5 major issues in weightlifting coaching

On April 13th, Etienne Dubois had the chance to receive Aurélien Broussal Derval and Kévin Caesemaeker to discuss the major issues of coaching in weightlifting.

Presentation of the speakers

Aurélien Broussal-Derval

Sports professional, Aurélien Broussal-Derval has been a physical trainer for more than 10 years in various activities (judo, motor sports, golf...)

He is currently assistant DTN of the French Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Federation.

Here are some examples of the teams he has coached:

  • French women's English boxing team
  • British and Russian Judo teams
  • French weightlifting team
  • R&D Director and Physical Preparation Coordinator for the French Volleyball Federation
  • Physical trainer in automobile sports and golf

Kévin Caesemaeker

Weightlifter for a little more than 25 years with ten seasons in the French team, he was lucky to have Aurélien Roussel as his physical trainer.

French champion thirteen times out of his thirteen performances, he participated in various European championships (Medal in clean and jerk) and World Championships. In the French team as a substitute at the London Olympic Games, he will conclude with the 17th Mediterranean Games in Turkey.

Weightlifting is a way of life. It takes years of dedicated hours, reps and methodical training to become a stronger, more powerful and technically improved athlete. The snatch and clean and jerk require vast amounts of strength, speed, mobility and technical prowess, each as perfect as its weakest link.

For non-weightlifters and weightlifters alike, it is possible to go through many ups and downs in training, performance and progress.

"In the past, there has been a little bit of condescension in weightlifting, a form of elitism and demands that make it the beautiful sport that it is, but on the other hand, has battened down the hatches a little bit. Unlike athletics, which has accepted that you can do leaping strides and knee lifts without necessarily being a sprinter, well, the Altero's kind of battened down the hatches 30-40 years ago saying Be careful, this is too technical for you, you can't do it."


To stay on simple principles by desacralizing them, these 5 major technical issues will be addressed.

The passage under bar

One of the most difficult things for beginning lifters to do is also one of the most important: pulling under the bar.

This problem is especially apparent in the snatch. Most beginning lifters are uncomfortable receiving the bar at the bottom of an overhead squat position. This is why you see so many athletes land with their feet twice as wide as their typical squat position. This normally happens when they pull the bar up from the waist. This "technique" may be easy with a light weight because your arms alone can still support the load, but if you look at athletes moving heavy weights, you will see something very different happen.

Athletes who move heavy weights are doing something fundamentally different....they are pulling themselves UNDER the bar.

"There is no single truth, there are principles of efficiency and safety which are, however, indisputable. Among all the technical parameters that we can talk about that can lead to errors in coaching, technique or pedagogy, we have first of all the passages under bars. This is 70% of the technique."


The supports

You probably only think about your feet when you put on your shoes, get a treatment or get a blister. But our weightlifters say you should think about your footing every time you exercise!

The position of your feet has a determining impact on your overall stability, the amount of weight you can lift and your risk of injury.

Depending on your body type, you may need to adjust your foot placement to be more or less on your heels or forward, focusing on your footing.


Good form is essential when you are trying to get stronger and lift more weight. Without optimal mobility, good form simply does not exist.

"If you can't get into the position necessary to perform an elevator or movement correctly, if you're not able to get into a squat, it's likely that you're going to have major problems performing a snatch flexion."


Mobility could be synthesized on three parameters:

  • Motor control
  • Flexibility
  • Strength

It is essential to analyze the weak points to work on in order to express your strength.

Hexfit - 5 enjeux majeurs de l'haltérophilie


When you start your first training program, regardless of your level of experience, it will be more effective if you are clear on your goals from the start.

"In weightlifting, I always start by defining my goal to build a retro-planning that will be adjusted according to the athlete's form on the day."


If you're an aspiring weightlifter, you'll be looking to increase your raw strength, but you may also want to stimulate muscle hypertrophy to make sure you're working your "body."

A workout split is how you decide to divide your program on a day-to-day basis. Workout splits are a great way to emphasize certain aspects of your routine and manage your energy.

Once you have determined your split, you need to choose the exercises you will do each day. The exercises you choose for your program are an important factor and should reflect your main goals.

These movements are multi-joint and require significant neural drive, mental focus, coordination, technique and muscle recruitment. For these reasons, you must program these movements at the beginning of the workout. Otherwise, you will get tired and perform them with lackluster form (which can eventually lead to injury).


Good technique is essential. If you are unsure if you are doing a particular exercise correctly, seek help from a certified fitness professional, or a weightlifting specialist.


"It's all about perception. Weightlifting is like aviation, when there's a plane crash it's very spectacular and it creates a kind of absurd generality while on the other hand road accidents kill en masse."


Training and competition can result in a variety of injuries and damage to the athlete but this is rare with proper management.

 Causes of injury can include negligence, equipment problems, the training room itself, equipment, lack of physical and mental preparation of the athlete, poor technique, inability to overcome fatigue and overexertion.

Camille Boutin

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