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View Full Version : Beginning Weightlifting Meets in mid-40's?


Bob Overstreet
06-04-2009, 07:32 PM
Girlfriend and I started doing scaled-CrossFit about 6 months ago (with 2 months at an affiliate and the rest in our home gym).

The technical side of Olympic weightlifting intrigues us, beyond what exposure we've gotten through CrossFit. On the recommendation of a geographically distant friend, I sought out a local USAW Coach and watched a local meet his people were in. It looks fun!

Is it realistic to consider "competing" in weightlifting beginning in our mid-40's? I "regret" not finding out about this stuff 20 years ago, but here I am... now what can we realistically do?

Dave Van Skike
06-04-2009, 09:08 PM
it's never too late to try new stuff...age is defined by the degree you are afraid to look stupid while having fun.

Matt Foreman
06-05-2009, 08:33 AM
Go for it. If you're physically capable of performing snatches and clean and jerks, you should jump in a meet and compete. You'll have a great time, you'll probably find out that you're not as terrible as you think you are, and you might find that you love it. I know a guy who started competing when he was 81!

Bob Overstreet
06-05-2009, 08:40 AM
81?!? Holy Cow!! That gives me a few years yet.... lol

On another question..... before I get caught up in any enthusiasm....

Are there any benefits to participating in a meet, even casually, as opposed to just working out under video review and/or a coach's guidance?

Yuen Sohn
06-05-2009, 09:31 AM
On another question..... before I get caught up in any enthusiasm....

Are there any benefits to participating in a meet, even casually, as opposed to just working out under video review and/or a coach's guidance?

Aside from meeting all the local coaches and lifters in your area, another key reason is to start getting some competition/platform experience while your own expectations are still relatively low. For example, people will frequently say things like "I'll lift in a comp when I can snatch <this amount> and clean and jerk <that amount>" and are never seen again after a few months. This happens quite a lot.

Contrast this with the majority of regulars/long-timers I lift with who started competing very early, set some baseline competition numbers, and gained a newfound focus in their training.

Purely anecdotal, I know. But you do tend to see patterns in who sticks around and who doesn't.

Yuen Sohn
06-05-2009, 09:39 AM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention:
Virtually EVERYONE I know who started lifting between ages 20-60 wishes that they had begun earlier. Unless you're one of those few that started when they were in their teens, that's pretty much the standard sentiment :)

Garrett Smith
06-05-2009, 11:31 AM
If you've ever played any sport, you already know that games are different from practice--same thing with meets versus training.

I used to think I didn't want to enter meets because I didn't like myself so much when I was only concerned about winning. Now that I'm only going to try to improve my lifts (I may consider myself to be "competing" once I'm a Masters in a couple years), I find myself looking forward to meets, as they give me a specific day/time to try to laser-focus my efforts.

If a meet looked like fun to you, it will be fun.

Also, until you're entering meets, you're only lifting weights. Once you enter a meet, you then become a "weightlifter".

glennpendlay
06-05-2009, 01:04 PM
I started coaching Mary McGregor when she was 55 or 56 years old. Olympic weightlifting was the first organized sport she had done... So a reasonably sedentary life up to that point.

At age 60 she went to the Masters World Championships in Greece, and won the gold medal as well as setting all new world records for her weight class. She was also overall best lifter in her age group. She has also won a couple of Masters national championships and won the Pan-ams.

The really neat thing is that she started bringing her granddaughter to the gym, and Neiman is now snatching 48kg and clean and jerking 60kg as an 11 year old girl!

So yeah, you can start late and have a blast, and also starting late is no barrier to eventually doing well as a masters competitor. I know a lot of masters lifters. Most of them have a blast.

Bob Overstreet
06-05-2009, 02:58 PM
That's pretty danged inspirational. Kinda peels back the layers of excuses one might have (outside of mitigating medical ones).

I started coaching Mary McGregor when she was 55 or 56 years old. Olympic weightlifting was the first organized sport she had done... So a reasonably sedentary life up to that point.

At age 60 she went to the Masters World Championships in Greece, and won the gold medal as well as setting all new world records for her weight class. She was also overall best lifter in her age group. She has also won a couple of Masters national championships and won the Pan-ams.

The really neat thing is that she started bringing her granddaughter to the gym, and Neiman is now snatching 48kg and clean and jerking 60kg as an 11 year old girl!

So yeah, you can start late and have a blast, and also starting late is no barrier to eventually doing well as a masters competitor. I know a lot of masters lifters. Most of them have a blast.