|Anchorage, Alaska downtown|
The city of Anchorage is immediately nestled by dark, charcoal brown mountains, many capped with snow, as well as a great bay. Weather wise, going to Anchorage in October was like stepping into a time machine and being in New England in November. The mornings were cool and frosty, the days were in the high 40's to 50's, and the clouds eeked out some light snow. By this time of the year, most of the trees had lost their foliage as well.
Competing at a Fitness Expo is always a unique experience. Lifting at AFX was much like the Arnold, except louder and being way more in the center of the action. The competition platform was flanked by a stage, where powerlifters were benching heavy weights, and exhibitor tables. Due to some shared warm-up space, 2.5kg plates became a commodity and loud music could be blaring out of a nearby speaker at any time.
|Gwendolyn Sisto on Stage with LG to collect our trophies.|
I won best lifter with a 224 sinclair.
In short, I'm really looking forward to piling on some more kilos to my total at the American Open in Palm Springs, CA this December. I'm happy with my 82kg snatch, 97kg clean and jerk at 62.2kg bodyweight at AFX, and I know I can do more.
From an Olympic Weightlifters perspective -More on the Fitness World:
After lifting, I got to enjoy watching some bodybuilding, physique, and figure competitions. The event was emceed by physique pro, Dana Linn Baily, and Mr. Natural Universe, Mike O'Hearn. IFBB pro, Fred Smalls, even did a special guest pose (which was later featured on www.musculardevelopment.com)
Fred was awesome, the below Iphone video doesn't do him justice -- though you can hear how he really got the crowd going and appreciate his athletic moves:
Reality check on my "big" muscles :
Being part of the AFX Staff (hey, I got a cool T-shirt and ID that says so ;), I also got the opportunity to meet some of the IFBB pro's. Just to let you know, they were all as impressive looking in person as in photos.
Part of the fun of being a Nationally ranked weightlifter is that you can lift some very heavy weights with compact, explosive muscles. Now, up until the Expo, I had been doing some upper body work to improve my overhead strength for catching increasingly heavier weights. Yes, Gasp, I even did Arnold dumbell presses to improve my overhead stability. In effect, my arms were looking much bigger than normal-- One of my long time Alaskan friends even remarked that I got "jacked" since they last saw me.
Well, when I stood next to a pro like Mike O'Hearn or Dana Linn Bailey.... by bodybuilder standards, I'm still pretty tiny.
|Gwendolyn Sisto and Mr. Natural Universe, Mike O'Hearn|
at Southside Strength and Fitness, Anchorage, AK
with Risto Sports products
In summary, I look forward to next year's AFX and encourage you to attend.