Jim Schmitz Olympic Weightlifting Book/DVD set

If you're serious about developing as a lifter, I recommend you buy this set. Watch the DVD with the manual in front of you, then make copies of the work out logs, and put the manual and sheets in your gym or gymbag. This program will change your life.

Intimate, cozy, and real. That's the wonderful quality of the 2-DVD set Olympic Style weightlifting - beginning/intermediate level with Jim Schmitz, available from Ironmind.com. In the video, he goes over mechanics, techniques, pitfalls, and walks through the work outs in his companion manual (sold separately for $16.95, or together as a set for $39.95).

It is taught by three-time coach of the USA Olympic weightlifting team, founder and owner of The Sports Palace gym in San Francisco, Jim Schmitz.

I completed this program, I think it's genius. The phases of the program are progressive, and my results are amazing. Schmitz bears his whole weightlifting soul in these materials, giving you the same instruction he's given Olympic champions for decades. He carefully tends each detail you might need while executing these work outs, all the little things he's polished over the decades - how much and when to increase weight, what to focus on in form and technique, even reminders not to rush certain exercises and what to do if you can't quite get it yet. It's like having a personal coach.

Understand, this is a training program designed to develop you as a lifter, not just a how-to on the two big lifts. Plan on dedicating months to this (I completed it in 10). Besides the clean and jerk and snatch, you'll be doing all the supplemental exercises to make you stronger in them - power and hang auxillary lifts, and basics like the incline bench press with the bar and squatting. You'll start with basics and wind up lifting on percentages of your max. That's why this is such a valuable investment for anyone who's serious about Olympic weightlifting training. It's a course designed to take you from general development in the lifts all the way up to competition - and the week after.

Have I sold you on the content? Then let's talk delivery. Here's what you'll either love or hate. The manual is modest in production - spiral-bound, black-and-white photos. The DVD is a homemade production - one man and a camera. There are no flying titles, fancy logos or blazing soundtrack. Jim stops and adjusts the camera, catches his breath, and has a delightful low-key humility, an endearing stammering delivery that's reminiscent of Bob Newhart. It's great to me to see an individual at his level of achievement who comes across devoid of top-dog attitude. It's easy to see why anyone would enjoy training with him.

And he's the real deal: he gives his email address on the DVD and writes it on the disc. (Seriously, nothing fancy in this production! But it's not inferior, as Ironmind might suggest with careful warnings about its "home video" production quality) So yep, I made a video and emailed him, asking for comments. He responded within the week, with quick insight, invited me to events he thought might be in my area, and even hooked me up with a coach of similar stature to himself. He continues to answer my questions and offer encouragement. Talk about return on my investment!

So if $24.95 gives you pause for a homespun instructional DVD and a spiral-bound manual, I'd say don't hesitate. For the quality of content, it's a steal. What's more - there's soul in this. It's not a big company trying to turn a fast buck by repackaging information; it's genuine, it's genius, and it provides a connection with something real - the folks slugging it out in basements and garages, who occasionally slip right up to worldclass.

Here's an interview with Jim on weightlifting training.

No comments: