The Grind : Part II

Part II: Humble Pie with a Side of Actionable Data 


Every yellow brick road has a beginning and to begin any journey, you have to take the first step. For Nick and I, that meant conducting an assessment to find out what strengths and weaknesses I possess as a Weightlifter.  Nick has been my coach for 2+ years, which means he had a pretty solid understanding of where I was physically, but the assessment gave us an even more complete picture of myself as an athlete. 

The assessment took place over the course of a few meetings, and focused on things like balance, mobility, core strength, explosiveness, and muscular efficiency.  The tests included everything from lifts, to vertical jumps, to static back extension holds.  The results helped us identify what was going on both physically and neurologically.  We learned that I am an extremely quad dominant lifter with a core strength deficiency.  It also showed that my T-spine and upper body mobility needed some work, along with my strength overhead.   

…Other than that, I was in perfect shape!

I joke, mostly because the assessment was an extremely humbling exercise that took a bit of mental strength to face (highlighted by a few vertical jump attempts that actually had Coaches Nick, John and I laughing). The good news? We get to re-test after the competition when I’ll hopefully be able to stick an entire stack of paper under my feet when I jump, instead of just a single sheet!

A key aspect of accomplishing any goal is attacking your weaknesses and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.  If I had no weakness, dysfunction, or imbalance, my decision to focus on Olympic weightlifting would be an easy one; no journey, no blog. Just warm-up, add weight, lift, celebrate, rinse and repeat until there were too many gold medals to fit around my neck.  

That is far from the case, which made this assessment such an important aspect of “the grind”.  Until next week...

If you have any questions you want the blog to answer, contact Justin directly at:  

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