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Bob Takano is a USA Weightlifting hall of fame coach, and coach of the Phat Elvis weightlifting team in southern California. He is the author of the book Weightlfting Programming: A Winning Coach's Guide. His website is at www.takanoathletics.com.
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7 Steps to Better Technique Coaching
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | September 1 2014 | Comments

Whenever I present at seminars about coaching weightlifting I always try to emphasize the following seven points in this particular order for those interested in improving their technical coaching skills. Realize Something is Wrong: In order to realize that a lift is being performed incorrectly, you have to be able to perceive a correct lift. If you can’t do this, you need to develop this skill first of all. You need to be able to discern what a perfect lift would look like (and sou...... Continue reading
More Technique Work In the Jerk
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | March 19 2014 | Comments

This past weekend I attended and coached in the St. Patrick’s Day Weightlifting Championships, an annual event held at Cal State University, Fullerton by LWC chair Danny McDermott. There were well over a hundred lifters, many of them first timers, and as might be expected a large number of developing coaches. I noted that a good number of the new lifters are doing one or two things very well in their pulling technique and that is a step forward. Many of the coaches seemed to have a be...... Continue reading
When Do You Reach Technical Mastery?
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | March 7 2014 | Comments

Learning proper weightlifting technique is an important subject for so many athletes these days. Not only are many people involved in learning the snatch and clean & jerk, but it appears that there are a significant number of people teaching it if the numbers that have taken the USAW L1 course is any indication. It is important I believe to identify the stages of technical mastery so that aspiring technicians have some sort of roadmap to follow as they progress from neophyte to master te...... Continue reading
Homeostasis: The Basis of Training
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | November 5 2013 | Comments (1)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about protoplasm. I think that periodically it helps to refresh our minds about the medium with which we coaches are working and so I’ve gone ahead and written down some thoughts about how protoplasm works with respect to training. These concepts are important for coaches, both new and veteran, to keep in mind as they go about restructuring and re-engineering the protoplasm of their athletes. The concept of homeostasis is an absolutely vital o...... Continue reading
Oh, and Don't Forget... The Bulgarian System
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | October 7 2013 | Comments (1)

I continue to hear about lifters that are fascinated with the Bulgarian method of training, practice it and swear that it is THE WAY to train. I’m speaking about the practice of going up to max singles on every lift every training day. We first heard about this approach when Dr. Terry Todd wrote an article about Naim Suleymanoglu’s lifting for Sports Illustrated in 1984. Most of us were stunned as we had never heard about such a radical departure from accepted training orthodoxy...... Continue reading
Diagnose & Prioritize
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | February 11 2013 | Comments (7)

Over the years I've developed and refined a process for working with new (to me) lifters. I thought it might be helpful to share these thoughts with those of you interested in the art of coaching. Diagnosis: This process begins the first day when I run a new athlete through the standard exercises of overhead squats, overhead presses, and front squats. I look for joints that are lacking in range of motion, improper alignment of the spine, improper alignment of the skeletal components while sup...... Continue reading
Athlete Selection for Weightlifting
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | August 29 2012 | Comments (6)

One of the topics touched upon by national coach Zygmunt Smalcerz was the selection of candidates for the national weightlifting program in Poland. To many readers this may sound like a novel concept since we don’t practice it in this country, and there is a considerable bias against selection for elite programs in general. In an effort to counter ageism, sexism, racism and any number of other “-isms”, there is a fair percentage of the general public that believes that anyone...... Continue reading
Weightlifting Competition Etiquette
Bob Takano | Olympic Weightlifting | July 27 2012 | Comments (9)

Back in the 1980’s one of my most diligent athletes was Mike Regnier, who was not only lifting but working on a neuroscience Ph.D at the same time. In spite of the heavy time demands, Mike rarely missed training sessions. One day he brought his then girlfriend Julie to hang out in the weight room while he trained. Julie, who would later marry Mike, had been a fairly serious tennis player and so was familiar with the athletic environment. After the training session I struck up a conve...... Continue reading
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