This weekend we had 7 lifters including myself attend ECG camp in Virginia beach. Over the next few weeks I will be posting the things that each one of us got from our experience at camp. Marisa Galli is going to kick things off!
The East Coast Gold Training Camp held 6 sessions over the span of 3 days. Over 40 athletes and coaches traveled to the ECG Headquarters in Virginia Beach for a sweaty and tiring weekend. Why would anyone subject themselves to training that much when they could be at the beach instead? To an outsider, this might seem excessive. But ask any weightlifter there and they would tell you the same thing – it was well worth it.
For me, this was my first experience actually getting to meet the entire ECG team. Other than meeting Brendan and Erin when they stopped by PFP a few months back, I hadn’t met any of the other coaches there and was excited to hear different feedback and learn from their years of experience. Although I had expected to learn a lot, the camp was so much more than just coaching and fixing lifts.
Most of the PFP team left Pittsburgh on Thursday morning – it took us about 7-8 hours altogether with stops to get down to Virginia. After stopping at the scenic Bojangles, we were ready for a walk on the beach. We were able to soak up some sun on Friday morning before heading into the first session later that evening.
To kick off the camp, East Coast Gold founder Leo Totten and president Phil Sabatini spoke to the group and explained their vision for the weekend. It would consist of various explanations, different complexes, and common errors to work on reasons why most people were missing their lifts. We also went over different warm ups, mobility exercises, visualization training in addition to a full workload of lifting. Several other coaches helped out to work one on one with every athlete. The best part about camp was receiving feedback from every coach – they each had a different eye and a unique way of explaining things. It gave me a new way to identify where I was making mistakes and a new perspective on how to fix it. For me personally, I have a problem with the third pull and transitioning under the bar, my starting position, and my receiving position in the jerk. Each coach worked with my and gave me different cues on how to improve. After the first session was over a bunch of the athletes and coaches met up for dinner and got to know each other! It was awesome to get to build friendships with people that are so passionate about the same thing I am who just want to get better/help others.
After a good night’s rest, we got to the gym on Saturday morning for a long day. There were 3 full sessions on Saturday; we had about a 2-hour break in between sessions but we started lifting at 10 and didn’t end until 8. Lots of sweat and snacks later we finally finished all 3 sessions. Saturday night a bunch of the lifters and coaches hung around and had a “Pennsylvania beer tasting”. Phil and Brendan ordered pizza and wings and we all sat around talking, laughing, and tasting only the finest beers of Pennsylvania – Iron City (light and regular), Rolling Rock, Victory, and Yeungling. It was honestly hysterical – everyone got along so well it was like we were already lifelong friends. Although I loved every second of the lifting, hanging out with everyone was one of my favorite parts about camp.
Everyone was pretty fatigued by Sunday’s sessions but this was the day we finally got to push the weight more than any other day. We tested power snatches and front squat doubles! Surprisingly, I PRed both lifts even though I thought my hands were going to fall off. Everyone was pretty tired but the atmosphere was so electric that we were all hyped up to keep lifting. At some point or another we all just stopped and watched one person lift and cheered them on. It was so inspiring to see everyone not just hit max percentages but also look so technical while doing it.
After a long weekend, camp finally came to an end. It’s hard to put into words how much I learned and how incredible the whole experience was. Everyone who came to camp was so willing to put in the work and implement the feedback despite how fatiguing 6 sessions in 3 days was. Other than that, meeting the team and making friendships was just the icing on the cake. Every athlete got the same kind of treatment from all of the coaches no matter if they were a beginner, intermediate, or elite lifter. I’ve never met a more supportive and passionate group of people until this weekend.
So, what’s next?
I’m currently training for the American Open Series II in Valley Forge at the end of July along with several other lifters from PFP and ECG. I’m excited to use what I worked on at camp and keep getting better and hopefully hit some new PRs in the near future!
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