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Laura Hoggins - The Level 1 Award in Coaching Weight Lifting

Laura ‘Biceps’ Hoggins is a fully trained fitness coach and personal trainer, and has worked with British Women's Lifting, Women in Sport and This Girl Can to spread a campaign to support 'strong is not a size'.

Laura attended our Level 1 Award in Coaching Weightlifting which included 4 – 8 hours E-learning and a 2-day practical session. Laura has written a blog on the course and how it will help her when coaching.

Laura Hoggins - The Level 1 Award in Coaching Weight Lifting

As a freelance personal trainer, it can sometimes be extremely hard to prioritise your own continued professional development, when you are managing clients from 6am to 9pm Monday through Sunday, where is the time to sit back and learn instead of constantly delivering?

My view is that your qualification as a PT is just the start of your journey, just because you have a certificate to practice, does not necessarily mean you are ready to be the best you can possibly be, or that you are ready for what your clients specific needs are. ‘Coach what’s in front of you’, is a term I learnt early on from various mentors, that client you saw last week, may not turn up the same today, so we need to be ready to adapt, and fast.

Weightlifting is incredibly simple, moving X weight, from A to B. But as we all know, the practical application of it, is incredibly complex, and as coaches, it is our job to break down the complexity to teach and improve our clients ability and confidence lifting. A squat, it is just sitting down and standing back up again, right? But every single person may squat differently, due to various reasons but mainly biomechanics, optimal squat depth may look different on one to another.

I wanted to expand my knowledge, and open my mind to new and different coaching techniques, and cues, so I decided to investigate the BWL Coaching Pathway, and there are 4 courses, so I enrolled in The British Weight Lifting L1 Award in Coaching Weightlifting. It was a full weekend course, 2 days split up into the Snatch, and the Clean & Jerk, with some e-learning of about 4-6 hours ahead of starting.

It was fascinating for me to learn the British Weight Lifting technical model of coaching Olympic lifting, and the BWL teaching method. I am used to coaching 1-2-1’s, small groups, and large groups of over 30, and each environment is obviously very different in terms of how much ‘coaching’ can be achieved.

It is a long time to spend in a squat rack, but it was interesting for me to get feedback on my coaching from a different source, and to observe others application. Some of the content I felt confidence that I was already practicing, but the specifics of coaching a slightly different structure of session was very useful. The course allows you to understand how to effectively assist more qualified coaches, as well as planning the session yourself.

The assessment element at the end of the two day course was to apply everything we knew for a session of our choice. Mine was for the Clean & Jerk, and I designed a session to ‘refine and improve the bar path in the Clean’. Although in reality the lift is over in seconds, we took the time to break the lift down, and gave a variety of coaching cues to observably improve the bar path, a common fault in most beginner to intermediate lifters.

I was pleased to have been successful at completing the course, and this now qualifies me to plan sessions for small groups of athletes alongside a more experienced coach. I very much enjoyed starting my weightlifting coaching pathway, and I always believe there is something to be learnt from everyone and from every experience, so I recommend it if you are looking to spend time improving your understanding of planning and learning the BWL technical model. I will be saying ‘correct distribution of weight’ forever now, thanks BWL!

As the UK's recognised Governing Body for weight lifting, effective coaching and instructing is at the heart of what we do. Whether you want to teach weight lifting to people wanting to get fitter and stronger in the gym, inspire the next generation of weight lifters or have aspirations to mentor the British elite, we have a course that will help you to achieve your goals. For more information visit -

Quote LAURA10 to get 10% off a British Weight Lifting course*

*Terms and conditions

  1. Offer valid until 28 February 2020
  2. Please enter discount code LAURA10 online when purchasing a course to be eligible for the 10% discount
  3. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer however membership discount is still valid
  4. The discount does not apply to workshops, e-learning only courses or Satellite Education Centres
  5. British Weight Lifting courses are available to people aged 16 years and older
  6. British Weight Lifting reserves the right to cancel or amend this promotion due to events or circumstances arising beyond its control
  7. Promoter: British Weight Lifting, St Ann's Mills, Commercial Road, Leeds LS5 3AE


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