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Old 05-23-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
Jon Brody
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 73
Default CT Oly Club -- what to look for(?)


Maybe a shot in the dark....I'm looking to get some sort of coaching, even though I'm not sure I want to go much farther than getting a decent base so I can integrate the more basic power moves into my programming. I'm worried about getting *bad* coaching, especially since I wouldn't really know any better.

Anyone have any thoughts on this "club"/team, and it's coach (Gary Valentine)? Anything in particular to look for when scoping out an Oly coach/gym as a total newb in the dark?
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #2
Patrick Donnelly
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Born May 6, 1957 in Stamford, Ct., Team Connecticut Head Coach Gary Valentine has competed in Olympic-style weightlifting since 1980. After receiving his Masters Degree in 1983 in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut, he began his carreer in in the field of Cardiac Rehabilitation, while also singing prefessionally nearly every weekend. He is Currently the Director of Cardiac Rehabiltiation Programs at Griffin Hospital in Derby Connecticut. In 2002, he began an adjunct professorship in Exercise Science at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT., teaching Clinical Exercise Physiology and Strength Training courses.

With 17 Connecticut State titles to his credit, and various Regional titles, Gary has competed very successfully as a Master's (over age 35) lifter. He is pictured below at 46 years of age with the 152.5 kg clean and jerk (336 pounds) that, along with 117.5kg snatch (258 lbs) , won the 2003 Master's World Championships in the 105 kg (231 pound) heavyweight division. In 2002 he won the 5th of his 6 Pan American Masters Championships, setting a then World Record in the Clean and jerk with 153 kg. In 2006 he set the Pan AM clean and jerk record with 154 kg. Gary continues to compete in Open and Masters Competitions, while coaching Team Connecticut, and serving as Meet Director for the Connecticut Weightlifting Championships, held n the first Sunday of August each year. Blue Streak Sports Performance in Stamford is now the host Sponsor. www.bluestreakst.com
I think he's well qualified to coach.
And yes, I'm actually holding that handstand. Get on my level.
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
Jon Brody
Join Date: Apr 2009
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lol, ya, prolly is def safe to venture a shot and assume he knows what he's doing.....curious if anyone happened to have any experience there, but realistically should just sack up and go either way.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:28 PM   #4
Jonathan Owen
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 172

Hi Jon,
I have never trained with Gary personally, but I have been to several of Gary Valentine's meets; they are always run well, and he always has at least several of his own lifters present and competing. You will receive excellent coaching from Gary, and he is most def. legit. I would encourage you to go check him out.

Good Luck,

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Old 05-24-2009, 02:14 PM   #5
Rob Gabaree
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Jon Brody View Post
curious if anyone happened to have any experience there
I train at this club (Gary's my coach). I started in March as a complete beginner to the Oly lifts. You're definitely in good hands if you decide to come check us out, and as noted above, Gary has a lot of experience in coaching. He runs a couple of meets here in CT every year.

You can get individual coaching (which is what I did my first time) or come workout with the club (Sunday, Tuesday, & Fridays). I would send an email to Gary at garyv@optonline.net if you're interested.

Hope this helps!

(Side note: first post here. Never found a reason to post yet until now. )
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:48 AM   #6
Jon Brody
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Awesome! thx for the encouraging info -- I'll most def be swinging by!
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