Saturday, November 2, 2013

2013 AFX wrap up

The Alaska Fitness Expo gets better every year, with this year being no exception.  Coming to the expo, I was excited about quite a few things: (1) Mike O'Hearn joining Team Risto Sports as our brand ambassador, (2) we were the official travel sponsor of Kai Greene and George Farah, (3)getting in a competition in Alaska.

On Real Life Super Heroes:
Mike O'Hearn showing LG how to superhero pose,  while Gwen Sisto snatches

Mike O'Hearn is often called a real life superhero. He is a 4 time Mr Natural Unniverse holds multiple guinness world records, was a powerlifting champion, and was an All American Football player.   In person, Mike's persona and physical presence matches his resume.

What many people do not know about Mike is that he started off in the iron game as an Olympic Weightlifter.  He competed in weightlifting when he was 13, before focusing on bodybuilding and powerlifting. Additionally, Mike was actually a customer of Risto Sports before becoming our brand ambassador.   With this background, it comes as no surprise that Mike appreciates a good lifting shoe. 

Mike O'Hearn with Stryker and Coach Ivan Rojas, Risto Sports, in Alaska
 What impresses me most about Mike, is that he has the strength to match his incredible physique. This really is interesting because, in weightlifting, most weightlifters are stronger than they look and , in bodybuilding, most bodybuilders are look much stronger than they actually are.

Mike explained it had always been his goal to be physically strong AND have an impressive physique. Let me tell you,  in normal work out clothes, Mike still manages to look jacked and cut.  Further, Mike is a natural bodybuilder;and Mike had been so successful so early on-- for example, he was discovered by Joe Weider-- that there was never a motivation to be anything but natural. 

Elio Guerra (210KG clean and jerk), Coach Ivan Rojas, Mike O'Hearn, and Stryker
When we meet Mike for a Risto Sports Team work out and photo session, he shows up with his Siberian Husky Stryker! And, if you've visited his Facebook Instagram or twitter it's fairly existing he's a dog person . Stryker is a sweet dy who is impeccably trained.

Mike O'Hearn doing leg presses in his Risto Olimpico's with Stryker

Mike did a leg day in his Risto Olimpico's.  Look for video on Mike doing Leg Day in his Olimpico's and divulging some useful training secrets- he goes through several variations of squats and other leg work all in his Risto Sports weightlifting shoes.  

Gwen Sisto, Mike O'Hearn, and Stryker at the Risto Sports booth at the AFX
Aside from our kick ass training session at South Side Strength and fitness in Anchorage, AK, Mike also represented us at our booth at the Expo.  He must have been asked for literally a thousand
photos through out the day- to which he gladly accepted. Mike is certainly a crowd favorite.

 Mike also had the prestigious honor of giving out the top Men's trophy, shown here:
Mike O'Hearn giving out the top male trophy with Garry Lodoen, Risto Sport banner center stage

Kai Greene and George Farah
Risto Sports also had the honor of being the Official travel sponsor of Kai Greene and George Farah at the AFX.

Kai is as impressive and deep, in person, as he is on Youtube and in any of his numerous print interviews.  Kai just radiates positive energy; he is a very kind and positive person.  He is also incredibly muscular.

 When I first see him at the Expo, I flag him over to our Risto Sports booth, where Kai and George would be signing autographs and taking photos for the day.  The funny part was, I was getting ready to warmup, so I was barefoot with my Risto Weightlifting shoes dangling in my free hand.  The first question Kai asks me is "What do those shoes do?" with piqued interest.  Fortunately, we had his shoe size at the Expo.

Kai did a riveting guest pose at the expo.  He also gave a wonderful speech that resonates with any athlete.  You can catch these on the Risto Sports Youtube channel.

I also had the honor of speaking with George Farah, the promaker, for whom we also were a travel sponsor.  George is Kai's trainer, and he has an amazing resume of clients, including The Rock.
George is a very well spoken, thoughtful person. For example, I missed a snatch behind, after trying to save it, George asked me how my shoulder was doing. It was an insightful comment, as at the time, all I could think about were my elbows. Later, Ivan and Elio, put me on upper body conditioning as they thought my shoulders needed to get stronger for the larger weights I will be locking out overhead.  In short, it comes as no surprise that George is one of the most respected trainers in the bodybuilding and fitness world.
Kai Greene, Gwen Sisto, LG, Ivan Rojas, Elio Guerra, George Farah at the AFX

On lifting:
 LG and I put on some good lifting on the AFX stage. LG weighed in at 45kg and hit 34 and cleaned 45. She also had the highest JR female sinclair, and highest sinclair across genders for youth.

10yr old LG, Gwendolyn Rojas, with 33Kg overhead. Bottom position like a Pro. Risto Sports.
I got 84KG and 100KG overhead as a 63Kg bodyweight.  I am happy about the fact that the weights kkeep getting easier and easier for me- especially, considering I was sidetracked with additional duties, being an event sponsor. When I lifted, I was back in euphoric-aggressive lifting mode.  I approached each weight, simply, knowing I could do it.  My technique has also improved.

Ivan is also very involved with the Olympic lifting program at CrossFit Fairbanks.  He coached Brianna Walters who made huge gains since last years' AFX.
Brianna Walters of CrossFit Fairbanks, which works with Risto Sports.  Nice Risto gear too

Below are photo sequences of 84kg and 82kg snatches, as well as my approach to 100Kg (no photos =( ).
Gwen Sisto approaching 100Kg, look who's got some shoulders

84Kg snatch (they used 1 1kg and 2 .5kg plates on each side)

Gwen Sisto, 84kg snatch, bar at knee position

Gwen Sisto, 84Kg snatch extension, Risto Sports: singlet, shoes, knee wraps, wrist wraps

Meeting the bar, 84kg snatch

The catch at 84kg snatch, Gwen Sisto

82kg snatch, Gwen Sisto entering the final phase of the snatch in her Risto weightlifting shoes

82Kg getting under the bar, note the height. Gwen Sisto Risto Sports

Gwen Sisto Risto Sports

Gwen Sisto Risto Sports

Gwen Sisto Risto Sports

Recovery with 82Kg snatch

Standing with 82kg snatch, my Risto weightlifting shoes did me well

Finally, don't forget to check out & follow the following people , twitter: @mikeohearn , twitter: @kaigreene
twitter: @gvfarah


Hal at Southside said...

Thank you Gwen for Bringing Mike O Hern to Southside. This old Powerlifter who went through his Strongest decades wondering why there were no Olympic lifting and finding anyone to teach him is now growing as a Coach and Local USAW meet director thanks to you guys....Better late then never.. :)

Anonymous said...

Great blog, guys!
I'm really enjoying to follow it.

All the best.
Gery, Personal Trainer from Israel

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