Competition Recap and Review

Last weekend, our team competed in the American Open Series 2 in Valley Forge, PA. This was our second large contest as a team and although we didn’t do as well as we all would have liked, I am still happy with our performance. We got to see a lot of different lifters and old friends along the way. Gaining much-needed experience on this train of self-improvement.

This cycle, as most do, had a bit of turbulence along the way. Everyone has their own outside stressors that they battle each and every day. No matter what, these girls showed up ready to work each week and put in a significant amount of time to make it to this stage. I am proud of each and every performance and so I asked them to write a little reflection on their experience. 

‘This was my sixth weightlifting meet and my second larger scale meet. After a tough training cycle due to school and stress, my mental game going into this one was not very strong. After finally adjusting to my new schedule and hitting more consistent heavy numbers again, it was already time to deload and compete. I wasn’t physically ready to compete yet, and that made it harder mentally as well. As far as the venue, this meet was similar to the American Open Series 1 at the Arnold because of the bigger stage and higher level athletes that competed, but it was still a unique experience for me. I felt ready for the stage this time, but not ready to lift my numbers. Even though I didn’t hit the numbers that I would have liked, I made a decent performance. I didn’t go out with a bang, but at least not a bomb out. The main thing I love about lifting in the American Open Series is that no matter how well I compete, I still get the opportunity to interact with other amazing athletes and coaches. Meets are as much for becoming a stronger part of the weightlifting community as they are for having fun and hitting some heavyweights. I got to lift, meet new people, and simply do what I love with my team and other individuals who share the same passion.’

-Heather Gray


‘American Open series 2 was my third meet ever and I wish I could have enjoyed it more than I did.  Part of me feels I was in over my head getting on a bigger stage with less than a year experience.  No matter what, you always walk out of your first meet with a win.  The second meet I was lucky to hit my first PR, again a win.  I already had it in my head that I could not possibly top those two.  It was so exciting to be a part of something bigger than a local meet in someone’s club, but I feel my nerves got the best of me in many ways.  I know how far I have come in such a short time, and while I was able to open with bigger numbers, I wish everything after those were more consistent – but then again, being able to consistently hit my bigger openers is a huge win.  I know I still have so much more to learn, tweak and perfect and now that I have my not so good meet out of the way, I am ready to move on and be more consistent with those bigger numbers.  I would have liked a little more time between meets.  The outcome may not be any different, but I think mentally I might have felt more confident.’

-Nicole Elvina


‘My A02 experience was a good one. I’m happy I got to lift and compete on a national stage. Going into the meet, I didn’t feel ready. Overall, I’m okay with my performance. I was disappointed with my snatches and clean and jerks were okay. The AO2 wasn’t that much different from my first meet. It was more organized and more crowded though than my first meet. And of course, it was more official. I have a lot to improve as far as my start position and timing go, but overall, it was a good experience and I’m ready to fix my weaknesses and compete again.’

-Sara Simon


As far as I go, I am happy with my performance. Although it was my best-recorded total in competition (277kg), I still missed half of my lifts. I went into this competition looking to achieve one goal of recording a bigger total and opening bigger than I have in the past, which I did. As far as that goes I am happy. I didn’t necessarily feel as ready as I ever have during this meet, but I was as ready as I could have been. It was a great experience, my second coaching at a large event and my second competing in a large event. Every event is a little bit different and a new learning experience. I look forward to growing in the sport as well as growing the sport with my Rag-tag bunch and hopefully in the future we will make some waves! Looking forward to next one with you guys! Great work as always and thank you for being a part of this with me!


Look out for future events here at Marble Strength (Marble Weightlifting) as we hold various competitions and challenges throughout the year! 



Quinoa and Chickpea Salad Recipe

Need a great recipe for your meal prep this weekend? Check this one out! Ingredients: Instructions: This Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is not only refreshing


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