Caine Wilkes will probably be straightforward to identify when he lifts for the USA on the Olympic weightlifting crew in Tokyo. He’ll be the super-heavyweight weighing 320 or so, hair midway down his again, a burly beard, and loads of pink 55-kg plates on the bar.
However when you see Wilkes backstage, he could be throwing round a complete lot much less. Years in the past, he even created an only-somewhat-tongue-in-cheek program constructed round doing a single carry, at a single weight, each single day: a 50-kg (110-lb.) snatch. It could not appear to be a lot for a person who has snatched over 400 kilos and gone over 500 on the clear and jerk in competitors, however Wilkes would not thoughts stepping away from the norm. Living proof: that hair. (Word to the US Olympic crew officers: Do not hassle asking him to chop it.)
Sooner or later earlier than heading to his last crew prep in Hawaii, Wilkes spoke with Bodybuilding.com about how he has taken his lifting to the subsequent stage, and the way he’s prepping for his first Olympic video games.
BBcom: For these of us who’ve by no means performed what you are about to do and by no means will: How is peaking for the Olympics completely different from different occasions, or simply from the method of getting sturdy?
Wilkes: I am very a lot making an attempt to deal with it like simply one other meet, simply on an even bigger stage. When the crew was introduced and it was official, my dad—who’s my coach—and I began speaking about specializing in weaknesses, each technique-wise and strength-wise.
For me, which means engaged on how I am breaking off the ground. I are inclined to let the burden get away from me, so we’re making minor modifications and making an attempt to construct consistency there. Once we’re slightly over three weeks from my competitors I will have a pair heavy classes, making an attempt to get essentially the most out of it. Then slightly little bit of a taper, and I will go compete.
Considered one of your calling playing cards is snatching 50 kg regularly—even every day. Is that also a part of the sport plan?
Yeah, that is undoubtedly what I am warming up with. I wrote that program across the identical time that a variety of different “each day” exercises have been massive fad, like Squat Each Day applications and issues like that. I like that for most individuals, it is a affordable objective to perform.
What do you’re feeling like in your coaching, vitamin, or restoration has lastly allowed you to take this subsequent leap?
My pals and I at all times speak about how lifting is a marathon, not a dash. It takes years of grinding and dealing at it. I’ve really been coaching or competing within the sport for over 20 years now. So, one massive factor has been the programming by my dad in order that I did not break down early on and have a brief profession. Additionally, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve taken issues extra severely, like vitamin and restoration. For instance, within the final couple of years I’ve gotten a deal with on sleep hygiene and sleep on the whole.
Vitamin-wise, as a result of I am a super-heavyweight weightlifter, I haven’t got to essentially reduce or something. So my vitamin in all probability is not as strict as most individuals’s in a weight class. However I’ve discovered that during the last yr making little modifications has allowed me to proceed to benefit from the sport and enhance.
What do these modifications in your food plan appear to be?
I’ve by no means been good at counting macros or something like that. So it is largely eyeballing and ensuring that I am consuming sufficient every meal and sufficient all through the day. And a significant factor is altering the standard of life: much less junk meals, much less processed meals, extra of these leafy greens.
Now that you just’re on the Olympic residence stretch, how a lot do you’re feeling such as you’re within the lab by way of individuals monitoring you or telling you to do new issues?
Not an excessive amount of, as a result of we have all been unfold out throughout the nation. However I go away for Hawaii tomorrow, the place the crew will probably be very a lot in an remoted setting coaching collectively. Nevertheless, I’m often speaking to a sports activities psychologist and our workers dieticians, and simply checking in with individuals to verify I did the work.
Do you assume anybody will attempt to make you narrow your hair?
In the event that they do, they may attempt in useless.
I’ve had it for a very long time, and I attempted to chop it as soon as, early in my profession, like 2007-2008. Somebody made the joke, “You are gonna lose your power like Samson!” I laughed it off, however I actually felt like my lifting was off for an excellent two or three months after that.
Who else on the USA weightlifting crew are you eyeing to make an impression in Tokyo?
I believe a few of our largest threats are on the ladies’s crew. I believe all 4 of the ladies we’re sending, Sarah, Mattie, Kate, and Jourdan, have actual photographs. With the precise numbers, they’ve an opportunity of profitable all of it. I believe Harrison and CJ on the lads’s aspect have sensible photographs making it, as effectively.
In my case, I am simply actually completely happy to be there. I need to make some massive lifts and luxuriate in my second on the stage.
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Picture/video courtesy of USA Weightlifting/Caine Wilkes.