Location, Location, Location (Pt. 2)


One of the funniest things I hear (often) when giving a quick cue to someone either in the gym or on the field and they execute a lift or throw better, is when a partner or spouse says, “Geez, it’s not like I’VE never told you that before!” Heehee. Usually it’s just a matter of saying it in a way that makes sense; could be a timing thing; could be a girl thing. Dunno. All I know is there are times you are in a certain situation where a cue hits home and your lifts or throws start to take off.

Hungary was one of those times for me. I’ve mentioned it before but being able to train under the watchful eye of World Champion Akos’ Nagy was one of the greatest thrills of my sport days. It occurred to me at some point of the evening that this was one of the first times I’ve ever been encouraged for my Olympic lifts (Tommy Suggs was a huge encouragement to me not only in my lifting, but in all life during very dark days. I will be forever grateful to him.) The trouble was, Tommy was an infrequent visitor and for some reason I guess I was able to hear criticism over encouragement.

But here I am, in Cheeseville and strolling along this thing we call life in a much better situation than I’d been in years. For the most part, I’d been staying away from the Olympic lifts. My left heel is still, well, healing (heehee) from a throwing season of blocks and the added pounding on it was avoided so that walking was more fun than it’s been for a couple of months. Due to stretching from the hot yoga and just time away from the field, it’s been feeling good enough that I thought I’d give the lifts a try.

I warmed up with the power snatch to an easy 45kg and moved on to some power cleans. Things were clipping along nicely so I went to one at 80kg which was actually easier than the 75kg before. Huh. Cool lifts without even training them.

Now, for me, here’s the interesting thing. I never came close to power cleaning 70kg down in Texas. I dunno why. Tired; not great training; constant stress, but really it’s okay for me to admit that it just wasn’t the place for me. There are things I’m very good at in the gym and things I’m not good at and constant failure didn’t suit me well. It carried over to (I’m sure) everything I touched and though I’m thankful for so many relationships that still stand today and for the lessons learned, I’m equally as happy to be right where I am.

I quickly took a look at last years numbers for the Masters Nationals in my class and guess what? Just my Saturday morning training (minus quitting my snatch a bit early) would have placed me very well. Huh. Maybe I wasn’t such a useless Olympic lifter after all? Maybe location + some very appreciated high praise from a Hungarian World Champion at the right time can help me remember the positive words Tommy Suggs would say to me over and over.

Because ya know what? Sometimes I don’t always need to hear what I’m doing right, I just don’t need to hear each day everything I’m doing wrong. OH HEY! Here’s something funny. According to my numbers, the woman who would have beat me at World Championships this past September is from…

Hungary. How’s that for irony.


Akos’, Gamesminion, and Matt at one of the greatest meals of my life.

So I’ll put off the off season 10×10’s for a couple of weeks and hit a meet. My goal will be to get a qualifying total for 2015 big meets and keep a close eye on registrations (Masters Nationals are already full in April.) Bummer. But that’s okay. Getting a spark to lift is fun for me. Keep up with the Games plan, just add some fun in there too with the Olympic lifts.

Game on!

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. 

Zig Ziglar

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to jep6095@gmail.com At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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