Lately, my fitness interests have become more focused – instead of solely “general CrossFit” – I’ve come to appreciate Olympic Weightlifting and all the facets of fitness it encompasses. This stemmed from my drive to become fit enough to compete on an amateur level in the Toronto CrossFit scene.
I guess all of this stemmed from watching the CrossFit Games and being totally immersed in the elite level of competition and seeing how strong and capable those athletes are across such a broad range of movements and disciplines. After watching two years worth of CrossFit games – just watching and rooting for certain athletes like Camille Leblanc-Bazinet or Matt Chan- the seed of competing was planted.
In any case, after focusing on strength just how strong I could become, I decided to tackle Olympic weightlifting and it’s quite unlike anything else I’ve come across in my athletic endeavours.
What does it for me is the methodic, strength and cerebral challenge that Olympic weightlifing poses. Outside of the baseline strength that is needed in order to perform the different variations of snatches, cleans and jerks, the amount of practice on technique as well as the supplementary exercises to help you become stronger to become a better lifter is so wide and varied – you’re constantly making progress, re-adjusting and learning every time you step into the gym. I guess this all ties to the notion of making progress – setting goals for yourself and breaking them and doing it all over again. It’s very addictive especially when you feel superhuman after doing a lift you’ve been working so hard to execute perfectly.
While the majority of my efforts are on Olympic weightlifting and strength, I only recently realized that I’ve been doing a fundamental practice of weightlifting wrong since I’ve started CrossFit – namely how I did the hookgrip. I think that’s the aspect that both frustrates me and pushes me to go further down the rabbit hole. The constant feedback loop that you get – in terms of nutrition, how much you can lift and where you need to go to increase your strength, and just plain putting the work in to get better- you’re optimizing for everything an – all in the name of throwing stupid amounts of weight over your head. In Olympic weightlifting and all the facets of fitness that touches it, when think you’ve got a movement down cold, but you come back two weeks later and you’re back to square one because you couldn’t do your hook grip properly – it’s all very humbling and all that’s left is the fact that progress can always be made to become better.