Weightlifting: Turning 1000 pieces into 1 thought

*The Route 56 Challenge: Day 23*

Weightlifting (one word), as opposed to weight lifting/ dinking around with weights (see: Bally’s), is a massive part of our training at Functional Fitness on the Bluffs. It’s the entire focus of the Barbell Club. Furthermore, it’s outstanding for training speed, strength, balance, coordination, accuracy, flexibility… Dare I go on? Not to mention, weightlifting trains neuromuscular patterns and fast twitch muscle fibers.

Sure, the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch are functional, compound movements that are organic in nature, but they definitely take a dedicated athlete and a patient coach to master. To put it simply: There’s “a lot going on” in those movements.

So, here you are in class just wanting to get “fit” and you’ve got to figure out how to jump shrug with aggressive hips, but with relaxed arms, while reaching full extension at the top as fast as you can. Don’t forget though… the most important, hardest part of the movement is after all that– oh, and do it even faster than the jump. Yikes!.. that’s a lot to think about, isn’t it?

Like any complex skill, however, repetitions will be your saving grace. That and simplicity. Here are two of the best American weightlifters talking about simplifying their lifts. They also happen to be husband and wife (and old coaches of mine). Here’s Casey and Natalie Burgener:


To echo these masters’ words, I’d encourage you all to simplify you’re thinking during your lifts. Get agressive. Enjoy aggressive successful lifts and learn from aggressive mistakes. Also, like Natalie said… get some good imagery of successful lifts on repeat in your head. Here’s a good visual breakdown of each lift:


Neither lift is perfect, but huge coaching points to notice include: long arms and full extension, speed under the bar, and fast elbows in the clean. 3, 2, 1.. Geek out!

Meeker, on the other hand, needs no help with her jerk.


Logan Gelbrich


Monday’s Workout:

4 rounds:
30 KB Swings
100m Plate Pinch Carry (25/10)
15 Hand Release Push Ups







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