olympic weightlifting

Weekly Words

This weekend Squamish Barbell/CrossFit Squamish hosted the BC High SchoolI Championship and Novice Open this past Saturday. And I am no loss for words after this weekends weightlifters who competed; Ben, D’arcy, Marley and Austin. It was D’arcy and Ben’s first meet, and Marley and Austin’s second. And to put mildly, if you think it’s easy to get up on a platform, with everyone watching, along with 3 judges, your team of coaches, an audience, along with your peers, you are crazy. It’s nerve racking to say the least. Regardless of the results, huge props to these 4. That’s a big deal. And they all killed it!


Rewind a second, the results was nothing to glance lightly at. D’Arcy, Marley and Austin won their weight class. While Ben finished 3rd. And both Marley and Austin had the best sinclair total (Body weight coefficient), which is puts everyone’s lift and relates in to body weight. In english, they were pound for pound the best lifters of the day.


When events like these pop up close to home, I highly suggest you jump on board. Sometimes you might have to take a small step away from your usual training and specialize a bit to get ready. That’s not a negative. For most of us it would be a positive. You take some time to get really good at one part of your training. Once the event is over, you’ll not only reap the benefits of being better at one specific thing. But, you might also be jazzed to get back the normal routine. It can sure fuel the fire! So, along those lines, we have those already signed up for the Whistler Half marathon, Saturday June 3rd. (there’s 5 different distances, 5k, 10k, half, 30k and Litter rippers kids run). We have those looking in to Stones and Strength in Squamish, June 17th. It’s a pairs event, same gender, same weight class. Info is on Facebook or ask away. Plus many more. And if you want to do a running event, there are so many that pop up after June. 


And, I have been promising details of our own version of a Throwdown. Still working on dates and details. But, I will say that it will be Open-esque. Meaning, we’ll have some of the WODs occur as a class workout. So whether you are planning to throw down, you’ll be doing some of the workouts during a class session. But, we’ll also have a large portion of it event style. Where multiple events will happen on a single day. 


Lastly, schedules have started to morph. There’ll be 1 more tweak occur the following week. What you should notice is that we do have a noon class Mon/Wed/Fri. And, looks like we’ll shift classes in the evening the following week to 4:30/5:30/6:30 on Mon/Wed/Fri. 



Training Layout Feb 20-26

With the Open starting this week, it’s only fitting we sit back and reflect on this past weekend’s achievement by our 2 rockstar coaches who have been killing it as of late. And it only feels like days ago when they can back from the okanagan valley throwdown all smiles. Before I get into results, it’s important to note that neither of them succeed without the other as a training partner. And, it’s not just the 2 of them. They, just like you in your classes. Rise to the top together, push each other together, and achieve more because of each other. So it’s no wonder they were all smiles this past weekend. Congrats you two! You represent with nothing but class. 

As for results, Austin finished first in his weight class (77kg) with a 91kg snatch and 130kg c&j totalling 221kg. And Marley overall finish hasn’t been posted yet (sorry I’ll update as soon as it’s available), she finished with a 58kg snatch and 75kg c&j for a 133kg total in the 69kg class. Both should be really proud of their lifts in their first ever sanctioned weightlifting meet. I hope it’s not their last!!!!


And then there’s the OPEN, and it starts this week. Every Thursday for 5 weeks, CrossFit announces the workout around 5pm. Athletes have until Monday to submit their score. Athletes all over the world compete against each other, themselves, their friends for nothing more than a good time. We have set aside designated times to these mystery WODs on Saturday. You can see them clearly marked on the schedule. If want to compete, simply register at games.CrossFit.com, and don’t forget to add CrossFit Whistler as your home affiliate. I promise it will be fun! Exciting! and maybe a bit scary, but it’s all in good fun. Each week, the WODs will have a scaling option. Which, given the level of athletes competing at CrossFit, I imagine the scaling option will be the go to route for most on some of the WODs. Good thing is you don’t have to enter a scaled or Rx division. You decide each week depending on the workout. Cost is $20 USD. Already we have 23 registered, but I have a feeling that will grow!!! Don’t miss out, and enjoy the fun. If Saturday’s don’t jive with your schedule, we will do our best as coaches to allow for open gym times on Friday to be used to get the open WOD judged as best we can.


Enjoy the week, and get ready for the OPEN Season!

Training Layout Feb 13-19

I have some good news, and I have some bad news. It’s up to you to decide which one is which. The gym is closed on Monday. Dr. Phil is in town on Tuesday. You can see how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 


Having said that, with the gym closed on Monday, make your way to the gym on Tuesday. It promises to be awesome. Phil will have complete autonomy to do what he wants for half the class. And for the other half, let’s just say it’ll be a tough choice as to what one will be the easy one. I can’t wait!


The rest of the week is no slouch. We have many pieces that focus either on Open-esque WODs. Or perhaps Open-esque movements. It should be fun, challenging, and getting you geared up for the Open. 


Off topic, but for those that read for some inspiration, this ones for you. Yoko, who has basically been the face of CrossFit Whistler for the last 11 years quietly went about her business last weekend. Uncle Rob, AKA CrossFit Burnaby, hosted an Olympic Weightlifting Meet. And yes, Yoko represented. And yes, she won her weight class. And yes, she did it without your help. Wait what? Yes, your help. She was trying to recruit you to join her. Many of you declined… I can only power snatch! Or I am not ready yet :(. Well, this is the perfect meet for those that aren’t ready yet. It’s designed exactly for that demographic. Someone who is getting in to lifting, or someone doing it just for fun! So missing the first one isn’t the end of the world, it’s a 3 part series. Lucky for you. Next time Yoko knocks on your door, you better answer! Don’t miss out on the fun.


Enjoy the week. 

Training Layout June 6-12

Let’s start by talking about the Whistler Half Marathon. I was at the finish line to witness and to be a part of an unbelievable feeling. Trust me when I say everyone in the group of athletes that entered felt on top of the world. Nothing beats it! It’s way people do things that are hard, maybe a little outside their comfort zone. But trust me, I think that the most talked about topic at the finish line is what comes next! There’s always more, which we’ll take about shortly. 


Again, a huge congrats to those who ran on Saturday. Great Job by all! There were other photos, but not one photo captured everyone in the race. Another big thanks and shout out is to Coach Munny! He gave it his all in helping all of you. I know I don’t speak for myself that your help was invaluable. You’ve been a great addition to the team, and we don’t want the clinics to end! And they won’t……. He’s talked about Stand Up Paddle Board Clinics. Beginner Mountain Bike Clinics. Plus, there’s no need to stop running either. We’ll take some time this week to formulate scheduling and to keep the momentum rolling. 


As for running events that should be on your radar…. The red bull 400 Saturday july 30th, 2016. Copy and paste the link to see details:http://www.redbull.com/ca/en/stories/1331788312795/red-bull-400-returns-to-whistler-for-2016

The Salomon Valley to Peak Race, Sept 3rd 2016. http://store.whistlerblackcomb.com/Content/Commerce/Products/DisplayProducts.aspx?ProductGroupCode=2425&ProductCategoryCode=30417

The Whistler Ultra 50, Oct 15, 2016 http://www.bcathletics.org/Whistler50RelayUltra/

All 3 of the races have relay components, or can be done Solo. The great news is that they all leave a great amount of time to prepare. Both from a training perspective, and to organize teams. 

There are more out there, and not to mention there’s comfortably numb this weekend. It’s june 11th, meaning this saturday! Website here: http://www.comfortablynumb.ca/


As for the week that lies ahead. It’s hard to find a true highlight. Friday is a great little test. Wednesday will be too. And the strength layered in is again continuing to build. From the endurance side. Phil is here this week. So, in true form, we’ll use him to help with Tuesday’s class. It’s a classic rowing test. For those that have been running hard, your improved cardio should help squeeze out some extra seconds and finish faster. Also, more importantly, it’s a great idea for those new to the gym to come to Tuesday’s endurance class. Phil is a game changer when it comes to rowing. Not only will he help you improve on your results and technique. But his passion will translate down, and help you fall in love with the devilish machine. 


On the Lifting side. We will be doing EMOM’s and complexes during the week. Snatching on Tuesday, with Clean and Jerking on Thursday. While on Saturday we will be doing a bit of both.



PROGRAMS-What we offer and How we offer it

If you look at the schedule, you'll see that there are offering more of our specialty classes. Endurance and Olympic Weightlifting classes are now offered 3 days/week. This, along with a slight twist to the general programming should make for a much improved product.


In many ways the answer to that question is no. In the past, CrossFit was the core of what we did 5 days per week, and specialty classes 1.5 days per week. However, within the CrossFit programming we would always program days where we specialized. Meaning, even though Thursday was the day to attend an Endurance class on the schedule. You could be sure to see a CrossFit class early in the week that had an Endurance focus. The only difference between the layout now, and before the change, is that everything is a little more transparent. It is clear as mud that on Tuesday, if you'd like to come get your sweat on, come to an Endurance class. 

Obviously this is different from how we've done things in the past. But, from a programming perspective, it's really not all that different. It does however change things from the client's perspective, and that is to allow you to get more of what you are looking from a class by choosing the right one. 



If you are all about the CrossFit. Training for anything and everything. Love the idea of the unknown. And are looking to eliminate any weakness in your fitness game. Then you should be pumped! Yes, you did loose Tuesday as an unknown workout. But in exchange, here's what you gained.

  • More Skills: You can really get after your weaknesses on Tuesday and/or Thursday. If long workouts/cardio is not your forte, then get your butt in to the endurance sessions. And if you have cardio for days, but need to work on your barbell skills and strength, then come to the olympic weightlifting session. 
  • Better CrossFit Programming: Because we can offer our endurance classes on a regular basis, our CrossFit programming can be a little more "CrossFit". Higher skills and higher intensities. We can do this because we know, with 100% certainty, that those who are looking for the lighter side of CrossFit, the longer side of CrossFit, can get exactly what they are looking for 3 days/week. So if our CrossFit seems to be very strength and skilled focus, it's now not only the best way to up your CrossFit game, but, the perfect compliment for the endurance athlete. Win Win!


Our coaches are equally excited about this one. We now can get a true weightlifting program going, by having an opportunity to coach people specifically through 3 sessions per week. 

  • If you really want to focus more on your lifts, not only will practicing them more be of benefit. But, so will doing less conditioning. As much as gaining that extra day of lifting is a plus, taking away a day of unnecessary volume is equally as big. You need to be on your game when it comes to the precision on Olympic Lifting, and this will help!
  • We can also now take someone who is Weightlifting on their own and is looking for coaching, and offer them a program.


Adding the 3rd day of endurance classes seems to be the biggest improvement to our clients needs than any of the above. As a client, you are inevitably classified in to 1 of 2 categories. None of which is better than the other, they are just different. We have those who come to the gym for a workout, and those that come to train. The Endurance classes really appeal to those coming for a workout. And the majority of our clients fall in to this category. The hour you dedicate to the gym, needs to provide you with instant gratification! You want to burn calories, you want to break a sweat, you want to earn it. CrossFit programming can provide you with this, just not all the time, not every day of the week. 

  • 3 days of dedicated Endurance programming will guarantee you 3 days of workouts where you know you are getting a butt kicking! 
  • You can also guarantee that there will be little emphasis on some of the more skilled barbell exercises that can get in the way of a good workout if you have not yet mastered those skills. Take barbell snatches. If a workout calls for 30 barbell snatches at a heavy weight. You can guarantee that someone comfortable with that skill will get an extremely challenging and complete workout. Someone who doesn't have that skill mastered might not get that same good workout with a PVC pipe of empty barbell. Endurance classes you can guarantee that won't happen with you
  • Steady state, longer duration! Yes it's true, CrossFit methodology often shies away from this type of work. And not because it isn't relevant part of training and results. But because it's very hard for this type of training to translate in to shorter duration high intensity training. But, the reverse is true. Hence the heavy emphasis on shorter duration and high intensity for CrossFit. Yet, as true as it is, if you live in a steady state world. You do need to train this way. I can list a ton of Whistler Activities where this is the case. Cycling, Cross Country Mountain Biking, Swimming, Cross Country Skiing, Ski Touring, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Running, etc... So, if you want to excel in this world, it's nice to train here too. Now, not all the time, as it has it's downfalls. 
  • Now, just because it's an endurance class, don't think that you won't do any sprint work. Look no further than the paragraph above. Sprint work, interval work, high intensity work not only will help train your anaerobic work capacity, but will translate out to your aerobic capacity.
  • Lastly, if you unfamiliar with CrossFit, or rather don't want to do CrossFit, this is the class for you! What you do get is coaches who know functional movements, that know technique, because in CrossFit it has to be applied at the highest of intensities. You will still get the skills, and the emphasis on proper techniques. We just apply them to a more accessible skill set. 


If you want your gains, look no further. This is your conjugate system powerlifting program, with CrossFit flavour to it.

  • The beauty of this class is that it meant to get you strong. It is our powerlifting program as it is truly meant to be applied. Yes, we have a strength program in the CrossFit classes. But, we can't offer all of the variants we can here. Camber bar, Football bar, Safety Squat bar, Axel bar. Plus the accommodating resistant work; bands and chains. As well as all of the assistance work that goes along with it
  • Some of the biggest knocks to those looking to gain strength and do CrossFit is the volume. And not just the volume, but it's the bodyweight exercises. When conditioning does arrive in this program, it's shorter in duration, and has a heavy strength biased. Pun intended.
  • Olympic lifting is also a big part of this program. So you can expect to those skills to improve along with your strength.


Overall, I couldn't be more excited about what we are transitioning towards. I can't think of one individual who can't benefit from the changes in our programs. What we can start doing is catering to people who only want a specific program. Just Endurance, or just Olympic Weightlifting, etc..... Now it's time to start spreading the word. Opus Athletics, here we come!