Nov 6th, 2012
Rippetoe Invitational Competitors
This weekend, a group of five CrossFit Oaklanders climbed on a plane to fly to Dallas and then drove to a town near the Texas/Oklahoma border to lift some weights. Kelly, Dan, Greg, Michael, and I signed up to compete in the Rippetoe Invitational Meet that was held on November 3rd in Wichita Falls, TX at the Wichita Falls Athletic Club (WFAC). WFAC is owned by strength coach and author of Staring Strength, Mark Rippetoe. Back when Rippetoe was associated with CrossFit, he developed the now-widely-used CrossFit Total to measure the strength of trainees. A CrossFit Total is roughly the equivalent of a powerlifting meet with the exception that the bench press has been replaced by the shoulder press, referred to only as "the press" for the rest of this article. Rippetoe adapted his original Total and expanded it into a set of rules for the meet. All of the lifters were allowed three attempts to establish a one-repetition maximum in the squat, press, and deadlift, in that order. Once everyone completed all of their squat attempts, we moved on to the press, and so forth. Eighteen lifters participated, of which just under 30% came from our gym. Northern California was well represented at the meet.
In many powerlifing meets, lifters are arranged into groups called flights that roughly correlate to weight classes. A flight will often have between 10 and 15 people in it so that you have reasonable rest times between each attempt. Everyone performs their first attempts and then the same order is repeated twice more. This meet was run more like an Olympic weightlifting meet where the bar never got lighter. This meant that the lifting order was set solely by attempt selection. Instead of having 10 or 15 minutes between each attempt, you might be following yourself if the next lifter was lifting more than you. Getting two minutes of rest between attempts changes how you approach the meet and how you call for attempts.
All of the competitors from our gym are long-time participants in my Strength Saturday classes. Kelly came up with the idea to compete in the Rippetoe meet and the others liked it and signed on. It is hard to believe that so many people were willing to go to Texas to lift. I consider myself fortunate to coach such a dedicated group. Everyone lifted very well and several PRs were hit along the way. Of special note was Kelly’s performance. She overcame a potentially career-ending back injury last year and returned not only to lifting, but to competing as well. Without further ado, here is what everyone lifted in order of squat, press, and deadlift with all weights in pounds.
Dan: 410, 209.4, 470
Greg: 270, 110.2, 375
Michael: 255, 130, 345
Kelly: 225, 88.2, 260
Tom: 385, 169.8, 480
Greg earned second place in his weight class, Michael got third, Kelly got second, and I got first. There were no subcategories for age. The meet was a unique and rewarding experience and the trip was fun from beginning to end. Competition is a wonderful thing, as is spending time with your friends.