Trinity Barbell’s first event of the year took place in Raw Gym in Sandyford on Sunday 9 October. A mixture of experienced gym heads, committee members and new lifters showed up to take advantage of the type of basic professional training that is necessary for safety in weightlifting and useful to practice at all levels of experience. Following a successful mixer at the Pav the week before, the club were hoping to get more experience working as a group by practicing some of the foundations for strong lifting technique.
Raw is like the stereotypical gym that we all imagine from movies about MMA fighters chasing their elusive dreams: a giant warehouse of machines, bumper plates and shiny barbells. The enormous building seemed fit to cater for upwards of 50 or 60 weightlifters at once, and was equipped with every category of resistance training equipment, for any body part that one could wish to train. The aptitude and professionalism of the environment was immediately apparent. Trinity Barbell can be commended for gaining access to an excellent venue, specifically for practicing basic functional movement, as high quality gyms such as Raw are stocked with top class basics coaches, in this event personified by Raw coach Troy McPartling, a personal contact of Trinity Barbell secretary Hugh Quane.
Trinity Barbell are in the process of becoming one of the newest clubs to be part of DUCAC, currently holding provisional club status with the association, and hoping to attain full membership later this year. As of yet, the club are unable to host events based in the local Trinity gym. This is due in part to its relatively small size compared to gyms like Raw, as well as unavailability of equipment and the administrative problems involved with their provisional membership. However, with the opening of the High Performance Gym in Trinity’s Sports Centre, club captain Isabel Brown is hopeful that they could be in action in college shortly after the beginning of the second semester.
Time in the High Performance Gym will be organised by Trinity’s Sports Centre into a range of time slots and these slots will be organised and assigned to clubs that apply. With luck, Trinity Barbell could be given a decent number of convenient time slots over the course of a week to utilize all of the new high quality equipment and the extra space that will be available.
Sunday’s taster session coaching was provided by McPartling and involved the basics of functional movement, specifically in relation to squat form. The athletes in attendance performed lightly weighted, slow exercises, beginning with the basics of the overhead squat. This movement is commonly regarded as the indicator of functional flexibility, as the quality of your overhead squat reveals the parts of your body and form that are not sufficiently flexible or tight enough to correctly perform the weighted back squat.
Following this, the group began working slowly onwards towards the actual squat movement, moving through a variety of slow exercises, with the focus lying on each athlete’s squat form. Each exercise emphasised a different part of the squat movement, after which the group were well equipped to handle the full movement safely.
Trinity Barbell practice both of the two major lifting disciplines: powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. Powerlifting encompasses the basic heavy duty lifts, involving the deadlift, squat and bench press. These movements are generally easier to perform in terms of range of motion, but the weight shifted is extremely high at the competition level. Olympic weightlifting is the kind we’ve all seen on television, with weight based competitions in the ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’, which are more technical kinds of lifts, with emphasis more on speed and technique than pure strength, and as a result the weights lifted are far lower.
The club are hoping to be able to produce competitive teams for both traditions and hold events involving every form of lift. The main carrot at the moment is the Intervarsity Competition, due to be held in the spring of next year. While there is certain to be an Olympic weightlifting edition, the possibility of powerlifting intervarsities taking place is currently under threat, due to some organisational issues with the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association (IDFPA).
Unfortunately the competition will not be held without the sanctioning of the IDFPA. Regardless, Trinity Barbell hopes to establish competitive teams for both Olympic and powerlifting meets. Team training is taking off in the next couple of weeks and, having already produced one national standard athlete, the club are looking to challenge for competition titles by the end of the year. By next semester, Trinity Barbell should have all of the necessary attributes to become a very successful weightlifting club.
Trinity Barbell’s group training starts in the next couple of weeks, with all levels of experience welcome. Anyone interested can contact the club at [email protected], or by messaging their Facebook page.