I believe that I am an accessible guy, meaning that I reply to pretty much every e-mails, Facebook messages or questions posted on Instagram and I pride myself in doing so. It sometimes take me a few days to reply, given that I coach pretty much everyday and also have trainees that I train online, but I always reply. People write to ask all type of questions, from very technical questions to more personal questions about their lifts or about my private life. I have put a lot of time and effort into First Pull to make it what I believe is a worthy read (At least, make it something I like) and also a reference in the sport of weightlifting. I’m proud of what I have accomplished and I am also proud of having stayed true to my convictions and mission with this”FP project”, meaning that the site offers well researched content for free and that I can only write when I have some free time. First Pull is, and will always be, content driven. Anyhow, people still write me to know who is ”The First Pull guy” (as they call me apparently) and what is my background. To those interested, this is longer version than my short bio posted on here.
Assistance exercises are often debated and debaters tend to have a wide range of opinions. I have encountered and discussed with coaches and athletes that defend how useless they think assistance exercises are just like I have encountered coaches and athletes that are so much into assistance exercises that the main lifts just does not get the required attention to make it better. In my discussions, I have noticed that people have different thoughts about different assistance exercises when, actually, I don’t think we really need to single out an assistance exercise more than the other one. The most common argument for the use of certain exercises over others, is specificity. I don’t think assistance exercises need to be that specific to be useful and here are my thoughts on this matter.
In Part 1 of this essay, I covered various strategies and ideas for recruiting young individuals in the sport of weightlifting. I went over the role of the coach or club manager in the recruiting process and on how to sell the sport to young athletes. In part 2, I will go over talent identification and talent screening. I will go over key abilities that I think are good indicators of talent for weightlifting as well as discuss the general concept of talent and personality.
Finding new athletes, especially kids and teens, is of extreme importance for the competitive success of a weightlifting club and overall success of the coach. The coach or the director of the club always has to be on the hunt for new talent and figure a way to keep the kids that are already members of the club. While Crossfit seems to have a positive impact on the promotion of the sport of weightlifting, it tends to attract mostly people of the 20-30 years old age group. In some cases, some of the newly converted athletes can make it and be successful (think Morghan King or Rachel Siemens in Canada). Your best bet for producing a champion or extremely good weightlifter is still about getting kids from the 9-12 years old age group to try weightlifting and keep them in the sport. In the first part of the essay, I’m going over a few ideas of how to recruit and how to approach recruitment. There are many good ways, but I am going over those that I have tried and have worked for me.
This is a well timed interview as Marie-Ève just won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games only a few days ago. Marie-Ève is an incredible athlete who has quite an interesting story to tell. Her achievements are many. On top of the Gold medal she won at the 2014 CWG (75kg category), she claimed a silver medal at the 2010 CWG in the same weight category. At the 2012 Olympic Games, she finished 8th and won her group (B group). She is consistently rank top 15 in the Worlds as well. Her story is one of perseverance, hard work, and passion… and is quite inspiring. We discuss technique, sport training vs weightlifting, how training evolves through the years, training conditions and more.
The weightlifting community is rich with different thoughts, methodologies, and training philosophies. Athletes and coaches like a large variety of programs, training cycles and correctional fixes. Some go for the very specific methodology and some go for a very assistance exercise-heavy methodology. Upper body strength and upper body muscle hypertrophy is definitely overlooked and under-rated in North America, probably for the sake of being progressive rather than tradition-oriented.
As weightlifting is getting more popular and gets more people interested about competitions and competing, we are seeing a lot of new athletes – and some not so new- in the master division. We are seeing incredible performance by master lifters at the international level and they should get the recognition they deserve for their accomplishment. In the last few weeks, I received a few emails about this topic which I answered but I figured, that judging by the interest, a post about it would be interesting to others as well. Here are a few thoughts about things to consider when starting this sport at an older age.