Coaching at Competition Weightlifting vs CrossFit

Insights into the differences between coaching at Weightlifting and CrossFit competitions.

James Jowsey interviews Phil Mansfield about his recent experiences of coaching at the Weightlifting World Cup in Turkmenistan and CrossFit events. How do the two cultures differ?

Episode Questions
2:34
You have some cool experiences over the last year or so, that have opened your eyes to different approaches across cultures in sport… relative to weightlifting in CrossFit, in particular.
You’ve been working in CrossFit with myself, helping me out, well working together with our athletes and helping them to develop and a big part of CrossFit is Olympic weightlifting and you’ve recently been to the weightlifting world championships in Turkmenistan with Sara and came back with… it was an eye-opening experience. What were your first impressions of being in that environment??
8:00
So, are you saying, then, that there’s a different in what you’ve experienced in CrossFit vs the Weightlifting (coaching) environment?
10:20
The coach’s perspective that you talk about, the coach, on competition day, the coach in that middle range field of athlete needs to feel like they are helping the athlete whereas the experienced coach isn’t necessarily doing as much technical work. What kind of thing did you experience there (at the Weightlifting WC)?
16:05
You had experiences of countries who did overcoach, on the whole what type of coaching did you experience from the ones who were doing it right?
22:16
How does your experience at the weightlifting world cup compare to your experiences at CrossFit, in the short time you’ve been going to competitions there?
26:56
Do you think, within CrossFit that process of pausing during weightlifting coaching comes from the … because CrossFit encompasses the power lifting elements, so they then use the elements of training from other sports to gain strength… do they are bring it in but then potentially negating the actual…..
28:32
Within CrossFit itself, the programming dictates that guys need to be able to cycle a barbell but the side effect is they are not going to do a max velocity hip explosion with every rep because it’s going to send the heart rate through the roof send then the work out will feel a lot harder… so they are operating at that sub maximal output so they can sustain the workload.
There’s a video that might still be on YouTube somewhere where Sam Briggs goes against one of the Commonwealth weightlifters from Wales and they have an ‘Isabelle off’, the Olympic weightlifter sets off like she’s doing a one rep max and the intent for the 1st3 reps is that same as she’s trained… and it quickly dies off and the technique breaks down… whereas Sam does it in sub 1.40 and every rep looks the same, its nowhere near as powerful but it’s just that level below max that the CrossFitter needs.

Watch the Video

35:15
Olympic weightlifting on the Skill vs Threshold is closer to darts…