Max Merget (MM) recently competed at his first WI Open Weightlifting competition. He talked with Coach Jens (JW) about his experience:
JW – What was your biggest learning experience going into your first weightlifting meet?
MM – The biggest learning experience was seeing how a weightlifting meet operates and the strategy involved. When a specific weight class session starts the bar is loaded with the lowest starting weight and increases as lifters make their attempts. The weight on the bar never decreases, only increases. This means that lifters often make back to back lifts or will take big jumps to avoid having to follow themselves when lifting.
I started my attempts relatively high compared to my PRs and ended up lifting back to back for all 3 Snatches and 3 Clean and Jerks.
Next time I will definitely start with a lower weight so I can make bigger jumps that allow for more rest in between.
JW – What role did CrossFit 100 play in your deciding to compete in Olympic weightlifting?
MM – Before Crossfit I competed in Powerlifting and I’ve always enjoyed the Olympic Weightlifting aspect of Crossfit the most. The dedicated Barbell classes at Crossfit 100 played an important role because it provided an atmosphere focused on the sport along with coaching that was specific to the movements and their techniques.
The mental grit that Crossfit athletes develop played a huge role also. I missed my very first lift which was a 70kg Snatch. This lift had become routine in my training leading up to the competition but I missed it because of the nerves from being in front of a crowd.
Luckily I was able to calm myself and hit all 5 of my remaining lifts. I attest this to the mental strength required for a long WOD, like Murph, where you want to give up but find the will to continue.
JW – For you what was the biggest joy on that day?
MM – My biggest joy was just having the confidence to go out and compete and also not taking last place.
Game plan and strategy/ fears of competing for the first time.
I did a ton of research leading up to the meet, concocting strategies that I thought were going to be perfect. The one thing I did not take into account was the human factor. Arriving at the competition the nerves kicked into high gear and it all went out the window.
My movements didn’t feel right and the weights felt so heavy. Fortunately I was able to calm down and told myself that the only person I’m competing against is me. The nerves and adrenaline were still there but I was able to use them to my advantage instead of letting them get the best of me.
JW – Any advice you could give for members who would like to compete or dabble in the sport of weightlifting?
MM – The best advice I can give if you are even remotely interested is get out there and do it. The perfect time to start competing is now. If you wait til you have big numbers then you’ll never step on the platform.
After competing I’m driven to put up bigger numbers but also to work on living a lifestyle that will help me do that. I’m eating better, working on my recovery and mobility, and being smarter with my training. Just like Crossfit the Weightlifting community is welcoming and passionate about what they do.