Monthly Archives: November 2013

Olympic Weightlifting

My journey in Olympic Weightlifting began on March 16, 2013. I was in Little Rock, AR to perform the CrossFit Open WOD, 13.1 at CrossFit Little Rock. This WOD contained a series of Burpees and Snatches. This was literally the first time I was going to do a Snatch in a WOD. My judge,asked me, “what is your game plan? I replied with, “go up and go down.” She looked at me with an awkward stare. I informed her I had never performed a Snatch in a WOD before.  My technique was grotesque to say the least. By no means, is this a dig on my coaches or my box. They only have been opened since January 2013. The box as a whole was not ready for the complex movement.

While I was there, I met most of the Blacklisted Barbell crew (formerly known as Blackflaged Barebell), Adele, my judge, and Josh. They are an Olympic Weightlifting company now based out of CrossFit Above & Beyond in Little Rock, AR.

After I had time to reflect on my performance, I was unhappy with my Snatch ability. I started working on it on my own with help my buddy Brant from CrossFit Van Buren. I realized my performance was only getting so far. I was still powering all of my movements, so, I decided to reach out to Blacklisted Barbell.

On August 24, 2013, I hosted Blacklisted Barbell at CrossFit Van Buren for an Olympic Weightlifting seminar. It was about a six hour day going over the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. We had many athletes from the sounding boxes come for the seminar. They were from River Valley CrossFit and CrossFit 413.

Olympic Weightlifting Seminar

Olympic Weightlifting Seminar

After the seminar I had the endorphin high for a while, until my good friend Aaron Jannetti from CrossFit Endeavor, told the harsh truth about my technique. It was still bad. If I continued just powering the weight up with bad form, I had a much higher risk of hurting myself. It was a pretty big hit on my ego. I was starting to hit some big numbers. So, I had to do the hardest thing when Aaron started remote coaching. I had to take a few steps back, meaning lighting up the weights, so I could work on my technique. Aaron had been working with me for around two months. My Snatch had gone up 30lbs and my Clean & Jerk had gone up 45lbs.

I was as to show my improvements at the Battle of the Barbells, the first Olympic Weightlifting competition in the state of Arkansas. It was held at Crossfit Above & Beyond on November 16, 2013 and ran by Blacklisted Barbell.  The meet was less formal than a traditional meet. I thought this was perfect due to the level of competitors and how new the sport is in Arkansas. It was great time. It brought so many people together in the fun of competition and love for the new growing sport.

Click here to watch the video.  

There were 30 competitors that were scored on the Sinclair Method. This method takes the weight of the athlete into account of the total weight lifted. I had asked Aaron if I should cut weight, but he told me to go for fun. I was heavy at the time, weighing around 190lbs. I weighed so much for me because I stopped CrossFit to prepare for the event. I didn’t cut weight, but I cleaned up my eating by a great deal. I weighed in at 178.8lbs.


Here is my Split Jerk at 280lbs.

Here is my Split Jerk at 280lbs.

The day could not have gone any better. I completed all of my lifts and got PRs on both movements. To top that, I came in third place! I was the smallest person in the last heat with all of the big lifters. Many people were surprised with my technique and gave me praise. I also heard I was really exciting to watch. One coach even told me she recorded my lifts to show her athletes good forum. I was blown away with everyone reactions. I don’t think my form is all that great. All of the praise got to my head just a little, but thank goodness Aaron is near by via the internet. Again, he told me the hard truths I needed to hear.

3rd Place.

3rd Place.

We are going to take a few steps back to work on my catch position on the Clean and further polishing my Split Jerk. Along with that, we are going to work on my High Pull as I pull myself under the bar on the Snatch. This just gives me more fuel to go further with Olympic Weightlifting.

I could have not done this without all of the support from my friends and family. Also, I could have not done without the support of my box, CrossFit Van Buren, who allowed me to train only in the Olympic Lifts with a few training partners. And finally, I owe much of my success to Aaron. He always pushes me to become better. He is never afraid of telling me what I need to hear. That is what I needed the most.

By Tyler Grant