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Old 03-24-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
Matthieu Hertilus
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This may sound like a dumb question but is there anyway to turn weightlifting into more than just a hobby. I realize there are weightlifting clubs and local meets available but I wonder what is the next step beyond that? I only ask because I love weightlifting so much and try to be around it as much as possible, but its hard to keeping it as just a hobby and I have to work two jobs I'm not all that crazy about to support myself. This could be for any sort of athletic endeavor (track, football, weightlifting, etc). How does one turn their passion, especially one in the athletic realm, into a career?
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:12 PM   #2
Brian DeGennaro
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Coach. Start by getting a job as an assistant coach for a sport or as a S&C, get your hands dirty in the field. I started doing this a year and a half ago when I recently turned 17 but I had been preparing for it since I was 14. Seek out friends who are interested in improving their athleticism and it'll grow from there. Show them what is possible and what can be done, and people will come to you.

It usually starts with showing people your own abilties and then they want to try to emulate it. Help out at the gyms, get hired at the gyms, get to know your peers. Take it nice and easy. Do not make any bold statements or put down someone else's program when you're in their house. Find a point to agree on with it and then show them your way.

If you can play your cards right you can take it far quickly. For example, let's use me. I'm a freshman at Syracuse; by the end of last summer I secured a position as a personal trainer at the fitness center. This position is usually only filled by graduate students, and as far as I know I am the only undergrad (let alone freshman). On top of this I have an internship at the varsity gym (exclusive to D1 athletes) coaching athletes in Olympic lifting when I have the chance; once more this is a graduate only position as well; and it allows me to have complete use of the facilities. This semester I have been asked to participate in an on-campus TV show on health and fitness, so they have begun following me around with a few people.

So after 6 months I've secured a rather solid position at my school. If you know how to do it, you can take things pretty far, pretty quickly.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
Matthew Bacorn
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Brian, do you get any contempt from older athletes? I don't think alot of the "major" sport athletes at my school would take well to being coached by someone younger.

For some reason I see someone like a tennis player taking weightroom instruction better than a football or basketball player. I suppose i correlate those latter athletes with having bigger egos, which would logically stem from the greater attention that their sport gets.

Just curious
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:39 AM   #4
Brian DeGennaro
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The funny thing is, everyone listens to me, even the S&C coaches. Because of me I've seen people incorporate snatch-balances, try power snatches, GHRs, GHD situps, and other various exercises into the routines.

It's the whole "lead by example" thing. My example happens to be the best one in the gym so they listen. I shouldn't say everyone listens to me but people get real humbled when I lift next to them, technique-wise and weight-wise. They become very open when I demonstrate the correct way to lift. Most of the female athletes come up to me and ask if they're doing things right. People are very open to input depending on how I approach them regarding that.

Sadly the football weight room is still off-limits to me simply because the athletic department has a large enough ego to consider football a completely different animal. I will find my way in there one day, and I will have access to all their competition weight sets...
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:54 PM   #5
Mike ODonnell
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Like any field....expect to put in your time and prove yourself. It can happen....but don't expect it overnight. Ask any respected coach that has been doing it for 30+ years.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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Very cool Brian, and you've got plenty of time to find your way into the football weight room. It'll happen
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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Just go all out when you choose a direction. I know a guy who never stepped foot onto the basketball court as a player but worked his way into coaching and now holds several state records. He definitely put in the work and then some, but that's what it takes unless you find yourself in the right place at the right time.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
Matthieu Hertilus
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One avenue related to this field that I'm interested in is writing; however, the main stream magazines such as men's health and men's fitness are filled with nonsense and ideas that in some cases goes against the philosphies by Catalyst Athletics. Unfortunately, the writers for those magazines are the ones that probably make the most money. While I'm certainly not just out for the money, I would like a stable job and income. What other good publications are out there that get into the science of athletic performance or strength and conditioning in general? Maybe I could start doing some free lance work for them and maybe one day get hired full-time.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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I can think of one: MILO.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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Be an intern, as many places as you wish to investigate. Do it while you can.

I was an intern at the UA S&C department (Gatorade maker), a student athletic trainer, and a physical therapy tech.

It's actually more important to figure out what you don't want to do rather than exactly what you do want to do.

For example, I thought it would be cool to be a part of sports medicine by being an athletic trainer....then I found out they got paid really poorly, worked 70-80 hour weeks, and the athletes they worked with didn't appreciate or respect them like I felt they should. Glad I found that out before going to school for it!

As far as writing, you better start practicing now. As evidenced by T-Nation, one doesn't have to be a good trainer to write articles on fitness.
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