I’m a Weightlifter: Take 2

124kg C&J

124kg C&J

After spending much time away from competition, I am really trying to find my way back to the platform. In doing so, I’ve found that my feelings on training are much different than they were from the time I stopped a few years ago. Since then I’ve been around some great coaches, weightlifting and strength and conditioning, who have shown me deeper philosophies toward training. This is how I see training now and I’m training differently because of these…

Train Based on the Day

I have a plan, yes, but I am beginning to finally see this journey for what it is; a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve told myself this before but I don’t think I ever truly believed it, hence all the injuries I’ve had to get through. I’d rather train with my eyes on a meet next year than on one next month. I want to be as prepared as possible. One thing that helps me with this is HRV (see below).

Use the Technology Available

I didn’t have much technology available to me a few years ago when I was competing. Though, the small amount that was available to me didn’t get used much. I was a traditionalist of sorts. Well, I now have a great many technologies available to use that can advance my training.

Technique Analysis

I like to use some kind of technique analysis from time to time. There are quite a few out that are very affordable. I use three interchangeably; Dartfish, Ubersense, and Coaches’ Eye. All three have some really cool features.

Accelerometers (Speed Analysis)

In the past, I did have access to an accelerometer, but never used it. I now see the extreme value in monitoring bar velocity and use mainly two types of accelerometers. However, these two technologies do much more than monitor bar velocity, but that’s for another discussion. I like PUSH Strength and EliteForm. Both are exceptional, but a little more pricey than the technique analysis apps. Of course, you could always get a tendo. It just doesn’t have all the programming features of PUSH and EliteForm.

Heart Rate Variability

This stuff has been around for a long time. I remember hearing about it a few years ago, but never paid much attention. Lately, I’ve become extremely interested in learning more about HRV. I now use Joel Jamieson’s BioForce system with myself and my athletes. It seems to be pretty dialed in to my readiness to train. I’m looking forward to seeing how I adapt through this year of using this HRV system.



I always planned my training in the past. What I didn’t pay enough attention to was my training volume for the larger picture. I’m talking about how each training cycle’s volume affects the next and so on. Now I’m much more cognizant of that and what has to happen in order to bring about the desired adaptations. I use the PUSH system for this as well. It does a great job of showing you how much load (tonnage) was in your training session.

“Listening” to my Body

I used to think I was good at knowing when to take breaks from training. That was until I had chronic tendinitis in both knees and had to step away from weightlifting for awhile. This was partly from training to hard, too often and from not taking off when I needed to heal. I’m much better with this now, especially since I’m a little older and a little wiser ;). I don’t mind being a little “lazy” from time to time, either. The BioForce system should help a little with this problem, which is why I’m so stoked to be using it.

Training Alone

I used to train with the occasional training partner, but would train alone for the most part. Not by choice, of course, but just never had a consistent schedule with the other guys. I’ve always seen the importance of training with people stronger and more technical than yourself. That’s one of the reasons I’ve started my own weightlifting club. Not only do I wish to coach other weightlifters, but I want to train with some as well.

Less is More

Wait, more is not more? Am I in the wrong place? I thought the more volume and intensity you could handle, the better? Well, yeah, but not when you’re not physiologically ready for it. I used to increase my training volumes too quickly, leading to alot of…nothing…well, just some achy joints and drained central nervous system. Sometimes I miss that feeling, sometimes.

Now I follow the less is more approach to training. You know, the minimal effective dose. Now, if I were to hit a solid PR, I may just be done for the day. Although, I haven’t hit a PR in a very, very long time. I know, it makes me sad too.

triple ext

My Technique

I’ve had years to think about what I need to change to become better in my technique. That is, years to examine my old training videos; to remember how the positions felt; what was out of place; what didn’t fit? Now that I’m beginning to snatch and clean again, I’m able to start putting these thoughts into practice. One of the things I definitely need(ed) was/is more ankle mobility. Still working on that, but I believe it’s gotten a little better. My shoulder mobility is also lacking (thanks, baseball! Part 1 & 2).

I’ve also had time to visualize the deliberate movements and intricacies that need to happen for me to be able to reach the required positions to be more successful in this sport. The hard part is making them actually happen!

That’s it for now. I’m sure there are some more things, but this is a good start. What would you, or do you, do differently in your training than you did a few years ago?

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