Not too shabby! We're 10 days into December and have some serious Squat records going up on the board! 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ @jkettles4 fought for a tough double at 80kg in the Front Squat (176lbs). She'll be chasing a 200lbs Front Squat very soon! @real_harryli nabbed himself 100kg for a double, putting him in a very good position to hit that 💯 Clean and Jerk very soon! 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ If you look closer we've also got another 500lbs Squat at the club now, too! Marc fought hard for that 235 after a grueling Squat program. That's now six men flying our banner who can put 500+ freedom units on their back and win. @guccigainsz also just smoked 400lbs for a double. Maybe he's the next to conquer 500? 🤔
#tbt to last year's Holiday Open! We had a great time last year, and we plan to have an even better time this year! The team has been working hard to put together some solid lifting. Here's some of their recent work in preparation for the last event of 2018! #iamjustlift 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ Athletes shown are: @rich.davidson, @samsenyshyn, @julialiftsbig, @sarvenazhm, and @thedavesavage2.
The Juniors of the team: @mediocrelifter, @ashley_goalie_1, @_m_a_i_r, @gillmlo, and @camstinycalves (not pictured)* are representing the club tomorrow at the Junior Provincial Championships in Toronto! They've all trained hard for this one. Let's wish them luck! UPDATE: They swept. 3 Gold, 1 Silver with a few of those coming from close battles. We're incredibly proud of our Juniors for representing both themselves and the team so well!
Since I touched on it in one of my stories yesterday let's talk about programming! Today's topic: overload weeks. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ If you've done this for a little while you've probably noticed that there are anywhere from 1-3 weeks in a 12 week program that are particularly difficult. You may even have a specific week or period that's planned as a shock cycle. We have these because training is all about stress and adaptation. To provoke an adaptation one must be pushed enough to be... Well, overloaded. But there's a problem. How overloaded do you need to be? And, should you continue overloading if it's clear that you're, as the name implies, overloaded with stress? 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ Just because you have an overload week or period doesn't mean you need to stick to it blindly. I've seen many athletes, myself included, continue to slog through a shock week when they were already sufficiently stressed two to three days in. As competitive athletes and coaches we often feel the need to suck it up and slog through anyway. But, do you really need to do that here? Because guess what happens after sucking it up for too long? That's right. Injuries. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ The goal of an overload week is to provide sufficient stress to elicit improvement. If you're beat to shit, performance is declining, and everything hurts... Guess what? Mission accomplished! Time to recover. Remember: overload. Not overkill.
LOL. This is too funny not to post. @ashley_goalie_1's dad has recently filled the position of Head Statistician for Team JustLift. I received his most recent analysis in my inbox this morning. 🤣 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ This'll probably catch up with me one day but for now it's hilarious. #monsterenergy
Third time's a charm! @_m_a_i_r hit a huge Snatch record last night with 45kg! This is a 4kg record over her previous best, and nearly a 10% improvement to the lift! 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ This was a true max attempt. Her Back Squat is around 75kg right now, making this lift about as much as we could possibly expect her to Snatch. That means Marie had to do everything right, and fight for this lift. There's no time for doubt or room for fear with an attempt like this. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ That last point is why you can hear us all losing it over this make. She'd missed this two times previously. We gave her the option of trying again or stopping, and she chose to go one more time. A lot of times an athlete will take another attempt in a situation like this because they think they ought to, because they don't want to disappoint their coach, or simply trying is good enough. Not because they think they'll make it (hint: your coach can tell 😉). She didn't try to convince herself that she could; she actually believed, and you can see the outcome. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ The next time you make an attempt after a few misses make your mind up about being succesful. Screw the externalities in your head. They're only there to cushion your ego for giving into doubt because giving up is easier than giving it your all. If getting better were easy we'd all be winners.
Weigh-In for this weekend's competition starts at 10am for the Men! Women's weigh-in will begin at 12pm.
Looks like these two were working hard while I was away! @_m_a_i_r and @gillmlo put up some big, new Squat PRs this morning! ▪▪▪▪▪ Marie nabbed herself a new record at 75kg and Gill 103kg. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: these two are stronger than me at the same age. Anything you've ever heard about kids or girls not being able to get strong? Bullshit. All of it. The sky's the limit for these two!
What a team, what an experience! These last two weeks have been one of the highlights of my life. We faced many challenges, experienced highs and lows, but did so as a team. ▪▪▪▪▪ I was the new guy at this one, and I won't lie, I felt a lot of pressure from that. All I knew was that, no matter what, I'd try to be the best coach I could. The welcome and trust that I received from these athletes and my fellow coaches, though? There were days that I only slept for 2-3 hours, but I was never tired. Their stories and attitudes never failed to inspire me to do better. I learned a lot as a coach, but just as importantly I'm leaving with more friends than I had before! ▪▪▪▪▪ We're all competitors. Even the coaches. Back home in Canada sometimes we can lose sight of the fact that we're all in this to be our best. I can promise you come next Nationals that, even though I'll be looking for the win for the athletes I coach that I'll still be rooting for everyone! At the end of the day we're all #teamcanada, and this experience won't let me forget that. We can't all win all the time, but I can tell you that everyone on this team is a winner. ▪▪▪▪▪ I want to thank everyone who made this experience what it was for me. You're not just exceptional athletes, but exceptional people. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you again. Go Team Canada!
Last night's 64D session was one of my favorites... Ever. I often talk about just how crucial it is to build momentum in training and competition. Try doing that over a career. ▪▪▪▪▪ I've seen @siemensweightlifting at Canadian Nationals as long as I've been coaching. Every year she's gotten a little better. From middle of the pack to: Shit, I don't think Ontario has anyone that can beat her. ▪▪▪▪▪ Last night we went in with a plan. We went 82-84-86x in the Snatch as intended (minus the miss, of course!). It was the Clean and Jerk, though, where the years of grinding showed their value. ▪▪▪▪▪ Things changed in this round. Her legs were heavy. We lowered her opener, she made it, but the Jerk was off. It looked like the bar punched her in the gut. We called 108 for a second, thinking we'd play it safe... It wasn't. She missed. We had a two minute clock now with no hand to play. Thigh slaps and shouts of encouragement only go so far. She was gonna have to fight. ▪▪▪▪▪ Everyone's always looking for the perfect training, the perfect peak. The truth, however, is that there's no program that prepares you for this. Just grit and years of fighting for every kilo. You hear slogans like: leave it all on the platform bandied about all the time, but very few ever do it because the reality is that most don't even know how. I've coached a while now, and I can tell you that this is one of the very rare moments I've actually seen it. Rachel gave it everything she had. The pull looked almost like a deadlift. Standing up with it like a max squat. How the hell was she gonna put a bar that heavy over her head? Somehow she did it! I'm not even sure how, but it happened! She couldn't have gotten it unless she did everything right. And she couldn't have done that without years of accumulated practice, success, failure, resilience, and force of will. I saw a 73kg lifter Snatch 170 for a world record just before this session. Rachel's 108 Clean and Jerk was way cooler. ▪▪▪▪▪ It's not always about how strong your body is. Sometimes it's about how strong your heart is!
The first day of lifting at the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships comes to a close! What a day! ▪▪▪▪▪ This morning @mariloudozoisprevost and @rachelleblancbazinet lifted in the first W55 session (and crushed it because we're #teamcanada!). They both made some gutsy attempts, the kind that get you torquing your neck hard enough to make a chiropractor cry. They deserve a huge applause for representing how tough our lifters are! ▪▪▪▪▪ There was also a coincidence too cool not to share. The first full session of Weightlifting I ever watched was the W48A at the Beijing Olympics (on TV). That session is what got me hooked on the sport, convincing me that I had to learn the lifts. Marilou was in that session, and was the first Canadian I ever saw compete in this sport. Life definitely rhymes because a decade later, attending my first World Championship, I had the privilege of helping coach her. ▪▪▪▪▪ Afterwards I also saw my friends @anna_van_bellinghen and @mamppaellenvilhelmiina! We got in some training after lunch and some catching up. It's surreal when you think that I, a Canadian, met up with friends from Western and Northern Europe, in Central Asia... How else would that happen? ▪▪▪▪▪ I capped off the day by attending the spectacle that was the opening ceremony with @siemensweightlifting. Turkmenistan has pulled out all the stops for this event. I'm not even sure how to describe it... There were lasers, a horse, Turkmen dancers, thousands of spectators, and a welcome address from the President of the nation. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it! ▪▪▪▪▪ Getting strong, and slammin' bars is cool*, however, when I look at what I wrote above it's clearly the people that make it. Weightlifting has a knack for pulling the best out of a person. That's why I never get tired of it.
Survived day one! We arrived this morning (after 20-ish hours of traveling) at 3:15am, got our rooms by 7am, and hit the training hall by 12pm. We're toast, and my brain hurts. That's why I'm giving you a lazy pic from my room window. But..... ▪▪▪▪▪ This place is amazing. The venue was built just last year to host the Asian Games and it shows. The level of organization and respect for the sport is everything we could have hoped for. Did I mention that the architecture is stunning? ▪▪▪▪▪ It's an absolutely surreal experience to rub elbows with people you used to watch on TV or YouTube. Bumping into coaches and athletes I admired a a little less than a decade ago doesn't get old. Yes... I'm one of those people today (but I refuse to show it!). I'm enjoying it now because once the bar's loaded we're adversaries. ▪▪▪▪▪ I'm amazingly proud to be a part of #teamcanada's effort here. Weightlifting matters to me because it's a metaphor for life. The bar gives you two choices: resist or be crushed. If you really want to shine not only do you need to fight with heavier bars, but you need to be willing to be pulverized. I'm proud to be in the company of people who dared to be wrecked by the bar, got up, and asked for more.
Hello Team! While Greg is away for Worlds we have some changes. You'll be getting old throw back HP and Lvl 2 coach Cierra, she will be coaching Oly 1, Lvl 2 and HP Julia will also be here coaching, be mindful if she is lifting let her lift. Spencer, Cierra and Ryan are here if you need help.
With #teamcanada getting ready to travel to Turkmenistan for the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships this Sunday I was fired up to lift hard, too! ▪▪▪▪ I started the day strong, going 260-275-290 in the Squat for a 10kg PR! ▪▪▪▪ I went a little more conservative in the Bench Press to save my back, going 185-192.5. I declined my planned 200/202.5 third to save my back for pulling. ▪▪▪▪▪ In the Deadlift I went 290-307.5-320X. The first two were cake, but, once again, my hands betrayed me! I missed 320 about an inch away from lockout. Mark my words, that bar is going up soon! ▪▪▪▪▪ I want to thank my friend and coach, @justinreeson, for guiding me to this point. I couldn't have done it without him! I finished 20kg ahead of my last mock meet total. Now that I've got my own lifting out of my system it's time to put my coaching hat back on for World's!
Who's down to compete!? We're hosting a fully sanctioned meet on November 17th! See the Eventbrite link in our bio to register!
Coaching these two kiddos often reminds me of a huge fault we experience as adult athletes: We're way too hard on ourselves! We conjure onerous goals we're unlikely to succeed at and then act stunned when we don't reach them! Everyone I've ever trained above the age of 18, including myself, has done this at least once. These two girls? Nope (not yet anyway...). ▪▪▪▪▪ I've never heard any complicated, unreasonable goals come from these two. Here's what I'm talking about: But coach! If I have these three perfect meets back to back, do these two things in the heat of competition that I've never been expected to do before, and then add 25kg to my total in the next 13 weeks I can qualify for Nationals this year! For teenagers, these girls are, ironically, far more realistic than many adults. They're reasonable about their progress, and their personal expectations are in-line with their coaches'. There's no haggling over goals, weights in training, etc. ▪▪▪▪▪ I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's the problem of keeping up with the Jones'. Everyone else is kicking ass, I'm not, and I need to be right there with them right now! After all, there are way more adults on Instagram to make us feel bad about ourselves than there are phenom kids. Except everyone else is struggling, too, and we all have unique situations that don't make for meaningful comparisons. The point here is that these two athletes are almost always focused on what's in front of them, and it's allowed them to have a much easier time of trusting the training process. And you know why? Because at the end of the day they do this because it's fun. A day where they get to lift weights is a good one. That last bit is what we forget. Be a little kinder to yourself. Give yourself whatever amount of time is necessary to be the athlete you want to. There are no shortcuts (I would have found them if there were 😉). This sport rewards those who are patient. Patience isn't a problem when you love what you do!
The 2018/2019 Club Challenge season is upon us! We'll be hosting the Fall Club Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 17th! Registration is available via our Facebook page or the link in our IG bio! ▪▪▪▪▪ This meet will be the first in the Club Challenge series to utilize the new IWF weight categories. As this is a fully sanctioned meet subject to doping control it can also be used to qualify for Elite meets (such as Provincials) later in the season! Sign-up now!
The final phase of the Snatch... Looking at these one word comes to mind: Balance. ▪▪▪▪ Notice how none of these lifters are leaning back. They're keeping their weight (and the bar's weight) centered, bringing the bar to the hip, and not the hip to the bar. The arms are still straight, only serving to keep these lifters connected to the bar. In short, their bodies are in an optimal position to produce vertical force. ▪▪▪▪ If an athlete's shoulders are behind the bar at this point, then, the second pull will confer excessive horizontal force, driving the bar away from the body, and forcing the athlete to aggressively pull the bar back to their center. ▪▪▪▪ You do this long enough and you realize that when you see certain positions in an athlete's movement that you can predict the outcome of the attempt with reasonable accuracy. When I see positions like this I'm almost certain that the lift was a make!
It was a blast having @lifeinkg and @scaredlittleboi spend last week in Ottawa! We had a short training camp to make sure Amanda's dialed-in before we leave for Worlds (and to remind Sergiu that he's actually really good at Weightlifting). ▪▪▪ When I started as an accidental coach six years ago I never imagined I'd have the privilege of making relationships with so many awesome people. Here's to more camps like this one! #Repost @lifeinkg (@get_repost) ・・・ Thanks so much to @justliftinc for hosting a great week of training in preparation for #IWF World Championships, and to @julialiftsbig for being an inspiration! 🏋🏼♀️ The excitement is building and I’m feeling more prepared with each week. 😊 // #trainingcamp #iwfworldchampionships #justlift #catalystathletics #olympicweightlifting @scaredlittleboi
Having trouble in the split part of the Jerk? Make that position strong! Two primary causes of iffy Jerk receipts that I see are: 1) issues in the mechanics of the dip and drive and 2) a lack of confidence/comfort in the split. I'm gonna talk about the latter. ▪▪▪ The final phase of the Split Jerk is a lot like the receipt of a Squat Snatch (yes, I said squat snatch). If you're not comfortable in that final position, then, your transition into it is going to be weak no matter how well you executed everything preceding it. ▪▪▪ Practicing being in the split is one solution. Isometric work like pausing before recovering a Jerk or doing Presses in your Jerk split have a lot of value. However, including some eccentric and concentric work past your split's normal ROM can be just as meaningful. ▪▪▪ Overhead Split Lunges (or whatever you want to call them; I certainly didn't invent them) prepare the hip and knee joints to absorb force for the deceleration that must occur when catching a Jerk. This movement also has a specific hypertrophy component, adding an additional means of eliciting strength development for the final phase of the Jerk. If your body is better prepared to catch a split, then, technically you'll have a much easier time learning it. Remember: your body hates being in positions it feels weak in. ▪▪▪ This is a great drill to include either in your warm-up or with more volume and load as an accessory movement towards the end of a workout. If your split doesn't feel great these might just be the solution!
Best news of the day! @coach_killah wins Gold in the Open Age Category Snatch 16kg at the IUKL World Championships! She's now a two time world champion!