GymBowie Athlete Headed to American Open in Reno!
GymBowie is thrilled to congratulate Antonio Ayllon on qualifying for the American Open Weightlifting Series 1 in Reno, NV; he will be competing against a number of other men in his weight class that have qualified from around the country. You will often see Antonio and his wife Diana working out together on the weightlifting platforms late in the evenings and all his time and dedication has definitely paid off! While Antonio has been working through a minor shoulder injury, our fingers are crossed for him to make a full recovery and have a great meet in Reno. We asked him a few questions about his weightlifting journey, check them out below and make sure to congratulate him next time you see him in the gym!
1. When did you really get into olympic weightlifting? Started around October 2015. I got really interested in Olympic lifting as soon as I joined GymBowie in 2014, but I really, really sucked at the two Oly lifts. My mobility was awful, and my strength was also lacking. So I saw it as a challenge, I wanted to improve and be a more rounded athlete. Then we got a really awesome coach, Brad Kim, and my technique started getting better pretty quick.
2. What do you enjoy most about weightlifting? It’s so rewarding when you get a good lift, especially when you’re on the platform in a competition. It’s exhilarating – so much adrenaline. There is nothing like it!
3. What is the most difficult/frustrating aspect of weightlifting? I feel like it takes a lot of technique work, mobility, balance, strength. You have to work on all those things together, and it takes quite a lot of time.
4. What is your favorite lift? The snatch, definitely. I think it’s the most complicated lift, the one that takes the most work to get good at, the one that requires the most mobility, strength, even finesse. If you’re just strong, I feel like you can kind of cheat your way to a good Clean & Jerk, but you can’t do that with the snatch.
5. What are you goals past this competition (with weightlifting or CrossFit)? First, I want to get to a point where I can snatch around 150% of my body weight (currently I’m at just over 100%) and clean & jerk 170% (currently around 130%). Second, in a couple of years, I would love to take the Olympic Coaching course from USAW, and do that as a hobby. I think I would really enjoy that.
6. Any advice to people new to weightlifting or interested in it? I recommend you find a coach; practice; work on your form/mobility; watch weightlifters’ videos on Instagram or YouTube, then video yourself and compare side by side.
Congratulations Antonio and good luck!! We can’t wait to hear how you do!