Rising CrossFit Stars Get Technique Tips

By Kevin Farley | July 12, 2017, 10:49 a.m. (ET)


USA Weightlifting Technical Director & 3-time Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas with Crossfit Liftoff athletes at Rogue Fitness' headquarters in Columbus, Ohio


Eleven of the nation's best youth CrossFit athletes descended on Columbus, Ohio this week for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from some of the best Weightlifting coaches in the world.

USA Weightlifting welcomed the top 3 US citizens in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk in each Teen division weight category of the 2016 CrossFit Liftoff to a special camp to receive one-on-one feedback and guidance and technique of the Olympic lifts. 

The athletes learned from legends of the sport of Olympic weightlifting including USA Weightlifting Assistant Technical Director, Mike Gattone, who coached the last American weightlifter to win an Olympic Gold Medal, Tara Nott. Camp attendees also worked with USA Weightlifting Technical Director and three-time Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas. 

" I cam here to get a different set of eyes on my lifting," Dylan Contreras, 17, of Visalia, California said. "I learned a lot of little things and it was good to train with other good athletes. Working with Pyrros was definitely a highlight of my time here."

"I attended the camp because I think it is an amazing opportunity," Lenore Namou, 18, of Michigan said. "This will benefit my weightlifting career because I learned every little aspect of a lift matters. My favorite part was getting help fixing my start position because it helped make my lifts feel more solid."

The skills, feedback and technique gained at the camp will help the athletes grow their success on the platform-- whether that's at CrossFit events or USA Weightlifting events-- or both.

"The camp really helped me improve my snatch and clean & jerk technique for both Weightlifting and CrossFit," Romy Gold, 17, of Newton, CT said. "I really enjoyed getting to meet other people my age with the same goals as me."

"I came to the camp because I wanted to get real critiques and develop my lifting," Ivan Skoro, 17, of Las Vegas, Nevada said. "This will help me greatly so I can work more effeciently and have 150kg feel like 150kg and not 250kg. It was great getting some tips on how to fix the bar path from above the knees."

"These kids were fantastic to work with," Gattone said. "It is so exciting to see so many talented athletes want to learn how to lift better."

The 2016 CrossFit Liftoff was an online, three-event competition consisting of the snatch, clean & jerk and CrossFit workout. Consisting of different weight classes, the Liftoff allowed athletes to compare their lifts with those of similar size around the world. USA Weightlifting partnered with CrossFit last year to offer the camp to CrossFit's rising stars. The camp is an opportunity for CrossFit athletes to pursue a competitive career in the Olympic sport of Weightlifting and be exposed to a pathway to Olympic competition. 

"We felt this was a perfect opportunity to expose these talented athletes to a different side of a sport they were already experienced and comfortable with," USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. "We hope to continue working with, and building our relationship with our friends at CrossFit."

The 3-day experience in Columbus was also an opportunity to show the benefits of Olympic weightlifting for athletes of any skill or discipline.

"The camp helped me improve the weight I can lift while minimizing injury," Andrew Madrid, 16, of Yucaipa, California said. "Every part of it was amazing. I improved my technique and mechanics and I really liked the one-on-one training and critiques of my lifting."

USA Weightlifting and CrossFit Games official equipment supplier, Rogue Fitness, graciously hosted the camp at the company's expansive headquarters in Columbus.