Waxman's Gym Dream Team Reflections and Photographs

 Merry Christmas Everyone!

Waxman's Gym Dream Team Reflections and Photographs

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week from the hours of 10am till 3pm, I attended an Olympic Weightlifting seminar at Waxman’s Gym. The team of athletes and coaches were referred to as the “Dream Team” of weightlifting, featuring gold medalists, decorated coaches and famous weightlifters. Below are some casual observations and photographs from the seminar.

Olympic weightlifting is gaining popularity in this country, and the success of this type of unique “get together” is proof of this.

In both cases, the barbell goes from the ground to the overhead position, stopping once in the clean and jerk, and in one motion in the snatch, and there are many techniques to do this successfully. All three high-level athletes* do this slightly different from each other, but with unparalleled success. In other words, there isn't necessarily a "right" way to lift a barbell.

Many amateur and professional athletes use visualization as a tool for success in their sport. Illya explained that he will envision a lift hundreds of times the night before a training session.  

Ilyn's thought process on a jerk is to squat down and use the legs to drive the bar off the shoulders. He says the bar is never pressed but caught over-head. He uses a dip and drive drill with weight heavier than his max jerk to build up the legs and timing of the hips to drive the bar higher

These guys are flexible. Illya squats down as stable as can be cold, while Klokov can do the splits cold. Interstingly, Klokov and Vasily cannot front rack light weights, although there isn't much reason fro them to be able to perfectly rack 70kg. As the weight approaches their higher percentages, the front rack problem immediately goes away


Ilya’s training is all about efficiency. He does not squat near max, take too many lifts or do any accessory exercises that will not directly benefit his lifts. Even his set-up is quick before he lifts, and his transition from clean to jerk almost looks rushed. However, this style seems to suit his personality and has obviously worked very well for him. In the pictures below, he breaks down his world record 233kg/524lb clean & jerk at the 2012 Olympics. He recalled that during the clean, he opened up too early, and had to make a mid-lift adjustment to save the lift. However, he did mention he was pleased with 98% of the full lift. If you watch the video of this lift, it looks like an easy training lift, not a world record make.

Klokov is as big and muscular as advertised. One small detail that impressed me was how he grabs both sides of the plates to make them flush with the bar. His arms are long enough and hands are strong enough to do this with almost any weight it seems.

Vasily loaded about 600lbs on the bar and deadlifted it three times cold to prove his back is plenty strong to deadlfit that weight with a mixed grip. He explained the mixed grip is a power lifter grip and he is an Olympic lifter.



 The seminar not only brought great lifters together, but also great minds on stage and in the crowd. These type of events can only help to advance the sport and develop lifters in each participants' daily practice. It also allowed us to witness the best in the world at what they do, and observe their every movement up close. I look forward to using this invaluable information in my gym and the continued growth of a great sport!

Me and Illya Illyn at the end of the 3-day seminar