Coach Newton’s Blog

Olympic Coach Harvey Newton’s blog features insights and announcements concerning technique, training, and competition for the sport of weightlifting, along with relevant topics dealing with strength training for other sports.

Big Numbers at National Championships: Do We Really Need Them?

Rip Van Winkle awakening today would be quick to conclude that USA weightlifting has greatly increased in popularity. One need only look at recent national championship events to see the previously unheard of number of competitors.

There are pros and cons to this latest development. Some longtime practitioners of the sport complain meets are too large. Knowing no difference, newcomers may think such huge events are great. Reluctantly, I think large entry lists are our new normal. Time will tell.

Read more: Big Numbers at National Championships: Do We Really Need Them?

Are Your Lifts in Balance?

At every athlete or coach clinic I conduct one topic that invariably causes participants to drag out some form of calculator is the application of a couple of ratios to determine how well balanced a lifter’s performance may be. These figures are well known to most experienced coaches, but are intriguing for newcomers to our sport.

Gene Baker, our national coaching coordinator in the mid-1980s first turned me on to the following ratio. A balanced lifter should have their 1RM snatch at 60-64% and their 1RM C&J at 77-81% of the 1RM squat figure. So if your best squat is 200 (pounds or kilograms) your snatch should be 120 - 128, and the C&J would be 154 - 162.

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A Critical Look at the 2015 US Nationals

Recently we looked at the success rate of Team USA at the Junior World Championships and at the Pan American Games. Although not a desirable trait, a low success rate can be expected when one is dealing with a relatively inexperienced international lifter.

But when lifting in a national championship we might expect somewhat more positive results. Although I did not attend the recent USAW National Championships I did take a critical look at the success rate, the bomb-out numbers, and how many lifters failed to make the qualifying total. Injuries may be a factor for which I have no details, as the scoring system does not designate such cases.

Read more: A Critical Look at the 2015 US Nationals

A Look at Success Rates at Recent International Events

How many successful lifts should a lifter be expected to make in a meet? We see lifters at USAW national meets being rewarded, whether with the recent rubber bracelet or a simple recognition on the results sheet, for going “six-for-six.”

I recently examined lift success rates of Team USA at two priority international meets compared with the winners. The results are pretty interesting.

Read more: A Look at Success Rates at Recent International Events