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Fit-Mum learns to Oly-Lift

Fit-Mum learns to Oly-Lift
March 26, 2013 Charli Wall

So last weekend I attended an Olympic Lifting course run by Ushomi and taught by the great coach BJ Rule. BJ taught me many years ago when I took my first ever Kettlebell course, so was very excited to see him again after 5 years, as I knew it would be a well taught weekend .

I have recently been teaching Crossfit classes at our local CrossFit Box and was fully aware that my Olympic Lifts left a lot to be desired.  I feared the bar as it smashed into my body (or so I thought) – I am very experienced in kettlebells, + teach these regularly, so every time I tried to lift the Olympic bar, I thought I would get hurt!! As a coach I quickly realised that to teach these lifts, I would need to become proficient at them myself.  I have seen too many bad coaches out there teaching poor technique and I sure as hell do not want to be one of those. I also do not want to be someone who professes to be an Olympic lifting coach after a 2 day course.. So practice and search out experts I will 🙂


Anyway, the course was well delivered, and we covered the basic olympic lifting moves – The barbell clean, the clean + jerk, the Barbell snatch, Over-head squat, Barbell front squat (Not in that order I hasten to add)..  and then right at the end….. we had to perform the Crossfit bear complex!!!! NICE 😉


We learnt how and why weight lifting can be beneficial to our bodies (if taught correctly). They are varied + numerous = speed, agility, increase in strength + muscle mass which improves metabolism + hormone function; Trunk + pelvis stability; Explosive power especially in hips + knees, flexibility, CNS motor skills, confidence + body image to name a few. One of the main reasons I believe that women stay away from weights is because they believe they will “Bulk up” – In fact I hear this all the time, even at CBC (Cambridge Bootcamps)

Women will NOT bulk up if we use weights, and the reason is very simple – we are not men!  Meaning we produce much less testosterone than men (approximately 10 x less). Testosterone is the hormone responsible for increasing protein synthesis + muscle size, therefore it stands to reason that we are much less likely to build ginormous muscles compared to our male friends when incorporating a strength building program into your training.  Here are two women I admire + follow who both use + teach strength training for a living.

Marianne Kane
Sally Moss



These are just two examples but I could show you many more 🙂


This is me learning how to do a split jerk –>



Wooo-hooooo! I did it!! I have a long way to go to consider myself a good coach, but I am on my way, which is better than I have been for a few years – fearful of that barbell! I also NOT bulky, and I do use weights (namely Kettlebells) in my training program. None of my clients are bulky either, and we also use kettlebells/ weights in our training systems at CBC + Crossfit ladies only 🙂


I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to olympic lifts, and I am now on the search for someone in Cambridge to help me practice, so that I in turn can be a better coach.


Have a great day


Charlie xx



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