On May 15 to 17th, our nationals were held in Mississauga near Toronto. I’m told a total of 202 athletes were registered which is a sign that our sport is slowly growing. It always impress me how our teams remain competitive in America’s competitions and Commonwealth games given the relatively low number of participants. Usually quantity brings quality – but in our case we have managed to deal with the situation pretty well. Anyhow, a lot of good fights happened on the platform given that this was the last stop to qualify for Pan ams in Toronto. Obviously, every great Canadian weightlifter wanted to be on the team to represent their country on home turf.
I have been pretty busy in the last month and I have struggled to find the time to write something meaningful and worth sharing. After much deliberation with my athletes and people around me, there is a subject I would like to touch upon. It was suggested to me that I should write about what I think is necessary to reach the top in our sport (or any meaningful activity for whats worth). The following might sound pretty much straight forward, but it is a good reminder to all aspiring athletes.
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.