USAW School Age Nationals

PR Friday — post all your personal records to the comments.

USA Weightlifting’s School Age Nationals begins today (at 7:00 AM actually) in the bay area of California. There will be 287 kids from around the country competing on two platforms. I’ve never seen an Olympic weightlifting meet run on two platforms (seen it in powerlifting), so it should be non-stop lifting. The best part is that they are running a live webcast for both platforms. You can watch it here.

Remember when I talked about Paul Doherty and Hassle Free? Well, they have lots of lifters competing as well as other bay area clubs like, FitBBC, TJ’s Gym, Catalyst Athletics, California Strength, The Sports Palace and Myles Ahead — somewhere around 50 lifters from this area alone.

I wish I would have been recruited for weightlifting when I was younger (I was pretty good at power cleaning), but we can watch all of these kids that range from 13 to 17. You can see the schedule and qualifying totals for each weight class starting on page five of this .PDF file. Oh, and here’s a quick shout out to my pal Kyle — he’s 15 years old and qualified for nationals, but won’t be making the trip to compete. Good stuff nonetheless.

Here’s a pretty cool video of David Rigert, a 90kg lifter, pressing 203kg in a 1971 competition. That’s about 446 lbs. boys and girls. You’ll notice the obvious knee kick, but that’s how guys pressed because the judges allowed it. The press was eliminated from competition one year later. I always wonder how different weightlifting meets would be if we had to do the clean and press first.

72 thoughts on “USAW School Age Nationals

  1. @Randle McMurphy

    Not meaning to cut A.C.’s lunch here (unless that lunch involves Brent…) but in the SS article, Bill Starr explains that in the 60’s, lifters developed that style of pressing (the Olympic-style press) as a way to press bigger numbers. It turned the lift into a much more explosive and technical lift – more of a quick lift that incorporated more muscles in the movement.
    So I wouldn’t say that it was a weakness making Riegert layback like that, just a different style that allowed him to press more than if he was doing it strict. It is 203kg, after all – nuts!

    Hope that helps.

  2. As a side-note, the clean and press was eliminated from competition in ’72, the year after that video of Rigert for political reasons, as well as difficulty in judging the newer Olympic-style press.

  3. For the press, some would say that there weren’t really judging difficulties so much as judging inconsistencies. The governing bodies refused to develop and enforce judging criteria for the press: this failure even predates the 1932 olympics. John Fair (2001) has a wonderful article on the history of the press.

    Current Training Numbers
    Squat: 255x5x3 (30 lbs from old PR)
    Bench: 197.5x5x3 (5 lbs from old PR)
    Deadlift: 315×5 (20 lbs from old PR)
    Press: 130x5x3 (5 lbs from old PR)
    Power Clean: 170x3x5 (15 lbs from old PR)
    Power Snatch: 115x2x7 (PR, just started these)

    A week or two ago I got up to 265x5x3. I tried 270 the next time and only got three for three sets. The next time I got 2, 1 and 0; so I reset my squat. I should be back into PR territory in a couple weeks.

  4. I am posting an off-topic question here hoping someone can give me some advice and i guess just no room for hesitation. I previously posted that I pr’d my squat 315x5x3 but my knees are not staying over my toes. they are comin in but i am forcing them back out hard. it would be fine for the 1st rep or two of the set but rep 3 4 and 5 were coming in. I kinda just need someone else telling me that even though im making pr’s it’s too dangerous cuz i like the sound of pr’s but i do need to keep my knees healthy. I am going to do my squat workout at 320 and really focus on keeping the knees over the toes and if it still don’t work then I will drop my squat down (though i have already reset my squat once just recently.. first reset of squat on SS) and work back up again focusing on my knees.

    I don’t have a video yet but I will post one on mondays post as that is next workout but here is a vid of some olympic lifter who when squatting up from the clean has a pretty identical amount of knee buckle. Thanks for any help you guys can give.

    here’s the video:

  5. hey hey hey

    so…i competed in the star of the north games today. it was an overall good time; however, the conditions fucking sucked ass. seriously. the “warm-up” area…was a hallway in which three plywood platforms were smashed next to each other with no room for any error or breathing for that matter. and the weather was atrocious—humid as hell so our shoes stuck to the make-shift platforms and fucked up our form.

    but anyway, i went 4/6 and had meet PRs with a 43 kilo snatch and 55 kilo clean and jerk. these weren’t training PRs, but close.

    i weighed in at 64.33 and i was the only girl in the 69 kilo class. so i automatically got a gold medal.

    i attempted the crossfit football 100 pull-ups for time as an evening work out. i made it 26 pull-ups before my monkey bars were stolen by a six year old. haha

    now i’m drinking some cabernet sauvignon to celebrate a great lifting day despite icky conditions up in the northland.

    i tapered my lifting as the meet drew closer, so i’ve missed squatting. i’m looking forward to monday when i can start squatting again.

    Nice job at the meet. I squatted on Friday for the first time in quite a while, and the first time I did anything since nationals. I was pretty damn sore, so have a few build up workouts.


  6. ok, so i may be a little intoxicated but i must say that kirk karwoski is really quite hot. and adorable. and strong. and hot. and hot! i can’t stop watching videos of him on youtube!

    Haha, this was awesome.


  7. razor: You don’t need to be doing that on your SS worksets. I’ve fixed this for myself and a couple lifters on SS by using a work weight you can still do correctly and concentrate on pushing your knees out and keeping them there. Proceed as usual with 5-10lb jumps but keeping sure they stay out. Your adductors may get very sore at first as they receive a greater stretch this way. Once they strengthen they’ll contribute to hip drive and old PR’s come up alot more easily.

    I stand by this.


  8. antigen: thanks for the reply. I was reading some old posts on the Rip Q and A and it said the same thing you said. ok I will really focus on keeping the knees out BEFORE they come in and reset if it’s a problem. should i count that as an official reset for SS cuz i just recently reset from 305.. or should i just count both of these as one reset? i went to 275 on my reset before… maybe I should go back to 275 and make sure the knees stay locked over toes.

    Get big, get 70’s big.

  9. Star of the North
    Weightlifting meet PR’s:
    2nd in 94kg class (4 lifters)
    Snatch 104 (+4)
    Clean & Jerk 135 (+5)
    Total 139 (+9)
    Body Weight: 86.09

    I made 3/6 lifts.
    missed 103 behind, got 104 easily, then picked 110, and I proceeded to have to wait 15+ min as it was a popular opener and everyone was missing it. Probably 5 misses before. (including the guy who won my class and overall total with 266)

    I got it to arms length and centered overhead but it was a press out. The flesh hungry eleiko had made a flap out of the callous on my thumb.

    CJ was 120 easy, 130 pressed out after an insufficient drive, I was dripping rivers of sweat at that point with no AC at the venue so I made a big enough jump that I’d have time to chill off in the basement.
    Got my 135 clean easily and made the jerk by remembering to fully drive.

  10. You may or may not need to go all the way back to 275, just to the weight you can manage with the knees kept out because you’ll be weaker until you’re used to it.

    After reset 1 you should be on a variation of the program with a Wednesday light day and probably DL every 4th workout. After reset 2 the book says to either progress to intermediate unless there was some clear reason not all of the novice potential was tapped, illness, eating problem and a straight forward form problem would probably be that too.

    Get big, get 70′s big.
    That’s what Justin wrote on my copy of PPST2.

  11. antigen: I don’t have a credit card to order the book so I am cutting myself short as it is. I’ve done as much research as possible and well I’ve read that generally you’ll reset your squat twice and deadlift once before it is time to move on to advanced programming. I read this at startingstrengthwiki… don’t know how credible it really is but it didn’t sound like a bunch of jack. I feel like i have way more progress on the novice program too just need to focus on the knees more.

    Yes resets will happen, but that doesn’t mean that you are ready for a more advance program. Changing programs from Novice-Intermediate and such depends on how well you recover and adapt from workout to workout.


  12. Wendler 5/3/1 strength program,
    5/3/1 week, PR’s all around!
    DL: 450×3
    Bench: 260×5
    Squat: 345×5
    Press: 150×5

    Also a weight PR, up to 217#

  13. Squat 303.5x5x3

    Right as I’m preparing to reach a stable adult male weight, a bout of food poisoning (common here in Bahrain) rears it’s ugly head. Laid out for most of the week, but tried to stay nourished and hydrated and I only lost a few pounds, still in the 195-198 range.

    Food pr: downed nearly a whole salmon filet’s worth of salmon sashimi.

  14. Hey all,

    Quick question which I will attempt to not make sound too inappropriate!
    A couple of times when I’ve been squatting I’ve experienced a bit of discomfort in the, ‘ow you say, crotchal region, no? Guess the safest way to describe the area is localised just to the right of the zip on my jeans – just above the business area.

    Now I have pretty limited experience with any sporting injuries, but this would seem like what a hernia sounds like. It only happens occasionally on my work sets (certainly not hitting huge numbers by any means) and is more uncomfortable than painful.

    Hasn’t been bad enough to make me stop altogether, but if I stop, refocus, adjust my belt (when I’ve got one) it is usually fine after that.

    Has anyone else had similar issues? Is this something to be concerned about and is it caused by bad form or something else? I lift alone, so hard to ask anyone else.


    Hard to say without seeing you in person. Search Rip’s Q&A, but the safest thing would be to see a doctor, because hernias below the inguinal ligament are gonna be problematic.


  15. Sorry, me again!

    Has anyone had experience building Rip’s power rack? Gonna cost steel this week to see how it compares to buying one. In Australia, power racks are not that common – maybe 1 in an average gym and to buy they are pretty expensive for not great quality.

    Would definitely prefer a rip-rack if economically viable.

  16. pr’s
    Sq: 280x3x5, 285 3×2
    B: reset
    P: 125x3x5
    Dl: 315×5

    First time I missed on squats and I missed bad. I’m gonna try again tuesday and if I miss again I will reset. I also need to look into microloading the presses they are not progressing very well.

  17. Thanks for commenting AC. I managed to find an online source to SS 2nd edition. It looks/sounds like the real thing with no changes to it. Now I can read up on this stuff and get the proper facts.

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