Coaches Corner

Upcoming Weightlifting Events

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Last week I posted the video of some of the highlights of the Olympic trials.  While the big events are very exciting, local meets are also a ton of fun to watch!  In fact local events are great events to train for!  Just like your local CF competition, or Spartan race there are lots of local competitions for ALL levels and ages!  If you want to train or watch, you’re in luck! There are a few coming up on the horizon and including a very special event in June.

First up the 2nd Annual Mile High Olympic Day Weightlifting Open -This competition is open to USAW members of all skill levels and abilities. Last year’s event saw everyone from a 152-pound woman snatching 216 pounds, an 11-year-old, 76-year-old all lifting! This year’s event will be extra special as it  will be held outside (weather permitting), and will have 2 National referees, making this meet a qualifier for the 2016 World Masters Weightlifting Championships in Germany in October as well as for the 2016 University/U25 National Championships in Baton Rouge, LA, in September and the 2016 American Open in December in Orlando, FL. Click on each of the title for the qualifying totals for these events. BTW Masters in weightlifting begins the year you turn 35 and a new category begins every 5 years there after and you compete within your weight class within that age group! Click on the link above on to learn more about American Master’s Weightlifting (events, records, and more!). To register for the Mile High Meet here

Also coming up later this summer is the Rocky Mountain State Games in Colorado Springs, CO. July 23rd & 24th this meet is a bit bigger and a lot of fun! I’ll have more information on this event as it draws nearer.  If you’d like to train either of these events with the goal of qualifying for something higher or just for fun, please contact me (Coach Meriah) at, on how to get started, training, technique, or any other questions about these events or weightlifting!

Want to be a better weightlifter? Join us Tuesday and Thursdays at 6:15 am and 5:15pm for the barbell WOD at our Broomfield location. Also join coach Meriah Saturdays at 9am for more weightlifting practice! MBS members be sure to join our MBS Strength Group on Facebook for the latest on class updates, videos, competitions and more!

2016 Olympic Trials

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As some of you know, I was competing at the Weightlifting National Championships in Salt Lake City this last weekend.  What some of you may not know that it was also the Olympic Trials on Sunday.  Each country only gets so many athletes to send to the Olympics and the qualifying process is long and challenging.  Due to the results of the World Championships last year the U.S. was able to earn 3 spots for the Women’s Olympic Team.  Unfortunately the men have yet to earn a spot, but there is one more chance to earn a slot at the Pan Americans in June, and the women could also earn an additional slot as well.  Before the Trials, only one person had been named to this team (Jenny Arthur 75kg) and this meet would determine the other two women, so you know, no pressure! The Trials started with a men’s session, which helped name the World team to send to Pan Ams to hopefully earn us a few more spaces.  Several athletes are neck and neck for World Team placement and a handful of American records were broken.  Including the 94kg class total, which was broken by 2012 Armenian Olympian Norik Vardanian, but was broken by 2012 US Olympian Kendrick Ferris shortly afterward as seen in the video!  Next was the women’s session, this was the big one! There were PRs, American Records, Bombs, strategy, guts, and grit!  I’d give you the play by play but this guys really break it down well.  Check out the 2016 Olympic Trials women’s session run down for the top three women trying to claim only 2 spots!

WOD Programming Updates

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We love going overhead! You can look forward to more shoulder warm up material in our daily WODs.

Hey guys,

We’ve been experimenting with some new looks on programming for our WOD’s in main classes. I know some of you just show up and hit it, but I think it would be beneficial for you to have some more awareness about where your workouts come from, and what we are trying to accomplish. So, please take a few minutes to read. Thanks!

We’ve done a lot of different programs at MBS over the past 8 years. Personally, I just love the heck out of plain, basic ol’ CrossFit. The workouts are what I fell in love with over 10 years ago. programming has had it’s up, down’s, and turns, or whatever you’d like to call it as well. But more recently, I’m just loving what they are putting out. It is constantly varied. It is functional movement. And, they are fun workouts that you just WANT to be challenged with. So, over the past couple of months, I have been experimenting with going back to following .com workouts on a 2-3 week delay. The .com workouts follow a 3-on, 1-off pattern. So, on the days with no workout programmed, I insert other workouts that I think would be useful to the programming. Long story short, you are going to get the full spectrum here in the WOD classes. There will be heavy and light weights. There will be long and short. There will be higher skill and lower skill. You will see a little bit of everything here!

Next, the difficulty that I’ve had in the past with .com workouts is getting the scaling and modifications down. For the past couple of years, we’ve done a L1 – L3 set up. Where L3 is the workout as Rx’d, and L1 and L2 would be modified versions of the workout. I think this system has proved useful in many cases. But, the two parts that have remained difficult are 1) getting the scaling correct for athletes on certain workouts, and 2) athletes not using the correct levels for different workouts. For example, sometimes the scaling is a bit of a guessing game and I don’t have enough time to get a workout tested beforehand. So, sometimes I’ll notice that the L1 or L2 recommendation wasn’t scaled enough, or scaled too much. Then, the athletes lose confidence in the provided scaling, and it doesn’t provide the intended value. Also, this case is a bit more rare, but happens sometimes, athletes get a little stuck in the rut – either not stepping up to try a higher level, or having too much ego and not scaling a workout down to an appropriate level and letting their form get sacrificed.

So, this is a bit of an experiment, but I’m going to try using some different terms that you will see written on the WODs:

Fitness– The “Fitness” workout is the scaled version of the .com workout. But, please don’t let that deter you from using it if you’re an experienced CF athlete. Many times the load is reduced, reps are reduced, and/or movements are modified to more fundamental movements, but this could prove very useful for an athlete that has a sticking point on a particular movement. For example, if your HSPU’s have been “stuck” at sets of 3’s for the past year, there is likely a movement pattern issue that is keeping you from getting more reps. So, doing pike pushups in a workout could actually HELP you focus on form and get past your sticking point. The main idea here that we ALL need to understand is that the BEST CrossFitters, AND people that ultimately get the most out of our program, are the BEST MOVERS. We need to understand how to move better…have better form…become more efficient. So, sometimes it is better to scale the weight/reps back, or modify a movement to learn to do it BETTER! Oh, and you’ll definitely be less prone to injury by keeping your form good too!

Probably somewhat obvious, the “Fitness” workout is where our beginners and many intermediate level athletes will fall. There is still a tremendous amount of fitness that will be gained by doing jumping pullups, single unders, and lighter weights!

Performance – So, this is usually how the .com workout is written. This is for folks that have graduated many of the common CF movements – pullups, double unders, 95/65 OHS and snatches, etc. There will likely be muscle ups and hspu’s on this track as well. The idea here is that you have those movement mechanics down well enough with those weights that you aren’t going to be breaking form too awfully in the workout. But, you are wanting a more challenging workout and fitness level here. So, the intensity is ratcheted up from the “Fitness” level. I would like to think that our athletes would want to progress to this level in our gym. We are not interested in being mediocre, and that is why you showed up at MBS CrossFit in the first place. But, you also have a deep down urge to continue improving, so your goal is to continue pushing forward to reach your full potential in the WOD classes, which will hopefully bring you to doing this “Performance” track in the future.

Competition – On occasion, there will be workouts that call for EVEN MORE. For those experienced athletes that love CF so much and potentially want to compete in CF, there is the “Competition” level, which will add more weight/reps and higher complexity movements. This is definitely recommended for those that understand their bodies well enough to recover and stretch properly as well. Additionally, they understand the “risks” associated with doing these more intense workouts. For example, many of our higher complexity movements (ie HSPU’s, muscle ups, or squat snatches) require the athletes to be in potentially more compromising body positions,and in the “Competitor” workouts, we will be asking for more reps and/or more intensity in those situations. This might sit well for someone that knows they are likely to see this situation in a local competition that they want to do well at. But, for someone that is coming to MBS to retain a high-level of fitness for personal and health reasons, the risk may not be worth the reward!

Finally, I like to post “Cash out” material when I can think of something that will compliment the recovery and long-term health of the athlete. Note, the idea is that you hit the CrossFit workout with your best focus and intensity possible. Then, recover and do it again the next day.

Well, I really wanted to keep this short. But, I think I blew past that. If you read all this, congratulations, you are likely to be getting more out of today’s workout than someone that is now scrolling their FB feed for new stories on who knows what.

There’s probably 100 different things I’d like to add to this post…So many discussion points here on how to attack the workout. But, I don’t want to get hung up on it…you shouldn’t either. At the end of the day, we are working out with our friends and having fun! We will fail and get frustrated times. But, we will learn. That’s all I expect…learning and improvement!

Love you guys. Keep up the great work and stay fit!


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Check out April’s training highlights! A couple of new faces learning the lifts and a lesson in how many ways to miss and overcome!

Want more weightlifting? Be sure to join us Tuesdays and Thursday at 6:15am and 5:15pm.

Also join our MBS strength group in Facebook for the latest a class time updates, videos, events and more!


Shari’s New Groove

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Meet Shari, she’s a regular in the later ams classes. She’s only been a member for about a year (+/- a few months) and is consistent at coming to the gym no matter what.  She has made a TON of progress since her start and the more practice she gets the faster she picks up cues.  Check out this workout from earlier this month.  In the first clean she’s pulling early at the knees (& with her arms), and she doesn’t pull her knees under the bar. When she’s at full extension her chest and shoulders are forward and her hips never fully open as shown in the picture. Thus never making contact at the hip/thighs and she leaves the bar out front. I’m also going to bet this lift “felt” pretty heavy to her.  After showing her the video, and giving her the cue to pull her knees under as she sweeps the bar into the hip, she hits the lift again.  At 0:27 you’ll see her execute the cue, resulting in contact at the hip, more vertical extension, and a much cleaner lift! Even though it was the same weight, she was more efficient, and to me that lift looked much easier!  I see big weights in Shari’s future!

Want more weightlifting?  Be sure to join me, Coach Meriah, at our Broomfield location this Saturday at 9am for weightlifting practice!  Also make sure to join our MBS Strength Group on Facebook for the latest in class times, competitions, articles, videos, and more!

Coach’s comments: a language of love

This post to FaceBook from Kelly made me think about of my favorite articles about some of the unique things coaches say. Check out the article “Harsh Comments From Weightlifting Coaches, and Why They Are Awesome” by Matt Foreman, a long time weightlifter and coach.  As the article says, these creative comments are said because of the rapport the coach has with the athlete. While sometimes they sound harsh, they are meant to motivate where other cues may have failed.  And perhaps thicken your skin so it’s as tough as the stuff on your hands!

Weightlifting is very technical and VERY easy to overthink. I remember asking my coach after a missed lift, “What did I do wrong?” All he simply stated was “You didn’t make it.” While I was trying to analyze every thousandth of a second of my lift and what I needed to do in that half of an instance, he was telling me stop thinking and JUST LIFT IT! Which he would also often say (or yell) at me with some colorful language thrown from time to time. He’d either then laugh like it’s was the first time he heard his joke, or hike up his green sweat pants and stare me down until I made the lift. Like Matt said it’s usually met with a laugh, but he was helping me get out of my head for a minute and lift. While technical cues are important and necessary, however you don’t also need another technique cue to add to the list of 150 things you are already thinking about.  You need to be reminded to stop overthinking, and do the lift!  As coaches we’re here to help you with that, some days we just get more creative about it than others.

By the way, to see Kelly’s (EASY) PR lift join our MBS Strength Group on FaceBook. Still want more weightlifting? Join us for the barbel WOD Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15am & 5:15pm at our Broomfield location. Also join us most Saturdays at 9am for weightlifting practice at 9am, also at the hangar. Please note that there will be NO practice this Saturday, April 23rd, but I’ll (coach Meriah) see you April 30th at 9am!

Decoding CrossFit & Weightlifting Lingo


One day in in CrossFit classes there’s a snatch (or clean), the next day you’re snatching in strength class. However, in one class you’re required to squat and another day you aren’t. What gives, and how are you supposed to know which one you’re required to do that day. The diagram above helps explain the lingo you might see in both your CrossFit and your weightlifting classes.
Why are they different? Well, CrossFit is the sport of fitness, and fitness as defined by CrossFit is to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Whereas in weightlifting the goal is to lift as much weight as possible. While we train similar movements, each sport trains for different outcomes. Therefore different styles and techniques are used to create a specific stimulus required for each sport.

Want more weightlifting? Join us Tuesday Thursday days at our Broomfield location at 6:15 AM and 5:15 PM for our strength classes. Also be sure to join Coach Meriah for weightlifting practice Saturdays at 9 AM, (also at the hanger). Be sure to check out our MBS Strength page of Facebook for more upcoming events, class updates, articles, videos and more!

March weightlifting highlights

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Here’s a snap shot of some of the great weightlifting that has been happening at MBS in Broomfeild! We work hard, we have fun, but we’re also setting PRs and getting better ever day! Care to join us? Be sure to come to one of our barbell WOD classes every Tuesday and Thursday 6:15am and 5:15pm. And remember to check out the Saturday weightlifting practice at 9am with Coach Meriah. Remember to join our MBS Strength group on FaceBook, (for all MBS members) for the latest on class times, special events (in and out of the gym), post your own videos, or share your favorite article!

Shameless weightlifting plug

Congrats you made it through the open! It was an inspiring couple of weeks, I hope you had fun! So what’s next? As we head back into regular training, now is as good as any to workmen your weightlifting! Remember strength classes are offered Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:15am and 5:15pm. And there is always 9am on Saturdays with me (coach Meriah)at the hanger for weightlifting practice. As warmer weather rolls in we’ll head out side for some sunshine, snatches, and more!


“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. I thought  in the substance produces the thing that is image by the thought. A person can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.” Wallace Wattles

I’ve been working on my mindset when it comes to my training (and life in general).  Mindset is a lot like a muscel you have to train to manifest the things you want most in life.  It may not seem like a big deal, but how often do you tell yourself you suck at lifting?  And what happened?  Did you miss the chance at a PR?  Did you talk yourself out of it before you lifted?  Instead image what it feels like to snatch that heavy weight, to have it overhead and stand out of the bottom.  Or to sucessfull pick up a heavy weight? How would you lift if you could not miss?  How would you workout if you didn’t think you weren’t in shape?

Come and work on your mindset and weightlifting, Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:15am and 5:15pm. And remember weightlifting practice 9am on Saturdays at our Broomfeild location with me (coach Meriah)!