When you hear “powerlifting” or “Olympic weightlifting,” you may think “spray tans and speedos.” However, neither are bodybuilding, and both are fun, effective ways to increase strength and build muscle. Olympic weightlifters use the snatch and the clean and jerk, and powerlifters work only the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Regardless of the movement, the goal is to get heavy; competitors get three attempts to hit their maximum weight for each lift.
We asked Chad Vaughn, two-time Olympian and American record holder in the clean and jerk, about the most common errors he sees as a weightlifting coach. Below, he shares the bad habits that make him cringe, and offers advice for new lifters.