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Philosophical Weightlifting Podcast Ep. 129: The Weightlifting Encyclopedia w. Artie Drechsler

The USA Weightlifting Podcast – A Weightlifting History Lesson w/ Artie Drechsler on Speaker at



Despite what we have said above, if you still have reservations about working with us. Perhaps you are worried about:

What can I expect during my first visit to your facility If I have experience with Olympic-style Weightlifting, or variations of it (e. g.squatting or doing power cleans)?

When you come to our center for the first time, we’ll watch you train for a while, before we offer any workout suggestions. If you haven’t complete our optional questionnaire link to questionnaires before coming to the training center, we’ll want to learn about such things as:

  • Your current and longer range goals – what you want to accomplish and why
  • What you are happiest about in your career thus far, and what concerns you may have
  • How you have been training and with what kind of coaching (if any)
  • How much training time you have available and when

With this information we can propose an initial approach for you, which will likely be modified as we get to know you better. And you can begin as early as the the same day if you wish.

What can I expect if I’m a newbie to Weightlifting:

If you haven’t completed our pre-visit questionnaire link, when you come to our training center for the first time, we’ll want to learn about your athletic and fitness background (if any), and test your flexibility in areas related to weightlifting technique. Then, we’ll want to learn about your short and long range goals, and how much training time you have and when.

At this point we can give you our initial thoughts, and if we agree to work together, we can create a workout for your first day that is perfect for you – so you can begin the same day if you wish. We’ll then propose a program for you to follow over the coming weeks, listen to your feedback on the plan, to arrive at a mutually agreed approach for moving forward.

Initially, the emphasis will be on your performing very simple exercises which will lay the foundation for developing superior technique. We’ll conditioning you for the sport. And although weightlifting is an inherently one of the safest of all strenuous sports, we’ll also teach you the basics of safe lifting – such as how to miss and how to use a squat rack.

For all athletes who train with us, regardless of their level:

Once you begin training with us we’ll:

–          Provide you with your program and a template for you to capture and report your results – using a structure that facilitates analysis and feedback

–          Monitor your training and provide you technical and more general feedback

–          Teach you the mental skills you need to succeed as a weightlifter

–          Work with you to set new goals and begin further training cycles

Do You Still Wonder If We Can Help You?

Despite what we have said above, if you still have reservations about working with us. Perhaps you are worried that:

I’m not naturally strong or well-coordinated so I probably can’t be a successful weightlifter.

Some of the greatest lifters in history actually took up the sport to overcome inherent weakness and frailty. Weightlifting training has a miraculous ability to build your strength, no matter where you start. And although successful weightlifting requires considerable skill and coordination, it is virtually impossible to fail to learn the skills needed, if you go about it in the right way.

I’ve tried other coaches without success, why should I expect to do any better with you?

There are many excellent coaches who have track records of tremendous success developing athletes, so if you have trained seriously with one of them, it is possible that we may not be able to help you further. However, we’ve yet to meet anyone who can’t benefit from our methods in some, if not many, ways.

What if I truly can’t afford your rates?

We think that you’ll find our rates more than competitive and well worth the price, for the highly effective and individualized guidance you’ll receive. However, if you are a young athlete who is very serious in his or her dedication to lifting and can demonstrate financial need, we are affiliated with a not-for-profit organization that may be able to provide you with a scholarship.

Am I too young or too old to start?

If you are looking for a rewarding sport that gives everyone, but particularly teenagers and young adults, a chance to experience success, weightlifting is it – because everyone can become strong and skillful – and have fun getting there.

We don’t typically recommend focused training for Olympic-style Weightlifting to young children, who would generally benefit by starting with a diverse sport and exercise program. But youngsters can certainly enjoy, and benefit from, learning weightlifting technique with moderate weights (their young minds and bodies are so receptive to training that they don’t need to train heavy to get stronger and more explosive).

We also don’t recommend that those who are in their mid-thirties and older plunge into competitive Weightlifting without a willingness to spend a great deal of time learning correct technique and very gradually conditioning their bodies to accept the rigors of Olympic-style Weightlifting. But by training with great care, they too can enjoy the sport and its benefits.

Is Weightlifting safe - and what about the use of performance enhancing drugs?

All strenuous sports present some level of risk to their participants. However, Weightlifting is one of the safest strenuous sports you can undertake. The risks that are so common in so many other sports – concussions, ACL tears, spinal cord injuries virtually never happen in the sport of weightlifting. Moreover, if you learn to lift correctly and train properly, that relatively smaller risk goes down significantly – which is one of the reasons we spend so much time with beginners covering this subject (see our blog for an example).

When it comes to performance enhancing drugs, there is a kind of tale for “two cities”. The US has the strictest drug control policies of any country in the world. Athletes are tested at all national events, and high level athletes are tested year round out-of-competition. Therefore, lifting at a high level in the US is virtually drug free, with the occasional violator being punished very severely.

Around the rest of the world there are great variances. Some countries are as clean as the US, in other countries there is evidence that not only is drug use permitted, but it is supported by the state. However, as out-of-competition testing grows worldwide (which is happening), and the tests themselves become more sensitive (picking up use that ended well before a competition), some of the former big names in the sport have disappeared from the scene and US lifters are winning medals again, along with other athletes from clean nations.


Some useful links are offered below. For example, Weightlifting.org is a link to our affiliated charitable organization, USAWeightlifting.org is the web address for weightlifting’s sole governing body on the US, Chidlovski.net is a wonderful source of short biographies of weightlifting greats and other historical information, AOBS.cc is the web page of the Association of Oldetime Strongmen (and strongwomen) – a broader subject than weightlifting, and IWF.sport is the website for the International Weightlifting Federation, the governing body for the sport of weightlifting worldwide.



Lu Xiaojun pulling on a successful 175 kg. snatch at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships. Bruce Klemens photo.

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