Monday, February 22, 2010

Love me some OHS

So as I was cleaning my house today, I remembered the thousands of times I have been asked how to improve flexibility on the OHS.  I am STOKED (for the old folks out there, stoked means "so excited") that people ask me this because alls it means is that they want to get better at the best movement in the whole entire world! 

The solution is simple: DO MORE OVERHEAD SQUATS.
Whether you are cleaning the house, rearranging furniture or threatening your kids by tossing them over your head to prove your insurmountable feats of strength, you can always be practicing your overhead squat position.  Its one of those things where stretching your shoulders, loosening up your hip flexors, improving your ankle mobility, etc will ALL benefit you, but you really just have to DO the movement as much as possible to really get better at it.  Your body has to get used to finding the right muscles to fire and finding its balance. The only way to do that is to allow the body to feel the movement as much as possible. (AMAP)

 I know its a foreign movement being down in a squat with your hands out wide and heavy weight in your hands. Its anything but comfortable. But like everyone says.. "get comfortable with being uncomfortable". 

You should be able to OHS anything from a pvc pipe to a toyota camry, but when someone is struggling getting in the overhead squat position with a pvc pipe, I usually put a LITTLE weight in their hands (like a 15-33 lb bar) and that generally allows them to sit a little more comfortably in the squat position (if they stay tight and keep the bar back behind the ears allowing their body to support the weight) because something is weighing them down. However, like I said, your goal should be to squat a pvc pipe and a heavy weight exactly the same. Kapeesh?  

So, if your heels come off the ground in a squat, if your shoulders are so tight that the bar wont go back behind your ears, if your torso leans way far forward when trying to get into the OHS, know that these are all common flexibility issues.  Work on flexibility on the side, but for the most part, grab your swiffer and get your booty overhead squatting! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One of my bestest friends in the whole entire world, Kaia, recently lifted in her first weightlifting competition ever.  She was extremely nervous (if you're not nervous before a competition, there is something seriously wrong with you) and was beginning to question her amazing lifting abilities.  Anyways, despite all the nerves and doubts, she ended up having the most amazing meet ever, going 5 for 6 and pr'ing about 27 times.  It's one thing to be nervous before a competition, but its another thing to be able to control the nerves and use them to your advantage.  And that is exactly what she did.  

Her competition experience inspired me to write this rap.  

Thursday, February 11, 2010

size fetus

Oh herro! So, ya, thats me snatching like .7 kgs back in the day lookin like a criminal and stuff in my prisoner singlet. When I found this picture, it reminded me of the many atimes when people have asked me about little kids weightlifting and what I thought about it. I am obsessed with little kids and I am obsessed with weightlifting and it's common knowledge that the two things you are obsessed with HAVE to go good together. But let me further explain the benefits of lifting weights as a wee one (all my friends in Ireland will be proud of me for using "wee")

 First off, let me start off by saying that I have been lifting since I was four (competing since I was six), and even though I am a little (ok so maybe more than a little..) crazy in the region between my ears, I turned out to be ghettofabulous

What weightlifting has done for me:
1) Taught me body awareness. Body awareness is SO important and can make learning new things a heck of a lot easier. Weightlifting is great for body awareness because you are lifting a heavy a$$ weight over your head, and if you have no idea where your body is in conjunction with the bar, then you're basically screwed.  Lifting teaches you to be in tune to each little movement of each little body part.  

2) Taught me how to focus under stress. The great thing about lifting is the competition aspect.  You work hard for months and months, and then you get to take all that hard work and perform in front of a crowd and in front of judges.  As great as it is, it is also makes you want to pee your pants from nerves! Its just you and the bar up on a platform in the middle of a huge room with thousands of eyes looking at you.  Scary or not, it is a great thing for a young kid to experience because you have to learn how to block out distraction and perform under great a deal of stress. That focus transfers over to almost every other aspect of life that requires focus. 

3) Learned what it meant to be dedicated to something. Weightlifting taught me how to be committed to something and how to STAY committed even if I hit a rocky road (mmm makes me think of ice cream).  that commitment did interfere with my social life with friends, but not enough to make me resent the sport. The rewards I received from the years of hard work i put in, far exceeded the sacrifices I had to make. I learned to set goals for myself and learned that I could reach each goal with my persistence and dedication. Reaching goals, is an important feeling for kids to experience and weightlifting gives you so many opportunities to do just that. 

4) Most importantly, weightlifting gave me confidence in myself. There is something about walking up on a platform, approaching a heavy weight, feeling afraid, and lifting that bar over your head that makes you feel such self satisfaction and makes you feel extremely proud of yourself.  The feeling of conquering your fears is a hard feeling to match. We all fear, yet we all have a choice: Do we let that fear control us? or do we control the fear? Olympic lifting allows you to feel that fear, accept that fear, and then punch that fear in the face, one lift at a time. With each fear you face, new confidence is brought about and you grow as a person. You grow as a person who believes in his or herself more and more each day. And to believe in ourselves (as children or adults) is the hardest feat that most of us will ever have to face.  

Weightlifting did great things for me. I can honestly say that I would be a completely different person if I didn't have olympic lifting in my life. It shaped me into the woman that I am and I am SO grateful for that.  It is why I blog all these corny blog posts to ya'll.  I want to give back and help you all to feel the benefits that olympic lifting has had on my life. I want ya'll to love it as much as me. 

I think I completely got off topic...

keep it sassy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Get up off my grill, son!

Why all you mutha suckas be up in my grill bout my updating of my blog? 

You know that whole thing where people want what they can't have? My blog updates are kind of like that.  I'm trying to play hard to get via blogging.  If I updated every 5 seconds, then ya'll wouldnt even read this shananigans anymore! Youd be off cheating on me with some blog about low bar backsquatting and power lifting. ;) 

Now that we all understand each other, lets move onto the important stuff: ice cream.  Thats what I'm blogging about, right? I can't remember if I'm supposed to be blogging about ice cream or oly lifting. I guess I'll just write about both today because I had a magical experience with ice cream on Friday night.... 

I had just finished a killer workout.. literally... Cj is trying to kill us... and I decided that there was nothing more I could ever want in the world than some nice, cold, delicious ice cream. So, I left the gym and proceeded to purchase a pint of ben and jerry's coffee and heath bar ice cream thinking that I was just going to take a couple bites and then continue on with my paleolithic lifestyle. but NOOOO I got home, turned on the tube which automatically killed about 80 brain cells, and ate that whole frackin pint in about 7 minutes.  Let me just tell YOU.. that was THE best 7 minutes of my life... minus the loss of brain cells.. but its ok because I have plenty ;)


tip of the day:
Some people have been telling me that they jump back when they snatch and clean.  Is that good or bad?  
WELLLL.. Ideally, you want to be jumping straight up and down.  That tells me that your hips are moving vertically and that makes the bar move vertically and that's what we want to see.  Jumping back is OK, but you have to remember to be Compton Hard.. aka really aggressive when turning that bar over. Think about it this way... if you jump back, bring the bar back with you.  That is the only way you wont miss that bar out in front of you.  

So, jumping straight up and down is ideal, jumping back happens, but never  jump forward..EVER...  even if there's a fire. If you jump forward, it either means that you swung the bar out, or that you banged it off your hips, or that you were extending with your shoulders forward, rather than having those shoulder back behind the bar when you extend.  capeesh? 

keep it sassy