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Olympic Weightlifting: You can't cheat the process

“You can train hard 4 or 5 days a week for 10 years and still only be halfway decent at this sport.” Coach Mike Burgener

I was told this about 5 years ago as a bright eyed bushy tailed crossfitter by the Crossfit Olympic lifting coach himself. The truth of the statement has only just started to sink in after focusing on the sport for 3 short years.

Olympic Weightlifting is a SLOW sport. Yes, in the beginning you will hit PR's on a pretty regular basis and it will be thrilling! Making gains is fun, and to see the numbers go up will only spur you on more. Use it, let it fuel your fire.

One day it will stop. I am not here to burst your bubble or to be the bearer of bad news, I am only here to be truthful. The number you get stuck on will be different for everyone. When you hit that number, you will know it because it will be a number that you repeat for a LONG time. For me, it's the 105 kg snatch. I'm not sure what it is about that number, but it has been my nemesis for a year to date. I have been happily making gains in this sport until that number and it just always feels like I'm picking up the heaviest object in the world every time I try it!

Thoughts of quitting, coming to Jesus in my own mind have occurred over the past year. I almost hung it up, sold all my equipment, and gave up on all my dreams. Sometimes in life, things push you to the edge. They knock you down until you think you have nothing left and then keep knocking you down. You get pushed to your breaking point.

After this difficult time in my own mind, I somehow came out on the other side with renewed perspective and respect for the sport, it's coaches and athletes. Olympic lifting is the closest correlate to real life that I have ever experienced. You reap what you sow EVERY single day in the gym. Weightlifting will never go easy on you, it will not blow smoke up your ass and tell you that it's all fine. Similar to the way the weather changes only to remind you who is really the boss (the man above).

It seems that the reason I hate the sport could be the exact reason I love it so much. It exposes people to their core. It never lies, 105 kgs will always be 105 kgs. The process and adventure in the sport and in life is just that, a process. You might as well enjoy it, right?

Is this what Oleg means by, “you look like a person!?” I will let you decide for yourself. See you in the gym where real life happens...

Coach Marshall