Midtown at Nationals.

July 27, 2014

Here’s a video I had to throw together for coaching stuff.  I figured I’d let you guys see it.  This was Jen’s first national meet.  She went 5/6, hitting PR clean and jerks and a PR total.  This was Emelie’s 3rd National meet. She went 3/6 but still had a strong showing at her first National meet dieting down to a 75.  I am so, so proud of their progress and am proud of all my lifters’ progress that we’ve made this year so far.  I have a huge group of new and energetic people, many of which will be making their first national appearance at the end of this year or by next year.  I love this job.

Question: Ben, what are your favorite workout shorts from Lululemon?

Answer: The Pace Breaker shorts. I’ve got 3 pairs.

I like everything about these shorts.  The length is perfect; not too long so they get in the way, not too short so your sack can fall out.  For a while, it seems like with lifters that extremely short shorts were all the rage.  Pro tip: no one wants to see your junk in the gym setting.  Put that shit away.  And don’t give my that “my quads are too big” garbage.  If you can’t fit into Lululemon shorts, you’re too big of a biscuit, plain and simple.  Lose a few kilos, biscuit.  They also come with a built in liner so you can go commando on light days and then double layer with compression on heavy days.  Also included is a zippered cell phone pocket; handy for when you want to have headphones in while squatting or if you’re a trainer like me, you can keep your cell on you and still demo cleans without busting your phone.


Actual Pain is having a 50% off sale till the 28th (the secret code is: SUMMER).  It’s a company that has absolutely nothing to do with working out.  Believe it or not, just because I lift heavy weights doesn’t mean I need a T shirt reminding people I squat.  I just picked myself up a couple snap backs.  Check this company out.

Snap backs and clean and jerks, bro.

Snap backs and clean and jerks, bro.



Today might be the first day in 6 months that I sat down and sketched just for the hell of it. Well, that’s actually a half truth because I’m working on a couple different art projects for people but step one to working on an art project is practicing your craft. Once I start laying some stuff down on paper without having to think about it, then I’ll start thinking about my projects at hand. It’s very similar to weightlifting in that respect. Your best friend in both discipline is getting reps in. Overeagerness to create something for someone else is like loading 10kg onto your max after taking a week off. The end result is not a good one.

Someone asked me the other day what I do with my time after a big meet. I responded “as little as possible.” Realistically I like to reevaluate my progress for the year and catch up on other parts of my life that I’ve been missing out on or just outright neglecting. I’ll be taking reps again by the end of the week but I now have the mental and emotional facilities to actually care about other parts of my life. I want to go outside. Go to shows. Draw some pictures and drink a few PBRs (or a better beer. Don’t judge me.)

Looking back at all the progress I’ve made since last year at nationals, I’m actually amazed that after close to 9 years of doing this, I still make progress. I’ve always been slow to mature. No exaggeration, I don’t think I hit puberty at least until Junior year of high school. I’ve seen this in other part of my life as well, relationships, academics, sports. Years later, I might look back at something and finally consider, “Oh I was the asshole.” Why should weightlifting be any different? Coaching has certainly turned my weightlifting career around for the better. THIS year (nationals to nationals) has been the most productive year EVER in my weightlifting career. If only I could’ve talked to myself years ago. My shins wouldn’t be so scarred, my hair would be longer and legs thicker.

For years my white whale was to get 150/180. And now that I’ve got it (more or less) I really believe I got what it takes for 160/190. My snatch is pretty much on point. If you look back on video of me from the past, you can see how much different my technique is. Much smoother, much cleaner. I’ve got to do the same for my clean and jerk this year. I was taking huge attempts in February/March. It will take me a little bit before I figure out what I was doing right but I’m confident that when I do the results will be similar to my progress with the snatch this training year.

Check out how raw my technique was just a few years ago.

For now, I’d like to lose a little weight. Last year at this time, I took off about 25lbs and did a great job of maintaining around 115kg pr pretty much the whole year. I’d like to get down to 110kg this year and then hover between 110-115 simply because I feel healthier and better. This is about as super as I need to be. I know because at one time I weighed 126kg and it didn’t really help my lifting. I take it as a personal offense when newbies play the super card as an excuse to be obese. If you have been competitively lifting weights for less than 3-4 years then you have no excuse to sacrifice your health.

On the subject of free time, I’ll be checking out YOB this friday. Check out the song below, it was one track from like 2011 that got me into listening to heavy music again. The rhythmic plodding and slow laboring march of the guitar riff wasn’t something I had found personally attractive to this extent before. But for some reason this song just pulled me right in.

Best title ever.


July 21, 2014

This is my favorite thing I’ve done in a while.

My official coach credentials for the 2014 National Championships.

My official coach credentials for the 2014 National Championships.

The best part is this photo came up on the big projector screen every time one of my lifters took an attempt.  Solid.

I’m Back.

July 21, 2014

I just landed in Sac after a wonderful weekend in Utah.  I’m going to take a quick nap before heading right back to work.  I’ve got lots to say about this weekend but for now here’s a cool little promo video they did for my session.

Nationals Live Feed.

July 17, 2014

HERE is the link to the live feed for this weekend.

Jen – Friday 9:30am
Emelie – Saturday 6pm
Ben – Sunday 4pm


Road to Nationals.

July 16, 2014

Here’s a fun little video I put together of the final weeks of training going into Nationals.  Big shout to my homie, Sean Michael Rigsby for the cameo appearance.

We’ll see you in Utah!

Well compared to last year (or I guess any year), I’m in way better shape going into Nationals.  I think I only hit like 130 and 170 or something like that last summer in Ohio.  I’ll definitely total higher than that this year.  Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve also been eating more to get my super bloat on going into the contest.  I’ll probably weigh a hefty 118 or somewhere around there.  After which, I plan on immediately getting back down to a healthier 113-115kg.

As far as my other athletes, Emelie will be lifting at her first National meet as a 75.  We did the weight cut very gradually so she most likely won’t have to lose any water going into weigh ins.  Jen will be lifting in her first National contest.  I’m really proud of all the progress that she’s made in the past 6 months.  She deserves to be at a National meet.

Wish us luck and I’ll try to keep you updated as best I can!

Ben Selfie BW

Level Up.

July 11, 2014

Stop flexin, bro.

Stop flexin, bro.

I finally did my USAW level II a couple weeks ago.  Really, I should’ve taken care of that years ago but better late than never.  For you newer coaches out there, I’d recommend getting your levels I and II from different instructors.  Try and listen and learn from as many different viewpoints as possible to help you form your own coaching style.  Conversely, if you’re an athlete, find one coach who’s system you buy into and follow his/her system until you no longer buy into it or your situation changes.