Health & Wellness Blog

Welcome to 2016 Weightlifting Club


Hello AZ Olympic Weightlifting Club Members,

Welcome to 2016! With the recent move of Athletic Zone and the launch of the AZ Olympic Weightlifting Club, as your Coach, I feel that now is the perfect time to share with you a snapshot of my journey across ten years of involvement in Olympic Weightlifting and the year ahead.

When I began lifting I was twenty years old, with a background in rowing & a few years of training in the gym with what I would consider ‘beach weights’ at best. Within 6 months I saw and felt the value of training the Olympic lifts, with my interest naturally shifting toward the athletic performance, strength gains, and power improvement the sport offered. Within 12 months I had bought my first pair of boots (a second hand pair of handmade Polish suede and wood heeled show-stoppers) and entered my first competition – I was hooked, and thus began my journey as an Olympic Weightlifter.

In late 2015 I made a decision to move away from competitive lifting and focus on being a Coach. Fortunately there was no time to dwell on hanging up the boots, as my decision coincided with an opportunity offered from the AWF (Australian Weightlifting Federation) to join the Level 3 National Coaching Program at the AIS in Canberra, an opportunity I gladly accepted. Over the course of three days, I was privy to world class information on athlete psychology, programming & methodology, competition preparation, talent identification, and much more. The best Coaches and Academics in the field in this country presented, as well as special guest Ma Wenhui – Head Coach of the Chinese National Women’s Weightlifting Team. It was everything a Coach in this sport could ask for, and a credit to the presenters and the AWF for facilitating a program of this calibre.

So what does this mean for you? It means you have a strong and progressive Olympic lifting program at AZ. An energetic, informed, and structured Club that supports members to achieve, and succeed at training and on the platform. We will use the best training methods that have been proven to work, and will provide Coaches that can really coach!

To finish, a big thank you to Athletic Zone for inviting me to assist in founding the Club, and especially the Weightlifting Club members who come together regularly under the guidance of myself and Coach Andy Steven to tackle the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. It is a unique and challenging pursuit, and as you’ll soon come to know is very addictive, with an equal mix of fun and frustration as you journey towards strength and technical mastery of the Olympic lifts.

I’ve spent countless hours in the gym and on the competition platform, and I hope to share with you my skills and experience from this time as a Lifter and now as a Coach. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve chalked my hands and laid them upon the bar, nor the thousands of lifts I’ve taken, but I’ve loved the sport dearly. Weightlifting invokes many emotions – from being driven in to the platform under a heavy clean, standing out of your first double bodyweight squat, to achieving six from six at competition – passion, fury, confusion, elation, sadness, pain, joy. It’s all there, and that’s why I love it!

Stay tuned for the next blog update in February when I’ll be addressing markers of performance for Olympic lifters, athlete assessment and corrective drills for lifting – Looking forward to a strong 2016 with you!

Christian Hopper
AEP & Coach – AZ Weightlifting Club


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