Weightlifting is more popular than it ever was. Many things have contributed to the rise of popularity of our sport, such as Crossfit, modernization of our competitions ($ prizes at the Arnolds or web streaming for instance), athletes showcasing their training online (YouTube, instagram, Facebook’s athletes pages), etc. This hasn’t really translated in more youth lifters (may be a little). It has mostly translated in a lot of 18-30 years old new lifters. Youth lifters don’t really read weightlifting articles or watch YouTube instructional videos. What we are seeing is a lot of older athletes who are very smart and tend to think like coaches and gather more information than they can put in practice – although they are still young in their lifting career.
Many things in life are done out of tradition. What used to work in the past should work in the present. Only a change technical rules of the sport could influence majorly how you would want to lift a barbell overhead . In other words, although the general concepts of weightlifting don’t change much, the best technique will change – or evolve – according to the rules of competition. Over the years, weightlifting has evolved in many ways and the best methods are the one that match the current situation and rules.
Although weightlifting success is not a 100% dependent on Leg strength, strength of the legs is of great importance for the weightlifter. Every athlete is different – yet we could define them as either Technicians and Strength based athletes. Technicians tend to be rather weak in the strength movements (especially the squats), yet lift heavy because of how efficient they are (They can use a high % of their strength). Strength based athletes tend to get strong super fast in comparison. Their efficiency is, however, on the lower side. They tend to have a large surplus of strength. Both type of athlete can and do step on the international stage. Here are some of my better tricks and ideas to build a bigger squat.
Adam Mattiussi is a great up and coming 77kg lifter from England. His best result in competition was a 131kg snatch and a 165kg clean and jerk at the 2014 Under 23 European Championships. This peformance ranked him 7th in the competition. He has a degree in Strength and Conditioning Science from St Mary’s University and is studying for a postgraduate degree in Sports Rehabilitation. Here we discuss how he got started, how he worked around injuries, touch briefly on the Britain system and much more.
Programming is often considered an art and a science at the same time. Different countries have different ways of planning the year of their lifters – in terms of exercise selection, volume/tonnage, intensity/%, frequency of training and focus of training (some are more strength oriented and some are more technique oriented). As anything sports oriented, coaches like to argue over which program is better and/or which country’s influence makes more sense and/or what works/does not work for them in their practice. On the other hand, for better or worse, athletes live and die by that program as if their whole success depends on completing every sets and reps written down.
Better late than never…Happy new year to everybody! For me, 2014 has been crazy with experiences, athlete recruitment, athlete development, programming and travelling for competition and a few seminars. Looking back, it was a great year for myself and for weightlifting generally. Of course, I haven’t been able to post as regularly on here due to all those hours I spent in the gym coaching. Working with so many people, so many different age groups and so many different personnalities, I feel like I bettered myself as a coach. Methodologies are not fixed and learning how to adapt your approach to get your point across is necessary and takes trial and errors (Humans are indeniably biologically different). Here are 5 things that I either learned, dealt with or paid more attention to during last year cycle. I feel like they are good lessons and might change your training, your results and the outcome of your competition.
I had the chance to contact Lydia Valentin – who is arguably one of the greatest female lifter at the moment – through her friend Sayra Yever. I would like to thank her for help in getting in contact with Lydia and for her translation skills. Lydia’s achievements are many in the 75kg- category: 6th at the 2007 World’s, Bronze at the 2013 world’s, 5th and 4th at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics respectively, and after many bronze and silver medals, she also got gold at the 2014 Europeans. This is a rather brief interview were we discussed how she got started, her plans and more.
Without further ado, here is the interview with Lydia Valentin.