Formal Complaint

I’d like to file a formal complaint. This is serious, so I want you to listen…

Some of you are sandbagging, and I don’t like it.

I need to direct my malcontent towards someone, so I am going to choose my pals Ruth and Sean, from CrossFit Intrepid. Yeah, you guys are totally busted. Gant told me all about how you haven’t competed in a weightlifting meet. Gant met them last weekend when he presented at a seminar/workshop, and I met the couple at one of Rip’s barbell seminars at the end of last year.

These two goons have some serious potential in Olympic weightlifting, and would do pretty decently in a meet…yesterday. Apparently they said some hogwash to Gant about “not being good enough” or something. Gant’s response is that you aren’t going to be good enough when you first start competing, but you have to compete in order to get good at competing. Pretty straightforward.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for not competing, but I am not convinced that these two have a valid reason. They were opening a new gym, and things were probably hectic, but Sean snatched 60 or 70 kilos the day I coached him at the barbell seminar…after squatting, pressing, bench pressing, deadlifting, and power cleaning that weekend. The dude has something like a 39 inch vertical (he played division I football) and is pretty damn strong. He would make a HELL of a 94 kg lifter — as in he would qualify for national level stuff pretty fast. And Ruth is a fiery little gal who is pretty strong and explosive.

Me, Ruth, and Sean at the seminar last year

Me, Ruth, and Sean at the seminar last year

I told them both right away when I saw them move that they would be good at this sport, and they seemed enthused. We even talked for 15 or 20 minutes about a program they could do when they got home. And the silly bastards never competed! All kidding aside, these are two very nice people, very good athletes, and both pretty damn strong. It is just a bummer to see quality potential wasted. I am sure there are plenty of people just like them — folks that know they will enjoy a competitive endeavor but are for some reason avoiding it.

If you are avoiding competition because you don’t think you are good enough, then you are a Silly Person. The whole point is to test yourself in a competitive environment. I promise that you will enjoy yourself — as long as you set yourself up to do well in that first meet (I will talk more about this tomorrow). If there is a chance that you might be decently competitive in a given weight class, then you have more incentive to get better, but you will never know this without ever competing.

If you think a sport might be fun to compete in, then what the hell are you waiting for? Go online, find a competition, circle the date, and train for it. You’ll thank me later, you buffoon.

25 thoughts on “Formal Complaint

  1. Hey!! Now, in our poor excuse for a defense, Gant failed to mention that we both finally got our USAW cards today and will be going to a meet in Capistrano on April 24th. So..while we dilly-dallied like little bitches, we did finally sack up.

    Working on the numbers:
    CJ 143#
    Power Clean 153#
    Jerk 168#
    Power Snatch 105#

    Deadlift went from 1×5@215 at the cert to 275 yesterday thanks to the technique.

    Awesome job qualifying, Justin. Way to lead by example! Now that you outted us, I guess we”re committed…

    This is true. They acted fast. I sent them both a note (and friendly reminder) yesterday afternoon. They responded that they got their USAW card and signed up.

    I look forward to seeing good things from both of you.


  2. Thanks Justin and Gant for the motivation. My oly training has been really hit or miss because of work but I”m still rocking the linear progression on the BS (380#), P (170#), and DL (435#). Hopefully those numbers will continue to climb and I”ll work out the technique and/or flexibility issues on my snatch and jerk overhead positions. As Ruth said, congrads on qualifying at the last meet. We”ll let you know how the meet on the 24th goes.

  3. i never posted about my first weightlifting meet so here goes:

    snatch: opened at 145lb an got up to 165lb (PR)
    i have not yet developed the skill to land in a full overhead squat position so i had to power snatch.
    C&J: opened at 225lb. missed clean forward on 237lb. third attempt got it up fine but got red-lighted for the jerk (press out) but still got it locked out. this was an overhead PR so i was still happy.

    all in all, a great experience. only three competitors in my weight class. workin with kilos was tricky and i was using rough math to pick my weights
    looking for a coach when i move so i can bump those weights up

  4. Xzcion and Willie,

    Where are you guys located/moving? If its anywhere near Orange County I”d recommend you look up Max Mormont at SoCal S&C for Oly coaching. He is a strong dude and a great coach.

    On sat, Ben from my gym qualified for nationals with a 95kg Snatch and 120 C&J. I believe it was for the 94kg class but could be wrong since he only weighs in at 88.

    When I grow up I”m going to compete too!

  5. Putting this into practice:

    This past weekend I was near a powerlifting meet and decided to compete in it an hour beforehand.
    And I did fairly well.

    Originally I was going to do it, but then I had so much work going on I hadn”t been able to prepare properly. Once there, however, I said to myself “Screw it, I”m just gonna do it for the experience.”

    Thinks weren”t ideal(I had squatted, pressed and deadlifted 2 days earlier and did my opener on the squat for 15 reps, plus I weighed 77kgs instead of 80 a few days earlier because I was “relaxing”), but I managed the following:

    (all kgs., belt only)

    I chose weights that were manageable and decided to keep the big PRs for the meet next month, when I have some bodyweight on me again.

    Squat: 140 – 160 – 170
    Bench: 95-105-115(3-4 second pause … ugh)
    Deadlift: 190-220-240(miss at the knee)

    All lifts except that last deadlift got three white lights.

    Afterwards people came to congratulate me on my execution and speed of the lifts and that I was the most efficient lifter at the meet.

    All the while just going in for kicks! So to those of you who haven”t competed yet, just go in for fun!

    I had a blast and did not put much pressure on it. Most of the meet was spent helping other lifters and laughing it up.

  6. @Leeuwer

    erg goed man! :) competing with only an hour before hand, constitutes of some great mental preparedness, delevering the goods when circumstances are not great. I think this is great for you experience.

  7. My first powerlifting competition is March 27. I can tell you that signing up for it has really influenced my training for the better. It really gives you motivation to focus and improve.

    I did a mini-test last Saturday and I totaled 1050. I”m not going to win anything, but that is ok. I”ve only been training since June, and I look forward to getting a little better each day I train.

    I even practiced in my crazy multi-colored singlet.

  8. Amen, brother. Nothing motivates you to train like knowing you will have to perform well and do it in front of an audience and other lifters on a given day. Plus it”s damn fun.

    Good to see that Ruth and Sean wisened up!

  9. Hey SoCal people,

    There”s a Highland Games clinic being put on this Sunday, March 21 from 9am to 4pm by Francis Brebner. Cost is only $25.

    Events to be covered:
    Open Stone
    Light Hammer
    Light Weight for Distance
    Sheaf Toss
    Weight Over Bar

    Even if you don”t feel ready for a weightlifting/powerlifting meet you can still come throw around heavy (relatively speaking) weights. Plus it”s really fun.

    ScotsFest 2010 is Memorial Weekend this year at the Orange County Fairgrounds. It”d be nice to have at least one newb there in addition to me.

    I don”t think they”ve gotten around to setting up a Facebook page for this, so it”s mostly been word of mouth promotion. If interested, you can email me and I”ll send details to RSVP.

    jason dot barger at yahoo

  10. HAHA Justin, I”m so glad you posted this! I think Ruth needed this (public) kick in the rear to make sure she gets out there and competes, because my reminders at the gym were falling on deaf ears.

  11. changed my flight and Great Move to accomodate my next competition. Hawaii is having a
    highland games competition the weekend of April 10. the boys and i will be showing up to toss the caber!

  12. @xzcion

    hey mate, I”m over in Adelaide so I understand the limited number of places to lift around here. A while back I came across Phoenix weightlifting club in Melbourne, though – it looks pretty good, not sure if it”s close to you or not (almost certainly closer than California, however…)

    website is

    good luck!

  13. Shit, I only learned to Snatch properly on sunday, Give me a chance Justin.

    @ Helder, from the names of those vids…..Do I now know how to say Snatch and Clean and Jerk in Portuguese?

  14. Hey Justin,

    I, along with a few other readers by the looks of it, have entered my first meet. Could you do a write up on how to prepare in the last few weeks/days approaching a meet, also everything one should bring with them? Please & Thank you

    Indeed. Working on it now.


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