Advice To Young Lifters

By: Lisa Guggisberg

I think it is safe to argue that powerlifting is a growing as a sport. I love that the sport is growing and becoming appealing to a younger crowd. Young blood is great, but it really aggravates me to see so many up young lifters with really great talent being ruined by bad coaching or just plain lack of knowledge. Maybe because I am older or because I am a mom, but nothing upsets me more than seeing a young powerlifter make stupid, misguided mistakes be it via ego, lack of knowledge or because they are just out right dumbasses. The mom in me just wants to take them aside and have a come to Jesus talk with them.

A few things I wish all young lifters would consider:

Respect your elders.

Powerlifting was here a long time before you came along. This sport wasn’t just invented. There were amazing lifters before you and shocking as it may seem, you can learn from them. They have made mistakes, tried and tested programs and probably more than likely created or had some hand in creating the principals of the program that you are following. These pioneers of the sport created the path and set the foundation. You may see these guys as fat old guys but they were like you at one point, young and dumb. Listen to these guys when they talk and respect what they say because you can learn a hell of a lot more from them than your nonsensical social media gurus. Some of the best training advice I have been given has come from people like Adam Driggers and Paul Key, these guys have been around for a while and seen it all. When they speak I shut up and listen, well because chances are what they are about to say is invaluable information.

That look I give someone when I see them not following the advice they ask for.

You are not invincible.

Treat your body well. Injuries will happen. Right now your young body may be able to handle volume and constant training in high percentages without deload periods but eventually that will catch up to you. Don’t hit the ceiling early, “going hard” all the time is just dumb. One day you will wake up and recovery will be harder, trust me, I am learning that now.

You are not an expert after doing a couple of meets.

Just because you had a couple of great meets and set some American or State record in whatever federation does not qualify you as an expert. You are not and you have no right to “coach” others. This leads me to my next point.

Find an experienced knowledgeable coach.

Don’t go seeking the help of some 20 something kid that has done a handful of meets and has some records. They are not experts and have no business coaching. Bad or inexperienced coaching will ruin a young talented lifter. Would you have brain surgery done by the kid fresh out of med school or by a world renowned, proven, brain surgeon with years of experience? I’ll take the later thank you.

Stay humble.

Nobody likes a cocky little shit, it’s just unpleasant. Don’t become so consumed in your achievements that they grow into something bigger than what they really are and cause you to lose perspective. Celebrate your hard work graciously and then move on.

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A self-proclaimed former high school band nerd turned meathead nerd, Lisa has been coached and mentored by Brian Carroll using 10/20/Life principals for 3 years. She started CrossFiting in 2006 but gave that up after realizing all she wanted to do was squat, bench and deadlift heavy. She now competes as a raw and multi-ply powerlifter in the 114 and 123 weight classes. Lisa has All-Time top 10 totals in both raw and multi-ply in her respective weight classes with a raw pro total of 936 lbs at 114 and a pro 1118 lb multi-ply pro total at 123 and 1090 lb multi-ply total at 114. She is currently ranked the #1 female multi-ply lifter at 123, #2 at 114 multi-ply female and #3 raw with wraps. Lisa has a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration, but hates politics and political debates. She is a mom of two, a firefighter wife and has worked as a full time litigation paralegal for almost 20 years.
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