The Quick Start Guide for Beginning Weightlifting

James Lee


Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, Self Defense


My background is as a founder of a CrossFit gym so, obviously I look at weightlifting with a slightly different perspective than someone preparing to compete in an Olympic weightlifting competition. These videos are based on my teachings and experiences as a CrossFt coach training beginners to weightlifters in short limited time. Having said that, I would like to say that I am also a founder of Takano Weightlifting with Coach Bob Takano so, I understand that there’s lot of instruction that is needed beyond what is on offer here.


This is my methodology to teach and learn Olympic weightlifting as a beginner. We are going to focus on the foundations and not sweat the little things and cues. A good example of this is footwork. if you cannot jump and land in the correct position on your lifts, other cues - such as get up on your toes or pull your hips through - are not going to help. You need to move your feet correctly and land in the right position before anything else. It’s simple to understand, difficult to master.



So, my advice for beginners is always to stick with the basics and build a solid foundation. Don’t overthink it. When you start to get more proficient at these lifts you will come to realize that your footwork has a profound effect on the quality of a lift but there’s only so many ways you can train for that.


And here's a few extra tips:


  • Keep your back tight and locked in. There should not be any rounding of your back at any point.
  • Be sure to drive with your arms and lock them out once you have “jumped” and the bar is above your shoulders during your snatch or the Jerk.
  • Don’t forget to use the “hook” grip.


Watch the videos with coach Lyndsay Dill below in sequence . They are meant for people who want a quick and easy start to weightlifting. There is no substitute for proper coaching when it comes to these lifts because, while they are simple movements, they require a lifetime to master. So, as you evolve in your practice seek out a great coach locally, one who has experience of taking people to competitions preferably, and make sure you are working with the proper equipment.


However, not everyone is looking to become a competitive or hard core lifter so, enjoy them as much as you can because they are also a great part of any strength and conditioning plan, or CrossFit workouts. And, when you start to hit your lifts properly you will feel the difference in your body, the way everything seems to click. It's a very rewarding feeling that only gets better as the weights go up.


The Basics



The Snatch


The Clean


The Jerk


Working on the Rack


Nerd Out On These Weightlifting Articles

Why It's Not All About the Weight You Are Lifting

What Makes a Great Weightlifting Gym

Beyond the Bar Path: Reinforcing Movement Patterns In Weightlifting

20 Tips That Will Make You Better At Olympic Weightlifting

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