This Spring, Head Coach Tom Duer, is set to compete in the IWF Las Vegas International Open in Las Vegas. After moving down to the 109kg class for last winters American Open Final , Tom secured his spot on Team USA for this Bronze Level International Competition.
This will be Tom's first time competing internationally. Competing at this event is the first step to becoming eligible for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. After participating in the 2016 USAW National Championships and watching the Olympic Trials , Tom set a goal for himself to be part of the Olympic Trials on the next quad ( 2016-2020 ) .
In order to be eligible for this opportunity , he needs to compete internationally 6 times in the 18 months prior to the Olympics . One of those times has to be as part of the World Championship or Pan American Championship team. There is a lot of work to do in order to make this goal a reality but each one of these competition opportunities are extremely important.
Most of these lower tier International Competitions are Self-Funded. This means that Tom is solely responsible for the costs of competing at these events. To compound this Tom's wife and Assistant Head Coach Maggie Duer is one of his coaches in the back room at meets so their costs double for each event Tom Qualifies for. In order to help with this PFP Barbell is selling fundraiser shirts . Click the Link below to help out!
Shirts : pfpbeaduer2019.itemorder.com/sale
If you don't want or need another shirt to add to your collection all support is welcome !
Email : Tom@Pittsburghfitnessproject.com
To see how you can help !
Full Disclosure I didn't finish my workout yesterday. I did about half of it , looked at the rest of my workout, then the rest of the weeks workouts, got overwhelmed and called it a day. It may have been one of the first times , in a long time, I let the gravity of a workout overwhelm me. Lifting heavy weights can be scary, terrifying even. At this point in my weightlifting career , I am training with weights heaver than I ever thought my Maxes would be. There is a little part of me questions , on every set, "how the heck am I even going to do this." Typically I still get it done, but not yesterday .
Interestingly enough , I got a great reminder of bravery from one of our newer personal training clients at our facility . She really didn't want to come in for her workout, in fact she skipped the last one and was trying to do the same that day. Luckily her trainer talked her into coming in and she had a wonderful workout and really enjoyed herself. On her way out she thanked us and talked about how much anxiety getting to the gym gives her , but that when she is here she had a really good experience. Before she left we had a conversation about bravery and how important it is for growth.
Bravery is not the absence of fear. Bravery is recognizing fear and acting anyway. Learning to be brave is interesting. The fear never really goes away , we just get more skilled at facing our fears. Every time we decide to act and face the things that scare us , our ability to act in the presence of fear increases. The monster in our head is almost always worse than the monster(whatever we are scared of ) in front of us.
So what does this have to do with Weightlifting ?
Like I said earlier , lifting heavy weights can be terrifying ! The injury rate in the sport of weightlifting is incredibly low. This doesn't change the face that lifting 2 and 3 times your bodyweight has inherent risks and if done incorrectly can have life changing consequences . However, the reality is, in order to lift big weights and live up to our potential on the platform we need to learn to thrive in the presence of fear.
How do we do that ?
Act! There are no shortcuts. Go out and expose yourself to situations( on the platform) that cause you anxiety and fear. Get under big weights and practice. The more you experience these things the more that fear can become your friend. You can learn to harness that fear and anxiety and it will unlock a level of performance you may have never imagined!
Nervous about how to get started?
Follow the link and get over your fear today : Get Started
Dale Carnegie may have said it best!
Practice!?!? We Talking about Practice!?!? : How Approaching my training like football practice made me a better Weightlifter.
For the vast majority of my weightlifting career , I approached my training like ...well training . Like I trained for bodybuilding , general fitness , or even Crossfit. Around a year ago I realized my approach wasn't working the way I wanted it to . I decided to change my way of thinking about training for weightlifting.
After putting some serious thought about my athletic background , I thought about what weightlifting training really was. I realized that more than traditional training , training for weightlifting was more like a sports practice. My approach had been wrong this entire time! I made the conscious decision to treat my training like I treated practices for most of my life .
With a quick google search I looked up traditional structure of a football practice to see how I could apply it to my own training and this is what I found:
If you want to improve your lifts head over to : Get Started and set up a Barbell Evaluation today!
At PFP Barbell each athlete gets individualized programming. This doesn't necessarily mean that every single athletes is doing their own unique program . What it does mean is that each athletes is on a program that best fits their needs .
Recently one of our athletes reached out to me because they were having some recurring issues with the program they currently on. I spend some time listening to their concerns and got to work on a program to address their needs. Literally that day , they were on a new program designed for them .
What is the point of me mentioning this? No, just because you don't like your program , you will not get a brand new one . Yes, if you have a legitimate need for a more specific specialized program , you will be taken care of to the best of our ability.
Communication is important. Our role here is to develop the best athletes/people that we can. Coaches are not mind readers. Feedback is not only encouraged it is vital. If something doesn't make sense, ask for clarification. If you want to know why you're doing something, ask. If we can't properly explain it to you, you probably shouldn't be doing it.
There is an exception to this . Do not be an Askhole ! An askhole is a person who asks a question in order to get the answer that they want. If they don't get the answer they wanted then they will ask someone else until they find the person who will tell them what they want to hear. Thats is not how you get better. We will tell you what you NEED to hear.
We are about developing people here. That takes a team effort of the coaches and athletes each being honest and direct with each other. If you need something , say something . Lets work together to help you reach your potential !
Follow the Link to get started with the PFP Barbell Team!
In our first post of the new year I wanted to take a look back at the year we had at PFP Barbell. We went through a lot of growth and changes last year. From coaching changes, joining East Coast Gold, and holding our first weightlifting meet the gym and team transformed and was filled with a bunch of firsts in the past year.
East Coast Gold
This year started with Head Coach , Tom Duer, joining ECG as an athlete under the coaching of Phil Sabatini and Brenden McDaniel . Soon after our entire team was invited to be a satellite location for the East Coast Gold team . This has given our team and coaches access to the best coaching in the USA and we have reaped the benefits ....big time. From Programming to meet management we have taken massive strides as coaches and athletes this year .
We have also been given the opportunity to attend a few ECG Camps this year to get to work with the ECG Coaches in person. I always leave beaming with pride from all of the positive feedback we receive about how our athletes lift and more importantly carry themselves as people .
Joining ECG has also given our athletes a higher level to strive to as when they qualify for nationals they join the ECG National team and qualify for performance incentives and bonuses . We have not qualified any athletes yet, but I am certain we will have a handful of athletes on the team in 2019.
PFP Barbell participated in multiple meets throughout the year and again helped multiple athletes compete in their first weightlifting meets. Our first time competitors ranged from 11 years old to over 50. We also took our team to two USAW American Open Series meets last year. We went from coaching 1 athlete at the AO series in 2017 to coaching over 50 sessions as a staff at the Series this year. We also helped coach many East Coast Gold athletes to Medals and Records at the AO2 as we served on the ECG coaching staff for that event.
Laura Woodward, Andre Ainsworth , Tonja Ayala and Brandi Darby became the first PFP Barbell Athletes to Head Coach Tom Duer Competed at USAW Nationals and finished 7th in the 105+ category and at the American Open Final and Finished 5th in the newly formed 109kg weight class. Assistant Head Coach and resident lady boss Maggie Duer also made her competition comeback this year competing twice .
One of the coolest aspects of PFP Barbell is how much we have grown as a team in the back room of meets. Coaches Tom Duer, Maggie Duer , and Dom Gomez have helped develop a culture of success as new Barbell Coach Marisa Galli has taken on more responsibility taking the lead coaching athletes of her own . Gerald Hayes, Andre Ainsworth , Laura Woodward , and Bre Prinkey have been invaluable members of our team loading and helping with whatever our team needs during meets. I am looking forward to more growth and development from our awesome group.
PFP Liftmas Open
We hosted our first meet ever in December. 35 athletes competed including a handful of our own athletes. Running a sanctioned meet for the first time, I was not sure what to expect . It ended up running really smoothly thanks to the PFP Barbell crew and with help from our friends over at Relentless Barbell. This was our first , but definitely not the last. I am excited to host 2 or 3 more meets in 2019 !
As I am the head coach of PFP Barbell and an athlete for the East Coast Gold Weightlifting National team, I have two big roles. One as a coach and the other as an athlete.
As a coach , I am thrilled with our development as a team in 2018. We completely revamped how we program and approach training. Our meet management has improved and we have improved each meet with how we take care of our athletes. I say we , because if it doesn't matter if I personally improve if It doesn't spread to our entire coaching staff. Overall our development as coaches has exceeded my expectations and I am looking forward to our growth in 2019.
As an athlete I had my best year so far. I added 19kg to my competition total 318-337kg . This year I competed in the AO1 ( 325kg total 5th ), USAW Nationals (333kg 7th) , ECG Fall Brawl ( 337kg 1st) , USAW AO Final (328kg 5th) . In the AO final I was one lift away from my first National Medals . There is lots to build on from here and I expect to carry the momentum into 2019 and bring some hardware back for PFP and ECG in both national meets this year.
In 2019 I expect PFP to continue to grow and develop. At year end we had 32 barbell members , this year I expect that number to grow to 50+. We should have 4-6 national qualifiers by AO finals time. As I write this we found out yesterday that Laura Woodward became our first athlete to qualify for Senior Nationals . She should be joined by a handful of her peers by years end . Overall I expect our team to continue to work hard, grow , and support each other. I am not sure exactly what 2019 will bring , but with our team , the sky is the limit.
If you want to find out what we are all about contact :
Come drop-in, do a complementary Barbell Assessment , or dive right in and join the squad!
Coaches and Athletes will be contributing to this blog. We will be discussing lifting tips, smashing goals, and much more.