California Weightlifting Fund to Help out with London Test Event Fundraising

A great friend Rob Earwicker and the gang from California have pitched in to help Sarah Robles and me on our quest to get her to the Olympic Test Event.  Here is another way how to help out.  Thanks Rob!

Hello All,

California Weightlifting Fund is a Non-Profit corporation supporting the growth of Olympic weightlifting.

We propose a challenge!

We will match 1:1 your tax deductible donation to California Weightlifting for Sarah’s trip up to $500.

Sarah and Joe are close to completing their fund raising efforts… this last push will make the trip happen.

Please see the link below for information on how to donate using Paypal or credit cards… Mailing checks to CWF also works but isn’t as fast.

Thanks very much!
Rob Earwicker, Dave Corbin, Dana Le

5th Woman at Performance One cracks the 100 kilo Back Squat Mark

Trinity McKain became the 5th current Performance One female athlete to crack the 100 kilo (220 lb) minimum Back Squat threshold on Saturday.  Trinity is a 17 yr Weightlifter from Queen Creek whom has been training for five months.  She joins Sarah Robles 210 kilos, Missy Faubus 210 kilos, Danielle Kerrigan 113 kilos, and Stefanie McDaniel (105 kilos).  In total Performance One has trained 8 women whom have accomplished this feat Trinity being the youngest at 17.  Great job ladies keep up the hard work!

Power Lifters to train at Performance One

Power Lifting is a barbell sport where athletes compete in the Back Squat, Bench Press, and Dead Lift.  Traditionally athletes would compete in all three lifts and post a total to see whom was the best.  In recent years organizers have allowed athletes to selected which event or combination of events that want to lift in.  For example you can just lift in the Bench Press or Bench Press and Dead Lift (Push Pull).  This has increased the popularity of the sport but has also diminished the amount of Full Meet Lifters.  The art of event specialization has into the sport with many lifters just training and competing in one or two disciplines.

Regardless, two top area lifters will be training at Performance One in preparation for their meet in November.  They are coming for program and coaching advice with their training.  It amazes me how many Power Lifters rarely have a planned program that they follow.  Much of their training is reliant on the equipment and not on sound programming.  These athletes have come to me for this and I have implemented a program to assist them on reaching their goals.  With a good sound percentage based program that takes into account their strength and weaknesses I believe we will have success come competition time.  I will keep blogging about how they do.

Coach Joe

Baseball Power

Freshman Baseball player Anthony C. hit a 10 kg Snatch PR with 55 kg and then hit another PR in the Back Squat with 105 kg not bad for a 14 yr old.  Anthony has seen a tremendous increase in his power at the plate.  Look for him to make a big impact on this season.  Keep up the hard work Anthony.

Great Class at MCC Community College

The students at Mesa Community College’s PED 133 Olympic Weightlifting Class are really getting after it.  We have about 12 highly motivated students whom are eager to learn the Olympic Lifts.

The Jerk Progression

This week I introduced to them my interpretation of the Jerk Progression (sequence of drills) that teach a new lifter how to perform the Jerk.  We always start the Jerk Progression from Behind the Neck.  Once technical mastery has been accomplished from behind the neck then and only then we will teach the Jerk from the front.

Clean from Positions

In my Progression for teaching the Clean I find it critical to first learn how to properly Front Squat.  Don’t overlook this very fundamental exercise with perfecting it you should not go to much further in teaching someone how to Clean.  the Next step is breaking down the Pull.  The Pull and how to teach someone how to Pull is the foundation of the Clean.  Plus it is one of the best transfer exercises for general strength and conditioning.  If you can Pull with technique and power you can accomplish a lot not only in Olympic Weightlifting but also in the realm of sports performance power generation.

Always start with the bar at the hip.  Keeping the bar close to the body and learn to drive with the legs is key.  Once the legs are fully extend the shoulders must shrug.  I want the shrug to take place up and behind the ears.

Athletes whom can perfect the Front Squat and the Pull will have a greater chance at success when performing the Clean.  Next time will go over specifics of bar placement and transition drills for speed.

Coach Joe

Football inseason Strength Training should never be uderestimated

Football Coaches don’t Learn from their mistakes

I don’t know how many times for it to have to happen before a Head Football Coach has to realize that Strength Training for Football Players in Season is a must.  Especially for High School and College Athletes.

For one the average athlete has not built up a significant amount of Training Experience/History on their bodies to not stress strength training in season.  Let me clarify, what I mean to say is they haven’t trained over an extended number of years in a organized, planned out, and technically sound program to go long bouts without training.  If you only trained for four months and then take three months off you haven’t built your body up long enough to have the training carry you through the season.  Many High School Athletes have never lifted prior to High School and the percentage of those athletes that are in a consistent and solid program from top to bottom is extremely limited.

When you take those factors into account it is no surprise that many marginal High School and College Programs falter around the end of Sept early Oct.  When they should be pushing the envelope and be in mid season stride.  It is your record through the mid season mark that determines a majority of their post season outcome and success.  By the end of Oct early Nov it is too late.  Many of the programs have lost too many games and the athletes are not motivated anymore.

In season Strength and Power Training

Football is one of the few sports where Strength and Power gains can continually be made in season.  Do to the longer rest times in football compared with other sports both in practice and in games athletes can push it more in their Strength and Conditioning Training.  Weekly, monthly, and season goals in the gym can still be made baring injury, contusions, and other football related aches and pains.  The key to implementing a sound in season strength and power program is the manipulation of volume with in your program.  Too much will breakdown the athlete and leave them feeling drained.  Too little will not significantly build on their off season conditioning and will fail to maintain their progress throughout the season.

Percentage of Max must be taken into consideration as well.  80% of a 1 RM in the off season and 80% of 1 RM in season after football practice where the athlete was hitting or after a big game will feel a lot different.  Knowing your athlete and working within a range of percentages will allow you as the coach to pick a good weight for your athletes that will stimulate but not mutilate him.  This can be challenge with a large team but that is where “the Eye of Coaching”  comes in.  You must spend time with all of your athletes, keep notes, look for signs,  think of all the factors and educate your coaching staff to communicate to you as well just in case you missed something.   Don’t be rigid on the program to the point your not flexible to know when a change is needed.  It is not as simple as just throwing a workout on the board and tell everyone to go do it.  That is why many coaches simply just don’t train at all in season.  The are not educated nor want to take the additional time to plan and prepare.  To their defense many of the High School Strength Coaches are also the Strength & Conditioning Coach, and teach a separate class this leaves little time for planing for an in season strength training program.  In my next blog post I will outline how this can be done in season.

For now take care

Coach Joe

2 New Snatch PRs Yesterday

One of our top High School Wrestlers hit a Personal Record in the Snatch yesterday with 50 kilos.  I really like using the Snatch with my wrestlers for the Power and Flexibility that it develops in their body.  Many Wrestlers make good snatchers because most of them already have good balance and shoulder flexibility.  The quick level change needed in a snatch mimics the level change needed in wrestling when hitting a double leg or low single leg take down.

The next Personal Record came from our rising Olympic Weightlifter Stefanie M.  Stef a big Personal Record in the Clean + Jerk last week and this week nailed a 53 kilo Snatch.  Each week Stefanie is gaining confidence and strength in both the lifts.  She needs a total of 142 to qualify for the American Open Championships in December and right now is sitting at a 120 total.  If Stefanie keeps making this progress she should be ready by December.

Fundraising Events for London Olympic Test Event

Olympic Test Event

Many of you may have not heard but 3x National Champion and 3x World Team Member Sarah Robles was selected by the London Olympic Committee and the International Weightlifting Federation to be the sole US representative at this event.  The event will take place Dec 10th & 11th at the ExCel Center in London, England the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics for Weightlifting.  Four weight classes were asked to participate at this Competition: Two Classes for Women 69 & 75+ kilos and Two Classes for the Men 94 & 105+ kilo.  Only twelve per weight class forty eight overall athletes in the World were asked to go and compete and Sarah was selected.  Unfortunately, the cost Airfare for this trip is not covered by USAW.  Both Sarah and I are required to pay for this trip out of our pocket.  We are asking for help in this regard.  Ticket prices to London around this time can be around $1,000-$1,400 per ticket from Phoenix.  We will be trying to raise all of the money through donations and various charity events that we will be hosting leading up to the event in December.

We need to raise $2,500 for the cost of the Airfare for both Sarah and myself, Joe Micela. 

How can you help?


We are accepting Monetary Donations in any amount.  100% of your donation will directly go to the trip cost.

Please send Donations to:

Team Arizona Weightlifting

(In the memo line right London Test Event)

916 E. Baseline Rd. Suite 130

Mesa, AZ 85204

T-Shirt Purchase

We have an Arizona Strong T-Shirt we are selling for $20

Plus shipping and handling ($5)

Go to

To see what the shirt looks like

Olympic Weightlifting Seminar

October 1st & November 19th at Performance One Advanced Sports Training in Mesa, Arizona.  We will be conducting a 4 hour Olympic Weightlifting Seminar with all the Team Arizona National Team Members helping out.  Come learn, lift, and get coached by myself 2011 World Women’s Head Coach, 3x National Champion Sarah Robles, and 2011 World University Team Member Collin Ito.  Cost is $60

This is a huge deal and Sarah like any other US Athlete should be given the opportunity to go to this event.  We will do all that we can to get her there.

On behalf of Sarah and myself I thank you.  I can be reached at or

Softball Power Development

Top High School Softball Pitcher Skylar Weinstein continues to make progress in the area of Power Development.  Only a Junior, Skylar hit personal records in the Snatch with 25 kilos and clean with 44 kilos this past week.  Both exercises are excellent sources of developing explosive power needed in all sports.  Skylar has already increased her pitching velocity into the low 60’s.  We are looking to keep adding to those numbers.  She trains 3 times a week and her focus is on Power and Strength.  For more information give Coach Micela a call at 480-813-5477

Records continue to fall with Performance One Weightlifters

Trinity M. hit another Personal Record in the  Snatch of 44 kilos and another PR in the C+J of 54 kilos to push her closer to her goal of qualifying for the Junior Nationals in January. Stefanie M. also hit another big PR in the Clean & Jerk of 67 kilos on Tuesday September 20th. It looked very easy for Stefanie there is a lot more where that came from.  Stefanie has her eyes set on qualifying for the American Open Weightlifting Championships in December.  With hard work and determination I believe she will get there.