Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 Asian Weightlifting Championships Full Results

The 2016 Asian Weightlifting Championships have come to a close. The event — held April 21-30 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan — featured a mix of various nations’ best, along with plenty of other top lifters we probably won’t be seeing in Rio (team size limits and qualification, after all). No World Records fell, but there were still plenty of good lifts.

The full results book is here, and we’ve compiled the totals podium finishers below (in addition to a few other notable performances — check out the men’s 85kg and 105+kg for more).

And in case anyone was wondering, the heaviest successful lift was a 247kg clean & jerk from Iran’s Bahador Moulaei. The Iranian delegation told BarBend Weightlifting Correspondent and attendee Mike Graber that Behdad Salimi — Moulaei’s countryman and the reigning Olympic Champion — is still 50/50 for Rio while recovering from knee surgery.

Women’s 48 kg


  • Yayun Tan (China) — 198kg
  • Chun Hwa Ryang (North Korea) — 196kg
  • Panida Khamsri (Thailand) — 194kg

Women’s 53 kg


  • Xiaoting Chen (China) — 221kg
  • Wanqiong Zhang (China) — 211kg
  • Hidilyn Diaz (Philippenes) — 208kg

Women’s 58 kg


  • Hsing-Chun Kuo (Taipei) — 238kg
  • Jun Zhou (China) — 233kg
  • Ping Li (China) — 230kg

Women’s 63 kg


  • Siripuch Gulnoi (Thailand) — 234kg
  • Guiming Chen (China) — 217kg
  • Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen (Vietnam) — 211kg

Women’s 69 kg


  • Wangli Zhang (China) — 245kg
  • Wan-Ting Hung (Taipei) — 214kg
  • Thi Tham Le (Vietnam) — 210kg

Women’s 75 kg


  • Ankhtsetseg Munkhjantsan (Mongolia) — 244kg
  • Yeounhee Kang (South Korea) — 235kg
  • Chi-Ling Yao (Taipei) — 233kg

Women’s +75 kg


  • Kuk Hyang Kim (North Korea) — 291kg
  • Chitchanok Pulsabsakul (Thailand) — 287kg
  • Praeonapa Khenjantuek (Thailand) — 237kg

Men’s 56 kg


  • Cheng Men (China) — 285kg
  • Sinphet Kruaithong (Thailand) — 284kg
  • Fabin Li (China) — 273kg

Men’s 62 kg


  • Yoichi Itokazu (Japan) — 288kg
  • Van Vinh Trinh (Vietnam) — 282 kg
  • Mohammad Ridha Ali Ali (Iraq) — 277kg

Men’s 69 kg


  • Izzat Artykov (Kyrgyzstan) — 338kg
  • Chengfei Yuan (China) — 335kg
  • Yong Gwang Kwon (North Korea) — 322kg

Men’s 77 kg


  • Zhiyong Shi (China) — 348kg
  • Chatuphum Chinnawong (Thailand) — 347kg
  • Pornchai Lobsi (Thailand) — 346kg

Men’s 85 kg

In one of the more interesting performances in international competition memory, Belarus’ Andrei Rybakou — a European athlete — lifted at the Asian Championships. Rybakou was provisionally suspended for meldonium earlier this year, but due to the circumstances of the case involving WADA, the IWF lifted his suspension. However, the two-tie Olympic silver medalist still needed an additional international competition to be Rio eligible, which resulted in one of the stranger totals in recent memory for an active World Record holder.


  • Denis Ulanov (Kazakhstan) — 373kg
  • Seyedayoob Mousavijarahi (Iran) — 356kg
  • Ying Su (China) — 355kg

Men’s 94 kg


  • Vladimir Sedov (Kazakhstan) — 386kg
  • Ali Hashemi (Iran) — 374kg
  • Hanwoong Park (South Korea) — 368kg

Men’s 105 kg


  • Mohammadrez Barari (Iran) — 401kg
  • Ivan Efremov (Uzbekistan) — 394kg
  • Sardorbek Dusmurotov (Uzbekistan) — 386kg

Men’s + 105 kg


  • Shih-Chieh Chen (Taipei) — 432kg
  • Hojamuhammet Toychyyev (Turkmenistan) — 427kg
  • Bahador Moulaei (Iran) — 427kg

*Lifting as a very light 105+ at 110kg, Ruslan Nurudinov won the 105+ snatch with 191kg and clean & jerked 235kg to total 4th in the superheavyweight class. Look out for him to be a force to potentially challenge Ilya Ilyin at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Video below from All Things Gym.

The post 2016 Asian Weightlifting Championships Full Results appeared first on BarBend.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Alexandra LaChance on Fitness, Injury, & What She Didn’t Expect at the CrossFit Games

Pyrros Dimas to Hold Q&A Session at Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City

To be the best, learn from the best. Attendees at Next week’s US Olympic Trials/National Championships will have the chance to ask 3-time Olympic Champion (and 4-time Olympic medalist) Pyrros Dimas their questions in a live Q&A hosted by USA Weightlifting.

The “AMA/Ask Me Anything” event will take place on Thursday, May 5th, at 6:30pm local time in the warm-up room. The combo Trials/Nationals are being held at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center.

A Greek sporting hero, Dimas won Olympic gold in 1992, 1996, and 2000, and he earned a bronze in at the 2004 Athens Games while on home turf. Images of his winning lifts have become iconic even beyond weightlifting circles, and he now serves on the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board. He remains the most decorated weightlifting in Olympic history.

In a statement given to BarBend, USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews expressed excitement to have Dimas present at a pivotal time for the sport in America:

“Having one of the best Weightlifting athletes of all time, and an IWF Executive Board member, is a great honor for us. We are excited to welcome both Mr Dimas and a host of US Weightlifting Olympians. This will be a great weekend, and I hope people take the opportunity to learn from one of the best to grace the wooden square, especially as we remember our own Great lifter, Mr. Tommy Kono.”

Kono, who passed away Sunday at the age of 85, was among America’s most celebrated and accomplished strength athletes. He remains the only weightlifter to set world records across four different weight classes.

Also in attendance will be WWE wrestling star Seth Rollins, a noted weightlifting fan and occasional CrossFit/functional fitness competitor.

For more information on Trials/Nationals — which run from May 5-8 — visit USA Weightlifting’s portal for the event.

The post Pyrros Dimas to Hold Q&A Session at Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City appeared first on BarBend.

Justin Cotler on Coaching, GRID Champs, and the CrossFit Dynamix Superteam

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback: Chad Vaughn Sets American Record with 190kg Clean & Jerk

Weightlifter Profiles: Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Nurudinov (105 kg)

At the 2016 Asian Weightlifting Championships, BarBend weightlifting correspondent Mike Graber sat down with members of Uzbekistan’s National Team to discuss their training and goals. First up is Ruslan Nurudinov, one of the world’s top 105 kg lifters.

Ruslan Nurudinov

Name: Ruslan Nurudinov

Weight Class: 105kg (105+ for the 2016 Asian Championships)

Hometown: Hanibat, Uzbekistan

Languages Spoken: Uzbek, Russian, English

Education: College degree in Physical Education from Andijan State University

Athletic Accomplishments:

  • 2014 Senior World Silver Medalist – 105KG
  • 2013 Senior World Champion – 105KG
  • 2013 World University Champion – 105KG
  • 2012 & 2013 Asian Champion – 105KG
  • 2012 London Olympic Games 4th Place – 105KG
  • Set World Record in Clean & Jerk at 105KG – 239KG (526 lbs)

“When I set the World Record [at the 2014 World Weightlifting Championships], I was only thinking about the moment, I did not think about the other two lifters.” (David Bedzhanyan and Ilya Ilyin – who would re-break the record in their next two attempts)

How long have you been lifting, and how did you get started? 

I started in 1999 when I was 8 years old. I have brothers who were weightlifters and got me into it, they only competed at an amateur level.

Hobbies/Activities outside of Weightlifting?

I play a lot of Playstation 4 (PS4) games, my favorite video game is Clash of Clans.

Goals for Asian Championships? (Ruslan is competing as a 105+ for this competition)

I want to win, I would like to do 190kg (snatch) and 230kg (Clean & Jerk)

Goals for the Olympics?

I want to win that, too. It is not easier the second time around. Weightlifting is always hard.

Who do you consider your biggest competition?

Ilya Ilyin (Kazakhstan)

Training PRs?

  • Snatch — 205 KG (451 lbs)
  • Clean & Jerk – 240KG (528 lbs)
  • Jerk off Rack – 250KG (550 lbs)
  • Back Squat – 310 KG (682 lbs)
  • Front Squat – 275 KG (605 lbs)

Number of Training Sessions Per Week?

It varies based on how far away from competition, but 9 sessions per week on average throughout the year. Twice a week we attempt 100% and once a week we attempt 95% – 100%.

What does your diet consist of?

Mainly traditional Uzbek and Tartar foods, I like Plov a lot.

The post Weightlifter Profiles: Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Nurudinov (105 kg) appeared first on BarBend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Aleksey Lovchev Challenges IWF Suspension in Anti-Doping Meeting, Maintains Innocence

Being Weak Is Dangerous: Mid-Week Fitness Motivation

If anyone ever questions your commitment to getting stronger, it may be time to think very carefully about who you’re associating with. And with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some more of the best fitness quotes from the smartest — are at least wittiest — minds in strength sports, along with beautiful images captured by our good friend Preston Smith.

If you attended Wodapalooza 2016, you may have seen some of these performances firsthand, including showings from 4-time Fittest Man on Earth Rich Froning, reigning World’s Fittest Man Ben Smith, two-time CrossFit Games competitor Emily Bridgers, and Orange County’s own Kenny Leverich (who, by the way, may be the nicest person in competitive fitness). 

So enjoy the following bits of wisdom from Kai Greene, Bret Contreras, Mark Rippetoe, and Lou Ferrigno — their words won’t help you lift heavier, but they may provide the motivation to get to the gym in the first place.

BarBend Fitspo 1 BarBend Fitspo 3 BarBend Fitspo 5 BarBend Fitspo 6 BarBend Fitspo 6

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Nick Bloch Challenges Critics to a Head to Head “Grace”

A few weeks ago, Nick Bloch put the fitness community in a buzz when he completed the CrossFit workout Grace in under one minute. As far as we know, that’s a world record, which is all the more impressive given that Bloch had shoulder surgery in January. But as expected, performances like this cause the armchair coaches to come out in droves. For every person who is floored by Bloch’s performance, there’s another who claims it “doesn’t count” because it’s full of “bro reps.”

We got exhausted just reading the back and forth on social media and were curious to know Nick’s feelings on the subject. So, we called him up and asked him about the whole thing, and we also learned a little bit more about the 30 year old athlete, gym owner, and father.

Nick Bloch training during the 2015 NPGL season.

Nick Bloch training during the 2015 NPGL season.

What happened with your shoulder?

I was snatching heavy in November, I think I was going for 305. I caught it and as I stood it up I heard a loud pop in my right shoulder. I knew it was bad, so I took a break and did some of my own rehab. About a month and a half went, by and I still couldn’t overhead squat a PVC pipe or do a pull up because it hurt too bad. I finally went in and got it scoped in January. I’d completely torn my bicep tendon and my labrum.

What was your mentality going into the Open season given your injury?

My goal was to complete every workout, and when I saw that first workout, I planned on scaling it and just doing jumping pull-ups. But then I tried it, and it felt good. As weeks three and four came around, it was clear that making Regionals became more realistic.

How did you train while you were injured?

After the surgery, I could basically do anything except snatching and overhead squatting. I could clean and jerk, clean and jerk heavy, it was just wide overhead grip things that was pretty painful. Other than that, I was able to do everything normally.

Nick Bloch training

Nick Bloch training

What is your fitness like this year relative to last year?

I think my strength numbers are about the same. I’ve focused on my gymnastics and engine, especially in those 20-25 minute workouts. The long workout from last year’s regionals Regionals, with the GHD situps and overhead squats…that one crushed me. I’ve worked on increasing my overall capacity this year. I’ve re-tested workouts from the past and done better, so I’m feeling positive about that.

Did your CrossFit goals change after competing in GRID last year?

My focus definitely changed, and my training changed, just because the speed of things and the transition is so different. I think it’s made me better at CrossFit because [during GRID] sometimes you only have 30 seconds on the floor and you have to just go. Just having that mindset helped me mentally. Also, being around so many great athletes on the team pushed me. Overall, GRID made me way better.

Wes Kitts, Frederik Aegidius, and Nick Bloch of the New York Rhinos

Wes Kitts, Frederik Aegidius, and Nick Bloch of the New York Rhinos. Photo: Siem Photography

Is there a rivalry between CrossFit athletes and GRID athletes?

I’d love to see more of a cohesion between CrossFit and GRID. There are definitely athletes that cross over and do both, but I get the feeling that there’s a little bit of bad blood if an elite CrossFit athlete maybe does well at Regionals but doesn’t get signed to a team. But then we see in GRID that the stronger athletes really flourish. At the end of the day I think it’s jealousy on both parts. Think about being a Games athlete and feeling you’re not good enough to do GRID, but then a GRID athlete feels like they’re not good enough for CrossFit. If everyone could do a little bit of a better job of lifting each other up it would be better for both sports.

How did the “Grace” situation come about?

Whatever day it was, I had already worked out for two hours that morning. My coach wanted to see if I could do in under a minute, because I he knew I’d done it in 1:03 before. I just said, ‘shit, let’s go for it!’ So we set up my camera, and I just went extremely fast while trying to keep the technique there. It were a competition setting with judges, it may have been a little different since everything would have to be clean and perfect.

How do you react to the people who criticize your standards after you’ve done something extraordinary?

I try not to let that stuff bother me. I maybe read three or four comments, but if you’re going to put yourself out there on social media, you have to be prepared for people to say these things.

But, if anyone out there wants to come and go head to head with me, we’ll get two judges and see what happens!

Nick Bloch’s mom completing 16.1

Nick Bloch’s mom completing 16.1

What would you like to see change in the functional fitness community?

In 2016, pretty much everyone between the ages of 18 and 35 has heard about CrossFit, but what I’ve found in the town in I live in is that there’s still a stigma that it’s bad for you and that it’s unhealthy and that you’re going to get hurt if you do it. There’s tons of studies and journals that show the benefits of it, and I’ve seen the benefits of it. I own a gym and I see the benefits firsthand, even in my family…my mom has lost over 100 lbs through CrossFit.  To continue to hear negative comments even within the community is tough. At the end of the day I’ll do whatever I can to help somebody. All of the good things that happen just kind of get swept under the rug. Just keep it positive. That’s what it should be about.

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Max Aita Explains Abadjiev’s Bulgarian System. But Is Sustainable?

For as much that’s been discussed about the Bulgarian weightlifting system, there are hundreds of young impressionable lifters who have tried tackling it head on by maxing out their lifts daily and punching holes through drywall (probably). But for those who have actually trained under the system developed by coach Ivan Abadjiev in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, there’s a very different reality: The system only existed in a universe where weightlifting as sport and profession were inextricably linked.

At least, that’s what Max Aita — one of the relatively few Americans to train under Abadjiev — points out in the below video from Juggernaut Training Systems.

In the candid 15 minute sit down, Aita describes Abadjiev’s rise to Head Coach of the Bulgarian National Team — “He was challenged by other coaches in the country” and wanted to prove he could do better — along with the daily grind Bulgarian lifters faced under the intense system.

And while Aita discusses some of the less-than-romantic realities of the system — including an increased risk of injury and mental fatigue — there’s an important point missing from the video: The Bulgarian team’s history of dopping violations, and whether the system is even sustainable without the use of performance enhancers.

Some important takeaways from Aita’s video:

  • Abadjiev performaed gradual whittling of the Soviet system throughout the 80s and 90s into the well-known, simple components we now identify with the Bulgarian system: Emphasis on competition conditions, with the snatch, clean & jerk, and front squat as the basis for training every day.
  • Abadjiev’s system was partially self tested. When he was young, people trained just once or twice per week. While trianing two (or more) times/day seems like nothing new in today’s lifting climate, it was pretty revolutionary for his time.
  • The Bulgarians placed a heavy emphasis on competing, simulating training conditions at least once per week and competing around once per month throughout the year. 
  • At a certain point, Abadjiev may vary intensity of sessions, but deloads were done away with entirely.
  • The Bulgarian coach sought to create physical and mental surplus in his athletes so that the weights they lifted in competition were actually below their training maxes.
  • Technique was not emphasized to a high degree, and whatever technique lifters entered the system with – remember, these were top lifting prospects, not entirely green athletes — was pretty much what they would stick with.

Aita’s insights and experience are fascinating, to be sure, but there’s still plenty of controversy surrounding whether the Bulgarian system is sustainable for normal athletes — or for anyone not on a regime of anabolics and other performance enhancers. 

In Reddit timeline from user erpel_, the country’s history of doping violations is laid out from the 1980s-on. Most recently, the entire Bulgarian national team was banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics after 11 lifters tested positive for anabolic steroid stanozolol at a March 2015 training camp in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Bulgarian lifters have also left to lift for other countries in significant numbers — including current 58 kg World Record holder Boyanka Kostova, who now lifts for Azerbaijan — in some cases being paid handsomely to naturalize elsewhere. So it may be awhile before we see their nation’s team compete as a unit on the international stage, the presence of Bulgarian lifters is still felt at the biggest lifting competitions — though under other flags.

The post Max Aita Explains Abadjiev’s Bulgarian System. But Is Sustainable? appeared first on BarBend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Caitlin Yuhas on Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Take Up Strongman

It’s the American dream: Move to New York City to dance, transition shortly thereafter to lifting Atlas stones and kegs as quickly as possible.

So maybe Caitlin Yuhas’ story ISN’T completely typical. But the lightweight strongman (or is it “strongwoman”? more on that below) competitor believes we’re heading for a new golden age in her sport, and her story showcases just one path from interest newbie to increasingly seasoned competitor. And in a sport with some (at least partially deserved) stereotypes where behemoth competitors get far and away the most coverage, athletes like Caitlin are going a long way to showcase how athletes of all shapes, sizes, and athletic backgrounds can learn and succeed in strongman.
Caitlin Yuhas

We sat down with Caitlin to discuss the rapid growth in strongman, her training leading up to competitions, and how more people can find and learn the sport she now calls her own (dancing background not required).

1. Tell us a little about your athletic background. How did you end up finding strongman/strongwoman? Is it sexist to refer to it as one or the other?!

Haha, let’s get right to that last question. I can’t speak for my fellow female competitors, but I have no preference between Strongman and Strongwoman. Honestly, I find “Strongman” is more widely recognized in everyday conversation, so that’s usually how I refer to my sport (even though I am quite obviously a strong woman). I’m sure there are those who disagree with me, but isn’t it more fun to focus on the lifting than the semantics?

I grew up in the Midwest and played a few team sports as a kid (basketball, softball, soccer for ten years). I’ve also been dancing since I was a toddler, and still freelance with some companies in New York. Dancing is what originally brought me to the city, in fact — and like many of my peers in that field I turned to the fitness industry for additional income, teaching experience and education. I love movement and anatomy, so it was a natural fit for me — but at this time I had never touched a barbell, never lifted any serious weight (other than bodies onstage, haha).

So there I was, a personal trainer at one of the many Equinox locations in Manhattan, when I got curious about powerlifting (I also had several colleagues tell me I’d be a decent lifter based on my build). I dabbled in that for awhile and really enjoyed the static lifts, but was itching for something a little more dynamic…and then I heard some stories about my fellow trainer Chad Canter (now my coach and one of my best friends) who competed in Strongman. Well, that seemed pretty damn cool to me, so I politely pestered him until he agreed to give me a session. After that first hour, I was HOOKED.

I think we did farmer carries, tire flips and stones…all puny weights compared to what I’m putting up now, but it was glorious. I quickly upped my training from once a week, to twice, to three times a week…hopped into the open lightweight division of my first competition four months later and never looked back.

2. How long have you been competing? Are you competing primarily in strongman now, or do you also compete in other strength sports?

My first competition was April 2014, so it’s been a little over two years and I have about 15 events under my belt. Right now I’m only competing in Strongman specifically, but I’m open to other strength sports. I recently started incorporating Olympic lifts into my training, and I love them! I could definitely see myself competing in that arena at some point. I also teach at an obstacle race-inspired fitness studio in Manhattan, so those events make their way onto my calendar as well.

3. What does your training look like on a weekly basis? How often are you training sport-specific movements and lifts compared to barbell or more “mainstream” strength movements?

Strength-wise, I hit all the major lifts in a given week: deadlifts (sometime deficits, sometimes trap bar), front/back squats, overhead pressing (both barbell and axle or log), and bench press. I also work snatches, overhead squats, and clean & jerk complexes when they’re called for. And yes, our team carves out time for sport-specific events each week, moving implements like farmer carries, yoke, sandbag, etc. and loading events like Atlas stones.

I don’t train every event EVERY week, that would be tough to sustain! Chad and I will craft my event days based on what competition I’m prepping for, or he’ll rotate me through different implements when I’m in off-season mode. It pays to be well-rounded.

4. What role does conditioning play in your sport, and how do you factor that into your training?

Conditioning has been crucial to my growth and success in this sport; at the end of the day, the goal in Strongman is to move the heaviest object the fastest. Yes, we do max effort lifts too, but the bread and butter of our sport is “ABC for reps in a minute” or “move XYZ, fastest time wins.” To prepare for these specific demands, I have a set weekly cardio program (for me, a mix of steady state walks/swims, circuits and interval sprints). Chad also sprinkles timed sets and shortened rest periods into my lifting routine, which makes things pretty spicy.

5. Strongman gets a good bit of coverage as far as the “men” go — there are big names like Hafthor Brjonsson and Eddie Hall you see at big events. In your eyes, what’s the climate of the sport for women, and where do you think it’s headed?

I think it’s a great time to be a strongwoman — from an influx of female-only competitions to pro card opportunities (at last!), there are more and more ways for women to make an impact on the sport. I’m also happy to see that judging and scoring is becoming just as rigorous with the women as it is with the men. I used to see chicks get away with some craaazy things at regional shows (especially on pressing events) because judges were “taking it easy” on them, which is just silly. As for me, even though I’m a lightweight competitor I’m keeping a close eye on our elite middleweight females (specifically the top four from the Arnold this year: Kaitlin Burgess, Dani Schwalbe, Kimberly Lawrance and Liefia Ingalls).

These Amazons are continuously setting the bar higher for me: They’re fast, efficient movers and their strength is insane (just take a look at any of their lift totals, it’s impressive stuff). If I can mold myself into a slightly smaller version of any/all of them, I’ll be very pleased.

6. What are some common misconceptions about the sport?

The whole “huge Neanderthal” thing is a stereotype for a reason (because hello, there are some massive dudes and ladies in this sport! haha)…but on an American level, elite strongmen and women are starting to look and train differently (at least the ones I’ve had the pleasure of meeting). There’s a sinewy-ness to them now, like racehorses…all the same power and strength but without the excess bulk. More efficiency everywhere: in physique, in programming, in performance.

And related to what I mentioned before about conditioning…the whole “I’m a strongman so I don’t do cardio” argument is ridiculous now for anyone who wants to be at the head of the pack. Speed and endurance are as important as brute force. Also, Atlas stones (when loaded correctly) will not hurt your back! Triple extension people, triple extension!

7. Say someone is interested in getting involved with strongman. It doesn’t seem like the most accessible thing, or at least it’s not offered at every gym. What are some resources people can turn to to learn?

There are a lot more Strongman-friendly facilities than people think, actually! It’s pretty cool to see how many spaces expand each year to cater to the athletes (even if it means just purchasing a yoke or a set of farmer handles). Here are a few organizations/websites that I would recommend for those interested in training/competing/learning more about the sport:

Strongman Corporation

United States Strongman

Team PowerNYC (my team)

NY Strong (great gym in upstate NY)

The post Caitlin Yuhas on Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Take Up Strongman appeared first on BarBend.

Get 1% Better: Turkish Get-ups

The Turks sure know about healthy shoulders and core. In fact, the Turkish get-up is one of my favorite full-body exercises for improving body awareness, control, and overall fitness. And it can be used in a variety of circumstances.

Many of us have encountered the TGU in warm-ups or introductory classes. But it’s worth revisiting, even for advanced athletes looking to vary their training. Some important things to remember when revisiting this movement:

1. Make sure to go through each step to take full advantage of this awesome move. The focus is to look up at the bell (when using a kettlebell, the generally preferred weight element) and keep your shoulder “packed.” That means an engaged core, arm, and shoulder throughout the entirety of the movement, keeping tension pointed upward through the arm and to the bell.

2. In the 1% principle, we are searching for small changes to your movement to improve your overall health and fitness. The Turkish get-up, when performed with intention, can be one of the best ways to ensure your shoulders are strong through a vital range of motion. Don’t skimp on the range or “short” reps when performing these.

3. Even if you’re an experienced exerciser, it’s good to start with the basics before adding more loading. Start with a shoe on your fist for balance before progressing to weight. I do about three unweighted reps per arm, then three reps per arm with moderate weight to warm up before my workouts three times a week. It really helps wake up the whole body!

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Powerlifting Weight Classes Across Federations (Infographic)

To call powerlifting a divided sport may be an understatement: While the sport and its athlete base are growing, and though the IPF is the oldest and most prominent governing body, there are a dozen or more powerlifting federations that sanction and hold meets around the globe. With that sort of spread, there are numerous weight categorizations for athletes, along with different age divisions, equipment and drug testing protocols, etc.

The IPF set its current weight class structure for men and women in 2011, which we’ve outlined in the infographic below. Additionally, several other prominent organizations like the UPA still use an older or expanded weight category breakdown that we’ve included in the bottom half of the graphic.

Powerlifting Weight Classes

It’s also worth highlighting the common breakdown the IPF uses for age categories:

  • Sub-junior (18 and under)
  • Junior (19-23)
  • Open (24-39)
  • Masters 1 (40-49)
  • Master 2 (50-59)
  • Masters 3 (60-69)
  • Masters 4 (70+)

Full text of the graphic below:

With numerous local and international governing bodies, powerlifting doesn’t have a unified weight class system across all federations. The most prominent international powerlifting body is the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), which updated its weight classes to the below in 2011. 


53 kg (Sub-Junior/Junior only)*

59 kg

66 kg

74 kg

83 kg

93 kg

105 kg

120 kg

120 kg+


43 kg (Sub-Junior/Junior only)*

47 kg

52 kg

57 kg

63 kg

72 kg

84 kg

84 kg+

*Sub-Junior is generally15-18 years old, Junior is generally 19-23 years old

Several federations use variations on the below weight class categorizations, including the UPA (with some exceptions noted below). 


52 kg

56 kg

60 kg

67.5 kg

75 kg

82.5 kg

90 kg

100 kg

110 kg

125 kg (some federations use 125+ as the heaviest class)

140 kg



40kg (in some federations)

44 kg (not in UPA)

48 kg

52 kg

56 kg

60 kg

67.5 kg

75 kg

82.5 kg

90 kg

90 kg+

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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Best Moments from the 2015 CrossFit Games Behind the Scenes

Weightlifter Nathan Damron’s Crazy Strength Gains from Ages 13 to 19

The Shirtless Chef Presents: Savory Marinara Meatballs

Shirtless Chef Andre Crews takes us through the most intense protein-packed recipe yet: Savory Marinara Meatballs that put an Italian restaurant’s subpar offering to shame.

(For more from Andre, make sure to follow him on Instagram and check out his channel on YouTube.)

2 lbs 80/20 ground beef
1 egg
2 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz marinara sauce
8 oz BBQ sauce
4 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon dill weed
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon paprika

Optional: 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese


1. Pour olive oil into empty crock pot ensuring the entire surface is lightly coated in the oil

2. Place ground beef, egg, and all seasonings into big mixing bowl. Using hands mix together and start to form 1-2 inch diameter balls

3. Place balls into crock pot making sure there’s a little space between each

4. Pour all sauces into a bowl and stir until mixed completely. Pour into crock pot on top of meatballs

5. Optional: sprinkle Parmesan on top

6. Cover crock pot and put on high for 1 hour

7. Ensure meatballs are cooked all the way through (no red). Depending on your crock pot’s power output, you may need an additional 30 minutes on high.

8. Serve and enjoy!

Ideas for serving

1. On whole grain hoagie
2. With quinoa or whole grain pasta
3. With a lightly dressed arugula salad
4. Alone and naked (the meatballs, not you!)

The post The Shirtless Chef Presents: Savory Marinara Meatballs appeared first on BarBend.

Functional Range Conditioning and the Athlete’s Body: An Interview with Dr. Andreo Spina

Are you mobile enough to squat, snatch, thruster, run, and move freely? Are you able to actually control your body throughout all ranges of motion? According to at least one increasingly popular school of thought, the answer is probably “no.”

Last weekend, Chris Espinal and I sat down with Dr. Andreo (“Dre”) Spina, Creator and CEO of Functional Anatomy Seminars and a movement coach to MLB, NHL, and professional athletes. We discussed what Dr. Spina feels is the true meaning of what it means to be mobile. Through his interpretation of the scientific research, Spina created a “comprehensive joint training system” and “thought process” for coaches to help all athletes and humans acquire and maintain:

  1. Functional Mobility: Articular (joint) strength and neuromuscular control.
  2. Articular Resilience: Increase the tissue load bearing capacity, leading to greater injury resilience.
  3. Articular Health and Resilience: Overall joint health throughout the full ROM while demonstrating full control with the neuromuscular and muscular systems.

Spina says it’s “not the movement you’re training,” and the pattern of movement can change every time your body does it. He encourages identifying and focusing on prerequisites for performing and sustaining those ranges of motion before practicing those patterns over and over again. He believes identifying and working toward these prerequisites decreases the likelihood of injury in the short and long term.

In the video below, Dr. Spina talks about why most weightlifters, powerlifters, and competitive fitness athletes are (according to him) destroying their joints and long term health, along with and what they need to think about before crawling back under the barbell.

Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Spina’s thoughts? Are athletes — especially lifters — ignoring basic movement patterns and functional structures at the expense of their joint health? Have you taken a Functional Range Conditioning course, and what did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Weightlifting Legend, 3-Time Olympic Medalist Tommy Kono Dies at 85

Sunday, April 24, 2016

USA Weightlifting Made a Big Leadership Change No One Is Talking About

On February 13th of this year, the USA Weightlifting (USAW) Board of Directors voted to remove CJ Stockel as chairman of the board (without cause) and elected Ursula Papandrea to fill the leadership position for the balance of the year. Two months later, and it’s almost impossible to find any public discussion on the significance of this change. I reached out to current leaders within USA Weightlifting to gather their side of the story.

Ursula Papandrea responded: “The removal was done without cause pursuant to USAW bylaws which allow for either with cause and a lower requisite vote, or without cause and a required 7 of 9 vote, we did it based on the latter. So there is no information to divulge. I can tell you that it was done with USOC legal counsel present.”

Phil Andrews, USA Weightlifting’s newly announced CEO, declined to comment.

CJ Stockel did not respond to my request for a comment.

Ursula Papandrea is the new Chair of USA Weightlifting.

Ursula Papandrea is the new Chair of USA Weightlifting.

I believe everything in Papandrea’s statement to be true, and her statement is very much in line with the bylaws of USA Weightlifting. She made no indications that this stemmed from any wrongdoing of the board under Stockel’s chairmanship or by Stockel himself. However, Stockel’s tenure was not without controversy. During Stockel’s tenure, as one complaint covers: the USAW Board of Directors placed an allegedly ineligible athlete (Sarah Robles) on the 2015 Senior World Team instead of Caitlin Hogan, an athlete who had qualified as an alternate to the team through USAW Qualifying Procedures.

2015 World Championships Selection Debate

Sean Waxman, Hogan’s coach, said in a telephone interview this week, “[I]f it was not for our love of the sport of weightlifting in America we would have proceeded with our lawsuit. USAW had no leverage in this situation, however we knew that winning a lawsuit would not get Caitlin on the world team. It would only cause Sarah (Robles) not to lift. Due to timing, the team would not have been able to name a replacement and would have been shorthanded, and that is not what we are about.”

Waxman’s Gym ended their grievance before the World Weightlifting Championships, and the full team — with Robles — competed. With Sarah Robles on Team USA, the Americans scored 109 team points, finishing in 14th place and earning three Olympic spots for US female lifters. Sarah personally had the highest place finish of any American woman with her 6th place finish in the 75+KG weight class.

The only people who know exactly what happened on February 13th are the USAW members of the board and their legal representation, and it’s impossible to definitively say Stockel’s replacement stemmed from the events surrounding World Championship Selection. But the fact remains that USA Weightlifting now has new leadership at the helm, and that has important implications for the sport’s future in America and potentially beyond.

The Influence of a Progressive Forward Leadership

At this point, it is time to look ahead. As USAW grows to a membership base of 25,000 and counting, the organization is going in a new and uncharted direction. Regardless of how Papandrea performs as Chairwoman of the Board, she will be armed with a perspective new to her title. In addition to competing on multiple Senior World Teams for the USA and earning the title of Senior International Coach, Papandrea will be the first woman to hold the position of Chair of the Board of American Weightlifting.

That alone makes me (and hopefully many weightlifting fans) excited. Weightlifting has, traditionally speaking, been geared towards men. The first Weightlifting World Championships for women was not held until 1987, and woman could not compete in Weightlifting at the Olympics until 2000. And I believe American Weightlifting has been a driving force towards the equality of the sexes in this sport. The 1987 Woman’s World Championships were held in Daytona Beach, FL, where Dr. Karyn Marshall became the first female American World Champion.

Papandrea’s ascension is not unique just to USAW; she will join a handful of women who hold leadership positions in their weightlifting federations around the globe. These leaders include:

  • E. Yuriko Koike – President, Japanese Weightlifting Association
  • Eva Helgesson – President, Swedish Weightlifting Federation

In comparison, 98 federations around the world sent athletes to the Senior World Championships in 2014 and/or 2015. The athletes had a breakdown of roughly 55% men and 45% woman, which makes sense at least on paper, as there are 8 men’s weight categories and 7 woman’s categories. At the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the Executive Leadership Group consists of 21 members, with one being female.

That IWF Executive Board Member is Ms. Moira J. Lassen, CAE. When asked for her comment on Papandrea’s position, Lassen had the following to say: “Leaders, such as Ursula, will drive the most formidable transformation of our sport. The experiences young female athletes have on the competition platform and the training hall prepares them mentally for the board room. Their tactical and savvy leadership styles will benefit our sport greatly making it more a dynamic, relevant and diverse environment.”

My hope is that growing gender balance between male and female lifters will lead to more equal representation in the ranks of coaches and federation officials as athletes make the transition from competitors to other roles.

Lassen, who is the chairperson of the IWF’s Woman’s Commission, continues: “We know gender equity is not a women’s issue, it is a good governance issue and we are excited to have the USAW under the leadership of Ursula to assist in reaching the Olympic Agenda 2020 objectives.”

It’s important to keep in mind that American Weightlifting is still far from the top echelon of countries on the international weightlifting stage. And getting us there will take time and dedicated effort from a variety of camps. But as Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein have been apocryphally quoted, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to come out different.” I would welcome either thinker to USA Weightlifting.

It is my hope that recent personnel shifts indicate the beginning of a forward thinking USA Weightlifting, one rooted in forward progress as opposed to past principles. Ursula Papandrea has my utmost respect as a coach, and I believe her athletic career speaks for itself. I — and many fans of USA Weightlifting — hope she is able to bring fresh ideas as our sport grows in reach and popularity within the United States.

But no pressure.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Building Go Muscles: Power Athlete HQ and the F%ck Thigh Gaps Movement

Flashback Friday: When Becca Day Cleaned 315 pounds

The Growing Disconnect Between CrossFit Athletes and Coaches

Sixteen years after was launched, people still find themselves walking into a CrossFit gym for the first time. But let’s be real — 16 years is a long time, and things have changed quite a bit. When CrossFit first became popular, everyone’s visit or experience was pretty similar at any box you went to. Maybe you were a curious athlete, or perhaps you were just bored and wanted to try something different and new. Either way, you showed up, eager to learn, and your coach was eager to coach. The relationship between coach and athlete was established in that first meeting and ultimately created the backbone of each gym. Sixty minutes later, you’re fit as shit! Okay, not quite, but you just got a taste of the Kool-Aid and you’re all in. Dirty, brutally hard, community driven, CrossFit.

MikeRamierez (4 of 4)

Fast forward to today. Each box has a different schtick than the box located 87 steps down the block. As coaches, we’ve had 16 years to gain knowledge and experience. Some of us have 5-10 certifications, years of licensing and education, and over tens of thousands of hours of coaching and experience. Yet somehow, coaches are now managing classes versus actually coaching classes. There is less and less trust in the coaching staff because it’s all about the bottom line, which means there’s less and less care from coaches to actually improve athletes.

Additionally, athletes aren’t looking to commit…instead they’re seeking loyalty rewards from Groupon for buying every CrossFit promo available. They’re searching for a “free week” at such and such gym and have exhausted all avenues of free fitness possible, from CrossFit to yoga to trapezing. All of this exposure means athletes walk into a box and think they know everything that has to do with everything about fitness.

MikeRamierez (2 of 4)

Photos courtesy of Siem Photography

These changes have created a disconnect between athletes and coaches that has come on full force like the dark side, and we’re all feeling the strain.

Let’s look at it this way. As a coach we expect any of the following three types of athletes to walk into any given class:

-The 365, 24/7 CrossFit “fiend”

-The “I just want to get a good workout” athlete

-The “Ummmm, no thanks I do my own thing” #competitor

Thankfully, athletes are still crowding gyms at all times of the day and are eager to get better and improve themselves. Their work ethic and motivation is ridiculous, but no matter which category athletes fall in, they all have one thing in common: they need to be coached! No matter how long you’ve been exercising or what style of athlete you are, at some point you need coaching and you will continue to always need coaching. This includes those coming from others gyms or those with advanced athletic backgrounds…yes, even you reading this. My favorite common bullshit line I hear a lot is, “Hey, yeah…I’ve been CrossFitting for like two years. I’m good don’t worry.”

MikeRamierez (3 of 4)

Really bud? Your atrocious rounded back and catch on your power clean says otherwise.

Attitudes have changed, and let’s be real — people are beyond sensitive now. Coaches don’t want to look bad or not know something, and they get super butt hurt if they’re upstaged. Athletes can’t be seen being coached because, oh man, that must mean you suck if the coach is actually helping you out. It’s a ridiculous and vicious cycle that has spread like wild.

How do we get back to the connected relationship that built the house of functional fitness, you ask? Simple. Set a standard. Give a shit — that goes for coaches and athletes.

For athletes of any type, find comfort and confidence in your coach. The relationship must be established by the coach, hopefully right when you walk into the door for the first time. That said, if you don’t know something but need help, go fuckin’ ask your coach! We often have a floor full of athletes, and while it’s our job to pay attention and know each athlete individually, we only have two eyes. Help us help you and just ask!

MikeRamierez (1 of 4)

Also, like anything else you invest in, do your homework before joining a box. Be prepared to possibly bounce around until you find the right combination of support and knowledge from your coaches. Any coach on the floor should be able to assist you during class…but if you feel a certain coach can impact or help you reach your goals, reach out!

Now coaches, how do we gain the people’s trust back? Take pride in stepping on the floor and coaching your athletes from top to bottom. Linda, the wealthy gold digger in class is scared to Olympic Lift, but make sure that when she does, you coach her enough to actually feel comfortable and safe. Be sure to explain to the competitive athlete that his KB swings aren’t being done wrong, but they can be so much more efficient which in turn will help him perform overall better in his upcoming competition. Be patient with the athlete who on a daily basis, talks with you about percentages, different techniques, and mobility. Just like you’re mother in law, they’ll always be there no matter what, so just deal.

So next class you walk into, both athlete and coach reading this, have a different mind set. Whether or not you can barely think from your crazy day, just let loose and work. Respect each other and listen to each other, and we’ll all build the connection we need to keep the magic of CrossFit alive and accomplish all of our goals.

Mike Ramirez is a coach at Reebok CrossFit 5th Avenue in New York City.  

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

The post The Growing Disconnect Between CrossFit Athletes and Coaches appeared first on BarBend.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

EBOOST Founder Josh Taekman Discusses NYCs Changing Fitness Scene

Josh Taekman founded EBOOST in 2007, and he’s been involved in the greater health & wellness space for the better part of two decades. But while Josh has seen trends come and grow on the international level, his best perspective has been rooted firmly in NYC, his company’s base of operations and the city he calls home.

We sat down with Taekman to talk supplements, fitness trends, and whether the boutique strength and conditioning concepts we see today have any chance of sticking around.

Josh Taekman EBOOST Founder

Josh Taekman EBOOST Founder

1. You’ve been in the health and wellness industry for nearly a decade. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen as far as public perception of fitness?

I think the biggest change I have seen is on two fronts.

1) The consciousness and efforts consumers are making to be aware of the “WHATS INSIDE” the food and beverage they consume. I have also seen a huge shift in consumers desire to seek out “BETTER FOR YOU” in food, beverage and trends whether it is gluten free, paleo, vegan, dairy free, plant based, non GMO, replacing milk with almond milk or coconut milk, replacing peanut butter with almond butter, you name it — they’re countless. I AM impressed with how far and wide these new trends are spreading across the country from Whole Foods to Walmart to corporate offices all the way into elementary schools. Ironically we (Americans) are the most obese nation and at the same time the largest consumer of “health food.”

2) The second biggest change I have seen is the mainstream appeal and consumption of intensive fitness training (P90x, HIIT, bootcamp, CrossFit, spinning, obstacle racing, rowing, pilates, etc.). Consumers are challenging themselves and getting addicted to hardcore fitness regimes and are comfortable paying $25-$35 a class where in the past the average monthly gym fee was $45-$75 and there were few to no fitness classes where you paid by the class. This trend has created a whole new ecosystem and evolution in fitness and new workout systems.

2. What’s changed most about the NYC fitness scene? Have these changes brought challenges or opportunities for your company?

The NYC fitness scene is exploding with new fitness concepts which are driving a lot of the national fitness trends, SoulCycle being the best example of setting a new trend. Everyday we are seeing new fitness concepts and studios pop up with a unique (or claimed unique) spin on fitness and training (Aerospace, Y7, AKT, City Row, MFF, BFX Studios, As One, Bodyspace Fitness). All of these new studios and the commitment consumers are making to their fitness regime and results they are looking for create nothing but opportunities for companies like EBOOST and connecting with this fitness community.

3. Has the proliferation of “boutique” fitness studios helped or hurt the city’s fitness sector?

I firmly believe it has only helped create more opportunities for trainers and fitness experts to create business opportunities whether through opening their own studio or building a meaningful client base. I also believe all of these new concepts are generating so much publicity and rabid  word of mouth that’s it’s driving more participation. But the key driver is the high frequency of participation from each consumer and their desire to have a steady mix of different workouts and visiting multiple studios a week. I believe this is not only expanding the fitness sector but also driving boutique media companies like Well & Good, The Sweat Life, and healthier casual dining options (more salad concepts, for example). It has also created a whole new brand of Instagram fitness celebrities.

4. What’s the biggest misconception people have about supplement companies?

I believe there is a lot of baggage around what the old perception of supplement companies and supplement products which often got labeled as Pixie Dust, Magical Fat Loss pills, or a product a big muscle head would take. I believe the consumers perception is shifting as you are seeing more science, more education on ingredients, certifications like vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, and organic. I also think what has helped shift perceptions the most are all these dynamic new supplement companies telling a much better story about the quality of the product, the efficacy, addressing specific needs, and most importantly the products are designed much better and retailers are giving more shelf space for these new modern supplements. Also, the internet has created a level playing field for all companies where consumers can not only get educated they are motivated by consumer ratings and reviews of products. It has also created a lower barrier to enter so you see a huge influx of great new supplement companies and products entering into the fray.

5. You guys currently produce energy shots, energy powders, and greens powder. Anything else in the pipeline? Do you ever get requests about protein from strength athletes?

Yes, we have those products as well as a preworkout called POW. Our fans and users ask us everyday to expand the line into protein, so we are currently working on a protein product and are deep in the lab working on an interesting line of new things. These include some product and ingredient combos we don’t believe anyone has ever seen before.

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At the Asian Weightlifting Championships Host Uzbekistan Poised for Greatness

Should Athletes Use GoFundMe for Competitions?

Before we dive into a controversial subject, we’ll say this: No two people share the exact same circumstances, and no two people face the same obstacles to success, their dreams, or whatever. That being said, is it okay for athletes to use crowd funding platforms (like GoFundMe) to raise money for competition costs?

If you’re actively following lifters, CrossFit athletes, or really any group in the ranks of amateur-but-competitive athlete, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of campaigns raising money for:

  • Travel to such and such competition.
  • A trip to train under such and such coach.
  • New gear/physical therapy sessions/upkeep costs for staying elite in sports that take a demanding physical toll.

Use of GoFundMe is not something unique to strength athletes, but it is perhaps more pronounced than in other categories of sport. And it really comes down to money: Olympic prospects may be struggling to make ends meet, but even the lowest paid athlete on an MLB, NHL, NFL, or NBA roster is generally clearing well into the six figures.

In the United States, the top weightlifters compete for relatively microscopic prize pools compared to what some “professional” athletes can make in a single game. So it’s entirely possible to among the best and strongest at what you do, but make very little money off it. If staying the best requires a nearly full-time pursuit of training and recovery, that means strength athletes are often faced with the choice of training full time and foregoing more gainful employment, or balancing a job that could potentially take time and energy away from getting better.

And as a midway point in that cycle, many strength athletes turn to crowd funding, usually to cover the cost of competition trips (some very expensive and international), rehab from injury, or other sport-related expenses.

The financial/training balance is not something unique to the United States or its strength athletes. Andy Bolton — one of the world’s most celebrated powerlifters and for a time the undisputed deadlift king — worked as a delivery driver during his prime competition years. He may have been the first person to deadlift 1,000 pounds, but those impressive lifts didn’t guarantee a steady string of income in between comps. And while some countries run organized strength sport programs that provide athlete stipends, they’re often inconsistent and tied very closely to recent performances. Miss a few lifts when it counts, and your income may be diminished greatly.

And it’s worth mentioning that while the CrossFit Games have become a heavily-publicized, well-watched event that pay out massive cash prizes to the top athletes, it’s only the tippy-top of the best who are seeing big prize windfalls. Qualifying for Regionals is harder than ever; paying for it is an even bigger challenge for some competitors. While the NPGL has endeavored to provide new opportunities for fitness/strength athletes to “go pro” and make more consistent paychecks, that dream is still very much in its nascent stages with no guarantee of success.

All that being said, competing in these sports — with the exception, perhaps, of Soviet-era feeder programs — is a choice. Sports like weightlifting, powerlifting, and competitive fitness don’t have farm teams or minor league structures like the major sports (and to be fair, only the very best in those leagues will see Ferrari-sized paychecks anyway). High-paying sponsorships are far from guaranteed. People generally know what they’re getting into when they decide they want to try to pick up heavier things or move weight faster than anyone else. 

So, we want to hear your thoughts:

When the financial demands of becoming or staying competitive become too great, is it okay for these athletes to ask the public for help? Is it a constructive use of social media followings, or just asking for a handout? 


Have you supported a strength athlete’s crowdfunding campaign before, and if so, why? And if you would refuse to do so on principal, why?

We want to hear your thoughts in the comments. Because there are more than enough to go around on Instagram.

The post Should Athletes Use GoFundMe for Competitions? appeared first on BarBend.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Attention New Yorkers: Weightlifting (and Mattie Rogers) Are Coming to Times Square

Mattie Rogers Times Square

Mattie Rogers Headed to Times Square

In an email blast on April 20th, USA Weightlifting announced Mattie Rogers will be joining a roster of other Olympians and Olympic hopefuls in a sports demonstration/meet & greet to mark 100 days until the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Olympic champions Nastia Liukin (gymnastics), Jordan Burroughs (wrestling), and David Boudia (diving) will headline the athlete ambassadors, and The Band Perry will perform live for those in attendance. The event — free and open to the public — will take place on April 27th from 2-8pm in New York City’s Times Square.

According to the blast, Rogers will be signing autographs and putting on a lifting demo with local Youth lifters starting around 4:25pm. 

Rogers (a 69 kg lifter) isn’t an Olympian yet; the only US weightlifter who has officially earned her spot on the 2016 Olympic team is Jenny Arthur (75 kg). Rogers – just 20 years old – has a shot at claiming on of USA Weightlifting’s additional two female spots depending on her performance at this year’s Olympic trials (and several other factors).

The U.S. men have yet to earn a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in weightlifting.

Rogers is a multi-time Junior and Senior American Record holder across several weight classes. She’s one of weightlifting’s most popular American athletes and has amassed a huge following on social media. In addition, several of her videos — including one unfortunate incident involving a missed block snatch and glass windows — have gone viral via mainstream news outlets.

For fans of Rogers and American weightlifting, this could be a fun event. However, fan boys and girls beware: As any self-respecting New Yorker will tell you, Times Square in April is like its own circle of hell, and 4-6pm is peak tourist time. While it might be tempting to skip out of work an hour early to see Mattie lift, we’d recommend waiting a week and catching her lifts at Olympic trials the following week, which should be streamed on NBC’s app.

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Watch Mikhail Koklyaev One-Arm Snatch 242 Pounds

Mikhail Koklyaev is one of history’s most impressive cross-sport strength athletes. He’s been a Russian Champion weightlifter, World’s Strongest Man medalist, Strongman Champions League winner, 2200+ lb raw powerlifter, and multi-time podium finisher at the Arnold Strongman Classic. But he might be best known for his just plain freaky feats of strength caught on camera, like this 110 kilo/242 pound ONE HANDED snatch from 2008. 

Impressive, but if you read below, it’s still not the most in history.

To be fair, it’s not as if Mikhail was a powerlifter who decided to sling some weight overhead for a change. He got his start in weightlifting and was a world-class superheavyweight, with a snatch best of 210 kg and a clean & jerk best of 250 kg.

He also has one of the heaviest verified jerks of all time, with 270 kilograms lifted on camera (though from the back rack — still historically impressive either way).

(There’s a lot of speculation surrounding what kept him from competing more frequently on the international stage, and Koklyaev gave some of his side of the story in a 2015 interview with Dmitry Klokov, embedded at the bottom of this article.)

Koklyaev’s freaky one-armed athleticism was also on display at the 2015 Arnold Classic, where he attempted to break Charles Rigoulot’s 90-year-old record in the one armed/one handed snatch. Rogue built a special replica bar for the attempt, but after several valiant efforts, Koklyaev was unable to secure the 254 lb bar overhead to best Rigoulot’s lift (though he did make the 220 lb warmup bar look pretty manageable).

To be fair, Rigoulot was training for the one-armed snatch at a time when single arm lifts were one of the primary disciplines of weightlifting, and his form seemed pretty locked in. The rare, 20s-era video below shows some pretty outstanding mobility, timing, and speed from the 1924 Olympic gold medalist, even with the early 20th-century frame rate.

Koklyaev is 37, and while we’re pretty sure he’s got some strong years ahead of him, his prime competition years (across the range of strength sports he excelled in) are behind him. In late 2014, the Russian strength legend put together his own highlight reel from an international strength career that spanned over a decade and no less than three distinct sports — not to mention some weird no-hands squats and three-finger deadlifts just for the love of the game.

Here’s that aforementioned interview between Klokov and Koklyaev. H/t to AllThingsGym for giving it and many of Klokov’s other “On Par” interviews in the spotlight.

The post Watch Mikhail Koklyaev One-Arm Snatch 242 Pounds appeared first on BarBend.

Fight the Couch Potato Within: Mid-Week Lifting Motivation

Fitspo Image Quote 1

Straight from the mouths of powerlifting champs Stian Walgermo and Brett Gibbs, this week’s images are no-nonsense. Honestly, looking at pictures of fit people working out won’t get you a single step closer to getting stronger yourself — but maybe it’ll convince you to take the step yourself?

Seriously, we’re not psychologists, or even psychology majors. But the guys who first spoke these words are generally much, much stronger than us, so there are probably lots of things they know that we don’t. So do us all a favor and take their advice; your lifting buddies and max lifts will both thank you.

Fitspo Image Quote 3

Fitspo Image Quote
Fitspo Image Quote 2

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

GRID Leagues D.C. Brawlers Sign Jeff Evans and Alexandra LaChance

Need More Strongman? 3 Arnold Classic Festivals to Come in 2016

If you’re a fan of pro strongman, finding quality coverage can be tough. Competitions seem few and far between, and media coverage isn’t as readily available when compared to some other strength sports. (We didn’t appreciate ESPN’s World’s Strongest Man coverage nearly enough back in the mid-2000s.)

Arnold Classic International

Fortunately, there are some great strongman events remaining in 2016, and three of them are international offshoots of the Arnold Classic sports festival. The Arnold festivals have already hosted some great strongman comps this year, including the main festival in Columbus (won by Zydrunas Savickas) and international events in Australia and Brazil (where Hafthor Bjornsson emerged victories both times).

Below are the three remaining Arnold Classic international competitions in 2016. While the schedule for Arnold Classic Africa is already posted and available, a specific list of events and times isn’t up yet for the Asia and Europe iterations.

  • Arnold Classic Africa, May 27-29, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Pro strongman events on May 28th starting at 9am and going through until 9pm.
    • Car Deadlift (9am)
      Bag Carry (10:30am)
      Car Walk (1:30pm)
      Truck Pull (4pm)
      Dumbbell for Reps (8pm)
      Prizes awarded (9pm)
  • Arnold Classic Asia, August 19-21, Asia World Expo, Hong Kong
    • No additional venue or strongman-specific information available at this time.
  • Arnold Classic Europe Expo, September 23-25, Fira Barcelona Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain 
    • No additional venue or strongman-specific information available at this time.

We’ll continue to bring coverage and results as they become available for each event. With limited streaming options, one of the best ways to follow the action is to check out the athletes on Instagram, where pros like Hafthor regularly update fans with their performances after and between events.

The post Need More Strongman? 3 Arnold Classic Festivals to Come in 2016 appeared first on BarBend.