Follow by Email

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Part 1: The Annual Risto Sports Olympia Cup - 20 years a Lifter

The Risto Sports Olympia Cup made history.  It bridged a 50 year gap between bodybuilding and weightlifting, being the first time weightlifting appeared at the Olympia and was welcomed enthusiastically by the crowd. And, the competition and expo exceeded expectations-we're already invited back for next year.

Part 1 - 20 Years a lifter 

The Olympia Cup also marked a big milestone for me-- nearly 20 years ago to the day, I competed in my first ever weightlifting competition.  And, 10 years ago, I started seriously training with my coach and husband, Ivan Rojas.  

As a very nice anniversary gift to myself, I broke the 200kg barrier with a snatch of 92 kg and clean and jerk of 108kg at 66kg. You can see the full sequence of my 92kg snatch below and the video on the Risto Sports youtube.

Before delving into the awesome details of the Olympia Cup, I'd like to celebrate by sharing with you some heuristics from 20+years of experience.

 Weightlifting is a cheap sport, invest in great equipment
Buy the best shoes you can afford. Use the best bars you can afford (fortunately Klokov and Again Faster are bringing an option here, more on this in my next post).  Sports like hockey, football, equestrian cost thousands of dollars per year in equipment ---as a weightlifter you're lucky all you need is a pair of shoes and a weight set.

Know the difference between technique and personalization
There is 1technique for the snatch, two techniques for the clean, and 3 types of jerks (there is on,y 1 technique for each type of jerk). Everything else -if someone's toes are pointed out or straight, the width of their grip - is personalization.  That means- don't use personalization as an excuse for Bad technique, and don't change your personalization to be like someone else's. In short, keep your bar path and acceleration as close to ideal and position your body to achieve this. 

Personal anecdotes, in 2013 , I went through a painfully annoying period of missing really easy cleans. I mean one day I'd miss 90kilos!  This was due to a failed change of personalization. Lets just say a well respected person who wasn't my coach, and worked with some world elite athletes, urged me to keep my toes pointed straight. I tried it cause my lifting was improving slowly- what a mistake, talk about negative gainz on my cleans. I was getting stronger and my lifts were not going up, that never happens. So, I listened to my coach and we went back to my natural toes pointed out. Almost immediately my lifts improved, and, now, I'm reaping the benefits of sustained gains and easy cleans!

Be weary of anyone who "invents" new techniques for the classical lifts 
Newton was the first to write a theory of gravity -- every time an object falls, someone else doesn't get to discover gravity again and call it by some other name. If we did that , we'd never advance to theories of flight, space travel... So, why would you trust anyone who comes up with a spiffy name for weightlifting technique that was already "discovered" in the 60's and 70's. unless theyve read all the literature on Olympic lifting and performed experiments, anyone trying to coin their own name for something that already exists is just trying to sell a gimmick.

Free articles on the Internet do not replace paying for knowledge
There are tons of free weightlifting articles on the Internet. Some are great , some are dribble , neither replaces going out and buying a book, seeing a coach, going to a seminar. Trade secret--The best information is never freely sitting on a web forum . Use resources, like this free blog , to lead you to the next level of information.  

You gotta believe
When I believed in myself and stopped waiting for others to believe in me, magic started to happen. If anything believing in yourself will cause others to believe in you. When you approach a lift, you just need to know that you will do it.

Getting more metaphysical...
In order to just know you can do a lift and to materialize goals, you need to be able to see it, feel it, be it before actually doing it.   basically, you're on some sort of spiritual journey and will need to fall, succeed, learn, along the way.  

It's programming
There is no supplement for a good program.  Your journey and belief in yourself, should lead you to a great coach. Just by choosing to read this post is another little sign to get a good coach or even more educated as a coach 

Learn, learn, learn
Just about anytime. If a great coach is going to be passing by your area, seize th opportunity. Example, we hosted the Kazakhstan Federation--if I were someone else and I lived within 300miles of Risto Sports , I would have driven my butt there on a moments notice. Many of our attendees did in fact do this... Some were from double that distance away.

Do anything a thousand times, and you'll be good at it

Yes, weightlifting makes you faster
Potential to get faster is dependent on composition of fast twitch and mutant fibers with which you are born. Everybody has some. So, even a person with average composition will get faster from training Olympic lifting consistently. Yes, world champions probably are blessed with way more fast twitch and mutant fibers,and they still have to develop their speed through training frequently and consistently. So, sorry Mark Rippetoe, you are wrong, Olympic lifting does make people faster! So, do some damn power cleans if you're lifting to get powerful for another sport.

The average weightlifting coach is a poor judge of talent 
Most coaches just focus on lifters who are already strong from other sports, like a new shiny penny. They don't look deeply at their potential for explosiveness and speed.

I just remember not getting a lot of attention as a kid  for my potential ( ok, excluding a few coaches). People told me I had determination and not what I wanted to hear, that I had "it". It was probably because lifting was the first physical activity I ever did and most coaches don't understand how to evaluate potential. It wasn't until I met my husband and, again, when I was 28 and , again, when I was 30 that I met international elite coaches who told me that I have "it".  Of course, by then, my husband had developed my fast twitch fibers, my explosiveness, and he sought out experts woth whom to absord and exchange knowledge.  So, if you're fast, can do an overhead squat, rack a bar, and lock out a bar, seek out someone who knows talent evaluation... Which brings me to my next point

You choose whether you succeed or hide behind excuses
I got a full time technical job fit for an MIT rocket scientist - like literally. I have every excuse to be just average, to quit. And -- I have every reason to succeed, and to be the best. Improving faster is a matter of not buying your own excuses, it's a matter of believing in your reasons to succeed.  and, you have to take responsibility for your own success or lack of success- when you do this, you take back your power to succeed vs being at the mercy of others allowing you to succeed.  I choose to believe in myself. I choose to focus on the multitude of reasons I was blessed with to succeed.

When you have good excuses, Eliminate them, make it an advantage
Sooo... Ive had some pretty impassible obstacles to getting the recovery I needed to succeed. First, I had a job that didn't pay me market value and had a long commute-so, I got another one. That job screwed-up my relocation and that commute was even longer, and a few of the people I worked with were borderline maniacal.  Do you think I was going to let these hurtles stop me in my Olympic journey? Hell no!  So, I got a job that was even cooler (ie more high tech), closer to my gym, more pay, nicer people... So, I quit whining about being exhausted from commuting, and focused on what a great recovery I was going to have.


















4 comments:

oakleyses said...

ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, air max, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, nike air max, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin outlet, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin, louis vuitton, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ugg boots, uggs on sale, michael kors pas cher, tiffany and co, nike outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, jordan shoes, polo outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, sac longchamp pas cher, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin shoes, louboutin pas cher, nike free run, jordan pas cher, longchamp outlet, tiffany jewelry

oakleyses said...

hollister uk, oakley pas cher, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, lululemon canada, nike tn, nike free uk, ralph lauren uk, michael kors, north face, replica handbags, sac vanessa bruno, north face uk, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet store online, hollister pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, nike air force, converse pas cher, burberry outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, ray ban uk, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, new balance, nike roshe run uk, ray ban pas cher, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, timberland pas cher, coach purses, nike air max, sac hermes, michael kors outlet, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet online, polo lacoste, true religion outlet, hogan outlet, michael kors, uggs outlet, true religion jeans, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

hollister, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, timberland boots, vans, longchamp uk, hollister, nike roshe run, jimmy choo outlet, valentino shoes, vans outlet, converse outlet, insanity workout, mcm handbags, babyliss, asics running shoes, nike air max, gucci, reebok outlet, celine handbags, ray ban, ralph lauren, hollister clothing, instyler, lululemon, mac cosmetics, lancel, ghd hair, wedding dresses, new balance shoes, iphone cases, nike trainers uk, hermes belt, nfl jerseys, chi flat iron, p90x workout, beats by dre, bottega veneta, converse, oakley, louboutin, nike air max, nike huaraches, baseball bats, north face outlet, ferragamo shoes, soccer jerseys, herve leger, north face outlet, soccer shoes

oakleyses said...

moncler, canada goose uk, canada goose, ugg uk, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, canada goose, supra shoes, pandora uk, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, hollister, juicy couture outlet, moncler, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, ugg pas cher, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, pandora charms, karen millen uk, canada goose, pandora jewelry, swarovski, canada goose outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, doudoune moncler, coach outlet, replica watches, toms shoes, moncler uk, thomas sabo, ugg, links of london, moncler, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, montre pas cher

Popular Posts

Snatching 92kg at the Risto Olympia Cup

Snatching 92kg at the Risto Olympia Cup
This was the 2nd highest snatch in all of the USA for 2014 in official competition for women's 69kg weight class. The only athlete to snatch higher was Jenny Arthur with 98kg. Gwendolyn Sisto lifts for Risto Sports, the premier weightlifting company in the world. The Olympia Cup is held in conjunction with the Mr Olympia in Las Vegas, NV Join us in 2015! Gwen is lifting in all Risto Sports apparel and weightlifting shoes.

Carlos Andica training with Coach Ivan at Risto Sports

Carlos Andica training with Coach Ivan at Risto Sports

Built for the Platform - Risto Sports weightlifting shoes

Built for the Platform - Risto Sports weightlifting shoes
Russian boots, classic weightlifting shoes with modern shoe technology. Exquisite full leather upper, wood heel, rawhide forefoot, natural rubber outsole. One of a kind.

Risto Sports: Official Sponsor of USA Weightlifting

Risto Sports: Official Sponsor of USA Weightlifting
USAW national team member in Risto Singlet

Ivan in the Warm-up room with the Andica Brothers

Ivan in the Warm-up room with the Andica Brothers

Arnold, Carlos & Joni Andica in Front of Risto Sports banner

Arnold, Carlos & Joni Andica in Front of Risto Sports banner

Risto sport's Leidy Solis- PAN AM Champion 2009

Risto sport's Leidy Solis- PAN AM Champion 2009
Leidy in winning form, wearing her Risto weightlifting shoes. Congratulations Leidy!

Oscar Figueroa,Olympic Silver Medalist, World medalist, approves of Risto's

Oscar Figueroa,Olympic Silver  Medalist, World medalist, approves of Risto's
Pictured at Salitre with Oscar Figueroa in center. We will be proudly be sponsoring Oscar with a pair of Risto shoes.

Exceeding expectations - www.ristosports.com

Exceeding expectations - www.ristosports.com
Classic weightliftng shoe design with modern accents

In the Risto shoes

In the Risto shoes

Coach Jonny Pan AM champ

Coach Jonny Pan AM champ
Afternoon coach, doing pwr cleans while his lifters finish up

More wild custom shoes

More wild custom shoes
note pawprints

Abs

Abs
More on Facebook

Custom Weightlifting shoe

Custom Weightlifting shoe
Made to customer specifications, detailed embroidery

Custom Youth Sizes available!

Custom Youth Sizes available!
Little Gwen wears these for technique work in the gym. She also likes to match mommy and daddy in the gym. Lifting time is family time!

Bucharest Training Center

Bucharest Training Center
Ramanian Coach Doru, Ivan, Romanian Lifter Eiza

Nikolai Stoichkov- JR Bulgarian Lifter, son of Zdravco Stoichkov

Nikolai Stoichkov- JR Bulgarian Lifter, son of Zdravco Stoichkov
Training with a pair of Botev shoes. These shoes take a beating of 18000 to 20000 reps per year and heavy loads 90-100% - Also known as the Bulgarian system.

Custom Singlets too- Made to Order

Custom Singlets too- Made to Order

Future Champion- Tough lifters wear pink!

Future Champion- Tough lifters wear pink!
Gwendolyn Rojas getting ready to snatch 60kgs at 20kg bodyweight and 4 years old.

Stoichkov in Action

Stoichkov in Action
Coach Stoichkov adjusting my starting position.

Ivan giving training advice in Frankfurt Oder

Ivan giving training advice in Frankfurt Oder
Here Ivan, as a coach, is giving lifting advice to German Junior lifters at the Olympic Training Center in Frankfurt Oder, Germany. Yes, Ivan is fluent in German and is speaking German to the lifters.

Coach Ivan Rojas

Ivan Rojas is my coach and husband. Since training with Ivan, I have went down 3 weight classes while exceeding my prior best total (acheived while training by myself as a junior vs with proper training under Ivan).

During the 80's, Ivan trained extensively as a coach and lifter in former Eastern block countries as well as Cuba.


Working out with the Champs

Working out with the Champs
Gwen squatting wth Georgiev, Peschalov, and new lifter in background

Training in Bulgaria - Gwen and Coach Zdravco Stoichov

Training in Bulgaria - Gwen and Coach Zdravco Stoichov
Stoichov is coach of Peschalov, Georgiev, etc. Also of key interest: Similar to USA lifters missing out on their chance to medal at the 1980 Olympics , at the time of the boycotted '84 Olympic Games, Stoichkov outlifted the LA Games Gold Medalist at the Friendship Games/ Druzhba Games. The Druzhba Games were held in 1984 by Eastern bloc countries not participating in LA.

Ivan with Nikolai Gergov, Bulgarian Wrestling Champion

Ivan with Nikolai Gergov, Bulgarian Wrestling Champion
Ivan with the Greco wrestling world champ, Nikolai Gergov, after their workout. I still think its uncanny how elite athletes from multiple sports would just show up at Slavia for a workout (....and atleast one ask for lifting advice). Again, overall, Bulgarian athletes were humble or, rather, didn't "have an attitude" in the gym.

Gewichtheben - training at the German Olympic training center in Frankfurt am der Oder

Gewichtheben - training at the German Olympic training center in Frankfurt am der Oder
Me with the German Junior Team and Coach/German Olympian Lars Betker

Coach Burgener Shoe

Coach Burgener Shoe
Portion of all sales got to Charity. A perfect shoe for our CrossFit friends! A wonderfully patriotic, Americana themed shoe and T-shirt. GO USA!!!

Gwen posing with Peschalov

Gwen posing with Peschalov

Stoichkov during competitive years

Stoichkov during competitive years
Vintage photo of Stoichkov winning international Championship

Rumy, Bulgarian lifter

Rumy, Bulgarian lifter
Rumy,75kg lifter, stops by for a light workout in Slavia, Bulgaria

Botev stops by Slavia

Botev stops by Slavia
Gwen, Stefan Botev (multi-time Olympic Medalist and world champion), and Ivan

Gwen with Power Clean/slpit jerk with 80kg

Gwen with Power Clean/slpit jerk with 80kg
First workout in Slavia.

Size perspective for youtube video

Size perspective for youtube video
In Beijing, junior lifter

Ivan and Eric, the speedskater

Ivan and Eric, the speedskater
After a hard work out, Ivan and Eric go summertime cycling in Maine. Eric is a competitive Speedskater and a proud owner of weightlifting shoes. Ahhh ...nothing like summers in Maine!!

Stefan Georgiev

Stefan Georgiev
World and European Champion, 62kg. Rooting for him to medal in the 2008 Olympic Games!

Hanging out with Weighlifting heroes

Hanging out with Weighlifting heroes
Peschalov, Stoichov, self, and husband

Old Stuff - early Risto Weight lifting Shoes

Old Stuff - early Risto Weight lifting Shoes

Peschalov and Coach

Peschalov and Coach
Peschalov trained with Stoichkov leading up to his Gold medal win in 2000 Olympic Games

Training in Kennedy, Bogota

Training in Kennedy, Bogota

Euvgeni Popov, Stoichov, and Gwen

Euvgeni Popov, Stoichov, and Gwen
Popov - 1980's Bulgarian weightlifting team, also accomplished power lifter and strongman competitor.

Beijing - Gongti Area

Beijing - Gongti Area
Gwen lifting at second training location in Beijing near Workers Stadium, Gongti

Sylvia, Bulgarian Junior lifter, wearing Botev shoes

Sylvia, Bulgarian Junior lifter, wearing Botev shoes
Schoolage Champ, one of Stoichov's newer lifters. Sylvia also trains in Botev shoes. Her pair is also several years old and has lasted over 18K reps per year!

Romania - Training Center in Bucharest

Romania - Training Center in Bucharest
Me trining with Romanian lifters in Bucharest. Former USAW National Coach, Dragomir Ciroslan, had once lifted in this gym.

Wrestling World Champion (Greco) Nikolay Gergov working out in Slavia (BG), me in background

Wrestling World Champion (Greco) Nikolay Gergov working out in Slavia (BG), me in background
Nikolay Gergov is a Bulgarian Wrestling World Champion - Greco Roman 66kg category. Nikolai is already naemd to the 2008 Bulgarian Olympic Team. He is also competing at a meet at the Colorado Springs US OTC later this month (FEB 08). Anyhow, Nikolai just stops by for a workout in Slavia. He saw Ivan and I working out and asked Ivan for some technique coaching.

Gwen with Chinese coach of junior team at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang (Beijing)

Gwen with Chinese coach of junior team at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang (Beijing)
The coach pictured with me had won a gold medal in the snatch lifting against Karolina Lundhal (world champion) at the 1998 Worlds in Finland in 75Kg class.

Lifters in Bucharest

Lifters in Bucharest

Ivan with Coach Chiu, gongti area Beijing

Ivan with Coach Chiu, gongti area Beijing
After discussion of Chinese pull technique. Chiu is a former Junior World Champion.

Good Leather Smells good

Good Leather Smells good
Really, this was a Candid photo..."wow, this smells good", says Little Gwen

Ivan Lifting in China - 2006

Ivan Lifting in China - 2006
Chinese training center, Chao Yang Ti Yu Chang in Beijing, a JR team pictured in background

Choayang Ti Yu Chang - Ivan with chinese junior lifters

Choayang Ti Yu Chang - Ivan with chinese junior lifters

Abigail Guererro, Almerimar, Spain 2004

Abigail Guererro, Almerimar, Spain 2004
In forefront, Abigail , who has been on the Spanish National Team, with teammates in background.

Me with Blessed Udoh, in Spain (DEC 2004)

Me with Blessed Udoh, in Spain (DEC 2004)
Blessed won the silver medal in 48kg at the 2001 World Championships representing Nigeria. She also trained in Bulgaria for the 2004 Olympics. Sadly to report that she died in Nigeria, last year.

Gwen lifting at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang - Beijing,

Gwen lifting at  Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang - Beijing,
In Beijing, Chinese Juniors in background. Great kids, good sense of humor, listened to their formal coaches

Spain- Ivan and Miguel Borrazas

Spain- Ivan and Miguel Borrazas
Our good friend Miguel has coached Spain's national team.

Training Bogota

Training Bogota

Ivan with Coach Ediberto Barbosa, fmr Col natl team

Ivan with Coach Ediberto Barbosa, fmr  Col natl team

Mock Competition in Bogota

Mock Competition in Bogota
Gwen out snatches the challenger

Rick Bucinell, breaking master world record in Risto's!

Rick Bucinell, breaking master world record in Risto's!

Ivan arm wrestling Peschalov

Ivan arm wrestling Peschalov
My husband "attempting" to arm wrestle Peschalov with his good arm. Ivan remarked "Wow, he's strong..he was really trying to arm wrestle me" ..no kidding ....ha ha ha

Belts, singlets, knee and wrist wraps. Custom styles available

Little Gwen doing workout with new lifters

Little Gwen doing workout with new lifters

Team USA with Risto donated gear at 2010 University World Championships

Team USA with Risto donated gear at 2010 University World Championships
Me lifting for Team USA. We won 15 medals, Ivan was Assistant Coach to Team USA. Risto Sports donated gear such as USA polos and t-shirts. Got to represent our country well!

Risto Sports,Order at:

http://www.ristosports.com/
info@ristosports.com

(207) 319-7607

Training, shoes, singlets, knee wraps, belts, straps
Eliot, ME

Tanya Morillas - 2004 in Spain

Tanya Morillas - 2004 in Spain
Training session at Almerimar. Subsequently, Tanya has been on Spanish national teams.

Dare Alabi , 77kg lifter (Nigeria)

Dare Alabi , 77kg lifter (Nigeria)
Nigerian lifter, Dare, lifting in Spain

warming up power cleans

warming up power cleans