Last weekend I spent up I Holstebro, north of Denmark, participating in the Burguner Weightlifting Seminar. I have been looking forward to this one for a long while for a couple of reasons. First of all I wanted to do the seminar for over three years and finally beginning fo the year I booked the seminar that was supposed to be held in Bordeuax, France, but then Covid happened and everything got cancelled.
I was happy to get notified by Pedro from Burguner staff that I could re-book the seminar and participate on a later occasion. As you know, it took a while for things to get back to normal and after a couple of months I saw the new seminar was located at Holstebro Crossfit in Denmark.
The seminar was held by Sophie Burguner who is a former lifter from the Irish National Team and she has been competing in the 58kg weight class. Sophie has been a part of this seminar for 10 years and you can see how passionate she is about lifting and that obviously also sets the tone of the entire seminar.
For me personally I wanted to do the seminar because I want to become a better coach and hopefully get slightly better at lifting as well. Last years I have not focused much at all on getting the strongest weightlifter in any way but I have always enjoyed to work with the barbell. There is something enjoyable with olympic weightlifting that you only get from sports and not from just simple strength training and I’m convinced the reason is that it is developing all our senses and athletic requirements at the same time. There is something very satisfying of doing a lift and feeling how it went well and felt well and this you don’t find from doing a deadlift of doing kettlebell swings and let me break it down to you…
In the seminar we spent almost one and a half days working on the snatch and it is no wonder, there are many components and it is funny how something that is so simple also can be so challenging and complicated at the same time. Every lift I enjoy setting the feet in the right position and grabbing the barbell, feeling how the barbell grips and almost melts in the hands.On a good day and before a good lift, I can feel how power is there and it almost feels like I have hidden super powers in my reserve. At the same time I feel if there is any stiffness or soreness in the system. It sometimes feels so good you almost get to exited and you lose patience and just want to lift off and here comes the mental game of setting up the right mental preparedness for those exited moments and of course those moments when you feel weak and this is probably on of the most neglected components when it comes to weightlifting; just like many other sports, it is mental! The difference is that a snatch is 0,5s long and you are moving heavy weights overhead and there is no room for error. This means you attention has to be 100% there and you have to keep you focus, and this is one of the things I love and also can use outside of training.
After setting up my challenge is to find where to put my hips and knees (they are too long!) and this is always a challenge and a struggle each time but working on positional strength in below the knees are very beneficial and something I will work more on in the future. When the set up feels good everything happens so fast and there is no time to think but I simply have to explode and in a split of a second the barbell is supposed to be above my head and 100% balanced on strong active shoulders, here I pause and enjoy the moment just for a small second before standing it up. (In the clean there is no chance I can pause in the squat…haha..just want to get the hell out of there!)
Most lifts don’t end up this way, but there is always some component that doesn’t run that smoothly and you have to redo, and redo, and do it again. Each time requires a lot of strength and also endurance to keep on going and at the of a session your entire body has worked out in the best way possible and this is another reason why I love it. Olympic weightlifting requires both brain and muscles to work together and this creates the absolute output of athlesism.
My goal is not to fo to the olympics but I want to be able to lift like this until I am 90 because that will ensure me to be fit for almost anything in life.
About the seminar
The Seminar was created by Coach Mike Burgener who is a former American National Weightlifter who has been coaching thousands of athletes in the last 50 years.
You can find more information about the seminar here: