Carolina CrossFit owner Paul Beckwith had the South East Regional crowd screaming as he snatched the heaviest weight of the day at 285 pounds.
“It was great. I’ve never seen anybody snatch that much weight in my life, I can’t even deadlift that much weight,” says spectator Dan Ruder of Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach. “I would have liked to see him get the 295, though.”
The 6’5, 260-pound team competitor has been involved with Olympic weightlifting since the sixth grade and now uses those techniques to better coach the athletes at his box.
Beckwith attributes being in the heat of the moment for failing at the heaviest weight in the snatch ladder of 295. His previous one-rep max was 330 pounds and he says he became really dedicated the past nine months in preparing for Regionals. “I’ve excelled in the events I’ve been training for. I know it’s a two-year process for me, so I’ve got another few months before I feel comfortable and hopefully go individual,” he says.
Beckwith admits the programming at his box is strength biased. “We are big barbell believers. We believe the stronger you are, the better you’ll become,” he says. “It takes a little bit longer time for an athlete to develop strength versus developing aerobic capacities.”
Before starting CrossFit seven years ago, Beckwith was 87 pounds heavier, weighing in at 347. He explains that adding CrossFit to his weightlifting training has helped him to improve every aspect of his fitness. He still actively competes in Olympic weightlifting and holds two lifting events at his box each year.
In 2010, Beckwith competed in the CrossFit/USAW Open meet held at The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The competition consisted of three events -- the clean and jerk, the snatch and a 10 minute AMRAP involving squat cleans, pull-ups and double-unders. He came out winning 2nd place overall, alongside top athletes like Chris Spealler and Matt Chan.
Beckwith says he cuts down on his metabolic conditioning before competing in an Olympic weightlifting event and focuses more on heavy lifting. “I do tempo stuff and things that really require dynamic speed,” he says. “I use CrossFit as a good balance.”
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