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CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting

My Wonderful WoW

(world of WEIGHTLIFTING, that is)

So a while back I wrote a whole post on CrossFit. I found it in October 2009, and I still love it. Despite its growing popularity and now mainstream culture and marketing, I still love it. I love what it’s done for me, my parents, and others, and that it promotes being active and healthy and caring about your body (not just the image, but your actual body).

Another thing I love about it is that it introduced me to other sports, such as Olympic Weightlifting. I have openly embraced the snatch and the clean & jerk. They’re not dirty euphemisms, they’re lifts!

Snatch: 

Clean & Jerk: 

CrossFit was my gateway drug, in a way. After a lot of debate and encouraging from friends and coaches, I finally decided to go “wod-free” and just lift. I got a taste for it during my 3 weeks in Oxford, and realized it was certainly worth a full 2-month trial. In December 2011, when I got back to the States, that’s what I did. I started going to Bare Bones Barbell Club (part of my parents’ CrossFit gym in Tucson) and began just lifting (well, once a week we have “conditioning”, which is pretty much a WOD). New coach, new lifting partner, new shoes, new goals. I came back to the States with a DL of 122.5kg, BP of 60kg, BS of 110kg, a C&J of 72.5kg, and a snatch of 57kg. My goal was to try out ‘just lifting’ to see if I really did make the gains I hoped to in such a short time period. I told myself “I’ll give it 2 months and then, if I like that path, keep going until I either plateau or get bored”. I hoped to add about 2-2.5kg a month to my Olympic lifts.

Well, now it’s the middle of April. In 5 months’ time I’ve put over 7.5kg on my C&J and 5kg on my snatch. Slightly behind target schedule, but I’m still steadily improving so I’m okay with it. I have competed in 2 Olympic lifting competitions (69kg class): 1st one I tied for 4th place and my Total (130kg) qualified me for University Nationals. 

At University Nationals I got 5th place with a 134kg Total going 4/6 on my lifts with a snatch PR of 62kg.

I beat out some other girls who have been doing this a VERY long time, but I also watched the top girl, Allie Henry, get a 194kg Total, reminding me I still have a LONG ways to go with this sport.  I have another meet in a month, and my long-term goal is to qualify for American Open at the end of this year (I’ll need to get a 145kg Total at a sanctioned meet). Yesterday I almost hit a 66kg snatch, and my best C&J to date is 80kg so things are looking good.

79kg C&J caught on video: 

As for other weightlifting, the power lifting sort, my gym hosted a local push/pull meet and I came in 2nd in the bench (63.5kg) and 3rd overall (with a DL PR of 125kg). My BS, as of January, is at 115kg. I mean to max that out again very soon and hopefully see a nice PR. In June I’ll compete at a full PL meet where I hope to set new 100% Raw Federation World Records for my weight class and age group.

I still do CF now and then. I signed up for the CF Open with my gym, Crossfit Works, and am proud to say 2 of my scores contributed to helping them make it to Regionals! They compete first weekend in May and I’m excited to head up to Denver to cheer them on. They’re going to be amazing (they always are).

And what has all this lifting and little cardio done for my physique? Do I have man muscles? A big belly? Do I have manly bulging muscles? Is this me: ?

Well, no. I have better abs than ever, to be honest, and I eat a LOT of yummy food (especially meat). My arms are more defined, my booty is the bomb (well it was before), and I still have feminine curves where I need them. I’m 5’5”, I weigh 69kg, and depending where I shop I’m a 6 or an 8 (BMI is a lie, by the way).

Check back in 5 more months’ time and hopefully I’ll be showing you my amazing 90kg C&J and 70kg snatch, paired with a 140kg DL and 125kg back squat and 68kg bench (WITH a pause). I’ll even show you my abs.  Just don’t ask me to run a mile for time.

And, of course, when I’m not in the gym I’m on my computer, writing my dissertation (exercise for the fingers!)

Finger Weight Lifting

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About Elizabeth

PhD student in Classical Art & Archaeology at UVA with a focus on Greek heroes and iconography (yet forever awed by Roman 2nd and 4th style painting). Salsa and Argentine tango dancer extraordinaire. Weightlifter and Crossfitter the world over.

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