Arnold Recap – Weightlifting

Well, the weekend of the Arnold is over. Sadly, I did not attend this year, but I was constantly in contact with various field reporters and friends who were on-site, and I’m already looking forward to Arnold 2014, where I hope to be coaching several lifters. We’ll have a pretty big gathering of 70sBig folks for sure. Did any of you meet up and share mead? Were you able to watch the multitude of our community who competed? Did you get a cool shirt, at least? (Many thanks to my lifter Ben, who brought me one back!)

Last Monday, we previewed some of the female weightlifters (along with Jennifer Thompson…who, spoiler alert, broke her own bench world record!). Now, you can check out the results, since you couldn’t watch it live. (Note: I’m still waiting on the ACTUAL results sheet to be posted, but keep clicking the facebook pages below since that’s where I’ll be sourcing them from).

The Columbus Weightlifting Club holds this annual meet, which is no small feat. There are countless hours of work involved in putting on the Arnold Weightlifting Championships, so give them some credit. They have a team facebook page, but also an Arnold-specific one HERE.

Note that they recently asked “Only 361 days until Arnold 2014!! What would you like to see next year?” I suggest letting them know that livestreaming the lifting is something you’d be interested in, if that’s the case. I will be suggesting that, at least.

In any case, they posted most of the videos online relatively quickly. You can search through various parameters and find who you want to see HERE.

There are also some great photos from I don’t know these guys, but they have by far the best photos of Olympic Weightlifting you’ll see on the internet. Go to their facebook page and like them. You won’t be sorry.


James Tatum of Team MuscleDriver

Visit and their facebook page for many more excellent photos.

So, there are the links. Let’s open this up for discussion. How did you feel about not being able to watch the weightlifting on the internet? How do you feel about the coverage this event received? Did you know it was the Pan-Am qualifier? Whose performance was the most impressive to you, and which performances were you disappointed by?


27 thoughts on “Arnold Recap – Weightlifting

  1. Proper pissed. I mean watching people bench is cool and all but come on son…that shit is pedestrian compared to the Olympic lifts.

    Having said that, they did inspire me to change up my deadlift tekkers and try Sumo stance. Felt sorta weird on back. Switched back to standard. Existential crisis over.

  2. Favorite female lifter? Neysi Barrera! This 15 year old beast from Ecuador snatched 92kg and c&j’d 116 at a bw of 66kg. She out-totaled most women older and larger than her, really inspiring to watch.

    Side note, though – USAPL had much better announcing. If you weren’t in the first 10 rows at weightlifting, you could NOT hear the announcer at all, plus there was no large, easily visible scoreboard. If you weren’t already a fan, it would be very hard to follow what was going on.

      • If we have a problem, we tell them, and try to get them to solve it. If they don’t, we start getting louder. Let’s be polite for now, but the bottom line is there are a lot of fans of this sport that are having to WORK to enjoy it. That shouldn’t be the case. It should be an easy sport to follow and enjoy. We shouldn’t see more lifting action on youtube and through Glenn’s facebook page than we do from USAW itself, but unfortunately, that’s the reality right now.

      • It was absurd. They had TV screens set up with scoreboards along the sides of the room, but they were hard to see & half the time they were showing replays of the last lift.

        To USAW’s credit, they did have a great stage with lifters on an elevated platform, unlike USAPL which had not-so-good sightlines for the audience.

  3. I think it would be great if weightlifting could be live streamed, but if it is streamed it is equally important to have a dedicated person or two “announcing” the meet and posting graphics showing what is going on. Weightlifting is completely foreign to 99.5% of the American population and it will never catch on if there isn’t someone explaning the sport. (Jacob! You would be perfect if you’re not coaching!)

    Frankly, as someone who lifts weights and who really admires strong people, watching people lift weights is terribly borning. But it can be exciting if there is some suspense involved; if an announcer can say “this guy needs to lift 2.5 kg (or aobut 5 lbs.) more nexty lift or he has no hope of taking Gold.” Try watching a football game from the 1950s. It’s almost unwatchable since the announcers don’t say much and there is no graphic to help a viewer keep track of the score, down and distance.

    I think it is extremely important for weights to be listed as kg/lb if weightlifting is ever to have any hope of catching on in the USA. Sure, we’re jerks for not using the metric system, but the fact is most Americans don’t have a concept of how much a kg weighs, so hearing that someone lifted 200kg doesn’t sound as impressive as it is. I’ll send my comments to the organizers as well.

    • I agree with most of these ideas. The big USAPL meets have had a great run lately using UStream to their advantage. You can typically hear the announcer, and they will almost always relate the KG to LBs conversion for those not quite up to speed on it, and they certainly keep track of what a lifter needs to jump a placing, etc (sometimes even mentioning personal bests, state records, and interesting tidbits about lifters). It would be better if the announcer “track” was actually played over the ustream, but for now, it’s pretty good. I laughed at the idea of me announcing – I appreciate the thought, but typically my stache is too resplendently full and gets in the way of actual verbal communication. I prefer a system of stares, nods, and gestures, which doesn’t translate all that well…yet.

  4. A good commentator can really help, I think if you looked at the BBC coverage of the weightlifting at the Olympics, although they did talk some rubbish at times, there was some real enthusiasm there which definitely added to the occasion.

  5. Yeah im not asking for much USAW.

    Just setup a camera that lets me see the lifters lift and MAYBE hear the announcer. USAPL/IPF did an excellent job of this, this year. Something similiar would be ideal IMO.

  6. I would’ve liked to see live streaming as well. It would’ve been great to see some of these lifters.

    Is anyone familiar with the process of making the Olympic team? How does a lifter qualify for that? I have been searching for this answer but have had no luck. I am just wondering why the US had only 3 lifters at the Olympics when there are many great lifters throughout the country.

    • It’s pretty complicated, but basically, the better we do at the international (Pan-Ams) and world stage, the more spots we get to send people to the big show. Then, we have another complicated process (that has recently become even MORE complicated) to select who we actually send. Unfortunately, we don’t do that well as a country against…well, every other country.

      Bottom line, we need to send some studs and studettes to Pan-Ams, Worlds, etc. and they need to place highly. The increased intra-US competition (esp in the 77, 94, and 105 classes) bodes well for us, as does the emergence of places like MuscleDriver that are helping lifters take their training seriously.

      I’m sure Tsypkin would be willing to do a more in-depth answer to this question if you can somehow make it entertaining. Maybe throw some movie references in?

      • Thanks for the info. Definitely confusing. I’ll try my best to come up with a more entertaining way of asking that question. Sitting at work tends to take all the funny out of me.

  7. I was bummed to see Jon North got injured and didn’t compete. Also, Spencer Moorman had a weak day, and I’m sure he was pretty down about it.

    Re: live streaming the event. This seems like an absolute no-brainer. The small powerlifting meet I competed in the other weekend was live streamed for crying out loud! Watching the 70s Big crew in the PL meet at the Arnie was great. Would have been really cool to have seen the weightlifting meet too. Sigh.

    • Agreed, I watched at work, it was really fun to see Chris, Mike and AC blow up some big weights. Every business, small to large is all about the web and social media, my company is on me all the time to put YOUTUBE videos up.

      USAW is more than behind the times, they’re negligent with their product and business. I feel like there is so much pent up demand, if they did even a basic job advertising and streaming, the sport would gain a lot of momentum. Look at the Crossfit games, they’re on ESPN for crying out loud.

  8. Just my $.02. This was my first time at the Arnold and we had a great time. My wife and I got there a little late on Friday afternoon (didn’t think about the time change coming from IL) so we only caught AC, Mike, Chris and the guys doing deadlift. They did awesome and it was great to see them lift. We also shared some beers/dinner with a few pals after the meet. It was a gooooooooood time!

    The USAPL setup compared to the USAW setup was completely different in terms of announcers/stage/screens and TV’s. USAPL did a great job with the announcers and two huge screens, plus the pace kept up well and ran pretty smoothly from a fan’s perspective. Whereas USAPL had four TV’s just sitting on 2ft. tall stands. that pretty much no one could see unless you were in front of them. The speaker system only worked in the front half of the room but they finally got it going towards the end. There were also some huge gaps in time that I didn’t understand why they were happening, still not sure. The raised platform with seats in the back was nice, my wife and I sat there and could see the stage easily.

    Overall we had a blast! If you could come and see the events you wanted without dealing with an expo crowd waiting in line for 2 hrs to get a shaker cup and t-shirt that would be grand. This would decongest it quite a bit, but some people are there for samples, others are there to see lifters. Awesome weekend either way!