1. Your coach can only name weightlifters from the last 5 years
If your coach has only heard of Ilya Ilyin and Dmitry Klokov, then they probably have not been around long, nor have a basic understanding of weightlifting history. An extra minus 5 points if they cannot name a single female weightlifter outside of Lydia Valentin. Minus 20 points if they can't name the last American to medal at the Olympics in weightlifting.
I understand that not every coach is going to have geek-like encyclopedic knowledge of weightlifting stats like I do. And its ok. They just need a general understanding of what some of the biggest lifts have been done pound for pound as a measure of goodness. One must know where the sport has gone before trying to move the sport forward.
2. They use terms like first pull, second pull, pockets, and triple extension
These terms do not exist in the scientific communities of weightlifting. These are simply pop culture terms of people trying to dumb down weightlifting to the masses; unfortunately, this winds-up bastardizing technique at the same time.
Weightlifting is talked about in actions, periods, and phases. Think about it- there is no pause in the pull; it is one continuous motion. That is why we cannot segment the pull. We can , on the other hand, discuss phases of the pull. You can read more on www.ristosports.com/blog .
Here's a short educational video I made just for you:
3. You can hear them yelling, "squeeze" at every competition
This is a personal favorite of mine. A lifter has a lift overhead and the coach is yelling, "Squeeeezzzzze".
Squeeze? Really? Really? Squeeze what? What is the lifter squeezing. The lifter is keeping their muscles tight while they wait for the down signal -- so , maybe, yell "tight". But "squeeze"-- that implies that the lifter has a walnut between their butt cheeks and is trying to crack it by squeezing their glutes (not advisable to ever do whilst lifting).
Bad cues make bad lifters.
4. They brag about being "USAW level 1" certified or their level as a USAW coach
Look, USAW level 1 is a nice course. It is definitely not designed to teach you everything you'll ever need to know about coaching.
I mean Ivan Rojas is the Olympic Coach of Panama and has coached 2 international teams for the USA, and in the USAW system his official level is a "Club coach".
It is far from a comprehensive system. Additionally, the science of weightlifting programming is not taught at universities in the USA , so there is about 0 formal academic training available in the USA on weightlifting.
When evaluating a potential coach, ask for how they were trained in coaching-- did they take actual coursework? Bonus points if they studied weightlifting coaching in a country where it is a profession like Colombia or Germany. Did they at least apprentice under someone who was able to take courses in a formal weightlifting educational system?
5. Every problem is due to Mobility
Mobility, mobility, mobility. It's like the biggest buzz word in crossfit and weightlifting. All they talk about is mobility, and everytime a lifter has a little problem with their technique, coach tells them to do more mobility exercises.
Guess what-- you know why a lot of new lifters have bad overhead squats - because their abs are too weak and they are squatting in sneakers. Shit, if I had abs as about as supportive as a string bean and was squatted in shoes as squishy as a marshmallow, I probably would have a crappy position too.
Most people have weak abs; you can have a six pack and have weak abs relative to your leg strength.
The formation of people's bones and bodytype will also dictate what their bottom position looks like.
And, too much mobility might destabilize you in some positions. Your coach should be able to tell you how much mobility is good.
Your coach should do a full diagnosis of your technique, strengths and weaknesses before jumping on the mobility band wagon.
6. They have a max-out day once a week and allow you to PR at anytime
Guess what if you want to get anywhere in the sport maxing out once per week does not work. All modern weightlifting systems used by people who have produced Olympic medalists have planned max out points.
Yes, when you are a beginner maxing out is easy! Sure, when you just start and you are lifting so far below your potential, you will PR frequently. This early period of improvement is temporary. When you start lifting closer to your actual potential, maxing out whenever can lead to undue injuries and stagnant improvement.
7. They think you can be elite at crossfit and weightlifting at the same time
These three questions have the same answer:
How many Olympic medalists do you know compete at the Crossfit Games?
How many crossfitters who medaled at the crossfit games are competing at the Olympics?
How many Crossfit Games medalists also medaled at the last weightlifting World Championships? (guess what Thorisdottir, Davidsdottir, and Sigmundsdottir all lifted at the 2015 worlds)
Answer: 0 .
Weightlifting is all parasympathetic nervous system and fast twitch fibers. Crossfit is a mixture of both nervous systems and uses type 1 and type 2 fibers, because it has those events with running and swimming and burpees ....etc...
Russian Olympic Silver medalist Oxana Slivenko almost qualified for the Crossfit Games in 2014, and she was not weightlifting at the level she lifted at the Olympics at the same time.