The Internet has Ruined and Improved Strength Sports

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The Internet has Ruined and Improved Strength Sports

Look I love the Internet just like the rest of you, but man has it ever made it hard for some lifters. When I was a young athlete, I found Wes Barnett to coach me. I trusted him, and I listened to everything that he said. I improved every single meet that he coached me in going 5:6 and 6:6 most of the time. I had no distractions, and I simply went in and performed the work every day.

Athletes nowadays have hundreds of options to learn about Olympic weightlifting. There are Hookgrip Videos, Instagram with thousands of athletes, blogs, articles, books, and more. Now I agree that’s awesome for the most part. Heck people can learn the competition lifts in their own garage with Coach Pendlay teaching them steps 1 thru 3.

I know plenty of athletes that have gotten pretty good by teaching themselves using YouTube and other sources. You can even go online and read articles from Sean Waxman and John Broz that will teach you their philosophies. Heck Greg Everett has a book that explains the entire sport.

However for some it’s overload. I have worked with athletes online that literally tried a different technique daily trying to find the holy grail of technique. Guess what? They don’t improve at all. A lot of different techniques have been shown to work, but each technique requires one important thing, practice. If you have a coach that gives you thumbs up on your technique, you should go with it. Especially if Don McCauley, Vinh Huynh, me, or one of our coaches, coaches you you should trust it. I’d say we are technique snobs. I never thought that I would be a technique snob, but I am afraid Coach McCauley has forced be to become one. Yes good technique obviously helps to be successful, but if you don’t practice that technique over and over, you will never become proficient.

The same goes for programming. There are several great coaches in America. None of us program exactly the same way. Yet all of us are getting results. Jordan Cantrell increased his competition PR total by 19kg in one 3-month training cycle with me. December Garcia improved her total 14kg in one 3-month training cycle with me. As a team we have three men going to the Senior World Championships. All of our coaches know what they are doing.

Look I am not saying that we are the only coaches in America. There are several coaches out there that I respect like Kevin Simons, Spencer Arnold, Dave Spitz, and so many more. If you commit to one of us, you have to go all in. You can’t train with Spencer Arnold and wonder if my programming is better. The same goes for the other way around.

Look if you put your faith in a coach with a proven track record, and solid knowledge of the sport, you need to go all in. You have to put 100% faith in that coach unless they give you a reason not to trust them. My athletes that have given me 100% of their confidence have received one hundred times the results. It’s because we communicate better, and the athlete performs better because there is no doubt.

That’s the case with all athletes. The ones that pick their coach and stay with them see the best results. Sarah Robles is killing it with big Tim Swords. Kendrick has been with Kyle Pierce since the beginning. Wes Kitts puts full faith in Dave Spitz. Harrison Maurus will never even question Kevin Simons except to beg for more weight.

You will notice the athletes that jump around never really get anywhere. Now I am not saying that things happen sometimes and athletes need to make a switch or a coach needs a break from an athlete. It happens. I am talking about constantly looking for something else. “Coach the Chinese say so and so.”

“Coach Danny Cammargo tells Mattie Rogers to wear orange shoes.”

Dude, pick a coach that has a proven record, and that has the background that you are looking for as an athlete. When you pick that coach, go all in. Then I recommend that you learn to communicate with that coach. You both should learn to develop trust with one another. My 14-year-old Morgan McCullough knows that I have his best interest so much that I am his Godfather. Athletes like Morgan will always see the best results from their relationship with their coach because you will come to understand one another. I know from watching Morgan’s face if he is going to make a weight or not. That connection is more important than any amount of knowledge. I know exactly what he needs to work on, and I know exactly how I plan on implementing. This relationship only comes with trust.

Don’t stop watching YouTube. That’s not what I am saying. However I would recommend picking up a physiology book or a biomechanics book to understand the sport at a deeper level. Then you might be able to base opinions on science and less on “because Klokov said”.

Like my man Andy Galpin says “Unplug”, grab a book, and really learn a thing or two. In the meantime put your trust in your coach, put your head down, hood up, and go in the gym and do the work. Weightlifting is a process. It’s not linear at all, but if you put in the time with the right coach and program, you will see steady improvement. If you are switching coaches and programs like a pinball, you will probably never go far in this sport.

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