Well it’s been about two weeks since taking my USAW course and I finally was able to sit down and revisit my experience and write down some of the things I learned from my course.

1.) Adding a bunch of letters to the end of your name is great for those in the know but most people don’t know the difference between USAW L1SP, CSCS, ACE, NZT, or KCMO. I personally didn’t take the course for the recognition and the fact that I could add it to my resume  or to pull in new clientele, but instead to broaden my knowledge and have the chance to learn the olympic lifts from a very knowledgable individual….. which leads to…..

2.) Derrick Crass is a cool dude that knows his stuff because he walked the walk and has been there and done it. I got luck enough to have a former 2 time olympian that grew up and lifted in the generation of muscle and iron. He lifted with the Bulgarians and the Russians back in the soviet days. He had techniques and cues that weren’t in the text, and had the tricks to make the lifts seem easy.

3) Crossfit gyms are neat layouts, but thats about it. I literally watched a dude warm up with a PVC pipe and swore his shoulder dislocated 3 times in order to do what he was doing. Those dudes may be able to do pretty well at olympic lifts and some of the body weight stuff, but they wouldn’t make it in a strength and conditioning program very well. A lot of technique stuff would need to be addressed. Which leads us to…..

4.) Strength and conditioning made me bass ackwards for some of the movement principles of olympic weightlifting. It was fun cause there were 3 of us in the course that were CSCS and very big on deadlifts and squatting and putting weight through the heels or mid foot. Ya that is not the case for the olympic lifts. There is a constant weight shift pattern with the lifts making it a little confusing. It didn’t take long for us to look like complete idiots trying to learn how to reprogram our bodies to do things we were super unused to. We felt like complete motor morons trying to learn something for the very first time.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve had any issues hang cleaning 135 lbs, but I’ll admit by the end of the day I had a hard time thinking through how to do it which made it look difficult as hell. Kind of embarrassing at first. Especially in front of the crossfitters, which leads us to…..

5.) Mobility and flexibility. I did quite a bit of watching the crossfit dudes, trying to pick up some clues and found yup those dudes make me look like an idiot in flexibility. But they also have quite a weird build as well. Now I won’t make this into a blast crossfitters post, I’ll refrain from being mean and joining the crowd on that one. There are plenty of other articles out there on the injuries that have come from crossfit. But I’ll admit it helped to show me that my shoulder flexibility was crap, and my dorsiflexion needs some work as any overhead squat was pretty lacking. Definitely some that I need to work on and progress toward, which brings me finally to….

6.) Progressions. I’ll admit, I thought I had a decent handle on teaching an athlete how to clean. It wasn’t until after I took my course that I learned just how easy it really was. The progressions that the USAW has made and created make it simple as heck to teach and learn. No more teaching and learning by “first pull’ and then “second pull”. Its a top down, straight forward approach that makes it easy as cake for those willing to take the time and progress through them correctly. All in all this is the knowledge I needed and wanted all along and I’m glad I took the course and got the cert as I can start to apply this to not only my athletes training programs but mix them into my own as well.