This past weekend we hosted the Warm Body Cold Mind Seminar with Alex Torokhtiy and Sergei Putsov. For those unfamiliar with Torokhtiy and Putsov, they are two highly decorated Olympic Weightlifters from Ukraine who met 20 years ago on the National Team.

You might be more familiar with Alex Torokhtiy. He is very prominent on social media, has lots of programs and a very expansive video library. Oh and also he was the Gold Medalist from the 2012 London Olympics and much more. No big deal. Sergei Putsov may be slightly lesser known, but still an incredible resource when it comes to weightlifting. He has been weightlifting for over 25 years in the Ukrainian system, numerous medals, Head of Sports Science for the seminars, PHD and Masters in Strength & Conditioning– Do you need more?

Over the weekend we got to know these 2 amazing athletes as they went over both theory of Weightlifting as well as provided practical skills to improve performance. We hosted over 20 athletes learning the intricacies of the Snatch and Clean and Jerk from all over Jersey, Connecticut and more!

As a Weightlifting Coach, my goal for the seminar was to take 1 or 2 things away to put into practice with our athletes and my own training. I think I walked away with more than that!

The Seminar began on Saturday morning with introductions. Alex introduced himself and made sure to note that he is not a God, he doesn’t have all of the answers, but that they would be sharing what they believe is the ideal way to lift weights and were open to discussion. We then went around the room introducing ourselves and what we hoped to learn from the seminar.

–Most popular answer: “I am here to learn and try to break bad habits.”

Sergei gave the final introduction and cracked a few jokes as he segued into the Snatch Theory portion of the morning. With the use of highly produced video content he was able to breakdown the movement from set up to finish. The theory portion was highly detailed and was the perfect transition to the morning workout.

We stretched out together and then Alex led the group to the first drills of the day. I’m not going to go over everything that happened. Both days were similar in structure. Here is a quick breakdown of the weekend:

  • Theory
  • Morning Warm ups and drills
  • Snatch, Clean or Jerk Breakdown
  • Lunch and naps
  • Afternoon warm up
  • Skills and technique work
  • Heavy lifts and group coaching
  • Closing statements

The biggest takeaways from the Seminar for me were the breakdown of the movements and watching them work with the athletes. Spotting little things and giving a small cue or actionable item to fix was huge for me. Sometimes when working with the same athletes over and over, I can get a little exhausted saying the same thing over and over again. Being at this seminar rejuvenated my Coaching eye and reminded me of things I had forgotten or offered a brilliant fresh perspective on handling certain imperfections.

Staying over the bar was a big thing this weekend, moving and warming up gradually according to the weight on the bar and an aggressive turn over and finish were key points. Of course there are plenty more, but my post would be way too long if I went into all the details! You kind of have to be in the room to absorb it all and even then it isn’t enough to really take it all in.

For everyone that was at the Seminar this weekend, I hope you continue to practice the skills and drills that you learned. Don’t rush the process and it’s totally okay to keep the weights light to work on technique!

I want to thank everyone who came out for the Seminar. I want to thank Alex and Sergei for providing top notch education for us. I want to thank everyone out there who helps us at Marble Strength to improve our education so that we can best serve others!



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