*Noon Class is no more, there will no longer be noon classes for at least the next couple months. We are all very sorry, but none of us coaches can be there during that class time.


Schedule for this Week 12/28/15 - 01/03/15

Monday: Normal
Tuesday: Normal
Wednesday: Normal
Thursday: NO 5:30pm or 6:30pm
Friday: No Classes!
Saturday and Sunday: Normal


WOD:   12/30/15

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Rope climbs, 2 ascents
20 one-legged squats, alternating
40 double-unders


Chris Swartz, the Iron Beavers, and Barbell Club

Do you ever wonder what is really going on - on those lifting platforms?  Or what is up with Barbell Club these days?  I spent a little time with Chris a couple of weeks ago to find out a little more about Chris Swartz, our Barbell Club Coach and the Co-Owner and Head Coach of Swartz Performance, LCC and founder of the Iron Beavers Weightlifting team.

Chris started weightlifting at age 19, about 7 years ago in California at the College of the Siskiyous.  He moved around and lifted weights in a lot of gyms but it was in Portland where Chris took active interest is developing a weightlifting team.   While studying exercise and sport science, he got certified as a coach in May 2013.  Upon graduation, he got certified as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and through USA Weightlifting (USAW). What does this mean?  This means Chris has some serious credentials – not to mention he has some heavy medals for his lifts.  Gold medals and stuff:

Not long ago, Chris’s wife got a job in the area and they returned to the Willamette Valley. Chris returned to Downing’s and started a team of his own. At the time Crossfit Train was busting at the seams in its former location, the Iron Beavers were also looking for some new ground to do more than they were able to do at Downing’s Gym.  In a partnership with Crossfit Train, the Iron Beavers grew their operation to host competitions, have lifting platforms and have training hall setting.

Iron Beavers Weightlifting Team
Chris knew Corvallis would be a great place to start a team because there are no other weightlifting teams between Portland and Eugene.  “I wanted to bring weightlifting back to Corvallis” Chris shares.  The main goal right now is to spread as much knowledge about the sport and get as much contact as possible with all types of athletes; to develop a team and get the team known as much as possible in the local area in order to recruit good athletes.”  Chris's future goal is to not only establish a team where we have some of the best lifters in the Nation; but, to build a sustainable system that supports athletes in a semi-professional setting. This includes providing opportunities for weightlifters to earn an income coaching, while training in a sport they love.

What makes a good athlete?  According to Swartz an athlete must be patient and determined.  They should not get set back by bad days. The main athletic qualities that he looks for in an athlete are someone who has good body awareness and good flexibility.  Strength does not necessarily matter; even speed and explosiveness are not a necessity.  Does that sound like you?

We all practice the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk during our Crossfit WODs.  Isn’t Olympic lifting just a part of Crossfit? Chis explains that the main difference between Crossfit and Olympic lifting is that Olympic lifting is the training for extreme proficiency of the movements. One must understanding that mastering the Olympic lifts takes a long time – maybe even forever.  Crossfit is exercise and Olympic lifting is training for a specific sport. 

Barbell Club
Can anyone join Barbell Club?  Do you have to be the strongest lifter in your class? Chris coaches Crossfit Train's Barbell Club and he says “anyone has the ability to become better at weightlifting through practicing.”  He says it is like practicing bowling, the more you do it - the better you get.  If you don’t practice you will never be better.  Participating in barbell club gives you the opportunity to gives you the time to practice something that you may not be able to take the time to focus on during the WOD.   In barbell club you don’t have to worry about speeding through repetitions.  You are encouraged to take your time and focus on technique.  Developing your absolute strength (1RM) will make it easier to perform the multiple repetitions to develop your relative strength (GRACE).  Developing your strength and technique in barbell club will increase your efficiency in a WOD. 

So what?  Barbell Club is good for you.  If you haven’t been approved for barbell club talk to Coach Cassie.  If you have – start getting better today and sign up for the next class.  Barbell meets every week on Tuesday at 5:30pm and Thursday 7am.  If you are interested in learning more about the team or interested in doing 1:1 training to email Chris Swartzat or subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Writtenby Rebecka Weinsteiger