Developing pre-weightlifters | Yasha Thoughts


What sports activities give us the largest benefit for weightlifting?

From 2010 to 2011, I used to be the coach at Innercity Weightlifting (ICW) in Boston. Our mission was to assist at-risk youth get away from gangs, DYS facilities, and troublesome home conditions. Our instrument was weightlifting.

We taught youngsters the snatch, clear and jerk, squats, and presses. The objective was to provide them the strength, confidence, and self-discipline to stroll away from all varieties of unhealthy conditions, or on the very least, put on them out so that they’d be too drained to get themselves into hassle after training. Every session ended with video games, tutoring in the event that they wanted assist, or simply speaking.

Some youngsters picked up weightlifting rapidly; others struggled with method. Some elevated their strength steadily, whereas others barely improved. Their charge of enchancment appeared random to me at first, till I started asking what sports activities they performed earlier than they started weightlifting.

There is at all times carry-over from previous athletic experiences to how briskly persons are capable of decide up a brand new sport. The attributes that youngsters acquire from no matter sports activities they play stick with them perpetually – physique place consciousness, pace, strength, work ethic, and many others.

For this publish, I needed to discover which sports activities give individuals (particularly younger athletes) a competitive benefit for weightlifting.


Weightlifting is demanding. To achieve success in weightlifting, an athlete should have strength, pace, coordination, endurance, coachability and work ethic.

At Innercity Weightlifting, we labored with monitor athletes, baseball, basketball, soccer and soccer gamers, wrestlers, and youngsters who’ve by no means actually performed any sports activities. The following chart exhibits my observations of the professionals and cons youngsters had coming from totally different athletic backgrounds into weightlifting:

The ones who realized method and gained strength the quickest had been the baseball gamers and wrestlers.

Baseball gamers

  1. Great coordination – allowed them to choose up method rapidly.
  2. Well-rounded strength – allowed them to have good management over the bar all through the exercise.
  3. Good rigidity – allowed them to face sturdy in each place.
  4. Endurance was missingdue to which they couldn’t work onerous for greater than an hour.
  5. Flexibility wasn’t nice due to which they couldn’t get into sure weightlifting. positions.


  1. Good coordination – allowed them to choose up method rapidly.
  2. Well-rounded strength – allowed them to have good management over the bar all through an exercise.
  3. Flexibility and mobility – allowed them to get into each right weightlifting place.  
  4. Great endurance – allowed them to train intensely for 2+ hours per session.
  5. Poor rigidity – due to which they had been unable to cease themselves and the bar rapidly.


Most weightlifting coaches suggest that youngsters start weightlifting when they’re 11-13 years outdated (publicity to weightlifting, not specificity). Usually, coaches will wish to recruit youngsters who have already got the bodily and psychological talents required for weightlifting. I had the prospect to ask a number of skilled weightlifting coaches what sports activities they suggest youngsters do earlier than going into weightlifting, or from which sports activities would they like to recruit athletes. Here’s what they stated:

6 coaches, 6 differing opinions. Some sports activities are higher at creating the precise traits required for weightlifting, however all sports activities have one thing to supply.   


All of this is applicable to pre-weightlifters. So, how does this apply to you, the seasoned weightlifter?

Well, to develop into higher at weightlifting, the snatch and clear and jerk are usually not sufficient. When an athlete begins weightlifting, they shouldn’t cease different bodily actions altogether.

In the Soviet Weightlifting System, younger weightlifters commit as much as 80% of their time to General Physical Preparation (GPP), taking part in ball video games, working, jumping, and doing gymnastics. As they progress, though they cut back the give attention to normal bodily preparation, GPP nonetheless stays an vital a part of their training (you possibly can learn way more on that in Roadmap for Training, Part 2).

The similar ideas apply for grownup weightlifters.

All weightlifters ought to use powerlifting (corresponding to squats, pulls, presses) to get stronger, and light-weight athletics (corresponding to working and leaping) to get quicker and extra explosive.

Ilya Ilyin swims for lively restoration, which helps him with mobility and endurance with out including main stresses (impression) to his physique. Vasily Polovnikov runs and performs soccer for endurance and pace. I attempt a brand new bodily exercise or sport as soon as per week to construct coordination, pace, and to distract myself from the every day grind of training.

Whatever the surface sport, a complement to your common weightlifting routine (in the correct amount and on the proper time) will make you a greater athlete and lifter.


Which sports activities made you who you’re right this moment? And what sport, if any, would you might have quite achieved rising up, to get you higher ready for weightlifting?

* this was first posted at BarBend.

Yasha Kahn

Weightlifter, coach and now: blogger. I’ve traveled around the globe sharing my weightlifting data and experiences. I sit up for the subsequent journey.


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