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Growing Your Weightlifting Club, Weightlifting Business and the Sport of Weightlifting Through Education

By Cara Heads Slaughter, M.A., OLY | July 01, 2019, 12 p.m. (ET)

Growing Your Weightlifting Club, Weightlifting Business and the Sport of Weightlifting Through Education

By Cara Heads Slaughter, M.A., OLY,

Founder, CH Fitness and Performance

Head Coach, CHFP Weightlifting

Education as the Foundation

The foundation of CH Fitness and Performance is year-round, educational programming. From the beginning, our vision was to establish a facility that would not only offer an outstanding training environment, but also be a credible resource in the region to educate athletes and coaches. Our educational programming includes Technique Clinics, Six Week Technique Classes, Coaches Seminars, a 12-week Coaches Academy, a Two-Day Olympic Weightlifting Mini Camp and we annually host the USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach Course. Our educational programming generates tremendous interest and serves as the primary pipeline for our coaching services.

Like many training facilities, we launched our educational program by offering technique clinics. Based on significant interest from participants for ongoing technique work, we added technique classes that meet weekly for six weeks. If your club or weightlifting business does not offer any type of onboarding weightlifting clinic or class, I highly recommend it. With class size limited to six participants, our Six Week Technique Class covers basic weightlifting mechanics for the snatch, the clean and the jerk. It also includes video review and hands-on training. We prefer and implement a model where athletes can learn and process what they’ve learned over time, ask questions, work on it and come back next week with more focused training from which to build upon and learn. Of note, our six-week technique classes are comprised of new and experienced lifters and as well as coaches.

Continuing Education for Coaches beyond a Certification

We then focused on creating educational opportunities specifically for coaches. Providing continuing education for coaches beyond coach certifications has strengthened our position in the market both as a partner and resource to CrossFit and weightlifting-focused gyms. Year-round, we offer one-day coaches’ seminars to coaching staffs, and annually we offer a Twelve Week Coaches Academy.

Our five-hour, interactive Weightlifting Coaches’ Seminar trains coaches to become skilled at identifying and correcting bad habits, teaches them helpful progressions and coaching cues to assist their athletes in becoming more efficient in the lifts, and to improve speed and power. We spend considerable time doing the movements so coaches can receive and offer peer-to-peer feedback as well as during our video analysis portion of the seminar.


The Coaches Academy is a twelve-week course that combines six weeks of classroom and workshop learning for coaches followed by six weeks of live coaching under observation. This format gives the coaches an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the first 6 weeks of classroom instruction and workshops to the volunteer athletes. Prerequisite for participants in the Coaches Academy is a CSCS or weightlifting certification from USA Weightlifting, CrossFit.


The Coaches Seminar is capped at ten participants and the Coaches Academy is capped at 12 participants to preserve an effective coach-to-coach ratio.

We encourage any weightlifting club or business to seek opportunities to become a resource for education in the area. We found that other gyms don’t view our facility as competition for members when our focus is to educate athletes and coaches in the region. As a result, CHFP serves over 100 athletes and coaches and is widely known as a resource to educate not only their athletes but also their coaches. Athletes and coaches throughout the region are welcome to our Community Development Site for credible information and then to build on that work back at their home gym.

To learn more about our educational programs, visit us at