The Grind

                                                                              by: Justin Campanelli

                                                                              by: Justin Campanelli


Grind /ɡrīnd/: sharpen, smooth, or produce (something) by crushing or by friction.  

People grind every day. Some people grind at work, some people grind at the gym, a lot of people around us are on the grind every single day.  As some of you may know from my not quite viral #justinlearnstoweightlift posts, I was on a grind of sorts January - June of this year.  Coach Nick and I collaborated on a program to take me from a wildly unprepared CrossFitter who wanted to try a weightlifting competition to a competent lifter who took 4th overall in his weight class.  

Our focus was a combination of daily group WODs paired with dialed-in versions of programmed extra work.  After the competition phase was complete, I happily went back to the daily group classes and enjoyed the summer, a wedding and amazing honeymoon.  Then came the itch… 

Lazily scrolling Facebook I saw an ad for the Lehigh Valley Barbell Open and immediately wanted to get back on that grind.  A conversation with Nick, a $60 Paypal to the LVB open and just like that I was back in training camp.  Only this time, we wanted to do itdifferently. Weightlifters Weightlift, and while I love group WODs, Nick and I felt like we should experiment with a personal program designed to meet the goals I was chasing.

One of the things Nick had mentioned he wanted to offer was a program designed specifically around the athlete.  Not quite personal training, as sessions could be done on the athlete’s own time, but a “yellow-brick road’ that leads to the achievement of some hefty goals. It involves an assessment, a goal-setting session, daily programming and one on one coaching in the form of in-person feedback, text message conversations, and video/phone calls with your coach. Wediscussed the notion of me being the Guinea pig for this program and I’mpumped togive it a try over the next 9 weeks in preparation for the LVB open.

As part of that grind, I am going to be providing bi-weekly updates on the different aspects of this personal program design: how it’s going, whether or not tights truly are the key to heavy weightlifting, and where the value lays in a set-up like this.  Along the way, if you have any questions you want addressed, don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.

The grind can be brutal, the grind can be fun.  Whichever grind this turns into (probably at times both), I’m back on it.

For more information about getting your own personal program design, e-mail: or ask Coach Nick next time you see him!