18 Questions For the Man Beneath the Cowboy Hat

by Sage Mertz

Sage and Coach B Last week, I asked all of you interwebbers to think of ALL the things you were DYING to know about THE Coach B (my dad!). I had a hard time choosing the best questions because they were all so amazing, but here are 18 questions that I feel truly reflect just who Mike Burgener really is.

Thank you to those who participated…enjoy the show!

1. If weightlifting had never been a part of your life, what other career path/paths would you have pursued instead?

I would say that I would have made the Marine Corps a career…..I loved the USMC and the camaraderie that the Marines have together. It’s like the old saying: “ONCE A MARINE, ALWAYS A MARINE”. There are no EX Marines… only Marines and former Marines.

2. Who is your biggest role model? What is it that sets this person apart?

#33 is my dad!

#33 is my dad!

My strength coach at Notre Dame was a catholic priest, Fr. bhb Lange. Fr. Lange was a lead by example person that everyone loved. My biggest fear wasn’t his gruff style. My biggest fear was not being able to please him. I was also afraid of doing something stupid that would cause his disappointment.

3. Based off of your life experiences, what is the most important piece of “life” advice that you could offer to any given individual?

I learned from the USMC, my time with Fr. Lange, and from Ara Parseghian (my football coach at Notre Dame), that being humble and leading by example are critical to success.

4. What is your favorite type of athlete to train?

One that does not know it all. Someone that is very coachable, will listen and do their homework when given drills and skills to work on.

5. How did you and your wife meet? Was it love at first site?

“Boss Hoss” and I met at a racquetball court while I was in the Marine Corps. I played racquetball with her father who was in the Navy. He actually introduced us!

I thought SHE WAS HOT!!!! I am sure she would NOT say the same about me, but that is a whole other story!!

6. Have you ever had your heart broken?

Sure! Many times! But what exactly does “heart broken” mean?? I’ve been heart broken by the stupid decisions that I’ve made. I didn’t listen to my mom and dad when I should have. I wish I could go back and tell them how much I loved them and appreciated their guidance and leadership…even though at the time, I thought their wisdom was not wisdom at all!

If you mean to ask if I’ve been heart broken by a lady….hmmmm….I refuse to answer that one!!

7. What led you into the Marine Corps?

I always wanted to be a Marine. My freshman year of college, I knew I was going to be Marine when I went to see the recruiters. I think what really drew me in, was the camaraderie and challenge of getting through the tough and rigorous training. And then, when I went to bootcamp, it was amazing to see how wise my parents had become! Out of no where! 😉

8. If you had only ONE wish, what would it be and why?

World peace!! I believe all people are good, and that politicians cause problems. Every country I have had the privilege of visiting while doing courses, the people and culture were outstanding!!! I loved learning about everyone I met and found out that, if given the chance, we are all alike.

9. What are three traits that you feel define what it means to be a “good man”?

First, believing in a higher power or spiritual awareness (for me that is God). Second, being a man that loves his family. Finally, as I have said before, being a man that leads by example and challenges others to be the best they can be.

IMG_5657 10. What is the single most important thing you have learned in all your years of coaching?

Believe in your system, but do not be so tied to it that you are afraid of change. Coaches coach different athletes, so there is no ONE way of coaching. We all want the same thing: for our athletes to lift to the best of their ability in a safe, efficient, effective manner. My system has worked for me because I believe in it and I am passionate about it. BUT, I would change something in a nano second if I thought it could make my athlete better.

11. What was the hardest lesson you ever had to learn?

Not to sass my mom. Whenever I did, she would simply say: “wait until your dad gets home!!” OMG!!!! I was stubborn and I had a ton of those lessons…..OUCH!!!!!

12. You’ve traveled all over the world coaching, what has been your favorite place that you’ve traveled to and why?

OMG! How can I answer this? All the places that I have had the privilege of traveling to have been awesome. But, Switzerland is what first pops into my mind. That is my heritage. I have only been there one time, and it was amazing. I loved the people and their love of life.

If I had to pick a second place, I would say New Zealand. I love it there and, again, the people are amazing. I particularly enjoyed the Maori culture and visiting their temple (I think it’s called a temple..sorry if that is incorrect). Also, it goes without saying… the HAKA dance of war really fires me up!!!

13. What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?

I was a golf coach!!! LOL! I win that bet every time!! I ask my classes to choose three sports they think I coached in high school…..NO ONE has ever picked golf!

14. Have you ever had a near death experience? What happened?

I am not sure it was a near death experience but it sure felt like it. About 3 months ago, I had a blood pressure situation come up. My pressure spiked to 195/105. I was strong, and I was fit…soooooo…what the heck???

We had a death in the family, and I was stressed and worrying about family members. We went to the emergency room, and I truly thought I was going to die!!! I took all the tests, and they all came back negative except for my blood pressure. I had very thick, sludge-like blood going through my arteries. Also, my kidney filtration rate was much lower than it was supposed to be. I weighed 205, and I felt great and strong.

Anyway, I found out I had hypertension in my family. My mom, dad, sister, grandparents….all of them. No one back then ever talked about that stuff. I never knew that I was subject to hyper-tension.

Since then, I now weigh 175 and my blood pressure is 120/72 or so… which is average.

This is probably over dramatic, but the whole situation scared me straight into taking care of myself in the proper way.

IMG_3496 15. What has been your most life-changing experience?

Marrying my wife!! Aka Boss Hoss!!! (I should get some points for that answer!)

The next most life changing experience was joining the Marine Corps. I learned really fast that I was not as good as I thought I was!!!

16. What is your guilty pleasure?

Paleo margaritas.

17. In reference to coaching your kids, if you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do the same and what would you differently?

I wouldn’t change how hard I pushed them, but I might change wanting thier successes and failures to be up to them.

I knew they all had potential, and I pushed their abilities really hard. So hard at times, that sometimes I think I should have let them make the decision of how hard they wanted to work.

18. How do you stay so damn sexy (I would like to point out that this question did NOT come from your daughter)?

LMAO!!! I’m sure it wasn’t you.

In my humble opinion (and thank you for whomever asked), I would never ask my athletes to do something that I would not do. So, I work out hard for a 69 yr old geezer!!! We do geezer workouts 3 times a week, and I walk 4-6 miles on the beach 2-3 times per week. On top of that, Boss Hoss and I follow an intermittent fasting protocol with bullet proof coffee style of fasting.

3 Things Every CrossFitter Can Do To Become A Better Weightlifter

3 Things Every CrossFitter Can Do To Become A Better Weightlifter
by Sage Mertz

Most people are going to look at the title of this blog and think that I’m a lifting coach trying to convert CrossFitters into weightlifters. Although that would be amazing for the sport, I can assure you that is not my intention. 96.7% of the CrossFit community is already stronger than me at most things in life, and I’m not sure my emotional psyche can handle many more 12 year olds out lifting me in my own sport.

BUT! I’m a good person, so I do want to share a couple of tools that are guaranteed to make you a better weightlifter and possibly even a better person in general.

#1. Do the Burgener Warm Up EVERY day for the rest of your life

The amazing thing about CrossFit is that you can walk into the gym and get your (well-developed) butt handed to you in one hour!! Even though there is so much that we have to fit into that short amount of time, we often fiddle-fart around during our warm-up (given that there is not a specific warm up regime lead by a coach).

If you’re like me, your warm up generally consists of rolling out everything from your elbow to your ear lobe in an attempt to make it look like you’re actually doing something to prepare your body for the workout. It’s time for us to make some serious life changes. Next time you’re in the gym, pick up a PVC pipe and go through the Burgener Warm-Up:

1. Down and finish: Creates speed through the middle
2. Elbows high and outside: Keeps the bar close
3. Muscle Snatch: Develops strong turnover
4. Snatch lands at 2″, 4″ 6″: Footwork
5. Snatch drops: Footwork

The Burgener Warm-Up is great for breaking up the snatch and clean and jerk (movements that happen in .3 milliseconds) into smaller steps. This specific warm-up makes it easier for us to understand that it isn’t some weird voodoo magic that gets the bar up over our head, but instead, it is 5 very specific movements that our bodies go through in order to get that bar traveling up effortlessly.

Please note that the Burgener Warm-up does not need to be done with any significant amount of weight! A PVC pipe is all you need! You’ll be shocked at how warm you feel afterwards and how, after even a short period of time, your body seems to remember how to go through the motions on it’s own.

#2. Work your positions from the floor

Ok, so you’ve just rolled out your left ring finger and have completed the Burgener Warm-Up. Now, we need to add one more step to our warm-up… a step that allows us to gain a better understanding of what happens before that bar gets to our hips…aka what happens before we “jump”.

In other words, we need to master the proper pull off the floor.

Just like the Burgener Warm-Up, this drill does not need to be done with any significant amount of weight. Our goal when we work our positions is to move our bodies slow enough to be able to recognize how each position is supposed to feel. If we try and do position work with too much weight, we’re so focused on not dying that we’re not focused enough on achieving perfect mechanics.

Here is a video of me showing the three most important positions: the start position, the launch position, and the “finish” position. Notice how I slow down as the barbell moves up my leg and as I prepare to jump. I am really tuned into my hips, making sure they only travel through enough to be able to move vertically, as opposed to moving forward so much that they bang against the barbell and drive the weight away from my body.

Watch, memorize, and recreate…over and over again.

If you master these positions, you have a way better chance of being successful at lifting heavy weights. And lifting heavy weights is basically the most important step in achieving your biggest goals…like becoming the next Beyonce, for example.

#3. Watch videos of Olympic or national level athletes

Last, but definitely not least, just because you’re not in the gym, doesn’t mean that you can’t work on fine tuning your weightlifting technique.

There has been more and more research (and not even just on wikipedia!) proving the importance of visualization. What the mind sees and believes, the body can achieve. Go on youtube and research lifters like Natalie Burgener or Norik Vardanian or any of those cute, tiny Chinese female lifters that I want to carry around in my pocket.

Those are the lifters that have dedicated decades to fine tuning their technique and making it as efficient as possible for their specific body type and individual strengths and weaknesses. The more you study these lifters, the more you will start to pick up on tiny technical differences that set these lifters apart from the rest of the world.

Watching those beautiful lifts will make it easy to walk up to the barbell, close your eyes and see what your lift is SUPPOSED to look like. Will you be able to recreate it? I can’t say for sure… it really depends on how many homeless people you’ve fed over the past year. But, all you can do is try. If you are trying to replicate the speed, the efficiency, and the consistency that these lifters exude in each and every lift, you’re working in the right direction.

Hey Coach B!

We love receiving updates from our weightlifting friends from around the world! If you have an update you would like to share, email your story to

* * * * * * * *

Hey Coach B,

It’s been a while and I’m not sure if you remember me. My name is Luke Baranowski, and I did an internship with you on the CF Weightlifting Course on one of your Australia and New Zealand tours after doing your course in San Diego.

image2I’ve just written this to thank you for your inspiration especially those 2 years ago. That internship really taught me a lot and helped fuel my passion even more for weightlifting.

I started training this young lady, Yasmin Carter 4 years ago. She came to me just before her 13th birthday and started CrossFit. Through that I introduced her to Weightlifting. She’s been a model athlete and taken instruction well. Sure like any athlete (especially a young girl) you have your ups and downs but through all the effort she finally started competing this year in the Youth 58kg category .

She came second in her State Championship which was her first comp. following that she got asked to represent New South Wales at the Australian National Championships.

This weekend she competed at Nationals and won by 1kg in a great battle with another girl who’d been undefeated for 3 years by lifting a 3kg PB of 79kg in the Clean and Jerk. She has now been accepted to represent Australia at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa later this year.

image1 To say I’m proud is a complete understatement, we’ve worked so hard over the past 4 years and a lot of it is thanks to you and for your continued support of the CrossFit Community through your videos and courses, replying to your emails and giving us all the chance, through your shared knowledge, to be the best coaches we can be.

Again many thanks and I can’t wait to bring her over to Mikes Gym one day soon to train under your watchful eye!

Kind regards

Luke Baranowski
CrossFit Whiteout/Bondi Barbell Club

Hey Coach B, I've just written this to thank you for your inspiration especially those 2 years ago. The internship for your course really taught me a lot and helped fuel my passion even more for weightlifting. I started training this young lady, Yasmin Carter 4 years ago. She came to me just before her 13th birthday and started CrossFit. Through that I introduced her to Weightlifting. She's been a model athlete and taken instruction well. She came second in her State Championship which was her first comp. following that she got asked to represent New South Wales at the Australian National Championships. This weekend she competed at Nationals and won by 1kg in a great battle with another girl who'd been undefeated for 3 years by lifting a 3kg PB of 79kg in the Clean and Jerk. She has now been accepted to represent Australia at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa later this year. To say I'm proud is a complete understatement, we've worked so hard over the past 4 years and a lot of it is thanks to you and for your continued support of the CrossFit Community through your videos and courses, replying to your emails and giving us all the chance, through your shared knowledge, to be the best coaches we can be. Again many thanks and I can't wait to bring her over to Mikes Gym one day soon to train under your watchful eye! Kind regards Luke Baranowski CrossFit Whiteout/Bondi Barbell Club #CrossFitWeightlifting #CrossFit #CFWL @mikeburgener

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Women in Weightlifting
by Tyera Zweygardt

“You’ll get big and manly!” “Muscles are only for men!” “Girls cannot possibly lift!”!

Unfortunately, these are statements I hear all the time. I am guessing that if you are a female who enjoys lifting or fitness, you probably have heard similar remarks as well. Do not fret, for what do all of these comments have in common? They are false. There is a perpetual stereotype that Weightlifting, CrossFit, and other sports centered around strength, are only for men, and if you participate as a woman, you will merely saunter in the shadows of other men or “turn into one.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Weightlifting, strength, and muscles are absolutely important for men, and everybody should embrace themselves, and ultimately do what they love. However, all of these things are equally important for women.

In a sport that has traditionally been dominated by males, female participation in Weightlifting is more revolutionary now than ever. We are creating an equal playing field, and constructing productive opportunities for ourselves. I think it is fair to say that female lifters decades ago, who were not even able to compete at the Olympic level, would be proud of our headway. Women are finally diminishing stereotypes, and demonstrating to the world that females can be powerful, yet still feminine.
Personally, I know this truth quite well. As most of you know, I am currently in the process of breaking three American records. I am more tenacious to make my dreams come true than I have ever been, and each and every day I progress further towards achieving my goals. In fact, last night I nailed a PR 76 kg (167.2 lb) snatch, which is only 2 kg under the American record set in 2006. Interestingly enough, the fact I had my hair in two pigtails, wore eyeliner, and rocked my pink polka-dot socks did not make this lift any harder or change my attitude. My power does not strip me of my femininity, and it won’t strip you of yours either. It is possible ladies, I promise.

While we all might know deep down inside of us that anything we desire is, indeed, possible to attain, sometimes walking into a gym full of muscly men can still be intimidating, whether we want it to be or not. Whenever this happens, just take a moment and reflect on who you are. Review how desperately you want to achieve your goals. Understand that your own mind is the only thing that can prevent you from accomplishing greatness. Never give anybody else that power over you. If you create fear, you can destroy it. Behind every fear is that person you want to be. So don’t let inexperience, peer pressure, or fear dissuade you from beginning your journey and chasing your dreams.

Post thoughts to comments.


We’ve been following Tyera Zweygardt’s journey to the international stage, and now she is on a mission for Youth Nationals!

Mission Tackle Youth Worlds 2015 was a success!

I always describe Olympic weightlifting in my life as some sort of metaphorical journey. On this journey, I encounter a multitude of experiences where I exhibit growth, and discover new, exciting opportunities for myself. I was lucky enough to discover the Youth World Weightlifting Championships, where my figurative journey transformed into an actual international adventure!! Fortunately, this was one of the first trips where USAWeightlifting decided to fund all competitors, so, luckily, I was not faced with financial impediments. However, while this specific gift mimicked a certain athletic elitism, the experience did not emulate what the Olympics appears to be on TV or in magazines. I expected to be surrounded by intensely serious people who only ever talked about lifting, and did not care to have fun. Upon arriving, I realized my prediction couldn’t be more incorrect! Surprisingly, I found myself neighbored by kids just like me. They went to school, they had friends, and they were just as honored to be at Youth Worlds as I was. Plus, they loved to have fun.

I felt human. Every time I turned my head, I noticed groups of athletes from all over the world laughing together, and preparing themselves to take the stage. Every time I walked into a new room, I listened to the rhythtm of a multitude of different languages. Every time I sat down to eat, I witnessed different cultures coalesce. I realized that I was a component of the world’s Olympic weightlifting melting pot, and that we were all truly one large family. Everybody was there for the same reason. Everybody shared one goal, that is, to lift as hard as they physically could.

Now, for the actual competition aspect of the trip, the sensation of standing alone on the international stage is truly ineffable. At this time, I felt like an Olympic athlete. All of the aforementioned seriousness I anticipated finally debuted. In those few moments before performing the lift, I became engulfed in the overwhelming combination of gratitude, gumption, and grit. All of my hard work paved the way to that singular moment, and I stood there fully prepared to give it my all.

I wound up achieving three competition personal records in the snatch (69 kg), clean and jerk (89 kg), and total (158 kg) at 63 kg bodyweight. Knowing I employed maximum effort, and now have a new total as my accolade, I couldn’t ask for anything more out of my experience in Lima, Peru at the Youth World Championships.

Soon after returning, I researched the American records for Olympic weightlifting in my age and weight division. I learned that they are currently 78 kg for snatch, 101 kg for clean and jerk, and 172 kg for total. A few months have passed since the world competition. From then on, I have increased my snatch to 74 kg, clean and jerk to 93 kg, and total to 167 kg. I have until December to break these records, and, as I am sure you have guessed, I am more determined and zealous than ever. I feel so incredibly honored to have recognized the opportunities available to me. I am humbled that I am able to share my story. I guess this simply demonstrates where a little hard work, keen focus, and self-confidence takes you.

(Editor’s note: Tyera also graduated from High School this month, at age 16! She has enrolled in college and will begin studying math and finance in the fall!)

CrossFit Weightlifting Tours Israel

CrossFit Weightlifting toured Israel after a seminar Crossfit Modiin. Check our site to see where we will be next!


Coach Burgener on hands and knees where Jesus was born.


The christian/Catholic wing of the church that sits on top of the manger and site Jesus was born.

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.08.51 PM

Beau getting some snatching in at CrossFit Modiin.


A painting of the slaying of a dragon…pretty cool.

The 10 Point Scale of the Power Clean

As a former Strength Coach at the High School level, as well as the head coach for the Weightlifting Trainer Course, I am always bombarded with requests of how to program to lift maximum weights. With beginners I don’t like to test and prescribe maximum weights. I prefer to teach technique, and I believe that a max will increase with technique improvement. Try as I may, athletes still want to be tested!! Therefore, I developed a 10-point scale emphasizing technique. The 10-point scale makes athletes concerned with proper technique during testing sessions. The idea is on a scale of 1 to 10, the lift is graded on technique, and weight can be added only if the athlete receives a specified number of points. For example, if an athlete lifts 100 kilograms in the snatch or the clean and is graded with an 8 or higher, the athlete is credited with the lift and may attempt a heavier weight. However, if the athlete is graded with a 7 or lower, the lift is not credited, and the last weight in which he received an 8 is credited. Of course, the athlete can attempt the lift again, especially if the score was a 6 or 7. If the lift was less than 6, the athlete would be given no additional attempts with that weight.

I used the 10-point scale with my former P-E classes, as well as my beginning Olympic lifters in establishing workout loads and intensities. I found that it has benefited all of the athletes that adhere to the system. It is also fun to watch my athletes use the 10-point scale during practice sessions; they have come accustomed to yelling out loudly: “6!!! ” or what ever they feel the lift is to be awarded. This allows for technique competition among the lifters, as well as allowing them to realize that the main emphasis in teaching the power related movements is technique, not the amount of weight they can lift. They come to understand rather quickly that when technique improves, so does the amount of weight lifted.

Here are the criteria for the 10-point scale of the power clean. You can make your own scale.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.12.48 AM


  1. Chest up
  2. Back tight and flat as possible
  3. Shoulders even with or slightly in front of bar
  4. Head straight ahead
  5. Weight distributed in center of feet or very slightly forward


Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.13.32 AM


  1. Initiate pull with legs
  2. Weight moves slightly back on heels (keep balanced)
  3. Keep bar as close to shins as possible
  4. Shins need to be vertical to floor with loaded hips
  5. Back angle stays same as set up until bar passes knees


Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.14.07 AM


  1. Bar is in a position of power as last pix above
  2. From this position, lifter goes straight to the finish position
  3. Maximum acceleration and elevation is placed on the bar with legs and hips
  4. Hips need to be in a vertical position during this phase. No other thought process takes place here. Launch that sucker!! Be very aggressive! Position is the key!!


Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.14.51 AM


  1. As you have created maximum acceleration and elevation on bar with legs and hips (end of 2nd pull)
  2. Hips are in a vertical position while you have finished
  3. Bar stays in the least line of resistance (area of the base)
  4. One begins pulling their body down and around the bar as their feet slide outward into the receiving position (beginning of 3rd pull)


Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.15.23 AM


  1. Fast turnover, punching body down
  2. Receive bar into a overhead squat position
  3. Chest vertical
  4. External rotation of shoulders
  5. Weight distribution from mid-foot to heel and balanced



Tyera’s Road to Youth Worlds, part 2

10974727_792397307511732_1528594745812662444_oQ. What does it take to make the Youth World team? What was that journey like?

A. People constantly ask me how I made it onto the Youth World team. Honestly, the answer is complicated, but I will say that it took a lot of hard work and focus. It was a journey I was so grateful I embarked.

This journey began around one year ago, when I competed at my first National Juniors. Every time I set foot in the gym, it was to train for this competition. I understood that this was my time to shine and to be noticed in the sport of Weightlifting. However, when my time came to actually compete, things did not go as planned. I wound up bombing out* in the snatch.

At that moment, I was devastated. I trained vigorously for what seemed like nothing. This was my first National competition, and I wasn’t even going to walk away with a total*. However, after I wiped away my tears (yes, I did cry), I realized that I wasn’t going to let my zero-total* convert into a zero-day. I realized that one obstacle in my path was not going to end my career. So, I decided staying fully committed to these next lifts (the clean and jerk) was worth risking further embarrassment because the opportunity to learn and become stronger, both physically and mentally, outweighed my fear. After failing every individual lift of the first round, I made every lift of the final round and even set a new personal record.

It was this critical moment in my journey when I figured out I wanted to make the team. It was also this moment that I knew because I was willing to give it my all, even after having completely failed in the snatch, I would make the Youth World team.

10991688_792396470845149_8967418057464682088_oSo, fast forward one year, and I am at National Juniors again. This also happened to be the Youth Worlds qualifier. Knowing that I bombed out last year, the pressure was on. I was mentally prepared this time, knowing that whatever happened, I was still a winner for making it that far. Having this in mind, I embraced confidence, and was calmer. At this competition, I hit a PR snatch, PR clean and jerk, PR total, got 3rd place overall, and made the team.

Ironically, I am thankful to have experienced failure at my first competition. This failure gave me the tools I needed to succeed at my next competition. It taught me that simply wanting something is not rewarding. However, if I work as hard as I can, stay determined, and am assertive, I can make anything happen. I will overcome the mental barrier, and I will win.

I am currently coached by Dr. Richard Borden, former international Olympic committee member and coach. I am also coached by Mark House, and occassionally by Mike Burgener. I train five to six days a week, for two hours each session. Because I am also an aspiring student, it is frequently difficult to find time to train, but because it’s absolutely worth it to me, I make the time.

This is the program I am currently following in preparation for Youth Worlds:
Day 1: Snatch (in %) 50 x3 60 x3 70 x2 80 x1 90 x1 95 x1 100 x1 Snatch Pulls (in % of snatch) 90 x5 100 x4 110 x3x3x3 Front Squats (in %) 70 x5 80 x3 90 x2 95 x2x2 Core

Day 2: Clean and Jerk (in % – only jerk on the last rep) 50 x3 60×3 70 x2 80 x1 90 x1 95 x1 100 x1 Clean Pulls (in % of c&j) 90 x5 100 x4 110 x3x3x3 Military Press (in % of c&j) 20 x5 30 x3 40 x3 45 x2x2 Core

Day 3: Same as day 1 except instead of pulls, RDLs at the same percentages

Day 4:
Same as day 2 except instead of pulls, RDLs at the same percentages

Day 5:

Day 6:
Snatch (in %) 50 x3 60 x3 70 x2 80 x1 90 x1 95 x1 100 x1 Clean and Jerk (in % – only jerk on the last rep) 50 x3 60 x3 70 x2 80 x1 90 x1 95 x1 100 x1 Front Squats (in %) 70 x5 80 x3 90 x2x2

Day 7:

This is a great program for getting your body ready to max out, and isn’t overly exhausting. It’s specifically for right before a competition and does not incorporate any assist exercises because those are for building strength, and at this point, you are simply preparing your body for the competition.

Any questions? Let me know!!

With much love,
Tyera Zweygardt

When competing in weightlifting, a lifter gets three attempts at snatch and three attempts at clean and jerk. The best snatch and best C&J are then added together to get a score, commonly referred to as a “total”. When a lifter does not make a snatch, they have “bombed out” the snatch, getting a 0 score for snatch. The lifter then gets three attempts to C&J; their best C&J then becomes their total. If they do not make a C&J, they will receive a “zero-total” (sometimes referred to as “bombing out” for the meet).

Tyera’s Road to Youth Worlds

10978697_792322710852525_24748569817650261_n My name is Tyera Zweygardt. I am a sixteen-year-old, female, Olympic weightlifter. I am on the 2015 Youth World Team representing the 63 kg (138lb) weight class. No, I don’t have gigantic, masculine muscles, and no, I haven’t grown unordinary body hair, nor has my voice dropped eight octaves. Instead, I am a feminine, strong, teenager who keeps her body healthy and beautiful by lifting incredibly heavy stuff over her head. And, I love it!

Before I started weightlifting, I was a runner. I thought this was the only way for me to be fit, and to be attractive. However, I soon realized I strongly disliked running, and that my body rejected it with every ounce of potential muscle in it!

So, one magical day, I was at my boyfriend’s house doing homework, when he and his friend
told me they were going to lift. I had no idea what that even meant, but I figured it was only for males, and would transform my body into some type of ragey, hulk-type thing. Boy, was I wrong!
Because of my massive aversion to running, I decided to join them for one day just to see how it would go. As soon as I picked up the barbell, and did this weird motion called a squat, I was hooked. I loved knowing I was working hard without the sweating and wheezing that accompanied running. I also loved knowing I was capable of doing something a bunch of boys said was only for them! And now, I squat every day, and haven’t been on a run in nearly two years.

10974727_792397307511732_1528594745812662444_oOlympic weightlifting has completely changed my life, for the better. I am fit, healthy, attractive, confident, and above all else, strong. However, I am not only strong on the platform.

Weightlifting is a metaphor for life. In order to throw massive amounts of weight above your head, you also have to be mentally strong. You have to believe in yourself, and discipline yourself. This concept carries into all other aspects of my life. For example, in school, I am graduating from high school this year (a year early). Just as in weightlifting, in order to achieve this extremely difficult goal, I must be mentally strong. I must keep pushing forward even when all odds are against me.

Weightlifting has given me more than just another hobby or sport. It has given me the tools I need to work hard, be confident, and make my dreams come true. And, I know it will do the same for you!

With much love,
Tyera Zweygardt

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