Thanks to everyone who came out to our friendly and successful first meeting – Intro to Competitive Lifting! The room was packed and a few people even sat on the floor. Dr. Charles Stocking shared his insights into the philosophical side of lifting, exploring self-overcoming as it relates to Han’s Selye General Adaptation Syndrome. We learned about what ancient Greeks valued in body aesthetics (they prized kinetics), how to recover from injuries while training, ways to use periodization in programming, and what beginners should keep in mind when first starting out. But this talk was perhaps more personal than academic. Dr. Stocking bore witness to some amazing feats in old-school geared powerlifting and weightlifting, and he shared with us some brief encounters with icons like Mark Bell, Louie Simmons, and Pyrros Dimas.
Growing up in California, Dr. Stocking compared the underground status of strength sports in the era he competed – ‘lowbrow’, yet full of arcane knowledge – to their current surge in popularity thanks to youtube and crossfit. The take-away message was that everyone is competing against themselves in lifting, but they should enter public contests and engage their lifting communities. If you hit a PR but no one was there to see it, and even if you posted it on youtube, Dr. Stocking says it never really happened. Going back to the Greek idea of kleos (glory/renown), we should all perform in front of our peers.
Afterwards our diverse group of strong people mingled with the help of donuts and a shared passion for lifting. Along with many bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, crossfitters, and powerlifters, we were pleased to have Meg Thorne in our presence – Pan American bronze medalist in Olympic weightlifting! About half the room was familiar faces, and the new faces seemed eager to join and develop our community.
More social events will be coming in the future, along with a continuation of educational lectures!