APPROACHING THE BAR: A Blog powered by the Pursuit of Excellence

October 24, 2018

In this video blog, Olympian and International Coach Cara Heads Slaughter reviews her top 5 tips to prepare for and ensure a productive weightlifting training day when testing with heavy singles.

Tip #1: Chill on the pre-workout

Tip #2: Eat and hydrate properly

Tip #3: Don't overthink the movements

Tip #4: No more than 2 misses at weights over 85%

Tip #5: Learn from the misses and make the adjustment

September 11, 2018

Over time, I've observed that athletes new to competitive weightlifting approach their training as simply completing their lifting  program. Some don't seem to fully understand or appreciate the value of preparation for competition.

With newer athletes (and with some experienced ones) I repeatedly emphasize the process of learning to lift, learning to train, and learning to compete. Simply showing up to lift isn't training, and...

March 30, 2017

Recently, I overheard a conversation with a competitive weightlifter describing their coaching support. In a nutshell, they defined a weightlifting coach rather simply as having two primary responsibilities- technique and programming. My experience as an athlete taught me that this was a relatively narrow view about what a good, competent coach really offers. It became apparent to me that there are some that don’t understand t...

March 24, 2017

In my 18 years as a competitive weightlifter, I learned first-hand that good (and great) coaches are committed to making their athletes better, faster.  The most destructive thing a lifter can do to slow their development is to get in their own way by responding to their coach's feedback and cues with resistance. They either reject the feedback, or they shutdown from receiving the information due to frustration, anger, disappo...

September 11, 2016

I had the pleasure of teaching a snatch clinic recently at Speed Power Strength, an ELEIKO certified facility in Oakland, California. During the clinic, I was asked to help an athlete better understand how to pull down under the bar. The athlete was a national-level competitor who obviously could perform the lift, yet she didn't fully understand what she should do or emphasize after reaching extension. After all, a "tight catc...

You've decided you want to compete for the first time, or maybe you've competed a few times and are looking to improve your results.  You’ve been training and you're ready for the challenge, but most of all, you're ready to 'go big'--to lift the heaviest weights you ever have, and to do so on the competition platform.  There probably isn't a better feeling than setting three new PRs in competition.  And after all, why compete...

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