Fred Lowe won the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics in Men’s Middleweight Weightlifting. He was also the first American middleweight athlete to Clean and Jerk over 400 pounds.
So as Mad Apple CrossFit was prepared its team for their second visit to the Reebok CrossFit Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio, they called in Lowe to help with their Olympic Lifts.
When his time in the Olympics was over, Lowe went on to lift in Masters competitions. He also became a strength and weightlifting coach who helped develop the CrossFit Olympic lifting programs. Maddie Shine, who is a Coach at Mad Apple CrossFit in Fort Wayne, Indiana and also a member of the Mad Apple CrossFit Regional team, took a weightlifting course his gym in Dewitt, Michigan.
After taking the course, Shine kept in touch with Lowe. He first visited Mad Apple CrossFit to instruct a seminar. After establishing that contact, the gym’s Affiliate, Bobby Petras, asked him to come work with the team for a day.
On Wednesday, May 11, Lowe met the team at the Box, and began warming them up with wiffle ball drills. After that, he led the team through Snatches, which the first hour was spent with no weight on the barbells. Petras explained this was to get the team used to the feeling of Snatching the barbell.
In the afternoon, Lowe had the team members put 60 percent of their max weight on the bar, and he worked on each athlete’s specific deficiencies.
When the training day was over, Petras had the team and Lowe over for dinner. During the meal, Lowe shared the story of his Olympic journey, “which may have been the best part of the day,” said Petras.
Petras explained he has always been an athlete — playing sports in high school and football in college — but he’s never too athletic to call in the experts, such as Lowe. And though the entire day was geared toward training the Regional team, Petras said he will be able to translate the knowledge he learned from Lowe to the rest of his Box’s members. “[Snatching] is such a technical lift, you do have to spend time on it or you forget how technical it is,” he said. “Even the best athletes seek out better experts.”