By Joe Brown
WHY did I become a coach? Simple. I wanted to help people. I struggle to see what I can do to help people in the world, and I found with coaching I was able to help people make positive personal changes in their lives and it is a beautiful thing to see and experience.
So, HOW did I become a coach? I started on the road of fitness aesthetics and was very much into the art of eating to look fit and lifting weights to look fit. To actually BE FIT was not something I thought mattered as much initially. Then something very big happened in my life right when I was just getting started as a personal trainer. I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 29. After battling cancer and being graciously given my life back I realized a few things: 1. Life is too short to obsess with how good I look or lack thereof; 2. Fitness is your overall level of performance and how you look is almost irrelevant.
You see after years of bodybuilding (naturally without the usage of hormones) I came to find that my body was never going to look like the fitness models that I wanted to look like. Why? Genetics. The way our muscles look is determined by genetics and body proportions. Also, the level of body fat you can walk around with without monitoring your dietary intake to stay lean is determined by your “setpoint”, which has much to do with how you looked during puberty. Once we finish going through puberty we are set with our body fat levels, or rather fat cells. Yup. That’s it. Our bodies then always want to rest at that level or setpoint that we establish at that cessation of puberty. Can we dip below our setpoints? Yes. Can we stay there? Yes, but only with constant dietary monitoring. The amount of fat cells does not change post puberty. They can be depleted or shrunk from dieting, but they don’t go away and the brain wants to replenish them. So, there goes the idea of being 8% body fat and muscular all the time…
In comes Weightlifting. The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. I took the USAW Level 1 course in college and learned how to perform and teach the Olympic Lifts. I was so impressed that all body types could move such heavy weight in a way that looked effortless. I wanted this. I realized through my Exercise Science education that these two lifts encompassed basically all of the components of FITNESS - Speed, Power, Strength, Agility, Coordination, Reaction Time, Balance, and Flexibility. These are all NECESSARY to perform the lifts! You also can improve cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance through weightlifting training. Now THIS is WHY I became a Weightlifting Coach. If I want to help people be fit then why not teach them these two lifts that are able to improve all the components of physical fitness?
I love the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. Just about everyone can benefit greatly from these two classic lifts - even if only variations of these movements are performed instead of the full competition lifts. I hope to coach and perform these lifts for the rest of my life or as long as my body is physically able to. The feeling one gets when a lift is executed well is amazing and addicting. As a coach, the feeling I get when an athlete gets a new personal record or even just hits a beautiful lift and knows it is something I truly love. I get so excited for the people I coach when they have worked so diligently to improve and the improvements are felt. The joy in their voices and on their faces is WHY I LOVE BEING A COACH.