Heather

Testimonial | Heather, CrossFit & Weightlifting Athlete

Posted on Posted in Olympic Weightlifting, Testimonials

I’m 39 year old CrossFitter, a mother of two (ages 5 and 2), and a lifelong swimmer. I once competed at a collegiate level, back in the late 90s. As a result, my entire shoulder girdle is rotated internally from years of stroking water. Lifting toddlers onto my hip and holding them with my right arm jutting out has only added to the imbalance between my two shoulders. I also have femoral ante version, which has left me with very limited mobility in my hips to be able to get below parallel in a full squat.

I found Patrick when I had only been crossfitting for 7 months in April of 2014 (via Google!). The Olympic lifts weren’t clicking for me at all, a combination of how complex they were and my mobility issues. Patrick started with an assessment of how I was snatching and cleaning to date, very ugly. One thing about Patrick is that he’s very polite; I knew my lifts were horrible and he just took it all in. He cleared me on my squat test and quickly identified my shoulder issues along with my weak core. At that time, I was not able to sit upright in a weighted squat position. We went through ten private sessions -back to basics for Olympic lifting. I learned that HIGH BAR back squatting is the only way to go and not to lean forward and “wind up” my lifts. Driving through my legs was something new as well, I was used to “muscling up” weight when they got heavy for me. Through the repeated squatting, learning how to hold my breath and tighten my core, I improved immediately. Patrick is very patient and very specific with form; he accepts nothing less than doing it ALL correctly. He also helped with accessory exercises to help my core (planking) and shoulder mobility (banded, tempo with kettle bells).

We completed those sessions in about 6 weeks and I still lift with Patrick once a week, to refine technique. Now my loads are improving because my form is so much better and consistent. He even programmed a Snatch max and C&J max for me—just to see what I could move. I amazed myself, it felt so light! My mobility is so much better in my hips and shoulders, I never question if I’m below parallel now and I know I’m sitting up straight when receiving the bar. I attribute this to Patrick teaching me new stretching and strengthening techniques to work on at home.

I would recommend Patrick as an Olympic lifting coach to anyone who wants to get into Oly as a sport/competitor or for a CrossFitter. Even though I’ve only been crossfitting for a year, I have aspirations to make strides into the Masters competitive arena; Patrick will definitely be there coaching my lifts along the way.