At one point in the early history of modern American weightlifting it was fairly easy to figure out where to find reliable sources of training information. While the number of sources was considerably fewer than what we have today, they were all more or less reliable and stayed in their lanes.
The Guide to Weightlifting Competition by Bob Hoffman contained a great deal of sound training information as did Weight Training for Athletics by Jim Murray. Almost anyone could access these books and find the information reliable and helpful.
Strength & Health magazine from York Barbell was the most easily accessible source of training information as it was actually racked in newsstands across the country until its demise in 1985. IOL by Bob Hiser ran from 1973 to 1996 and was almost entirely authored by lifters or weightlifting coaches. USA Weightlifting magazine, Lifting News and Reno’s Newsletter had always provided meet results and training articles authored by members of the community.
For the truly addicted there were some weightlifting gyms around the country with bona fide lifting programs and accomplished coaches. In the 70’s and 80’s serious weightlifters actually moved to the cities where the real gyms were located. They found their way to the Sports Palace, Calpians, York Barbell, IOL, Coffee’s Gym, PHAT Elvis, Gayle Hatch, Sayre Park, or Lost Battalion Hall. I probably left out a few but I think the reader can get the idea that these training hubs were few and far between, certainly not enough to service the weightlifting needs of this large country.
So that’s what we had in this country as far as sources of weightlifting training information. Hardly adequate but enough to produce some talented athletes.
The New Normal
As we enter the third decade, we still have a small number of dedicated weightlifting gyms which are producing some top talents. They are led by some of the better coaches, but they are scattered. Nothing new there. We have a considerable number of websites, some with instructional material. The best of them is Catalyst Athletics. A sizeable number of coaches are offering online coaching, the situation requiring them to put more effort into marketing than in mastering the craft. In essence there are lots of bits and pieces of advice (many of them valid), but no overall plan.
What I see frequently are new lifters posting videos on line and asking for critiques. It’s not unusual to see six or seven comments from symptomologists who identify what is being done incorrectly but not offering a valid remedy. There may be several errors identified and this merely leaves the lifter seeking advice all the more confused.
The Same Old Problem—No Roadmap
So if you are a beginning weightlifter or coach and you want to learn the sport but are not at the point where you’re willing to pick up and move to one of the meccas of the sport, you are in need of some direction, a roadmap. This has always been a problem, but it is now magnified with so many new lifters and coaches and a veritable tsunami of confusing information now easily available. And it’s not that the advice is not valid nor ill-intentioned, but rather that there is little context as to how and when to apply the advice and even when not to. The result is a ball of confusion. This is confusing for both new athletes alone training and for newer coaches.
What I’m Planning
SOOO I’ve come up with a plan!
First of all, for those of you who might not be familiar with my personal history. I’ll keep it brief. I’ve been coaching lifters since 1969 and the best ones have won national titles, set national records and represented the US in international competitions. This comes out to hundreds of lifters with every imaginable problem. Along the way I’ve figured out some coaching strategies to keep them progressing to the limits of their talents.
What I plan to do is to come up with a roadmap for the new or beginning lifter and/or coach incorporating the strategies I’ve figured out to get the lifter to the point where more sophisticated training can commence.
Now so far I plan on including
· A day by day training program that will run for around 8 weeks.
· This will be a series of videos that will include videos of each new exercise as it is introduced with voice-overs describing the precise performance.
· Specific set and rep schemes for each exercise on each day.
· Specific plans for when to perform specific movements and when not to.
By the completion of the course you can plan on progressing on to more challenging training that will keep your progress going.
Coaches who apply this program will thoroughly understand the developmental process of technique training and the strategies behind exercise selection and inclusion.
Right now I need your help!
As much experience as I have, there’s still bound to be a few problems that I might not address. If you could address your most pressing technique or coaching problem in the comments section of this Facebook post or blog post, that would be extremely helpful as I shape the curriculum. Thanks in advance for your help!