Dear Raleigh CrossFit. Have you met Colleen? These days you are likely to find her on a platform in the back room with the barbell, bumpers, her phone and workout journal. Within the last year she has recommitted herself to Olympic Lifting.
At first, she just wanted to do it to focus on strength and technique with the lifts because she really wanted to improve in those areas. Then, the idea of competing popped into her head. And so, like with everything Colleen does, she set her eyes on the Athletic Lab Meet in Cary July 16, 2016. Together, we discussed her goals, how to go about planning, what to expect in a meet, how to get to that point from where she was. She dialed in her schedule, her diet, her sleep, her training and set forth to achieve something she had never done before, compete in an official USA Weightlifting meet. Learn more about Colleen and her achievement below!
Huge congratulations to Colleen. She became the second woman under the Raleigh Strength and Conditioning USAW training group to compete, not too far behind Coach Alex Augustine! Her teammate, Amanda Brown will discuss her journey in the next post.
Name: Colleen Herman
Weight Class: 63 kg
Snatch Personal Best (Training and Meet): 90#/79#
Clean and Jerk Personal Best (Training and Meet): 110#/99#
Personal Best Total: 200#
What is your weightlifting (Olympic lifting background)?
I took the Oly class with Zach last fall. Then I decided I wanted to incorporate more barbell stuff into my workouts, and started doing barbell club in January.
Why did you want to compete in a weightlifting meet?
I started doing barbell club in January, then Chennelle mentioned the meet coming up, and I had been mulling the idea over, so I decided to try it out. And everyone kept asking when I was competing, so I figured I would give in to peer pressure!
What type of training have you done to prepare for this?
I did barbell club 4 times a week and a WOD once a week.
What are your goals short term and long term for weightlifting?
At this point, I really want to keep increasing my technique and strength. Essentially I want to keep lifting heavy things. And eat more food.
Based on your experience, would you do another one? Do you have a timeline if so?
Most definitely. No clue when, but I would love to do it again.
Does it help other areas of your CrossFit training?
I have become a lot more comfortable with my lifts. I used to hate snatches, now they are my favorite lift (even though they are still terrifying).
How did you adjust your training and your life in general in order to prepare for the event?
This meet was relatively easy to fit around everything. I’ve been doing barbell club pretty consistently, and I really just stuck to the programming. Also I stayed on top of my macro counting. It was all about consistency for me.
How has your previous athletic background helped you to prepare or if this is your athletic background, is there an example of a life experience that aided in your preparation for the meet?
I have no previous athletic background, haha. However, I was pretty competitive flute player in back in the day, so I was kind of used to performing in large groups of silent people.
Editor Note: For those who have not attended a weightlifting meet, it is very quiet when the lifter takes the platform. They are in front of 3 judges who give them a yes or no on the lift. Behind the judges is the crowd. The crowd is silent until the head official gives the signal of “down”. Cheers come when the athlete lowers the bar to the floor and everyone awaits three white signals. If there are 2 or more red signals, the lift is considered no good. Two or more white signals is a good lift!
What did you think about the day before and the day of the event?
I made it a point not to think too much about the meet because I have a tendency to psych myself out. I just kept my normal routine, and instead of waking up to a Saturday morning WOD, I went to a lifting competition instead.
What special things do you need to do on the day of the event?
Show up. Weigh in. Warm up. Lift. (DON’T OVERTHINK IT)
For the first time viewer of a meet, what are some things that people should look for?
I would say just a basic knowledge of the lifts (what is considered a good lift, technique, etc.). And that white lights (or paddles) are a good sign.
For your next meet (if applicable), what would you like to do differently?
I might worry more about planning out how much I wanted to increase my lifts by, but honestly I was really happy with how my first meet went.
Any advice for those thinking of doing this type of competition or any competition?
Don’t be afraid to try it.