David W

Hi David - I read your profile and noticed that you’re a weightlifting coach and you’re based in England. I live in London and I’m interested in getting back into weightlifting.

A little over a year ago I trained for a few months with some of the lifters at Crystal Palace. There were some very impressive lifters down there, including a girl from Nigeria who placed fourth in Sydney.

I haven’t trained the Olympic lifts in about a year, and I never trained long enough to be anything more than a rank beginner. My best lifts were 65/90 at a bodyweight of 80 and a height of 6’ 1" - pretty poor.

I’d like to start training the lifts again, with the long-term goal of entering a competition as a novice. I’ve just finished the first week of a 6-week program designed by Christian Thibaudeau, which emphasises the power clean, power snatch, and lots of pulls and squats. Once I finish this program, I’m planning to go back to Crystal Palace and start training the full lifts.

I was wondering if you have any general advice for me on how I should structure my program once I re-start the lifts. Obviously I’ll need to work a lot on technique and also build some basic strength. If you have any ideas, I’d really appreciate the help.


I live in Surrey and would be happy to meet with you to discuss programs/technique. Alternatively you can use the e-mail posted here.

Obviously it’s difficult to comment without knowing your background and technical ability. Often a problem for athletes moving to weightlifting is getting ‘pinned’ in the bottom of a clean - for this reason I recommend you emphasise full front squats.

I have competed many times at Crystal Palace - so we may have met! There are alot of intelligent, experienced lifters there who will give you the support and advice that is so important to he beginner.

Thanks David. Your offer is really appreciated. I’ll send you an e-mail soon, once work is a bit quieter. Technically I was reasonably sound in the clean, very sound in the jerk, and not very sound at all in the snatch. And it’s amazing that you zeroed in on my biggest problem in the clean - recovery from the catch. When I missed cleans, that was always why. Leg strength was the issue, I suppose. Anyway, thanks again and I’ll be in touch.