"Why Joining A Weight Lifting Club Was The Best Thing I Did As A New Lifter"
Article By Stephen Hoyles - BSc(Hons) M.Inst.SRM.Dip - Personal Trainer
For the first year I was weight lifting, I did it alone. I watched YouTube videos, read articles from this site and copied others in the gym. In this article, I’m going to explain why joining a weight lifting club was the best thing I did as a new lifter….
My history with the gym is a pretty long one – nearly half of my life, to be exact.
I’ve run the gambit of exercise. I was a cardio kid, then I graduated to my beach muscles training (chest and biceps anyone?!), I learned more over the years, thankfully.
In 2007, I shared a flat with an avid follower of this new thing from America called CrossFit. I trained with my flat mate most days and although I didn’t particularly like all of the CrossFit approach, it introduced me to these new exercises called ‘Cleans’ and ‘Jerks’ from weight lifting.
Before dabbling in CrossFit, all I knew about weight lifting was that it was something a few overweight guys did on TV – it didn’t really take place in the kind of gyms I knew about.
When I left CrossFit behind, the gyms I trained in just weren’t set up for weight lifting, so my training reverted back to a bodybuilding style approach.
In 2014 one of the gyms I ran my personal training business in partnered with British Weight Lifting and the gym was equipped with weight lifting kit. It was an opportunity to start weight lifting again! I picked the sport back up in mid 2015.
For around the first year, I was self-taught. I’d watch YouTube videos and try to re-create what I’d watched in the gym. It worked – to a fashion.
I was making some progress, but my technique was sketchy at best. I was relying on strength built up over the years, but as we all know, strength is limited – technique is what really makes the difference as a weight lifter.
When I reached a point where I felt I couldn’t progress any further on my own, I joined the weight lifting club in the gym, Stockport Spartans WLC.
Joining the club was a real turning point. Being a club member means I follow proper programming, I have my technique tidied up by Sean, our coach, and we are all encouraged by our fellow lifters.
Thanks to these factors, my numbers have gone up across the board. I’ve added 20kg to my Snatch and 15kg to my Clean & Jerk as a result of proper coaching and programming.
I’m also far more confident with my weight lifting now. There is still a very long way to go, but my technique is improving all the time, as are my numbers.
I can understand what I’m doing well and what I need to work on and I have more of an understanding of each lift technically – I hope this understanding will improve my lifting going forward.
If you’re new to weight lifting, as we all are at some point, it can seem intimidating. Joining a weight lifting club was the best thing I did a new lifter and I’m sure it’ll be the same for anyone else. Being around better, more experienced lifters will accelerate your learning and serve as a mine of information.
Join your local weight lifting club [follow the link to find your local club] and you’ll speed up your development as a lifter no end!
Steve Hoyles is a Personal Trainer and fitness blogger at www.Hoylesfitness.com.