Olympic Weightlifting in NYC is slowly expanding

August 5, 2011

5 years ago Lost Battalion Hall was probably the only place in NYC set up for Olympic Weightlifting in New York City.

In 2011 [and 2012, and 2013, 2014], there’re at least 4 gyms that either specialize in Olympic Weightlifting or have the equipment for it, like bumper plates, a platform, squat stands, chalk, no overly zealous “don’t drop the weight” requirements.

Here’re the NYC gyms:

  • Manhattan Weightlifting Club, 2014. From Jon Mollah:

    I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention a new club we just started up as of November 2013, a great location to weightlift in the Chelsea area (Complete Body gym on 19th street) – we are calling it Manhattan Weightlifting http://manhattanweightlifting.com/

    The gym management has been thoroughly supportive… we have put in 2 8×8 Olympic platforms, complete with 2 full sets of Eleiko bumper plates, Eleiko competition bars + a few other bearing bars, and an Ironmind Vulcan squat rack. You can use chalk, drop the weights from overhead, and lift any time the gym is open.

    Just keep in mind we are trying to keep a club atmosphere, not run a commercial business (sorry, we can’t do day passes or short-term pricing at this time). We are looking for dedicated, long term members with a positive attitude, but aside from that you are free to lift with our core group or do your own thing. See the website for more info about pricing, hours, etc.

  • South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club
    Specializes in Olympic Weightlifting, Strong Man & Powerlifting. 4 platforms, a cage, at least 5 squat racks, benches, Glute/Ham machine, a punching bag, bumper plates, technique plates, numerous olympic bars, a strongman bar like this one, etc. The gym offers changing booths & a bathroom. They offer drop-in rates, punch cards & monthly rates. They’re located 3 blocks from the Union St subway station on the R train. SBWC offers Open Lifting sessions, classes & private training. Check their site for the latest schedule & directions.
  • UPDATE , 09.10.2012: 36 St & Madison Avenue has bumper plates. 1 pair of each: 45 lbs, 25 lbs, 10lbs from Perform Better.
  • UPDATE , 08.02.2012: Belt Parkway location of NYSC apparently has bumper plates as well. See Mashka’s comment below.
  • UPDATE , 08.02.2012: Bay Ridge location of New York Sports Clubs has bumper plates as of a few weeks ago. This location has 1 set of each: 10 lbs, 25 lbs, 45 lbs. There is 1 Squat Rack and 1 Cage. No platforms, naturally. NOTE: It’s on the 2nd floor above a Duane Reade. The room is huge. The ceiling is high enough to take up 2 floors. So be warned, dropping a loaded bar (even just 60kg/135 lbs) on the floor here is likely to echo through out the entire square block radius. If the management or neighbors or other members with sway start to complain, this could make the bumpers useless for what they’re intended for.
  • UPDATE , 04.17.2012: SOHO NYSC has bumper plates now too. A buddy of mine tells me they’re almost never in use since most people have no idea what they’re for. This location has 1 set of each: 10 lbs, 25 lbs, 45 lbs. There are 2 Squat Racks and 1 Cage. Here’re some photos:
  • UPDATE , 02.02.2012: Brooklyn Heights location for New York Sports Clubs is rumored to have 1 pair of real 45lb bumper plates. Haven’t had a chance to take photos yet. UPDATE , 04.04.2012: They have 1 pair of 45lb bumpers, but they’re kept in the office and you have to ask for them. Why? Because some stupid kids who had no idea what those plates were for managed to brake the first pair.
  • UPDATE , 01.23.2012: I recently heard a rumor that NYSC Irving Place has bumper plates starting from 10 lbs (real bumpers, not the hexagonal plates NYSC usually has).

    Had a chance to confirm, here they are, top floor, New York Sports Club @ 10 Irving Place:

    UPDATE , 08.02.2012: So far, the Fitness Managers at this place seem aware of what Olympic Weightlifting is and some of the noise that accompanies practice in this sport. A buddy who’s doing Starting Strength also told me there’re a number of people doing heavy (for a non-specialist gym) deadlifts at this location, 315lbs and up, and they drop the bar without any complaints.

    Most people seem to be more curious about what it is I’m doing than anything else because they’d never seen it. A few say things like “I could never do Powerlifting. I wasn’t built for that.”

    I’ve been here quite a few times now and the only time anyone complained it was another member. It was an amusing incident – he was busy doing quarter squats (yep) with something like 3 plates on each side as I set up for a Squat Clean tripple. At the end of my triple I did a clean, stood up and a few seconds later dropped the bar. The guy flipped out and yelled: “dude, this wasn’t set up to be a Powerlifting station!” I told him, I’m rehabbing a wrist injury so, I physically couldn’t not drop the bar. Then I said that the club’s fitness manager was just here and he didn’t have a problem with what i was doing. Consequently, I offered to wait to do my sets in between his sets. He simply stopped talking to me and ignored me from then on. That was the end of that.

  • Crossfit South Brooklyn
    Offers Olympic Weightlifting platform rentals for $12/hour or $10/hr if you buy a 10 session card.
    UPDATE , 09.13.2011: CSB no longer offers platform rentals to the general public (with rare exceptions). Reportedly due to liability issues arising from certain folks coming in and trying to Snatch and C&J weights they’re not ready to handle, scaring the coaches half to death.
  • Crossfit Virtuosity (Brooklyn Barbell Club)
    Crossfit gym in Williamsburg that also offers instruction and practice space for Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting.
  • Lost Battalion Hall Weightlifting
    A city gym in a neighborhood called Rego Park in Queens, NY. “You’ll need a mem­ber­ship with the City of New York Parks & Recre­ation rec cen­ters ($100-$150/year, $25/​year for seniors, free for youths), and the weightlift­ing pro­gram requires a $50 pro­gram fee/​year. It’s the best train­ing value in the city.”
  • Pure Fitness (Citifitness Health Club)
    UPDATE, 11.19.2012: See Jack’s comment below. A small, easy to miss store front on 14 St. bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave in Manhattan. According to StrongTimes.com, they have 1 platform & an Eleiko bar. Their website markets the place to regular “health club/gym” folks, not specialists.
  • Velocity Sports Performance, NYC
    Located in Manhattan. From the photos on their site it looks like they have at least 2 platforms, bumpers.

Outside of Brooklyn & Queens Long Island’s counties are not technically part of the NYC, but if you have a car or time to travel on the LIRR you can get to Garden City, NY and train here:

  • Professional Athletic Performance Center
    Olympic Weightlifting platforms, Reverse Hyper machine, etc. These guys offer serious training as well as physical therapy. Their Physical Therapy practice is the official PT provider for the NY Islanders NHL team.

Good Weightlifting Site

December 11, 2012

This site is pretty awesome for all things weightlifting, powerlifting, strength training: http://www.allthingsgym.com/. Gregor’s good at finding links to watch competition streams & post-event video of these relatively obscure sports.

Great to see Ilya Ilyin coming back

May 2, 2012

The poor guy was stabbed on the street in Almaty in 2009. I’ve also seen this separately in the Russian language press but can’t find the link anymore.

Here’s a video of him training, just posted on May 1, 2012 (training probably from earlier this year?):

Recent interview from Reuters: Kazakhstan’s best seeks repeat performance.

Alexi Ni is Ilya’s main coach, head coach for Kazakhstan’s Weightlifting Federation.

I’ve seen Ilya’s last name spelled Ilin, Ilyn and Ilyin. If you care about accuracy, Ilyin is the closest to what it sounds like in Ilya’s native Russian language.

Brief English language interview w/ Coach Ni on caspionet.kz. The segment mentions Ilya Ilyin is training in Germany (at the time of the recording). I’m guessing they finally decided to send him there for a surgery he said he needed to repair what I assume is a training injury.

A caspionet.kz segment on Ilya Ilyin.

First Time Training at South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club

April 17, 2012

First Impressions

SBWC is the real deal. Highly recommended. The best way to get in touch is to give Coach Paul a call. There’s the Facebook page and the website too.

Platforms, bumpers, Jerk blocks:

Snatch Fixing

I’ve spent the last three years flapping & flailing about by myself, trying to learn as best I could. Personal circumstances, ranging from the price tag, to having a busy full time work schedule, to raising small children, to the unavailability of coaches near my work & home, prohibited me from signing up with a coach. I’ve read some good books on Olympic Weightlifting by Jim Schmitz & Greg Everett, which definitely helped. I’m pretty sure I’ve misunderstood some or even a lot of what was in those books. It happens. There really is no substitute for in-person coaching.

Coach Paul Steinman was simply awesome. The guy is a good combination of confidence that comes from knowledge of the sport and an approachable down to earth personality. This was refreshing to me. I’ve had Swing Dancing Aerials instructors in the past who seemed to think the only way to motivate a student was through yelling & the occasional insult. That approach sometimes got me to learn but it didn’t earn the coaches my respect.

The effectiveness of Steinman’s coaching was apparent within the first 45 minutes – the same Snatch technique exercise that felt challenging at the beginning of the session when I was fresh, felt super easy at the end, when I was very tired. All I had to do was follow what Paul said and improvement followed.

Squat stand, Prowler, Glute Ham Machine (guarded by a monkey), ab mat:

Gym Info

This cool NYC gym specializes in all things Strength, specifically Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman & Powerlifting.

Some of the equipment includes the afore mentioned platforms, a cage, at least 5 squat stands, benches, glute ham machine, a punching bag, bumper plates, technique plates, numerous olympic bars, a strongman bar like this one, etc.

This gym has at least two changing booths & a bathroom.

The regulars have a few places to keep their lifting shoes and belts.

Srop-in rates, punch cards & monthly rates are available.

They’re located 3 blocks from the Union St subway station on the R train. SBWC offers Open Lifting sessions, classes & private training. Check their site for the latest schedule & directions.

Soviet Olympic Weightlifting How-To videos from 1984 – 1985

April 18, 2011

In Russian w/ no subtitles. Available as WMV or Silverlight, not Flash video for some reason.

1. Snatch (Ryvok in Russian)

2. Clean & Jerk (Tolchok in Russian)

3. Technique for both lifts:

I started translating the 3rd video:

Our film is dedicated to the analysis of technique involved in the competitive lifts, the methodology of technique perfection. Introducing modern technique teaching methodology.

(Title screen)
Methods of Improving the Technique of Olympic Weightlifters

Commentary (voice over) by esteemed Master of Sport of the USSR, Senior Scientific Employee of ZCNIIS (ЦНИИС)[1] , PhD in Education Science
A.A. Lukashev (A.A. Лукашёв).

1.ZCNIIS (ЦНИИС) is most likely this place:
The Central Scientific Research Institute for Dentistry. Could also be this place:
Central Scientific Research Institute of Construction, based on the acronym.

First day lifting at Crossfit South Brooklyn

March 8, 2011

Crossfit SBK allows Olympic Lifters to rent out space for a drop in rate of $12 ($10 if you buy a 10 session card). It’s a great space & nice people. So far so good:

Olympic Weightlifting in St. Louis: New Location for The Lab

December 15, 2010

I haven’t seen the old place but judging from the pictures The Lab gym in St. Louis, MO has expanded from a small speciality box for Olympic Weightlifters, Powerlifters, Crossfitters, etc. to a larger space that can accommodate the average gym goer as well as provide a good place for the specialty strength sports enthusiasts. This makes sense, considering the relatively new business model of The Crossfit Box or what Glen Pendlay is trying to do at California Strength is still new and untested (while admirable).

As of December 15, their website & Google Maps still seems to have the old address (4253 Laclede). The new place is located at 3684 Forest Park Ave, right next to a Jimmy John’s. St. Louis University is nearby. There’s a Bus & Metro stop around the corner on S. Grand Blvd.

One of the great things about this gym: 24 Hour access. Members get an access card and can workout whenever their schedule allows.

These photos were taken Thanksgiving weekend, very shortly after the new space opened, so they were still setting up back then.

The Strength Sports Room:

Some of the Rest of the Space: