Congratulations are in order for our Kettlebell coach, Lisa! She'll be bringing home a Gold Medal from the Snatch event at this year's Kettlebell Lifting World Championship in Seoul! I've been Lisa's strength coach for a few years now, and she exemplifies what's possible when you really push yourself and shoot for the stars! Great job, Lisa!
Super proud of these girls for nabbing some new Snatch records today! Marie nails a long term goal of 35kg and Gill nets herself 42kg! It's official: I'm excited for the Junior Provincial Championships next weekend!
...This is why we have weight classes...
Pulls are one of the most important assistance exercises a weightlifter can do. Do them from different positions, at different intensities, and with different tempos. Here you can see new team member, @mark.m.a doing a Clean Pull complex with a pause, @lewis_orzech doing heavy Snatch Pulls, and @davesavage0803 tugging on some heavy Clean Pulls. When we're in season this is one of the primary means with which we're able to apply both high volume and high intensity loading to the development of the competition lifts. Do them!
We had a great time teaching some high schoolers from Heritage Academy the basics of barbell training this afternoon! It was an enlivening experience to see just how excited these kids were about learning how to lift. It's not everyday that you get to work with such a motivated group of individuals! We're looking forward to having them back!
Gill and Marie have been working really hard as they finish the final stages of their preparation for the Ontario Junior Championships. What's rewarding is that we get to nurture their love of lifting. What matters is that we're teaching them to be resilient. Lifting is both literally and figuratively about resistance. When you're a lifter you're not just resisting the weight on the bar; you're learning to resist doubt, anxiety, fear, hubris, and more. A strong body is nothing without a strong mind to wield it.
I'm deloading this week, and my top set for Back Squats today was 232.5kg for a double. I thought to myself: damn, 500lbs+ is a routine weight now. Since it's #tbt I ended up scrolling through my library of recorded lifts. Towards the end I realized that just a little over a year ago 227kg was a huge 3RM. And, just because it's noticeable, I'm about 8kg lighter today than I was back then. I'd say that's progress! Go rifle through your training log and see where you were a year ago. There's a good chance you'll surprise yourself!
@dkowa is an amazingly fast athlete, but like many fast-twitch dominant lifters he has trouble grinding through reps when things get particularly heavy. The solution? Work what he's bad at. While Pause Squats done from below parallel are my go-to squat variation they'd have very little direct carryover for Dylan. Instead he's going to pause right where he's weak: above parallel. As you can see it's taking a lot of effort for him to maintain tension here. But, it's going to transfer very well when we go back pushing his squats again!
...and this is why corrective/supplementary work matters. There was a short period this past summer where I really neglected keeping my shoulders and hips healthy. Due to my infamous coach lean my right shoulder likes to sit a little more forward than it should. I've also got asymmetrical hip joints that usually aren't a problem provided I maintain my adductors, hamstrings, and glutes. How'd I fix it? I paid more attention to my shoulder girdle's posture when not training, stretched my hip musculature sometime after training, and did just a little bit of unilateral work for my lower body. It was literally an extra 15-20 minutes of work on training days, but paid off huge for my squats since this imbalance was causing me to helicopter hard in the ascent. We all have imbalances and unique anatomical challenges to overcome that, while small and often tedious to address, pay off big in the long-run. Do your damn mobility work, and if something feels funny pay attention to it before it wrecks you!
And so ends another great competition for the club! Out of 7 athletes we finished with 3 Bronze, 1 Silver, and 1 Gold at this year's Fall Classic! More importantly, just about everyone realized improvements in their competitive game with almost all of our athletes earning new personal bests in one of, if not both lifts! Results matter, but individual attitudes and team spirit matter more. Everyone showed that in spades today. Once again, I'm left a proud coach!
@mediocrelifter puts on anything but a mediocre performance, nabbing himself a Bronze medal in the 77kg class at his first Fall Classic! Snatches didn't quite go our way, but he finished the competition with a 193kg total, adding 5kg to his competitive best. Nick's only been training for 7 months as a Weightlifter, and he's already putting up podium finishes at elite, Senior meets! Look for him to come ready to lift hard at the Junior Provincial Championships in two weeks!
Just a heads up! As many members of the team are off this weekend for the Fall Classic we'll be running a slightly different schedule tomorrow. Oly 2 will be Open Gym format, and we'll be wrapping up training around 8pm once the Strength 1 guys finish up with Ryan. Saturday will run as usual with coaches Cierra and Spencer running the show instead of Greg and Julia. Wish us luck as we go into the first major competition of the season!
It's taper week for the team as we prepare for this year's Fall Classic! Most standard peaking cycles are hyper-specific to the needs of competition, confining exercise selection to the competition lifts, and perhaps some squats and pulls. While I agree that specificity is important, don't forget to do what made you strong in the first place! I program plenty of variation in the peaks of my athletes to keep training fresh!
I couldn't be prouder of this guy. In the 3 year's I've know him Greg has always trained hard, but 2017 has been his year. Yesterday he finally hit a milestone he's had his eyes on since he started: a 182kg (400lbs) Back Squat. Everyone who lifts has a landmark number in their head that let's them know they're for real. A lift that confirms they were right to put their heart into their training, that they weren't just chasing an impossible vision. Here's to you, Greg! Onwards now to 200! #Repost @soliddman (@get_repost) ・・・ This just happened. 182kg #squats. 400 lbs. No short of encouragement from Team JustLift. @cierramm with the sneaky vid capture. Thanks team & coach. Stay tuned, so much more to come. 🔥🔥🔥
Supersets aren't just for bodybuilders! Want to emphasize a particular feel in an exercise or rather, as we would say, build proprioceptive awareness? Pair a main lift with an exercise typically used for activation or as an accessory meant to address a weakness. The Strength 1 folks are building strong, functional core strength for their Squats by coupling them with sets of planks. The same concept can be applied easily to other movements, too! Glutes not working in the lockout of the Deadlift? Pair them with some Glute Bridges or Bird Dogs! Just be thoughtful and creative!
That feel when coach is killing you, and you're so beat down that you forget you're supposed to do a double... @justinreeson @lifthacks
Check out Charles (@blackmaneffect) here repping out a smooth set of Pause Deadlifts. Why add a pause? Increased time under tension, greater motor unit activation, and the chance to work on strengthening wherever you're weakest in the lift, that's why! This is the most specific Deadlift variation you can do, and as a result, likely has the greatest transfer to Deadlift performance over any other exercise meant to build the lift. The pause also offers the opportunity to really dial-in your pulling technique as it'll let you know if your bar path is suboptimal very quickly. If you've never done these before give them a try! You'll wonder why these weren't in your program before when your Deadlift gains skyrocket!
Having trouble making the Jerk after a Clean? You can do all the Jerk variations from the blocks that you want, but your Jerk might not actually be the problem. Remember: It's the Clean AND Jerk. Your weakness might actually just have to do with being able to Jerk well after a Clean. For that reason, I often don't prescribe Cleans without a Jerk. In fact, for volume training I'll typically prescribe two (or more) Cleans before a Jerk. While isolating either lift has a time and a place it's of little benefit to a Weightlifter to be significantly better at one over the other.
The Kettlebell Swing: an excellent conditioning exercise, but often forgotten as a strength movement. A major benefit of the exercise is that it trains both acceleration and deceleration, a crucial relationship with regard to building agility, balance, and coordination. Additionally, it trains far more than just the hips and low-back, integrating muscles throughout the whole body. Here's the trick: use a challenging weight that you can do between 10-15 reps. If you're strong that might mean using two KBs! You'd be surprised at how much you can build your glutes and low-back with these!
Coach @ryan.best got himself a big new Deadlift record yesterday with 170kg for 6 reps! Ryan's 1RM prior to this was 180kg. I think it's safe to say that if he can manage 6 reps at 94% of his best single that he's definitely gotten stronger!
That look when you realize you actually do know how to lockout heavy jerks... (swipe left for the video). @julialiftsbig got herself a solid, 105kg Behind-the-Neck Jerk last night! If you've followed her IG account (or ours) at any length, then, you know that Jerks are her nemesis. Working up her jerks looked great until 100+. That's when the weight makes her mind do iffy things. As my friend and fellow coach, @justinreeson, has said before: there's a difference between believing you can do something versus trying to convince yourself that you can. When faced with a plateau you can do all the corrective drills, spend hours practicing, and listen to all of your coach's cues. It still comes down to you deciding - and I mean decisively committing with every bit of your being - to breaking through whatever barrier is holding you back. Only then will you realize your true capabilities!