Weightlifting is for Everyone

In today’s blog post, we will be sharing with you our experience at the recent Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships 2017. Also, we will be discussing the benefits of lifting weights and why a lot of women join the sport of Weightlifting. Before we share our experience at the recent Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships 2017, let’s first talk about the benefits of lifting weights and why a lot of women do the sport of weightlifting.

“I don’t want to lift weights because I do not want to look bulky”. This is one of the most popular misconceptions that we hear a about from people, most especially from women.

Fact: Women won’t get bulky from lifting weights

In reality, women are hard gainers. They won’t gain that much muscle compared to men because men have higher testosterone levels than women. You might have seen elite athletes from CrossFit who are women that has more muscles than other guys. Yes they have achieved that kind of body because all they do is train, eat clean, and take specific supplements so they can look like that. Your muscles get stronger but not necessarily bigger. Your muscles will be toned if you eat healthy foods and lift heavy weights. It takes years and years to reach that level, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Fact: Lifting weights can actually result to greater fat-loss

Combined weight training and metabolic conditioning accelerates fat-loss because it increases your metabolism. Lifting heavy weights burn more calories not just during your training but also after your work out.

We have talked to some of the women of CrossFit Katipunan who lift weights, and this is what they have to say about their experience:

Ronalyne Ramos, 28 yrs old, BA Public Administration Currently working on her Certificate in Professional Education

When did you start doing weightlifting?
I started weightlifting last February 29, 2016.

Why are you doing it? What has weightlifting done to you that you keep on doing it?
At first I was curious about it, curious why someone would get addicted/hooked on it. For me, the interesting part of weightlifting is you’ve got to have a Personal Record (PR), this way I always have the urge to go beyond that. That PR helps me to push myself more. Next is the community. When I lift, coaches and teammates are cheering me on. As a former Taekwondo athlete, coaches and teammates are a big part on how I perform.

What can you share to the people especially to women who are scared of lifting heavy weights?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. You will not know what’s in it for you until you give it a try. There are coaches who are knowledgeable and can guide you properly in lifting weights.

Astee Uy, 22 yrs old, Graduate of AB Social Sciences

When did you start weightlifting?
I started weightlifting about half a year ago. In the past, I have been in and out of the gym, on and off running and had a stint at kickboxing in my attempts to stay fit throughout college but nothing compares to weightlifting and CrossFit.

Why are you doing it? What has weightlifting done to you that you keep on doing it?
I decided to try out weightlifting on a whim. After my first session, I felt that it was a good workout and it was something I wanted to do more often. From then on, I was addicted. Weightlifting challenges me to set new PRs and become stronger. It made me look fit and healthy
because skinny was so last season and you have to hustle for the muscle. Lastly, with the results, it made me feel good about myself and that is what is most important at the end of the day.

What can you share to the people especially to women who are scared of lifting heavy weights?
To women who are afraid of lifting heavy because of how your body might turn out, don’t be. With proper nutrition, you would not end up looking like the hulk or anything close to that. In the end, you might even want to build muscle to fit your clothes better in the right places. So do not be afraid to lift heavy. You will thank yourself for it one day because strong is the new sexy!

Carlyn Villanueva, 20 yrs old, Student, BA Anthropology

When did you start doing weightlifting?
I’ve never picked up a barbell before CrossFit. Before this, I’ve always just dealt with body weight training.

Why are you doing it? What has weightlifting done to you that you keep on doing it?
Even though weightlifting isn’t my favorite part of my fitness routine, I still think it’s a great skill to develop. I haven’t been able to hit very heavy weights yet and I have a lot to improve on with my form, but somehow, that just drives me to keep working on it. It feels great when you’re able to add weight and eventually beat your PR. I’ve also read a couple of articles about how weightlifting helps you burn more calories and improves your overall health.

What can you share to the people especially to women who are scared of lifting heavy weights?
Honestly, I’m not yet totally unafraid of lifting heavy weights, because there is a risk of getting injured (or even dying haha). But I just keep reminding myself to take it one rep at a time, and add weight little by little as I get comfortable with it. It helps to have great coaches who guide you through the movement and help you assess how heavy you can go, as well as boxmates who cheer you on. There’s also a misconception that lifting always leads to having a bulky body and many women don’t want that. But from what I see at the box, even those lifting heavy aren’t bulky at all, just toned. I think the key is to talk to a coach or a trainer about any concerns you might have and find the right box/gym for you.

Weightlifting Competition
In a weightlifting competition, you will have the opportunity to lift 3 attempts in the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk and you have 1-minute to make the lift on each attempt. The heaviest weight that you can lift for both the snatch and the clean and jerk will be added, and that would be your score for the competition. Rules are different in a weightlifting competition compared to a CrossFit competition. There are three judges who will determine if a lift is good or bad, and it will be determined using a buzzer. Three green light means it is a good lift. Two green lights and one red is still a good lift, and three red or two red and 1 green is considered as a bad lift.

Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships 2017
Olympic Silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz started lifting using “kahoy”. She did not have any barbell and weights at that time, and all she could work on was form and muscle memory. It was a dream come true for her to represent the country and win a medal at the olympics. After winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, she had another dream but this time it wasn’t for herself, but for the sport of weightlifting. A weightlifting competition was named after Hidilyn Diaz to promote and grow the sport, and to find someone who will follow in her footsteps in winning another medal in the Olympics. Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships 2017 was possible thanks to the help of Meralco, MVP Sports Foundation, Philippine Weightlifting Association, UP Weightlifting Club, CrossFit Ortigas, and Affiliate Alliance.

Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships 2017 was held last July 8 and 9 at the Meralco Fitness Center. Following the International Weightlifting Federation rules with 136 participants in 16 weight categories from Metro Manila, Zamboanga, Mandaue, Cebu, Pampanga, Benguet, Hong Kong, Canada and Guam, and these are athletes from different Weightlifting clubs and CrossFit boxes as well.

“Olympics-like” Vibe
It had so much tension the moment you walk inside the Meralco Fitness Center. For Coach Effrey Cruz who finished 6th at the 56kg category, It was very nerve-wracking, especially it was his first time competing at a high-level weightlifting competition.

“It felt like I was competing at the olympics”.

Coach Khalil Tan who took first place at the last The Fittest Championships 2017 in the RX division and finished 7th at the 85kg category felt the excitement when he saw the legit production and competitors. Coach Kris Yeung, Head judge of The Fittest Championships, competed at the 77kg category and finished 5th place said, “Even though my lifts weren’t what I wanted, I still had an awesome experience being on the big stage and being officially entered into a PWA-sanctioned event, following IWF rules and regulations.”

He also believes that the future of weightlifting here in the Philippines is bright.

“The young generation are getting some serious coaching, which will lead to future champions for sure! As long as the politics give way to progress, and the government supports these programs, the future is looking really good for the Philippines”.

Coach Justin, despite of not being confident with his lifts prior to the competition, finished 3rd place in the 94kg category. This is what he had to say, “Kabado ako from the warm-up area going to the stage pero nung nahawakan ko na yung bar, wala nang kaba.”

Coach Joseph Nery who competed at the 105kg category came in with no expectations most especially he was coming from a shoulder injury. He joined the HDWOC 2017 just to support Coach Hidilyn Diaz, and eventually won Gold in his division.

“Looking at the contestants, feel ko kulang ginawa ko sa training and ma out ako kasi galing din injury sa shoulder tapos late na ako naging comfortable sa lifts ko”. “Laking tulong yung may coach ka nagpapaalala sayo ng technique bago ka umakyat sa stage. Iba yung kaba pag nasa stage ka na nakakalimutan mo lahat ng technique”.

Coach Hidilyn Diaz who was there reminded him after he missed his 1st attempt, “Kunin mo to. Kaya mo yan! Hilain mo and be patient sa salo”.

Coach Nery realized that, “Minsan ka lang mabigyan ng ganung situation na an olympian is giving you advice and at the same time supporting you”. That’s why he got all his remaining attempts in the snatch and went 3 for 3 for his Clean and Jerk.

Weightlifting is for Everyone
Watching men and women from different generations who competed at the HDWOC 2017, we could say that our country has a bright future in the sport of weightlifting. Whether you are a powerlifter, MMA fighter, or maybe you don’t have any background in any sport but still interested in the sport of weightlifting, our doors in CrossFit Katipunan are open. Ask one of our coaches for more information.

(Written by: Coach Effrey Cruz)