I drove down to Columbus with my family late Friday morning in a fasting state after eating a small breakfast and having a cup of coffee. Met my father in Columbus and arrived at the weigh in at 4PM where I stripped down to my undershorts in the middle of a busy hotel lobby and stepped on the scale. To my surprise I weighed 195 lbs. My first goal was reached.....I made the 90kg weight class dropping my level 4 classification requirement to 227 reps. Returned to my aunts house and ate a huge dinner and hydrated. I Arrived at the Convention Center around 9:00 AM Saturday and realized the enormity of Arnold Expo. After wandering around the Convention Center for about 20 minutes I finally located the kettlebell competition wedged in between several boxing rings and various martial arts mats. I was able to watch several flights of women's jerks prior to a lengthy unplanned break as the Expo organizers attempted to coordinate the singing of the national anthem. The men's jerk flights then resumed and I prepared for my first competition.
My set went well and I was able to surpass my planned goal of 90 reps and hit a grand total of 92 reps completing the full 10 minutes. The above video is a compilation of clips taken in between various obstructing heads. I had a scheduled 4 hour break between my jerk and snatch set, but that break was extended as our competition was stopped for roughly 1 hour as we waited for the arrival and short planned speech by Arnold himself (just in case you wondered he is still a very big guy). I ended up with about a 5 1/2 hour break before I hit the platform for my snatch set. Now my goal was for 10 minutes at 16 rpm for a total of 160 reps, but I only needed 135 reps to make the level 4 classification in the 90kg weight class. I also had never done a full 10 minute jerk set followed by a 10 minute snatch set on the same day so I wasn't sure how things were going to work out. I also found it slightly difficult to pace myself with the digital clocks as I was used to working with an old clock with a second hand in my basement. I finished my first 5 minutes with my left hand at 73 or 74 reps, in hind site I probably could have done a few more reps with that hand as my grip was still feeling pretty good. Although I was not moving at my planned pace of 16 rpm, I did settle into a very comfortable pace that I was able to sustain for the entire 10 minutes. The last 30-45 seconds became a bit dicey as my right hand grip began to fatigue, but I was able to hit a total of 141 reps as the 10 minute set came to a close. The video below is missing my last minute and returns just as I set the bell down at the buzzer.
My hands held up well. No skin tears, but a bit tender and swollen this morning. I ended up with a grand total of 233 reps, 6 more than I needed to qualify for the Level IV classification. It was a good thing I dropped the weight because I would have missed Level IV at the 90+kg weight class. I had to leave before the event completed so I was not able to hear the final results of the competition and will have to wait until they are published to see how I fared against the others.
I had a great time meeting the AKC crew and found everybody to be very friendly and supportive. I can't thank them enough, especially Catherine Imes, Kevin Jodrey, and Andrew Durniat for all the online (and in Andrew's case, the in person) coaching they provided leading up to this event. Their pointers greatly improved my jerk technique. I also enjoyed meeting Scott Helsley, Richard Sherrod, Chris Duffey, Phillip Humphrey, Lorraine Patten, and many others.
My day ended picking up my new pair of 28kg and 32kg bells so I can start training for my level 3 classification. I have now caught the bug of kettlebell sport and will have to plan my next competition soon.