Of Ass and Holistic Weightlifters

Holistic Weightlifters

I need more ass.

That’s an odd thing to say, I know, especially after the above photograph, but it doesn’t quite mean what it meant when I was 17, 25, 35, 40…

Despite having a posterior end that defies most clothiers concepts of what is possible on an American male, my ass is a weak spot in my lifting, especially in the snatch and the clean and jerk.

And it’s not as if my ass is totally weak, either. My squat is decent and since I started working with the Weightlifting Academy Mastermind my numbers have increased dramatically.

No, my issue is really my mind and using it to maximize what my ass has to offer. So, it’s not so much that I lack ass, I just don’t use what I have as well as I could.

Which brings me to the point of this rather back-ended blog post — mindset.

I’ve just returned from four days of lifting and communion in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. The occasion was the Creating the Holistic Weightlifter and it was held at Nick Horton and Tamara Reynold’s Asheville Strength and Conditioning. They and my good buddy, Chip Conrad, presented before a group of lifters all at various stages in their lifting journey.

The first thing I can say about AS&C is the high level of fun. The gym itself is just warehouse space in a butler building in a light industrial part of town. Their next door neighbor is a cabinet maker. The gym, though, is loaded with equipment. Lots of bumper plates in both kilo and pound measurements, which was helpful for those of us more metrically challenged, and at least six platforms. This is a serious lifting gym.

But then again not so much. The music was loud, as you would expect, but also fun and completely off the wall. Pandora stations featuring Lionel Richie, mariachi bands and Miles Davis were in heavy rotation. I personally set a squat PR while listening to “Easy” by Lionel Richie and the Commodores.

Which when you think about it is just plain ridiculous — and that’s the point. When you are laughing and having a good time while busting your ass, the ass busting part just doesn’t seem so bad. It’s no wonder that Nick and Tamara produce some outstanding lifters. They work their asses off. That they eagerly do so is a testament to the atmosphere their coaches bring to the gym.

Nick, Chip and myself are all on a serious mission. We’re out to change the world. Which means we see things that aren’t so great and need fixin’.

It’s easy to get lost in all that’s wrong. To rant and bitch, cajoling our ever dwindling listeners into the changes we see as necessary. But where’s the fun in that? No, literally. Where’s the fun? There is none. It’s a total downer and we end up bitter, old gym owners, too curmudgeonly to approach, pissed at the world and the small handful of lifters we’re able to reach.

It’s more fun to laugh, crack jokes and find the joy in this really cool thing we’ve discovered — weightlifting. The funny thing is, the more we laugh, the lighter we take it, the better we are and the more fun we have.

Have you ever managed a ridiculously heavy weight over your head? It’s a hell of a rush and once it hits the floor you can’t help but go ‘Woooo!” and start thinking about how you’re going to do that again and better.

We talked about a lot of stuff this weekend, like how lifting makes you a better person and how being a better person makes you a better lifter, but my biggest take away was how fun this is. I was starting to get too serious and I just needed a chance to hang out with some serious lifters and laugh my ass off. In the process I learned quite a bit, got schooled on some technique and hit a couple PRs.

How fun is that?

Dave Deep

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