MD Grand Prix

Muscle Driver is hosting a series dubbed as The Muscle Driver Grand Prix Series. In a time where people complain about USAW and how the sport of Olympic weightlifting needs to grow, MD is making an effort to generalize Olympic weightlifting, make it accessible, and most importantly, make it fun.

Specifically this means MD is hosting meets around the country and awarding cash prizes for the top Sinclair formula finishers. The inaugural meet is on November 5th in Charllotte, NC.

So many people have given their two cents on how to build the sport of weightlifting, and this is the first major non-USAW event to do so. Next year MD wants to give away at least $50,000 in prize money! There are even negotiations to get the final event televised on ESPN. This would be a huge boost for the sport as it hasn’t a) been popularized in culture and b) hasn’t ever compensated athletes monetarily.

The whole series is extremely accessible, but especially this first meet; anyone at any age can enter. More so, many top tier American lifters won’t be competing at this event because they are prepping for the American Open or the Olympic trials early next year. This means that anyone can walk away with prize money, ranging from $400 to $2,000. This opens the door for new or inexperienced lifters to end up on the podium and awarded some cash. I can’t say this definitively, but there aren’t many Americans (if any) that can say they won some dough by doing well at a weightlifting meet.

I’ve seen some resonating skepticism on the internet about the meet being “too big for my first meet” or “too big of an event, I’m not good enough yet”. This is the same weak behavior that everyone shows when faced with the “daunting task” of actually competing. Look: my first meet was in a barn in Texas and was basically a structured practice session. I had a great time, but it would have been a lot of fun to go to a very nice venue with top of the line equipment in the warm-up room. Not to mention some of the top coaches in the US will be there to specifically help beginners. This is the perfect opportunity to receive help from experienced coaches. When I went to Nationals in 2010, Paul Doherty lent a helping hand despite the fact that I was competing with one of his lifters (Ben Claridad). There will be more of the same at this MD meet.

Lastly, I have it on good authority that Glenn Pendlay will be racing Brad Hess in a C2 rowing competition. I’m almost positive he’ll puke.

Bottom Line:
If you’re on the fence about doing your first meet, commit to this MD Inaugural meet and you’ll have a great time. It’s a nice venue with nice equipment and nice people. You’ll walk away a better lifter for sure.