An Aggressive Competitor

Is it possible for a female to come in 3rd at an Olympic weightlifting national meet with only three months of training? Typically not, but that’s exactly what Lindsay Taylor at California Strength did. The CrossFit CenCal co-owner has a background in sports and CrossFit that has prepped her for the dedication and aggressiveness to be a great weightlifter.

When Lindsay and Glenn Pendlay realized she had potential in weightlifting, she committed to a lifestyle that focuses her available time to train at Cal Strength. Her typical week looks like this: Bright and early Tuesday morning she drives about an hour to Glenn’s house and trains two or three times on Tuesday. Then she stays at Glenn’s house (AKA the weightlifter storage center) Tuesday night and trains another two or three sessions on Wednesday. Then she drives home Wednesday night. Thursday afternoon or Friday morning she drives back to Glenn’s, trains twice on Friday, sometimes trains on Saturday, and drives back home. That’s commitment, folks.

And it’s working. In this video you can see Lindsay working with around 50kg on the clean and jerk. The video embedded above is her hitting 103kg for a single. Astute determination yields great progress, and this 92kg clean and jerk in early December helped her win third place at the American Open.

Glenn told me that on a decent day Lindsay can snatch 86 or 87 and clean and jerk 103kg. But aside from the commitment, the willingness to get better, and natural talent, Lindsay is a damn fine competitor. Most of you know that the Friday training sessions at Cal Strength are fueled by a cash prize for the best lifter. Pendlay will put a total on the board for each lifter, and whoever goes above that total the most wins the cash prize (which is usually at least $100). For example, Jon North’s might be something like 340 and Shankle’s around 365. One day Lindsay had already PR’d her total, but needed more to win the cash prize. Her best clean and jerk at the time was 95kg and she needed 99kg to win. Guess what she did? She put 99kg on the bar — never having done it before — and killed it. You can’t teach that.

In this video Lindsay cleans and jerks 97kg, then LOWERS IT, then jerks it again. If you aren’t a weightlifter then “lowering the bar” may not make sense, but just imagine doing sort of a negative with about 213 lbs. There are a lot of guys who can’t do that. What’s more impressive is how she came back from an unstable first-rep jerk and solidly put the second jerk overhead.

“She’s not scared to go under the bar, not scared to put weight on the bar. She’s an aggressive competitor.” That’s just one phrase Glenn used to describe his flourishing lifter. Now Lindsay, Glenn, and California Strength have their eyes set on Nationals at the Arnold Sports Festival in March. I asked Glenn what he thinks Lindsay can hit at Nationals and he said, “Probably snatch 90, clean and jerk 110. I’m confident she’ll total over 200 at Nationals.” It seems doable for Lindsay to increase another 5 kilos or so in each lift in a couple months. Yet her recent history has shown that it doesn’t matter what’s on the bar; just load it up to whatever will win and Wonder Woman will do the rest.

17 thoughts on “An Aggressive Competitor

  1. Wow, that’s some serious athletics right there. What’s her weight class? I ask b/c I’m perusing the totals from the various weight classes in Beijing in 2008.

  2. Does she also work/go to school?

    I believe she has graduated college.

    She’s also married and I think has at least one child (sorry Lindsay, couldn’t remember after what Glenn told me!).


  3. Good work lindsay,thats some sweet progress. I recently started doing the double jerk janks and I can assert that that stuff is no joke. I have noticed that doubling the jerk really takes my arms out of it and makes me push like a madman with my legs on the jerk. late pr- hit a 210 snatch and 265 clean and jerk on sat- take that 6 months of olympic lifting with no coach

  4. “In this video Lindsay cleans and jerks 97kg, then LOWERS IT, …”

    Hey, all of us who only have iron plates lower every rep. Granted, the last time I C&J-ed it was only 245 lbs. But I can’t imagine NOT lowering the weight.

  5. karibot: I graduated in 2011. My dissertation was entitled “A whole pile of shit no-one gives a damn about”, but I managed to learn some useful stuff about computer science while I was doing. And spend a lot of time at the University’s fine gymnasium.

  6. Noel: Ah, mine is “Stuff I wrote when I wasn’t lifting weights, and other shit no one cares about”. Sounds like you’re in an employable field. That’s good.

    Completely unstructured schedule + a fine university gym = lots of jacked grad students. At least that’s how it is here.

  7. Heh. Let’s just say it ain’t that way in Comp. Sci… Grad school is seen more as time to work on one’s kyphosis.

    I read that and immediately extended my thoracic spine.


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