|Consider building a real weightlifting program at your facility- Arthur Drechsler|
Weightlifting is the most transformative sport in the world. Through weightlifting training, quite ordinary people transform their minds and bodies to reach the highest levels of strength and power ever seen in human beings. Unfortunately, most gyms that exist today have neither the equipment nor the staff to train their members properly in the kind of functional full body exercises that weightlifters employ.
Machines may look nice and members may find them inviting in terms of the guided movement they provide. Members may also perceive them as being safe and embodying “the latest”. It is true that many machines don’t require much in the way of instruction to use, but results are what members are seeking and what keeps them coming back.
Complex exercises, such as squats, presses and cleans, require correct balance and the coordinated effort of all of the muscles in the body. So in performing these exercises, one trains the “core”, improves balance and replicates the challenges of everyday life – which is what, above all, fitness training should condition us to handle.
What’s more, full body exercises are time saving for the trainee. Only a handful of such exercises need be performed each training session to give the body a very complete workout. We also know that complex exercises stimulate positive hormonal reactions to training that isolation exercises cannot generate, no matter how strenuously they are performed.
From the standpoint of the gym owner, free weights are inexpensive because quality weights of this type are long lasting and have the potential to deliver more exercise per square foot than specialized machines.
Perhaps, most important of all, resistance training in groups can help foster a sense of community that will keep trainees happy and loyal.
The most important step in getting a program of productive free weight training under way is to educate your instructors about how to use free weights effectively. Unfortunately, many fitness instructor certifications are woefully inadequate in terms of teaching instructors how to cultivate safe and effective technique in their clients.
That problem can be easily resolved by having them enroll in a USA Weightlifting (USAW) Level 1 Coach’s Course. This course teaches students how to perform and teach the most complex exercises in the free weight arsenal. Trainers who know how to teach their clients these exercises will have a huge edge.
While the current USAW Level 1 course is already more practical and effective than any other in terms of teaching these exercises, the new version of the course, which is expected to be released on September 1, will be much improved over the current one, making our graduates even more effective and prepared to help your members succeed. We urge you to take a look at it by visiting www.usaweightilfting.org at that time.
Meanwhile, enjoy watching the sport of Weightlifting at the Olympic Games in London. We’ll be watching too.
About Arthur Drechsler
An international level coach and referee, and former World Recordholder in the sport of Weightlifting, Mr. Drechsler has been widely published in many sports periodicals and is the author of The Weightlifting Encyclopedia.
He is currently Chair of USA Weightlifting’s Board of Directors (the sole National Governing Body for the sport of Weightlifting in the US recognized by the US Olympic Committee and International Weightlifting Federation). He is also President of the not-for-profit organization, Weightlifting.org, Inc.