In the past few months, in between living my life, working and my weightlifting training I was also exposed to competitive weightlifting from both athlete’s perspective (competing myself) and from organisational aspect such as putting a team of athletes together to compete and hosting a competition in my home club (Battersea Weightlifting Club).
This experience opened up a dialogue with fellow lifters and club’s athletes. What I’ve learnt as an athlete myself is that there are many good lifters, new lifters who don’t want to compete or represent the club for quiet a strange reason which I would refer to as misunderstanding, misconception or even missing the point.
There are many weightlifting competitions taking place throughout the year in the UK and while majority of competitions are only for registered athletes [under British Weightlifting Federation] they allowathletes of all abilities (new and professional) to compete in front of the referees on the platform and more than likely with very good and supportive audience.
I only took part in two competitions this year thus far under British Weighltifting and on behalf of my club; however competed in others such as lifting league for South-East of the UK.
First competition took place in January 2015 and it was a great experience. Out of 6 lifts I’ve hit 5 good lifts which was great and then I’ve missed two competitions due to travelling and competed again at the end of May.
Many of my fellow lifters ask me if I am ready to compete? My answer is simple: as ready as I can be!
So, why are there athletes, lifters, males and females who are scared of weightlifting and when invited to compete they decline with usual excuse: “I am not ready, I need to train more to be able to compete!”
My coach once told me that competing to get experience as a new lifter is what I should focus on. Get as many times on the platform as you can – was his view.
So I did! Once registered for the competition my competitive spirit then started to get concerned about making weight category (ie. dropping into category I would like to compete instead of just getting as many good lifts as possible). I was also getting too concerned about being the weakest lifter on the platform with very low opening attempts.
My fears were well-managed and consequently eliminated by my fellow lifter and training partner and coach. All of the worries about body weight and other lifters were irrelevant to me as a new lifter.
The moment I stepped on to the platform I hit new PBs; both in snatch and clean&jerk.
The difference between training and lifting at the competition was that I couldn’t hit those numbers in the training and struggled to get over my comfortable numbers. When I was encouraged to compete the work I’ve put into the preparation has paid off on the platform. For me it was the adrenalin, the coach, the audience and ambience which made a difference.
Why should you aim to compete and enter the competitive weightlifting at any stage?
1. Competitive weightlifting gives lifters different experience from ambience, warm up and build up to your first lift through to your best lift
2. Adrenalin levels often than not run much higher in the competitive environment over training environment which means that your PBs are likely to be hit and new PBs made
3. Learning from other lifters of similar weight, body composition which you might not normally see lifting with you or next to you in the warm up room will give you new perspective
4. Relationship with your coach changes and improves every time you prepare for competition, compete and even after competition. You will get to know your coach from different angle. You will see a different person and not just somebody who writes a programme and shouts clues at you during training.
5. Finally, entering competitive weightlifting gives those who train hard, have a strict routine a reason to celebrate and reflect on the progress made; I treat myself to a few days off from training and enjoy good food treats.
By believe that you are not good enough or ready enough to compete you are holding back from facing the referees, the platform and most importantly yourself from your true athletic and physical potential and new PBs.
Getting involved with competitive weightlifting is simple:
1. register with British Weightlifting by registering as unattached athlete or attached (by joining a club)
2. find out about your local competitions and clubs and maybe start with club competitions
3. ensure you have a good coach who understands weightlifting and supports you in competition
4. get involved!
I am a girl and I lift heavy
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