I've been having quite an in-depth conversation with Nick Novak, the Head Weightlifting Coach at WillyB CrossFit Bowery. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 here) It's been a great ride, and I'm happy to share these last two questions in this post. We just kept digging up topics!
I swear, this is the last one. For now...
Question 1 - Favorite Lift?
Mark Lusk, MVMT Physical Therapy: What Oly lift is your favorite?
Nick Novak, WillyB CrossFit Bowery: My favorite lift oscillates between the snatch and the jerk. I think I prefer to do the snatch because I’m better at it compared to the others but I love teaching the split jerk. It’s technical like the snatch but requires aggression like the clean. My competitive lifters have great jerks and I think that’s reflective of how much I like coaching that movement. The one lift that everyone should be doing is the squat. High Bar, Low Bar, Box, Front, Overhead, Split, Lateral, Barbell, Kettlebell, Bodyweight, they are all great. Everyone should be squatting. I encourage my athletes to take time away from weightlifting for a few weeks out of the year, but I always want them on a squat program.
Question 2 - The Rewards
Mark: What do you find most rewarding as a coach?
Nick: To this day, this is my favorite moment: an athlete I had been training for about 8 months came into the gym one day and said, “Yesterday I asked for a promotion at work. It was the first time in my life I’ve ever asked for a promotion. And I got it!” And they credited our work on confidence and fear. That’s what it is all about for me. Empowering people. Making people stronger, into the versions of themselves they deserve to be. So, my biggest coaching rewards are the things that happen outside of the gym. But inside the gym, I am always most rewarded by the unathletic and meek individuals who step into their power. Helping a great athlete lift a great weight is easy by comparison. Getting someone with no athletic background and no killer instinct to be able to clean and jerk their bodyweight… that’s an amazing feat. That’s what makes me feel accomplished.
I hope you have enjoyed this 4 Questions series! If you’ve got questions about an injury, simply call us at (646) 430-5717, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to answer your questions and help you return to your active life!
Mark M Lusk, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF-L1, CFMT
Nick Novak, USAW L1, Crossfit L1