London Olympic Test Event Fund Raising Goal Accomplished

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that we met our fund raising goal to pay for the Airline Tickets for both Sarah Robles and myself to go to the 2012 London Olympic Test Event. We are very grateful to everyone from across the country and world that contributed to this very special cause.  We would like to personally thank Rob Earwicker and Dave Corbin from the California Weightlifting Fund with matching funds raised in their effort.  These guys went out of their way to help out one of America’s top Athletes and we are very blessed for this.

We will go ahead and host the Weightlifting Clinics on November 19th, 2011 & Jan 14th, 2012 and continue to sell Arizona Strong T-Shirts. Proceeds from these events, along with future donations, will go directly to travel expenses for the Senior National/ Olympic Trials in 2012.

Thank you again with all of your assistance we will represent the US proud!  Good Bless!

We will still be accepting Monetary Donations in any amount. Donations can be made two ways online via Pay Pal at or through the mail at the following address:
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-Shirts for sale
Cost $20
Plus shipping and handling ($5)
Go to
To see what the shirt looks like

Shirts can be ordered online at or via mail with the same address listed above.

Olympic Weightlifting Clinic
November 19th & January 14th at Performance One Advanced Sports Training in Mesa, Arizona. We will be conducting a 4 hour Olympic Weightlifting Clinic 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

On behalf of Sarah and myself I thank you again.

Joe Micela
Team Arizona Weightlifting
Performance One Advanced Sports Training

Performance One Advanced Sports Training
1555 South Gilbert Rd. Suite 107
Mesa, AZ 85204
Phone: 480-813-5477

Performance One Women Weightlifters hit Big Lifts this week

It was a great week back after a week at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the World Team Training Camp.  The women of Performance One Advanced Sports Training did not disappoint.  On Wednesday Trinity M.  hit a PR in the Clean & Jerk with 60 kilos and a PR in the Front Squat with 85 kilos.  Trinity is 17 years old and trying to qualify for the Junior Nationals in January.  Next up was Danielle K.,  Dani also hit a PR in the Clean & Jerk with 80 kilos also on Wednesday.  Dani also hit a PR in the Front Squat with 93 kilos.  Another great performance came from Cherri S.  Cherri hit a PR in the Clean & Jerk with 38 kilos.  Last up was former Division I thrower Missy F.. Missy hit PRs in the Snatch 65 kilos and Clean & Jerk with 80 kilos.  Due to Missy’s very demanding schedule she can only train once a week with me.  The other days she has to train on her own.  Despite this limiting factor she has continued to make steady progress.  Missy is aiming at competing at the 2012 Nationals and possibly the University Nationals if her schedule allows her to.   We are very proud of all of our girls and are looking to put together a solid women’s team for future National Competitions.

Controlled Competition at the Olympic Training Center Weightlifting Facility

On Friday we had a Controlled Competition at the Olympic Training Center Weightlifting Facility.  The morning session saw a couple of lifters whom where not participating in the competition doing some training.  Megan Poole lifted but I was busy so don’t remember exactly what she did.  Pat Mendes came in just for this event and he Snatched up to 140 kilos and Clean & Jerked up to 170 in this morning session.  Donny Shankle also worked up to some light weights in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk (exact numbers I can’t remember).  Sarah Robles also worked out and just performed some light Pwr Snatches with 45 kilos and some light Clean & Jerks with 65 kilos both exercises for four sets of doubles.  That was pretty much it.

Afternoon Competition

Jessica Gallagher Snatch 75 Miss, 75 Good, 80 Miss, Clean & Jerk 90 Good, 95 Good, 100 Miss, Total 170

Jessica is a tough lifter and had a very heavy week and up until yesterday was not supposed to lift in the competition but one Zygmunt over and he agreed.  She is making consistent progress under  Zygmunt’s program and I look for her to lift even bigger weights down the road.

Jackie Berube Snatch 84 Good, 87 Miss, 87 Miss, Clean & Jerk 100 Good, 105 Good, 111 Miss Total 189

Jackie had to go to work so she had to rush through her lifts.  Jackie has been lifting for quite a while but she is all competitor.  Even on her misses Jackie looked incredibly strong.  She may have tweaked herself on her last clean & jerk.  I hope she is alright and look forward to seeing compete down the road.

Natalie Burgener Snatch 93 Good, 96 Good, 98 Good, Clean & Jerk 100 Good, 105 Good, 110 Good Total 208 (6 for 6)

Natalie had a crazy start to the competition but she finished great.  She was late for the beginning of the event due to an error in communication.  So she lifted after the women’s & men’s snatch session at the very end before the clean & jerks.  The wait did not effect this 2008 Olympian she handled it like the Pro she is.  Natalie looks in amazing shape and it kills me that she is not allowed on this year’s World Team.  It’s a technicality that she’s not and it’s wrong.  Put your best athletes on your team if you want to succeed.  She is one of our best and she needs to be on that team. She’ll be ready for the Trials in 2012.

Rizelyx Rivera Snatch 80 Good, 85 Good, 90 Miss, Clean & Jerk 100 Good, 105 Miss, 105 Good Total 190

Rizelyx has had a great week of training and every workout she looked better and better.  The competition was good for her with only minor bumps in the road with 90 in the snatch and 105 in the clean & jerk that choked her out a little.  She has earned her way on the World Team and I look forward to Coaching her in France.

Holley Mangold Snatch 105 Good, 110 Miss, 110 Miss, Clean & Jerk 135 Good, 140 Miss, 140 Miss Total 240

Holley had a tough day opening within 97% of her previous best in the Snatch.  The opener looked a little shaky and the next two attempts at 110 were not that close.  She is extremely strong but just needs more time spent with technical work on the start in the Snatch.  The Clean & Jerk looked similar to the Snatch she opened very heavy and it was not the easiest of lifts.  She then jumped up to 140 kilos and missed the Clean both times.  It was just a little too heavy for her on this given day.  Once she gets the technical side of lifting down look out because she is tough, strong, and hungry to succeed.

Sarah Robles Snatch 100 Good, 105 Good, 110 Good, Clean & Jerk 125 Good, 130 Good, 135 Good Total 245 (6 for 6)

Sarah and myself came into this event sticking to our game plan for the week.  Her goal this week was to total 240 in her heavier session of the week.  It worked out that we used this Controlled Competition as our heavy training session.  Sarah looked good and sharp and nailed all six of her lifts.  None of these weights where PR Attempts but that was not the goal.  The goal was a sound Technical Meet after a good week of consistent training.  Sarah only missed one lift in the entire week of training up here.  Sarah will be ready to hit big Personal Records at the World Championships.

Pat Judge Snatch 130 Good, 140 Good, 150 Good, Clean & Jerk 180 Good, 190 Good, 200 Miss Total 340

Big Pat Judge looked good in his first meet back since his minor heart condition several months ago.  Pat made all of his Snatches look routine.  Likewise with his Clean & Jerks.  The 200 kilos that he missed was more a lack of timing.  When talking with him afterward he forgot how much the Bar flexes with 200 kilos and it threw him off.  Pat hasn’t had anything more on the bar then 180 since his return.  I know he will recover stronger from this situation and contend again for his National Title.

Zack Krych Snatch 145 Good, 150 Good, Pass, Clean & Jerk 190 Miss, 190 Miss, 190 Miss Total 0

Zack looked pretty smooth in the Snatches but you could tell that they were bothering his wrist.  Several years ago Zack suffered a pretty devastating injury to his wrists it is a miracle that he is even able to lift let alone compete at the National Level.  But the movement bothers him from time to time and this was one of those times.  He passed on his third attempt.  In the Clean & Jerks the Jerks just weren’t there.  Zack has Cleaned 200 kilos in the training fairly recently but the Jerks due to the wrist just wasn’t working.  Zack is a competitor and will be back ready to go for the Worlds.

Casey Burgener Snatch 130 Good, 140 Good, 150 Miss, Clean & Jerk 145 Good, Pass, Pass Total 285

Cassey just posted a couple of nice easy lifts to qualify for the American Open Championships.  His miss at 150 was pretty close.  In the Clean & Jerk he just Powered 145 and Jerked it with easy and called it a day.  He is saving himself for some bigger lifts down the road.

Jarred Fleming Snatch 145 Good, 150 Miss, 153 Miss, Clean & Jerk 175, Good 180 Good, 190 Miss Total 325

Jarred looked a little tired after his opening Snatch of 145 kilos.  He is extremely strong kid and just didn’t have it today.  The Clean & Jerks all looked not as easy as I am used to seeing Jarred lift.  The 190 was a tough Clean and just not in right position to go for the Jerk.  He will be training hard for the Worlds and I know he’ll be ready for some big weights.  I forget he still is only a Junior Lifter at least until January.

Donny Shankle Snatch 157 Good, 162 Miss, 162 Good, Clean & Jerk 197 Good, 202 Good, 205 Miss Total 364

Donny has become my new favorite lifter.  His personality and outlook on life is very welcoming.  Donny is a fighter and no one will ever say different he will go through a wall for you and will give his body up for a lift.  His Snatches looked solid and I know he has more in (hopefully at the Worlds).  His Clean and Jerks went smooth until 205 were the Jerks just weren’t there National Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz granted Donny a couple additional attempts at 205 & 208 but the result was the same strong Clean but the Jerk was not quite there.  When Donny fully grasps the Jerk he will Clean 215 kilos.

Shane Maier Snatch 160 Good, 165 Good, 170 Good, Clean & Jerk 200 Good, 207 Good, 212 Miss Total 377 (PR Sn 170 Pr C&J 207)

Shane was one of biggest surprises of the camp and competition.  Shane nailed all three Snatches finishing things off with 170 kilo and a 5 kilo PR.  The Clean & Jerks looked much like the Snatches strong and powerful.  Shane hit a Personal Record of 207 kilos on his second attempt.  Electing to go for 212 on his third by me.  He Cleaned it for Personal Record Clean but never cleared his throat and had to engage the Jerk with no air in his lungs and was going blacking out.  Shane is a former D1 Thrower and has only been competitively lifting a short time.  This guy is big, strong, and powerful.  Once he really starts grasping the movements he will be lifting 180 +220 within the year mark my words.

Pat Mendes Snatch 170 Miss, 173 Miss, 173 Good, Clean & Jerk 200 Miss, 207 Good, 215 Miss Total 380

Pat came in last night and was only here for the weekend.  I didn’t even know he was coming until he showed up in the gym this morning.  Pat is extremely fast and unbelievably athletic for a big guy.  He has had some injuries of late and we were eager to see his fitness level.  The Snatches did not go so well he missed his first two attempts at 170 & 173 but came back to make it on his third attempt.  Coach Smalcerz granted him a 4th attempt at 178 kilos and he made it and then granted a 5th attempt at 182 which he missed.  Pat is talented but he needs to make lifts when they matter.  When he learns that he will be a great lifter.  In the Clean & Jerk was very similar to the Snatch missing his opener, jumping up and making his second attempt and then missing his third attempt.  Coach Smalcerz granted two more additional attempts at 215 but the result was the same strong Clean and not so strong of a Jerk.  As I said Pat is a talent, he needs to learn how to compete in a meet.  Making quality attempts and building a total are going to be critical at the Pan Am Games and the Worlds for points and medals.  He is young and hopefully this experience will help him in his development as a Weightlifter.

All in all, it was a good controlled competition with such high caliber of lifters.  We should have something like this once a month with our top lifters.  It really brings out the best in the competitors.  For the Coaches it allowed us to see whom is in good physical shape and whom is in good competition shape.  There is a difference.  Some people had a great week of training but it didn’t show in the comp.  Some had so so training but turned it on for the meet.  Not everyone attempted a Personal Record but that was not the main goal of the controlled competition.  It was to put athletes in a situation that would simulate the feel and emotion of a real meet.  With that in mind we were able to determine a lot about these athletes.  Tomorrow will be a lighter technical day and medium to heavy squats for most.

Conversation with USA Weightlifting National Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz

“Establish a base with young athletes. Don’t rush through Technical Progressions nor push Strength Training aggressively without allowing time for Neutral Adaptation and Physiological Development. You must keep in mind the long term plan of the athlete.” Main points of one of many of my conversations with National Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz at the OTC.

Day 3 AM & PM Training Sessions at the Olympic Training Center

Wednesday Morning 10 am

(I do my best to write accurate  descriptions of what happened but I am going off of memory and some notes.  Everyone is on different program and unless I wrote it personally it’s sometimes hard for me to remember everything that happened, just a heads up)

We saw Holley Mangold, Donny Shankle, Pat Judge, Jessica Gallagher, Megan Poole, Donovan Ford, Shane Maier, and Jackie Berube train.  Holley started her workout with some Snatch Balances.  Under the Polish/Russian system there is a lot of attention paid toward what I call Preparation Lifts.  Some are Skill Progression Exercises others are Strength/Position Transfer Exercises.  The Snatch Balance is more of a Strength/Position Exercise rather than a Skill Progression.  A Skill Progression Exercise would be Muscle Snatches.  Holley worked up to around 100 kilos.  Then she Snatched up to 90 kilos for a couple of sets.  Coach Smalcerz is changing her start from a Static Start to a more Dynamic Start.  The modified Dynamic Start begins with the athletes hands on the bar as opposed to a true dynamic start where the Athlete starts in the standing position and drops down grips the bar and starts the lift immediately.  Holley is working on a pumping motion of her legs and then pulling her self down into Set Position to begin the lift.  In the beginning of learning this technique you have to be exactly precise where your set position is.  Many athletes when first trying this start style will either sit back too much on the start or not sit back far enough and be too far over the bar and the balance coming off the ground will be off.  After the snatches Holley worked up to around 110 kilos in the Clean & Jerk.  Also working on the similar start.  Holley is very strong and with more timing and technical experience she will be lifting even bigger weights.

Donnny Shankle also started his workout with Snatch Balances and worked up to 160 kilos for a single.  Donny then progressed to Snatches from the Hip.  This is a great exercise to work on speed under the bar.  With the bar at the hip you have such a short finishing pull that you have to aggressively work on pulling yourself under the bar.  Donny has a tremendous pull but speed under bar is a skill that he needs to work on.  Donny went up to around 100-110 kilos I can’t remember exactly for a couple of sets.  He then went to Snatches from the floor working up to 135 kilos.  They all looked very easy.  From there he went to Snatch Pulls with around 165 kilos for several doubles.

Big Pat Judge worked on Power Cleans from above the knee.  Pat worked up to 150 kilos for a couple of doubles.  Pat is extremely strong he is working on Power movements to work on his turnover.  The turnover is still a little slow and it is throwing off his timing.  From there he went onto Push Presses off the blocks.  Again working on general movements to develop his body back into the shape he was a year ago.

Jessica Gallagher worked on Jerks from behind the Neck off of the block.  Prior to that she worked on a Strength/Position Transfer Exercise.  She would drop into split jerk position then lower the bar to her front then press the bar from this position for a couple of reps then recovery out.  Jessica worked up to around 75-80 kilos in the Jerk for a couple of sets.  She then Clean & Jerked from Above the knee up to 85 kilos for a single.  Then went to Clean + Front Squat from Below the Knee.  One Clean followed by one Front Squat and repeat.  Jessica worked up to 100 for a double.  That was a Personal Record for her in that lift.

Megan Poole worked on her Snatches a lot in this morning session.  She pressed from the bottom of the Snatch for a couple of sets.  Then Snatched from Above the Knee off of Blocks up to 65-70 kilos.  Then Snatched from Below the Knee off the Blocks up to 70 kilos for a double.  Then Snatched from the floor up to 70 kilos for a couple of singles.   After all that she Snatch Pulled while standing on a block up to 85-90 kilos for a couple of doubles.  Coach Smalcerz is trying to stress technique and leg strength with Megan.  She is progressing well.

Donovan Ford Snatched Push Press up to 130 kilos for a couple of doubles.  Then on to Presses from the bottom of the Snatch for a couple of sets.  Then onto Snatch Pull + Snatch from Below off of Blocks.  He worked up to 120-125 for a couple of singles.

Shane Maier worked up to around 80 kilos in the Muscle Snatch working on position into the hip and a faster turnover.  He then Back Squatted a very routine 240 kilos for four triples.

Jackie also performed some presses from the split jerk position the clean and jerked up to a very light 90 kilos and that was it.  Jackie works as a EMT in the evenings then coaches at Pinnacle Weightlifting and then comes and trains.  She is a model for time management.

PM Training

Jarred Flemming came in a little earlier then everyone else and snatched up to 135 kilos for a single and then Snatch Pulled up to 165 for a couple of doubles.  Jarred is nursing a slight leg injury so he is not pushing it too much.

Donny Shankle started with presses from the split jerk position. The Clean & Jerked up to 170 kilos for three singles very routine and easy.  Donny needs to work on speed.  Donny’s 140, 160,170, or even his lifts over 200 kilo all move with the same speed.  Once Donny can turn the switch and increase his rate of force production the more successful he will be with heavier loads.  Donny then worked up to around 210 kilos for Clean Pulls.  Donny finished with a footwork drill Coach Smalcerz has him along with a couple of other athletes doing.  The athlete places two half inch pieces of plywood in the area where they would be receiving the bar in either the Snatch or Clean Position. With a bar on their back loaded to a certain weight they start with their feet on the ground and then quickly jump up, out, and onto the plywood then quickly return back to the platform (think of a jumping jack in terms of footwork).  The loads on the bar can work up to 100 kilos.

Shane Maier Snatched up to 145 kilos for a single and then dropped down to 135 kilos for several sets.  He then Clean & Jerked up to 185 kilos for a single and like the Snatch dropped down to 175 kilos for a couple of sets.  Shane is a big, strong, and fast athlete.  He just needs more technical refinement.  He is still very young in the sport and is learning how to feel technique.  That could take several years.  For him to be successful now he needs to get a crash course in learning.

Natalie Burgener Clean & Jerked up to a light weight from Above the Knee. Then Clean & Jerked from the floor up to 90 kilos.  Afterward she Clean Pulled up to 120 for a double and then Back Squatted also up to 120 kilos for a double.

Holley Mangold only Front Squatted up to 145 kilos for four sets of two.

Megan Poole started her Jerks off with Presses from the split position.  She then Jerked off the block she worked up to 115 kilos.  She took two tries at 120 with two near misses.  She is very strong in the jerk and it was told to me that she has Jerked 125 off the block.  Afterward she performed Clean & Front Squatted  for waves 80 kilos for double then 90 kilos for a single for three sets.

Rizelyx Rivera Snatched up to 75 kilos for several singles.  Clean & Jerked up to 90 kilos for several singles and then Front Squatted up to 120 kilos for two doubles.

Zach Krych started his Snatch workout out with presses from the bottom of the snatch then very slow and methodically worked up to 135 kilos in the Snatch taking very small jumps making sure everything was warmed up and feeling good.  He then Snatch Pulled up to 150 for several sets of two.

Sarah Robles Snatched up to a very easy single with 100 kilos and Clean & Jerked up to a single with 125 kilos.  Then she Front Squatted up to a very easy 160 kilos for another single.

Jessica Gallagher Snatched from Above the Knee off of Blocks doubles up to 68 kilos.  She took a shot at 71 and only made it as a single.  She dropped down to 65 for another double, went up to 68 for another double.  After asking Coach Smalcerz she was granted a shot at 75 kilos from the block for a single.  She nailed it.  It was the best one.  She then Snatched Pulled and Front Squatted up to 115 kilos for a double.

Tomorrow is an off or extremely easy day for most. Friday is a Controlled Competition in the Evening it should be good to watch.  I should have video for that one.

Day 2 AM & PM Workout

Most of the Team trained in the morning with the exception of Sarah Robles and Shane Maier.  Sarah usually only trains once in the evening on Tuesday and saves the morning for therapy.  Shane only trains once a day and they did not want to push him to train more often given that he is only here for one week.  So in the morning we saw Natalie Burgener, Rizelyx Rivera, Holley Mangold, Jessica Gallagher, Megan Poole, Donny Shankle, Jarred Fleming, Pat Judge, Donovan Ford, and Jackie Berube later in the morning.

Donny snatched up to only around 100-110 but performed the snatches without moving his feet and no hook grip.  Jarred did some squats and Pwr Snatches with light weights both guys are gearing up for the controlled competition on Friday afternoon.  It should be a good one.  Jarred told Donny he is going to beat him at the Worlds.    Big Pat Judge hit some Pwr snatches up to around 115 kilos.  He is still coming back from his mild heart condition and his timing is still a little off but he is strong as hell and once he gets that back he should be hitting some monster weights.  Donovan Ford continued to do assistance work today.  He has become the master of every possible pressing movement that I have ever seen this kid should never miss another jerk due to shoulder or position strength.  As Donovan heals he will be allowed to do more lifts but right now they are taking it slow with him.

Holley looked good as she Pwr Snatched up to 90 kilos followed by one overhead squat.  Most of the athletes had to overhead squat their last rep of their Pwr Snatches except Natalie.  Jessica worked up to I believe around 65-70 kilos in the Pwr Sn.  Rizelyx worked up 73 very easy for four singles.  Natalie stole the show working up to 85 kilo Pwr Sn and then went to Snatches from Above the Knee off of Blocks.  She hit an easy 90, 95, & 100 kilos!  Each one looked very solid the 100 kilo lift was the first time she has hit that weight since before the Beijing Olympics and first off the blocks.  I have always said this about Natalie she has the best technique of any US lifter in the Snatch period.  When I make my training video on how to Snatch it will be filled with Natalie Burgener.  She then worked up to 120 kilo front squat for a single that was another more recent lift since her surgery.

On to the Power Clean  & Push Jerk.  Holley worked up to 110 kilos and looked very solid.  Holley has come along way technically since I saw her just a couple of years ago.  She is taking full advantage of her opportunity here at the Training Center.  Rizelyx looked amazing as she nailed 90 kilo Pwr Clean & Push Jerks.  National Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz joked and said this girl should be cleaning and jerking 120-125 kilos.  I agreed that she looks fantastic and has a lot more in her.  Jessica did not Pwr Clean but performed Snatch Pulls instead.  Megan Poole performed mostly assistance exercise.  I did notice her Snatch Push Pressing 85 kilos for several doubles followed by and overhead squat.  She is the youngest athlete in the gym and sometimes that can be intimidating.  She has a great personality and she has a big upside.

The Afternoon saw Sarah Robles, Shane Maier, and Casey Burgener train.  The game plan for Sarah was to Pwr Snatch Above the Knee off of blocks.  She worked up to 95 kilos for three easy singles.  Then she went to Pwr Clean & Push Jerk also from Above the Knee off the blocks.  She worked up to 115 for three singles and one single at 120.  All looked easy and effortless.  The travel soreness is out and she is eating good and lifting good.  She will be ready for some big lifts later in the week.  Shane Maier is a great guy and once he has more training experience under his belt he is going to lift even bigger weights than he is already lifting now.  He worked up to 130 kilos in the Pwr Snatch for several singles.  Shane is working on his start position.  With  a little more time dedicated to flexibility and position work to get his upper back set he will snatching 175!  He then progressed to some Snatch Pulls up to 170 for triples and that was it.  Casey worked up to some light Clean & Jerks with 130 for a few sets and then some heavier Back Squats.  He finished off the workout with medium heavy Snatch Grip RDLs.  Casey has a great demeanor about him and would be a fantastic coach when his career is done.  He has seen a lot, done a lot, and could offer a lot to anyone wanting to learn the Lifts.

That’s all for today I will post in a separate update my personal conversations with Coach Smalcerz.

Day 1 PM Workout

The afternoon workout had most of the lifters clean & jerking.  I’ll start with the girls.  Rizelyx Rivera clean & push jerked up to 95 kilos for around four singles she looked good and the weights looked very easy.  She is in good shape and is hungry to hit some big weights.  Rizelyx front squatted up to I believe 120-125 kilos she missed the last rep but looked solid up to that point I didn’t ask her if that was her PR or not.  Kelly Williams Clean & Jerked up to I believe 78 kilos and her jerks were all money.  Kelly also front squatted up to a couple heavy singles and she missed 90 kilos.  Natalie Burgener looked good as she performed cleans off a block from around knee height.  She worked up to 100 kilos and the all looked good.  She also worked up to a heavy back squat of I believe 140 kilos.   Sarah Robles lifted working up to 95 kilos for four singles in the Snatch from above the knee.  She stayed with the above the knee position with the clean & jerks and worked up to 115 for two singles and 120 for two singles.  All looked very solid.  She finished with three singles at 170 kilos in the back squat.

On to the guys, as I walked into the gym I noticed Jarred Flemming performing some back squats.  Jarred has reduced his training frequency from 9 times a week to 5 times a week.  His body was not adapting and beginning to breakdown.  He is an incredible talent and he will be a dominant US Weightlifter for years to come.  Zach Zrych was clean & jerking and worked up to I believe four singles at 175 kilos.  He finished with some heavy pulls after with around 10-15 kilos more than what he cleaned.  He is a hard worker and puts everything into his lifting.  Mike Nackoul started with heavy jerks off the block.  First he hit some very impressive doubles with 170 kilos.  Then Mike move up to heavy singles with a couple near misses with 190-200 kilos.  Mike then clean & jerked around 140-150 working on some technical issues.  Mike like all the other lifters whom clean & jerked pulled right afterward working up to 10-15 kilos more than what they cleaned.  Mike is a great person and one of the nicest young athletes I have met in a long time.  We need 20 more Mike Nakoul’s in the sport of Weightlifting.

Shane Maier clean & jerked up to 180 for four singles he is a power guy and with more experience this guy could be a force in the heavy weight class.  He has finished second at the Nationals two years in a row and he is looking to make a big impact at the American’s and the 2012 Nationals.

I caught the tell end of Donny Shankles clean & jerk workout he worked up to 185 kilos for four singles then finishing with some heavy pulls right afterward.  What you love about Donny is his energy he brings to the training hall.  He realizes the importance of competition.  How it drives you to be the best in everything.  He brings that Marine mentality from his past into his weightlifting training and that is awesome.  He needs to be surrounded with like minded individuals.  Collectively the group will push each other to greatness with the guidance of a experienced coach.

Today is an easier day with most lifters only training in the evening.  I will let you know how it goes along with observations of the Polish System.

Day 1 at the Olympic Training Center for the World Team Camp

Watched the morning training session at the OTC today.  Donny Shankle Snatched Push Pressed up to 160 kg and so did Mike Nackoul.  Donny then Snatched up to 150 off the blocks from Knee height.  Mike Snatched up to I think 135-140 off the blocks from the knee.  Mike is a very impressive young man I see big lifts in this kids future.  Ian Wilson is also very talented none of his snatches looked heavy.  National Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz had him performing Snatches with a block between his feet to work on not bringing his feet in on his landing.  Big Shane Maier squatted up to 260 for a couple sets and it looked like a toy.  I only saw Pat Judge do some Snatch Push Presses but he still looks as powerful as ever.  When he gets back to full strength look out Heavyweight division.

I only saw a couple of the girls lift this morning.   Jessica Gallagher is coming on strong and she C+J up to I believe 90 kilos.  Holley Mangold snatched up to 95 kilos and is looking better.   Kelly Williams looked solid as ever and very consistent.  Her veteran presence is great to have around the younger girls team.  Sarah Robles just did some light training considering both of us didn’t get into the training center till a little past midnight.  This afternoon should be better.

I talked briefly with Coach Smalcerz this morning this afternoon and throughout the week we are planning to discus the Pan Am, World, and Olympic Games programming and preparation.  I look forward to his incite .  I will report each day as much as I can.