Weightlifting remains the oldest official strength sport, appearing in the first modern Olympics at the end of the 19th century. Training for this sport requires technical mastery and solid coaching. USA Weightlifting, the governing body for weightlifting in the United States, endorses all coaching certifications. Weightlifting certifications remain based around levels of coaching and have nothing in common with personal training certifications. Olympic weightlifting requires you to compete in the snatch and clean and jerk. Consult a health care professional before beginning any strength-training program.
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Level One Sports Performance Certification
A level one sports performance certification requires you to have not just a basic working knowledge of the snatch and clean and jerk, but the ability to impart this knowledge to beginners. This certification is suitable for some strength and conditioning positions, health and fitness instruction and is viewed as a beginning weightlifting certification. This certification is achieved following a course of study and weekend certification and testing course. Testing includes both theory and application, and technical mastery of the lifts must be demonstrated before experienced coaches. The need for safe training is stressed, as weightlifting is one of the safest sports, with a very low injury rate.
Level Two Senior Coach Certification
The level two senior coaching certification is a more advanced certification and requires completion of the level one course. This certification is designed to ensure that, as a coach, you can improve not just athletes, but the course of direction of your weightlifting club. More emphasis is placed on programming and performance. Additional emphasis on speed training and power applications is added, as weightlifting generates more power than any other form of lifting. This certification also covers a basic working knowledge of nutrition, anatomy and physiology.
Level Three Regional Coach Certification
The regional coach certification is geared towards ensuring that, as a coach, you can develop national-level athletes. Being a national referee is required, in addition to senior coach status and experience. As an applicant for this certification, you must have coached at least two athletes who have competed in a national championship, coached at least one minor or youth to a national level competition and completed at least two international coaching assignments. These assignments vary, but always involve a professional coaching position and responsibilities.
Levels Four and Five
Levels four and five are international and senior international coaching certifications. These require extensive experience as a coach and a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology, power production and application and nutrition. These positions also require significant experience as a referee at the national and international level and multiple international coaching assignments. As a coach, you must have produced multiple national-level athletes and coached athletes who have competed in international-level events. These are the highest coaching positions available, and a level five coach can coach national teams at world and international events, such as the Olympics.