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Learn more about Olympic Weightlifting

Weightlifting allows you to focus on the process of mastery while continually finding the limits of what your body can do in both skill and strength.

Be careful if you start getting too interested in weightlifting – you may have to drop all of your other hobbies.

Learn weightlifting to get stronger, move better, and find a new hobby

Weightlifting isn’t just about strength—mastery of technique takes years, but the process is worth it.

Todd SLSC Headshot [Square Crop]

Todd Nief, Founder – South Loop Strength & Conditioning

There’s a common misconception that weightlifting is all about brawn and aggression.

In reality, a solid program requires incessant focus on technique, intelligent programming, and prioritizing long-term results over short-term excitement.

To quickly define our terms, “weightlifting” refers to the snatch and the clean and jerk—which are the lifts you see in the Olympics. Both involve taking a barbell from the ground to over your head.

While weightlifting is a sport in and of itself, the weightlifting movements are used extensively in CrossFit—and also make up the building blocks for many sports performance programs.

An example of the snatch

Weightlifting isn’t just for elite athletes, though.

Everyday people find the focus on technique and mastery in our weightlifting program a fulfilling process—and they also love the beneficial side effects of getting stronger, becoming more mobile, and having a ton of fun with a community of people who have similar goals.

While weightlifting movements are a regular part of our functional fitness programming, our weightlifting program focuses specifically on developing the snatch and the clean and jerk in addition to other lifts like squatting and pressing—not on conditioning and gymnastics.

The program is beginner-friendly and isn’t just for competitors (although we do have some folks who take their training seriously).

We have weightlifting programming provided five days per week as well as dedicated weightlifting sessions. Check our schedule here to see when we are offering weightlifting classes.

If you’d like to learn more about our program, reach out to us at or schedule a free consultation with one of our coaches.

Here's What To Expect

A Daily Challenge

The process of improvement is one of life-long learning and refinement, and nothing beats the feeling of hard work paying off.

A Focus On Technique

Weightlifting is a very technical sport—and excellent technique results not in just being able to lift more weight, but being able to progress for the long term.

A Supportive Community

It’s not enough to just lift heavy every day. We prioritize long-term development and doing the additional work necessary to stay healthy and get stronger over time.

Here's How We Do It

smart programming

Our expert coaches design training programs with a purpose. Sometimes we focus on excellent positions, sometimes we focus on building volume, and, when we lift heavy, it all pays off.

Excellent Equipment selection

We have all of the specialized weightlifting equipment you’ll need: wooden platforms, bars that actually spin, jerk blocks, and more.

Accessory Work

It’s not enough to just lift heavy every day. We prioritize long-term development and doing the additional work necessary to stay healthy and get stronger over time.

Meet Our Weightlifting Coaches

What People Are Saying

Frequently asked questions about our weightlifting program

Is this just about lifting as much weight as possible? 

Without getting too in the weeds, there’s a few different ways that someone can participate in weightlifting.

Weightlifting is an Olympic sport, and athletes do compete to see who can lift the most in the snatch and the clean & jerk. Some of our members compete seriously in weightlifting, and others compete casually or recreationally.

Others simply enjoy the process of training and getting better over time.

Keep in mind that “weightlifting” is a different sport than “powerlifting”—which focuses on the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

While our weightlifting program will often utilize those lifts, it is focused more on the snatch and the clean & jerk.

What’s the difference between weightlifting and functional fitness?

Our functional fitness program is a “general physical preparedness” program focused on developing well-rounded fitness. — including strength, conditioning, calisthenics, and other types of training.

Our weightlifting program is more specialized and focused on getting stronger and improving technique in the snatch and clean & jerk.

Conditioning plays a big role in our functional fitness programming, and, at most, a minor role in our weightlifting program.

Are there separate weightlifting classes?

We do have separate weightlifting programming as well as separate weightlifting classes.

This programming is made available to all of our members who wish to follow it, even if the normal weightlifting class times aren’t convenient for them.

Can I do both weightlifting and functional fitness?

Sure can!

We have many members who train predominantly in our functional fitness classes who like to join our weightlifting group a few times per month to get more focused technique work.

We also have some weightlifters who like to occasionally jump in on some of our more conditioning-focused functional fitness classes.

Do I need to already know how to snatch and clean and jerk?

Definitely not. Many of our weightlifting members were beginners when they started with our program.

We do require new members to go through our one-on-one onboarding program called “Elements” in order to gain a baseline familiarity with the movements we use in training.

From there, our programming and coaching is focused on helping our members regularly improve their skill and technique.

Learn more about getting started at SLSC on our “What to Expect” page.

What if my mobility is terrible or I’m not very flexible?

Don’t worry, this is a common problem! Many people are surprised at how difficult it is to get into the positions needed to snatch and clean & jerk.

Our coaches are well-equipped to provide training progressions to help new athletes work on their mobility—and to keep training and getting stronger while they progress in their positions.

What if I want to get stronger or more explosive for a sport?

Weightlifting is often a big part of many strength & conditioning programs for sports like football.

The strength, speed, and explosiveness from the snatch and clean & jerk can potentially help improve sport performance. It’s no surprise that strength coaches love to use these movements to train their athletes.

Depending on the sport that you play, you may be better served working individually with a coach to come up with a plan for your specific situation.

What if I want to get jacked?

While the primary goal of our weightlifting program isn’t body composition change, many members find it as a welcome side effect of our training.

There are more targeted and focused ways to build muscle mass, but they may not be as fun!


There’s no such thing as a perfect time, and you’ll learn more and get more out of coming in to chat with one of our coaches than you will in hundreds of hours of continued research.

Besides, your first consult is on the house.

We’re happy to invest in spending some time with you so that you can find out if we are who we say we are (since we know lots of people have been burned by disingenuous marketing in the fitness industry in the past).

Come see what it’s all about.