10 More Things New Weightlifters Should Know
Mike Gray

1. More isn’t always better, it’s just more.

2. After a PR, you get 24 hours to enjoy it. Then get your ass back to work. If you are anything like me, sleeping that night will be hard.

3. If you feel great full lifts, if you feel a bit off then do power versions, if you feel really bad do some pulls. What I am saying here is if you feel busted up and can’t quite perform a full lifts then do power movements, if you feel really busted up then do pulls.

4. You should try to keep your bodyweight no more than 3% above your weight class.

5. You don’t step over somebody else’s bar. Its bad form.

6. Don’t get fixated on using the same bar and platform every day if possible. Switch it up and get out of your comfort zone. At a meet, odds are you will lift on a great bar. However, the warm up room will look like a yard sale of bars and weights of all kinds.

7. Straps. I love them, but use them sparingly or you will get quite attached to them. My rule of thumb with them is this:

Snatch: When doing combo lifts such as snatch pulls + snatch, doubles or more and hang work.

Cleans: Never.

Pulls: Basically of any kind

8. I personally love block work. Below the knee, above the knee, mid-thigh, whatever, I don’t care. That has done more for my lifting over the last year than anything else. Especially for new lifters who are having a hard time finding that power position and what it means.

9. Have food with you ready to go after you get done. The most dedicated guy I ever saw with this was Greg Everett. The second he had his shoes off he was eating or drinking something. This is very important because there are too many things to distract one and push that very important meal way too far to the right.

10. If you wear knee sleeves, hang them up to dry. If you put them in a dryer, it’s going to smell like a condom factory is burning down to the ground.


11. If it all possible, lift with people stronger and better than you.

12. Keep a good logbook. On the cover of that log book is where you keep your PR sheet. On the other side of the logbook is where you keep your running list of reminders. Things that you have heard or mental cues that really clicked. “Chest Up”, “Pull & Punch”, whatever yours are: write them down and review and modify as you need to.

13. Plan your breaks, before they plan you. There are at least 5 guys reading this who are thinking, “Mike the only break you know is the one that’s forced on you.” So logically I am the best person to talk about this. Hit it hard for 2-3 weeks, then back off. 80-80 is a good rule of thumb, meaning 80% of your volume at 80% of your intensity if you are programming for yourself.

A step back will allow more steps forward.

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Mike Gray is a weightlifter for Team Catalyst Athletics and a coach at Catalyst Athletics affiliate gym, Outlier Barbell.

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Blair Lowe 2012-08-22
3, 12, and 13. I will go get a logbook today and see about writing a few of these, especially the cues.
Eric N 2012-08-23
Good Stuff
Javi 2014-10-30
Solid to the point useful info.
Xavier 2017-01-19
To the point and practical.
Nick 2017-04-11
The 80-80 rule sounds very practical. I hope this doesn't sound too dumb but you are saying that 80% of ones working sets, say non warm up lifts over 60% should be at 80% intensity? Thanks
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