8th challenge completed – Weightlifting

Wasn’t really sure exactly how I was going to complete the weightlifting challenge. Like most people, I’ve had a few sessions in the gym lifting the odd dumbbell, with the occasional bench press. I hadn’t though ever learnt the proper techniques of either of the ‘snatch’ or ‘Clean and Jerk’ as performed in the Olympics.

As with most of my challenges, my searches have started on the governing body website and through random searches on google. It was google that took me to Kazem Panjavi, an ex Iranian Olympic weightlifter. I sent him an email and within a week I was taking part in an intensive session to learn the ‘snatch’. We started with a series of balancing and strength exercises and I was quickly making excuses and blaming my club foot. My club foot was sorted 31 years ago in the early months of my life by an excellent consultant based in Harley street, but I do still tend to play this card now and again.

Once he had assessed my strengths and limitations we began breaking down the technique of the snatch. It was really interesting to understand the breakdown of the lift and how weightlifters maximise their potential by using different parts of their body. I was initially focusing on my arms, whereas most of the effort should have come from my legs, but also through the momentum created from extending from the squat position. This is exactly what I want to get out of these challenges, so that I can fully appreciate and understand the fine details of all of the Olympic sports that I watch in the Rio games.

This probably wasn’t my best effort and I did have a go at heavier weights, but unfortunately these weren’t captured on film.

Me doing the ‘snatch’

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