From the Indy Star
Women’s Olympic weightlifting shook my world
Where to get your Oly Lifting on
7109 Girls School Ave., 317-426-9348
More info: http://titanfit.com
“If you just want boy band abs, go home, do some sit-ups and starve yourself,” Herb Sampson said with a stern look on his face.
This was no boy band guy. Clearly. He was monstrously strong. His neck was as big around as my waist (and my waist ain’t that small). He was about to train me on women’s Olympic weightlifting.
I was scared. I could barely get him to crack a smile. He scoffed at my claim to be stronger than what I looked.
Then he yelled out to one of the other women at TitanFit in Indianapolis, who takes the class: “Hey. Dana says she ‘lifts’ weights — 15-pound weights.”
Ahhh. There was his first smile. A little jab at me.
But, the more he pushed me, the more we clicked. Even when he whacked me on the side of the leg with a white bar because I landed in a squat with my feet too far apart.
It was only because he cared. He beamed when I got it right the next time.
You see, Oly lifting (as the regulars call it) isn’t anything to mess around with. You have to use the proper techniques or you can injure yourself. It’s serious business.
The funny thing. It’s not terribly complicated. There are only two moves in Olympic weightlifting — the snatch and the clean and jerk.
Basically, these are two ways to get a load of weight (or 25 pounds as I used) on a barbell from the ground to an overhead position.
For me, Herb focused on mastering the clean and jerk. After a rigorous warmup, we did drills that helped me get down each move that goes into the hoist.
By the end, I was jumping, squatting and lifting above my head like a pro. OK not a pro. But Herb said I did GREAT for a first timer who, despite my own beliefs, have never really lifted weights.
Now that I had the move down, the other women joined me. Herb yelled out that we should do 30 clean and jerks in a row.
One woman had nearly 100 pounds and did 30 in just four minutes. I had 25 pounds and 17 was all I could muster. I don’t even want to know my time.
My legs shook. My arms shook. My core shook. My heart shook.
All proof, said Herb, that you can’t truly be strong unless you’re lifting weights.
And strength doesn’t mean looking like a muscle man. It means being strong enough to do other exercises, being fit, being able to lift those bags of groceries, salt and mulch.
That’s much more attractive and healthy than being skinny with fat.
Side bonus? You still get those boy band abs — no starving, no sit-ups.
Call Star reporter Dana Hunsinger Benbow at (317) 444-6012. Follow her on Twitter: @danabenbow.