start or who to trust.

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

When reading an ad, or considering trying a product or program, first ask yourself “Does this option seem realistic?”

  • “Loose 20 lbs in 1 week!”
  • “Loose inches overnight!”
  • “You won’t feel hungry”

These are tempting because who hasn’t wanted to loose 20lbs in one week ?‍♀️?! However they do not sound realistic.  If they are promising a quick fix, they are likely a hoax.  They may even get you some quick results, but often times the more drastic/quickly these quick fixes work the faster the weight or inches will come back, often with some long term effects making the next time we try it even harder/less effective/more damaging.

If it doesn’t pass a good ol’ fashioned gut check, it’s likely “too go to be true.”

It did not take us 1 month, or even 1 year to get to where we are, so it will take some time to get to where we want to be. And we likely picked up some bad habits along the way.

Habits are hard to break, especially the bad ones. If we want a different result, we have to take different actions.  But trying to overhaul your entire life all at once rarely works.  It’s overwhelming & confusing, so start small.

5 Places to Get Started

There are more parts to being healthy then just working out and eating well (though those are HUGE pieces of the puzzle). Decide what is a realistic area of your life you are willing to make a few changes with TODAY, and focus on that until you have some new, healthier habits in place.

Choose just 1 of the following options to begin. Once you crushed that, THEN pickup another.

  1. Get a Fit Bit (AKA Just Move).  If money is a factor and a gym membership is truly not in the budget, Fit bit has some affordable options.  Buy one, put it on and hit 10,000 steps EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  2. Drink More Water. I can guarantee just about all of us are not hydrating properly.  We should drink 1/2 of our body weight in oz of water every single day.  There are A TON of benefits with hydrating properly. Bonus points for subbing out 1 sugary drink/caffeinated/alcoholic drink per day for a glass of water.
  3. Go the F*ck To Sleep. We need 7-9 hours per sleep every night.  Even if you already are crushing workouts and your nutrition lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body & metabolism.  Plan your day around your sleep schedule and make it non negotiable.
  4. Practice Mindfulness (Reduce Stress) This ranges anywhere from meditating or journaling for 5 minutes to finally making an appointment with a Therapist (I have a great one if you need a referral!).  When we make changes in our life, we have to work on our internal dialogue to get our mind & bodies in sync to stay successful long term.
  5. Get a Coach If you are looking at this list and thinking “sure that seems easy, but I’ve tried all those things and quit after a week” you may need a coach.  Why Icehouse works is greatly due to the accountability having a coach provides to our athletes.  Having someone expecting us at the gym, or helping us set the right goals for us and then having the tough conversation when we didn’t show up and ate a whole wheel of cheese and getting us back on track quickly has saved a lot of us from backsliding. Even our coaches have a coach because we too are human, and need someone to hold our feet to the fire occasionally.

Still unsure?  We offer a Free Intro to get to know you, discuss your goals and recommend the best place to start to ensure you will be successful long term.  Chat with a Coach HERE

You do not have to start all of it today, but pick a place to start, THEN GET STARTED!  Good Luck!

More info on Icehouse

I Need to Get Healthy!  Where Do I Even Begin?!

I Need to Get Healthy! Where Do I Even Begin?!

I went into 2018 (#yearofthegainz) with some big fitness goals, mainly just getting back into a consistent routine and to spend more time working on my weightlifting, as well as some lofty business goals (hello Flux launch). Some goals were met, many were not.

The Fitness Goals:

I had some lofty numbers I wanted to hit on my snatch & clean&jerk. I spent 4 days a week lifting to support that goal, along with 1-3 Flux or CrossFit workouts. While I feel stronger and more consistent in those lifts, and in my yoga practice as well as more proficient in a lot of movements, the reality is I increased both lifts by just 5 lbs each.

While it isn’t the large improvement I wanted, a TON of technique work has been done, lots of groundwork has been laid to start climbing up the ladder this year. And in the grand scheme of things, 5 lbs at this stage of the game still feels pretty damn good and my lifts are wayyyyyyy more solid.

We can get very caught up in numbers, and I have heard many folks say “I only PR’d by 5, or 10 lbs.” THAT IS HUGE! As we grow as athletes and continually challenge ourselves those jumps will get smaller and more incremental, but that does not take away how special they are. A PR is always something to be proud of! It means you are better then you were yesterday, and that is all we are really trying to do is get a little bit better, every day.

The Other Goals:

2018 was a great year, but it was probably my most challenging yet. There were no big moves, changes, or shakeups. That probably seems like a positive, and it is. But for me, the lack of movement can feel a bit suffocating. I am someone who has moved every 4 years (if not sooner) or has made some big change or done something to distract myself or keep myself busy. 2018 didn’t have any of those things… so it was a lot of learning how to survive in stability.

With no big moves or changes, “to dos” are not as clearly laid out, so as a business owner it became more challenging to create and lead down an undefined path. There were endless possibilities…but holy crap there were endless possibilities! WHERE DO WE EVEN START?! As the gym grew, and our staff grew there was more and more that needed to be done both on & off the floor, but also still the need to create plans to move forward and to take the gym where we wanted to go, but while still trying to maintain the Icehouse feel we all love so much. No one starts a gym to hang out at their computer doing payroll & marketing, so adjusting and adapting to a new role has been a huge challenge…and an ego check. The amount of personal growth that came from that discomfort is invaluable, even if it was (and still really is) a big struggle.

2019 will be a continuance of that journey of trying to add as much value as we possibly can for each and every one of you, while still keeping true to who we are and always trying to get just a little better, every day. Thank you all for allowing us to do what we do, and for growing with us as we too are still figuring it out <3