It is now that time of year again when jolly old St. Nick must leave some goodies for even the iron brethren out there. While thinking about what I had yet to buy I thought of my fellow iron-heads and what they would appreciate under their trees on that coming-all-too-soon Tuesday morning. With little fealty to reality I propose to the following people gifts to make their 2013 lifting soar to new heights. But, the season is not just about getting, it’s about giving too, mostly giving in fact, so I’m making suggestions there as well.
To Snatchers – An extra joint or two on their ring and pinkie fingers to get the whole hand into the grip and pull. Then give us an 85%-of-clean snatch. The extra 5% will give you the gold for sure.
To Cleaners (Power cleaners at least) – A set of leg hobbles to keep their feet from going sideways in power cleans. Or at least give them Rippetoe’s books where the lift is described fully. In fact, give that book to everyone.
To Jerkers – Extra energy and more important, extra will after those killer cleans. Then give us a bigger total.
To All Olympic Lifters – A special new Inzer suit that will add a hundred pounds to each of their lifts. As a bonus these will be easy to put on and no one will be able to spot these suits at a glance. If Santa can see his way clear, he should give all lifters a burning desire to see Rio De Janiero in 2016.
To All Masters Competitors – A resolution from the IWF and WADA that Geritol will never be on the banned substances list. More seriously, more research into training for the older person, whether long time trainees like us unreformed old-timers or for those new to the iron at a later age. Maybe especially to the latter. Then give your family more meaningful years of your life.
To Women Lifters – A 25 cm bar that can take 400 lb jerks. More of you need it now, don’t you Tatiana and Li?
To Junior Lifters – An IWF rule allowing juniors and others with small hands to use that women’s bar since hand size is mostly a function of height, not sex. Then you smaller guys can give us more on your lifts.
To Youth Lifters (under 17) – Something, anything, to make them go forth and multiply in the gyms of the world.
To National WL Presidents – A list of presidents in other sports so that weightlifting can join the mainstream sport community. Our retreat from pan-sport isolation must continue. That will give our sport more respect.
To All WL Treasurers – Overflowing bank accounts. Heck, we might all ask for this.
To All Officials – A realization by your governing body that the sport survives by your efforts. In turn you can give them the only thing you ever had – your integrity.
To Olympic Lifting Coaches – A newfound desire to publish or perish. “Secrets” are so passé and never existed anyway. If you have learned a lot over many decades coaching then write about it. Remember, ‘tis better to give than to receive. Give them Art Drechsler’s or Greg Everett’s books to show them how it’s done.
That does it for my Olympic lifters but I will not shrink from making a few gift suggestions to the other members of the Iron Family. So, here goes:
To Squatters – Anew squatting technique whereby the lift always feels good to do, the heavier and lower the better, prompting all lifters to do enough reps and sets of this all-time dreaded exercise. Then give us back a couple of squat workouts a week. Then see what you get back when you look at your legs.
To Fitness Center Benchers – A bench press suit that feels good when a barbell touches the ribcage, forcing every wannabe to actually get something out of this favorite exercise. In a fit of generosity Santa should also give them a mirror that will show only the legs so they know they have muscles elsewhere than their bis, tris, delts, and pecs. Then they can give us a full-bodied trainee, not half a body.
To All “Wellness Center” Members (and Staff) – A book on gym etiquette. Repay us by acting like athletes or at least somewhat serious trainees.
To All Football Coaches – A copy of Bill Starr’s The Strongest Shall Survive. It may be forty-plus years old (older than the author was when written), but it is still one of the best training books out there. Then give us a winning season.
To All Barbell Exercise Writers (You know who you are) – A supply of paper and a couple of ink cartridges so they can keep on writing and add to the literature. Why couldn’t these guys have been born a few decades earlier?
To the Hockey Players – A season, even a shortened one. The strike should help with your dry-land training so no excuses when you return to work.
To All of My Readers – A Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2013. Now get back to the gym and watch that Christmas cheer and no extra gravy or sugarplums. There are meets coming up in January!
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.