BY HARLEY BOOTH, PT @PUREGYM & TTP COACHING
So you’re wanting to learn to lift? Not sure where to start?
There’s a few things to consider before you pick up a barbell. The exciting part is seeing your progress, in both numbers and technique, as you move through the learning process of the lifts. And of course, the big shiny weights - they’re pretty fun too!
Whether its power lifting or Olympic weightlifting you’re looking to do, there are a few essentials you need to cover off when your start learning to lift. Believe it or not, you don’t have to go out and buy the most expensive lifting gear. Start simple- that’s what I did. I invested in some simple weightlifting shoes, a set of wrist straps and a belt (which came off ebay).
Here’s my top 5 tips for beginner lifters:
Get a coach/PT
It's essential! You need someone who has the experience to be able to show you the correct movement patterns and make sure you’re supported and safe when you’re lifting. Having a coach will help you to establish the basics and gain confidence. They’ll also tell you when you’re lifting well when you think you’re not and when you need to be lifting heavier.
Focus on your movement away from the bar
Mobility is KING when it comes to developing and maintaining strength, as well as technique performance in weightlifting. So work on it away from your lifting sessions. Daily- make it part of your everyday routine. As the more you work on your mobility the more your movement will improve in your lifting technique.
Learn the lift before you lift the lift
Learn and embed the proper movement patterns of the lifts you are doing. Whether its Clean& Jerk, Snatch, Deadlift or Bench Press its important you gain an understanding of how the lift feels when done correctly, so you can develop an awareness before load is added. Lifting is technical before the weight comes into the mix, so it's essential to build a strong movement foundation to carry you through those kilos!
Start small then build on it
Be patient with the process of learning the lifts and your progress with the numbers. Lift light to begin with. Develop a crisp technique in your snatch before you add any weight onto the bar. This will mean you’ll break down parts of the lifts and be doing them over and over again to make sure you’re moving smooth with a good bar path. By laying a solid foundation of movement without any cracks in it once you start to put 10,20,30,40kg upward above your head there’s no room for error in that foundation so make sure its concreate before you move on.
By this I mean lift regularly. Consistency is important just like with any other skill you learn or training you do in order to see performance, improvement, progression or results you need to be putting the work in regularly. That means clock up those hours at and under the bar. And film each lift you do so you have a record of your progress. This is where you’ll really experience the enjoyment of lifting and seeing your journey - as the more you lift, the more you’ll end up lifting!
If you want any more advice on lifting, training or are looking for coaching: