Best title ever.


July 21, 2014

This is my favorite thing I’ve done in a while.

My official coach credentials for the 2014 National Championships.

My official coach credentials for the 2014 National Championships.

The best part is this photo came up on the big projector screen every time one of my lifters took an attempt.  Solid.

I’m Back.

July 21, 2014

I just landed in Sac after a wonderful weekend in Utah.  I’m going to take a quick nap before heading right back to work.  I’ve got lots to say about this weekend but for now here’s a cool little promo video they did for my session.

Nationals Live Feed.

July 17, 2014

HERE is the link to the live feed for this weekend.

Jen – Friday 9:30am
Emelie – Saturday 6pm
Ben – Sunday 4pm


Road to Nationals.

July 16, 2014

Here’s a fun little video I put together of the final weeks of training going into Nationals.  Big shout to my homie, Sean Michael Rigsby for the cameo appearance.

We’ll see you in Utah!

Well compared to last year (or I guess any year), I’m in way better shape going into Nationals.  I think I only hit like 130 and 170 or something like that last summer in Ohio.  I’ll definitely total higher than that this year.  Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve also been eating more to get my super bloat on going into the contest.  I’ll probably weigh a hefty 118 or somewhere around there.  After which, I plan on immediately getting back down to a healthier 113-115kg.

As far as my other athletes, Emelie will be lifting at her first National meet as a 75.  We did the weight cut very gradually so she most likely won’t have to lose any water going into weigh ins.  Jen will be lifting in her first National contest.  I’m really proud of all the progress that she’s made in the past 6 months.  She deserves to be at a National meet.

Wish us luck and I’ll try to keep you updated as best I can!

Ben Selfie BW

Level Up.

July 11, 2014

Stop flexin, bro.

Stop flexin, bro.

I finally did my USAW level II a couple weeks ago.  Really, I should’ve taken care of that years ago but better late than never.  For you newer coaches out there, I’d recommend getting your levels I and II from different instructors.  Try and listen and learn from as many different viewpoints as possible to help you form your own coaching style.  Conversely, if you’re an athlete, find one coach who’s system you buy into and follow his/her system until you no longer buy into it or your situation changes.

Here’s the second organized barbell warm-up that I make my weightlifters do every Wednesday before clean and jerks.  I also introduced it to my Midtown S&C classes and my CF technique classes with favorable results.  Remember, if you run organized barbell warm-ups with your groups, keep them concise and bull shit free.  The moment the warm-up begins to interfere with the actual workout is the moment when your coaching style becomes masturbatory rather than helpful.  The world doesn’t need another “insert name” complex, the world needs more people proficient in the snatch and clean and jerk.  Also, remember that no matter what you do as a coach, someone before you has tried it.  I do my best to learn from a large pool of weightlifting coaches, most of whom have opposing views on pretty much everything.  Take what is most helpful to your own training situation and leave the stuff that isn’t applicable.

Rant over.  Here’s the warm up.

Benbata Barbell Warm-up #2.

1) Press from the split 1×8.  Ensure that the trainee has a PERFECT split stance and back angle.

2) Jerk with alternating feet 1×8.  Begin with the non-dominant foot.  I picked up this little trick from Jim Shmitz.  Jerking with your non-dominant foot (in many cases) improves the jerk with the dominant foot because of the extra thought needed to properly jerk with the opposite foot. Savvy?

3) Paused jerk 1×5.  Pause at the bottom of the dip drive to ensure that your rack is in a good position as well as your hips.

4) jerk 1×5.  Just jerk.  After all that, you should be feeling pretty good and ready to clean and jerk some monster weights.

All that should’ve taken 3 minutes at the most, leaving you plenty of time to get your actual workout in.



Right now I’ve got 3 different Groups of people from CF gyms coming in once a week to get coached up on their “oly” lifts. Some of these groups are all CF coaches themselves, some clients and some a combination of both.
I’ve always included a structured empty barbell warm up with these groups (which is very common). But I’ve always kind of stayed away from elaborate barbell (and especially PVC pipe…. Fuck a PVC pipe) routines because I’ve seen some trainers (in the general fitness, CF and weightlifting community) spend WAAAAY too much time doing this stuff and not so much time participating in actual weightlifting. Here’s a hint for you, rarely do actual weightlifters mess around with PVC pipes other than to stretch out their shoulders for like 30 seconds. So if you’ve been attending a weightlifting class and you still have to touch a PVC pipe for more than a few minutes, go elsewhere. However, I recently started including structured empty barbell warm ups twice a week for my weightlifters as well. The first one is for the snatch and is just an advanced version of the one I give to my CF and technique class groups. I’ll go ahead and write down both versions.

Empty bb warm up #1 (beginner version)
-Overhead squat (looking left to right on the last rep) 1×10
-snatch balance 1×10
-press from bottom position (IF I’m working with a group that has no mobility restrictions) 1×10
-snatch from the hip 1 or 2 sets of 5 (depending on skill level)
-pause at hip, pause at knee, pause at hip, then snatch 1 to 2 sets of 5 (depending on skill level)
-hang snatch 1 set of 5

Empty bb warm up #1 (advanced version)
This is the one I give my weightlifters. It takes no more than a few minutes and ensures we cover all our bases. Right now I make them do this once a week but some will probably do it more often.
-overhead squat (looking left to right on the last rep) 1×5
-press from bottom position 1×5
-snatch balance 1×5
-no hip muscle snatch 1×5
-Snatch from the hip 1×5
-low hang snatch 1×5

I’ll post my empty bb warm up #2 later in the week. It’s focus is the jerk.

It seems like every CF gym nowadays has their own fitness lifestyle brand.  And some are pretty sweet, like my friends from Caffeine and Kilos.  But sometimes it’s nice to wear clothing that doesn’t have to do with working out.  Check out THIS brand from Seattle.  You already know I’m into high contrast and black and white.  The designs are pretty rad too.  Some of the stuff is pretty strange.  But so am I.

Here's a photo of me in ACTUAL PAIN.  Get it?

Here’s a photo of me in ACTUAL PAIN. Get it?


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