Who should try Olympic Weightlifting and Why


Why Weightlifting?

 Weightlifting is not just for weightlifters – it is one of the most transferable training systems around! You will see benefits in your daily life, such as increased joint and bone strength, improved balance and stability, and mental confidence, among others.


Lifting objects from the floor and putting them over your head is a very basic and required skill for everyday life.  Having a strong core, back, and legs will not only benefit you in everyday life but make you stronger and healthier so you can enjoy your life more.


Here’s a quick List of Benefits but there are many more:

  • Injury prevention and overall fitness
  • Increased Core Strength = less back pain
  • Increased CardioVascular health! (your heart rate still gets up and you will gain muscular endurance and a decent level of conditioning.
  • Lifting weight can be a challenging but fun alternative to conventional gym workouts
  • It’s a great way to burn fat because you are building muscle and increasing your metabolism
  • It’s an awesome community since you have lots of time to socialize with those around, and your not constantly out of breath!
  • It’s a little less fast paced than say our CrossFit classes so it’s a fun alternative to those days when just don’t feel like breathing hard!

How does that apply to me?  

Most people know that Olympic weightlifting is an amazing Sports and athletic performance program.  As a sport it’s contested both on a local, national, and international level (think Olympics).  What a lot of people don’t know is that from a training perspective, the lifts, or versions of (power clean, push press, front squats, etc…) provide amazing benefits to any training or fitness program.


Implementing the lifts in your training program can be both intimidating and risky if you aren’t doing them correctly.  Our team of coaches are very educated and well trained on a National level and have experience working with both high level competitors and people who have never lifted a barbell. Through proper skill development and progressions, they’ll teach you how to safely reap the many benefits of Olympic Weightlifting.

So how can try it out to see if it’s for me?  

Drop in and try a class!  Click here to fill out the Free Class Form and we’ll schedule a trial for you.
Session Times:
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 pm
Saturdays from 9-11 am
*North Location –

906 Callahan Drive, Knoxville 37920

CFK Performance Memberships are divided into three tracks:

Competitor Track – ($129/Month: 3 coached sessions, includes open gym access)

Weightlifting is an Olympic sport – yes those Olympics – and has the opportunity for sponsorship and competition at the international level. We facilitate a respectful, team environment for those interested in training for Weightlifting competition. As coaches, we continue to broaden our knowledge of the sport and help devise the best individual approach to training for our competitors – from exercise selection, volume, and training frequency, to nutrition, sleep, and recovery.


We have competition experience ourselves, have trained in, and coached Weightlifting for years.  We continuously seek the expertise of advanced coaches beyond our level, and have taken our own lifters to National level competitions. Let us help you today, and watch the kilos pile on the bar!


Programming is event focused and the goal is 1 rep max Snatch and  Clean and Jerk as that’s what’s tested at competitions.  Workouts will include lots of classic lifts plus squatting, pulling, and plenty of accessory work to create balance and longevity in the athlete.


Sports Performance Track– ($99/Month: 3 classes/week)

The main focus of Sports Performance is to increase general athletic ability and strength to improve performance on the field of play or in endurance events.  This programming will include more Squatting, Pressing, Strongman conditioning, and lots of accessory work for injury prevention.  The classic lifts will be incorporated but more used as tools to build a higher athletic base and prevent injury as opposed to training for lifting competitions.  Your lifts will go up, it’s just not the overall goal.


CrossFit Track – (All Programs are included in CFK Membership)

Weightlifting is a third of the system we follow.  In CrossFit we want to be incrementally better over time and Life is the contest, not the gym.  We use the lifts because of the general preparedness they bring to the challenges we may see in an emergency situation.  Body awareness, moving loads efficiently, core stability, mobility, and general coordination are all valuable skills for life that are learned and improved through weightlifting. The workouts will be similar to the Competitive Program but much more technique focussed.  No Squatting or heavy pulling, but plenty of skill and assistance work for injury prevention.



Week in Preview – January 28, 2018

“Be the person your dog thinks you are.”  Unknown


If you’re interested in improving your Weightlifting for CrossFit or want to compete in the sport, contact coach Scott at [email protected]

Boxing with Coach Eppolito


Come learn from the best about self defense and boxing!  Coach Eppolito is inspiring and fiery with amazing skills as a boxer and coach.  Come learn something new at North this weekend!  Check out this link to learn more.




We’ve told you all about it and it’s time to throw down!  Get a partner and come out to help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on February 10th.  Partner row and partner thrusters, come out and compete for some prizes!  Follow this link!

The Week


Monday – Doctor’s Orders


Three rounds of air squats, push-ups, and calorie row.  A simple and straight forward workout, but always remember to break up your push-ups early.  They accumulate a lot of volume and muscle fatigue.  Stay tight in your air squats and hit some quality reps!  Don’t just collapse to the bottom, but make every rep count.


Tuesday – Handlebars


If you’ve done Helen before, you’ll sense some similarities here.  Four rounds with a 300m run, 15 T2B, and 7 clean and jerks.  The weight shouldn’t be so heavy that you couldn’t go unbroken, but plan to break up the barbell work into 2 or 3 sets to save fatigue.  Pick a solid scaling option for T2B because those accumulate fast and can fatigue the core and shoulders.


Wednesday – Squat Day


This is the last week of adding 5 lbs to the back squat.  We will continue the cycle, but next week we will retest our 5 RM back squat with some solid form.  Then we will start over the squat cycle with new numbers.  Remember, we’re not training the squat.  We’re using the squat volume to train for everything else.  Between the back squat sets this week we will get in some more strict press and tempo ring rows.  We will also be testing a 5 RM strict press next week!


Thursday – Lung Butter


We get to work on a different movement today, the Sumo Deadlift!  We’ll teach some technique and work to a heavy 3 rep.  This will be an odd stance for most, but in many ways simulates more real life situations of picking something up and moving it.  Follow it up with a workout in teams of 3 with 7 kb swings, 150′ shuttle sprint, 7 burpees to a target, and shuttle sprints again.  A partner completes a full round before the next partner goes.


Friday – Chip Shot


AMRAP for 13 minutes of dumbbell snatches, wall balls, calorie row, and handstand push-ups.  This is a very Open style workout with new and old movements from the Open.  If you don’t plan to compete, or plan to do the Open scaled, practice regular or hand release push-ups.


Saturday – Slap Happy


A series of 5 min AMRAPs with a partner.  Each round has a 100 double under buy-in.  Once that’s done in each round, use your remaining time to complete some front squats and burpee box jump overs.  The burpees stay the same, but the squat reps go down as the weight goes up.

Mock Meet Registration

Come learn about the sport of Weightlifting!


Whether you have ever wanted to compete in weightlifting, enjoy watching weightlifting meets, want to get better at lifting, or just want to learn something new while you watch friends throw some weight around, this will be a fun gathering!


This Mock Meet will be informational and lifting.  We will talk about what happens at weightlifting meets behind the scenes, strategies involved, rules of weightlifting, and the different levels of weightlifting from local, to national, and even worlds.  Plus, any questions you have!  We’ll be happy to answer.


This will be informal with some stop and go to explain what is happening throughout the day.  Bring a chair and hang out and get your lift on.


Please click on the calendar icon next to the class, sign in to Wodify if it prompts you, and it should reserve your spot this Sunday!  Even if you’re just coming out to watch, please register so that we can have an accurate count and e-mail everyone.  Thanks!





Weightlifting Mock Meet

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a weightlifting meet or behind the scenes?  Here’s your chance to find out!


Several athletes at CFK will be going to a weightlifting meet in January and we want to give everyone a taste of what it will be like to lift in competition before they go.  And you’re invited to lift as well!


This will be a chance to learn how a weightlifting meet runs, what some of the strategy is, and also get some lifting in.  We will run a women’s session first with no more than 12 athletes, then a men’s session afterward with 12 athletes as well.  It’ll be a fun and relaxed atmosphere and everyone is welcome to come and watch as well!


The mock meet will be Sunday, January 14th at CFK West beginning at 11 a.m.


If you’d like to volunteer to help or lift, please e-mail coach Scott at [email protected]

6 week Olympic Weightlifting at CFK

If you have a desire to get stronger, faster, or more efficient in dynamic movements, Olympic Weightlifting may be for you!


Athletes who have completed the 6-week weightlifting course have seen PRs in strength across the board, but have also gained confidence in workouts with more challenging weights than before and even seen PRs in metcon times.


In the 6 week long course we will cover the more technical aspects of the Olympic lifts through complexes and focused drills.  Athletes will receive individual cues and custom exercises to close the gaps on weaknesses.


In addition to technical work, athletes will also train pure strength by squatting 3 days a week, combined with either a push or pull.


Classes will meet Monday and Wednesday at either 8:00 am or 6:30 pm at the West location.  If you would like to sign up, please follow this link!  Space is limited, so go now!  If there are not enough spots available for you in this cycle you will be added to the waitlist for the next cycle.


Coach Bio

Coach Scott has been doing CrossFit for over 6 years, coaching for over 3 years, and focusing on Olympic Weightlifting for the last 2.5 years.  He is a USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Coach and has trained under National and Olympic level coaches.  Never having been a high school or collegiate athlete, he has learned the Olympic lifts from the fundamentals and learned all the necessary progressions to improve the different areas of the lifts.

CrossFit LiftOff

It’s the final event of the CrossFit year!  The LiftOff!


This is an opportunity to test your 1 rep max snatch, clean and jerk, and hit a classic CrossFit Metcon.   As is tradition, we won’t find out what the metcon is until the week of the event.


Friday, December 1st starting at 5:30 p.m.


This won’t be just your regular max out session!  We’ve invited our very own national level weightlifter Shannon Beasley to come in and talk about the mental game of weightlifting!  Not just how to be strong, but that it’s great to be strong!  What to do on days when your lifts just aren’t there?  How to approach PRs?  She is going to share some strategies with everyone, plus go over some fundamentals of weightlifting.



We’ll plan to start things up around 5:30, lift around 6, then start WOD heats around 7 or 7:15.


Feel free to register online at games.crossfit.com and see how you stack up against people around the world, or if you want we will be accepting donations to help Shannon Beasley go to the American Open Finals in Anaheim, California.

Week In Preview – October 9th, 2017

“If you think strength is not important consider that strength loss is what puts people in nursing homes.” — Greg Glassman



Congrats to all our athletes who competed at Oktoberfest games this weekend!  Christina Knox and Caroline Johnson pictured above, plus Abby Caplan, Rachel Kronyak, Ryan Bolt, and Patrick Klepper on team Eat Clean, Train Dirty!

Holiday Fitness Challenge

Did you read the newsletter for this month?  Are you ready for all the holiday temptations and distractions coming at you?  If you missed it, read up!  And then get prepared because Coaches Jonathan and Sara are brining a Holiday Fitness Challenge to you that will focus on nutrition and achieving goals through November and December!  Keep an eye out for more to come!


This year we are stepping away from Barbells for Boobs, but that doesn’t mean were aren’t out of the fight!  We’ll still be raising money for a local cancer aid organization, the L-5 Foundation.  More details to come, but mark your calendars!  Friday, Oct. 27th at North.  The workout will still be Grace, and we’ll still wear a lot of pink!

Get to North on Saturday!

There is a TON going on this Saturday out North!  Baseline Nutrition with Coach Sara will be happening at 10 a.m.  Nick and Kaylee will also be back to teach some jump rope tricks for the parent and child clinic!  If you really want to go, you don’t have to have a kid, just bring one!  Of course, we their parents’ permission, but nephews, nieces, and cousins are all welcome!


We have just wrapped up the 6-week weightlifting cycle, part of our renewed CFK Barbell initiative.  We learned a lot about technique and the mental game of weightlifting and how all of this ties into CrossFit.  We will be running another cycle of weightlifting that starts NEXT WEEK with new class times.


North is moving to the morning with a 7 a.m. class.


West is adding a class!  We’ll be Monday/Wednesday 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.


How do you sign up??  E-mail [email protected] to say you want to sign up for the weightlifting class and what time slot you want.  We’re only taking 8 per class!  So e-mail quickly!


Cost:  $149 for 6 weeks of weightlifting programming, 2 classes per week, optional Saturday morning lifting, and weekly workout modifications with the goal to peak for the CrossFit Liftoff at the end of November.


The Week


Monday – (21-15-9) x 2

A double of a classic rep scheme.  42-30-18 of Pull-ups, wall balls, and KB swings.  Try to go under 15 minutes on this!  You’ll have to stay after it!

Tuesday – Pulling day!

Heavy power cleans and deadlifts.  Find a 3 rm power clean, then keep going up to find a 3 rep deadlift.  Keep that bar close today!

Wednesday – 30 min EMOM!

We’ll be rotating through 5 stations to try and get all this work done!  Some stations have one movement, some have multiple movements.  It’s basically all cardio machines and gymnastics, so it should be fun!

Thursday – Core and Legs

Descending ladder of sit-ups, goblet squats, and….BURPEES.  Don’t worry, the burpees are the lowest number!

Friday – Snatches

Start off finding a heavy set of a snatch complex, then use the practice as you perform 3 rounds of full snatches and double unders.  The rope turns will be for max reps!

Saturday – Running and thrusters

Alternate 400 m runs with a partner, then complete some thrusters as a team, then finish out with more running!  This workout will look long, but you can move through it quickly!

Team Running or Team Weightlifting


What’s up CFK?!

Two questions for you:

  1. Have you ever wanted to hit that Rx button on a weightlifting workout, but the prescribed weights are just too heavy for your technique?
  2. What about WOD’s with 400m, 600m runs? Do they keep you up at night?

For continuous progress in Crossfit, we must acknowledge our weaknesses and attack.  With focused effort and strong will, we can turn these weaknesses into strengths.  However, Perfect Practice makes Perfect!  Learn to practice deliberately.


Team Running and Team Weightlifting

  1. If your goal is to get stronger and more proficient in the Olympic lifts, coaches Scott and Johnny are here to help.
  2. If you fear running 400 meters more than you fear a North Korean missile attack, coach Nate has exactly what you need!

Check out all of the details on the programs below, and let coach Rick know ASAP if you are TEAM RUNNING or TEAM WEIGHLIFTING! ([email protected])

* There is a 10-person cap per program, so claim your spot now, and if you have any questions, email Scott, Johnny, or Nate directly!   [email protected]

 *  Since we are working two very different energy systems, please don’t sign up for both! Choose your biggest pain point, and address head on! 


4-Week Running Is My Favorite! Program with coach Nate

Cost: $99

Start Date: Saturday, August 26


  • 1-mile test and re-test (Open to all Athletes)
    • Test Day – Saturday, August 26 @ West High School Track
    • Re-test Day – Saturday, September 23 @ West High School Track
  • “Run-Day-Fun-Day” Class (Saturdays at 10am, North)
  • 1-2 weekly speed/endurance workout to be performed at CFK or off-site
  • Weekly skills and drills prescription
  • Weekly mobility prescription


Expected Gainz Pending:

  • Turn runs from a burden into a recovery period!
  • Improve your technique and confidence in running WODs
  • More stamina, fewer WOD breaks
  • Learn to move your feet faster and have fun doing it!
  • Kick some ass and have some fun!


6-Week Weightlifting Is My Favorite! Program with coaches Scott and Johnny

Cost: $149

Start Date: Monday, August 21


  • 2 weightlifting classes/week
    • North – Monday/Wednesday @4 PM
    • West – Monday/Wednesday @6:30 PM
  • Guided open gym time on Saturdays @ 9 AM
  • Weekly recommended scaling and modifications to your WODs


Expected Gainz Pending:

  • Increase technical proficiency in the snatch and clean & jerk
  • Form a better foundation for long-term strength gains
  • Get closer to Rx weights in WODs!
  • Improve whiteboard performances
  • Kick some ass and have some fun!

Week In Preview – July 17th, 2017

“Everyday is filled with time and excuses. Which one are you choosing to use today?” — LG Fries

WIP Highlights

We are halfway through the month of July and the summer heat is finally here!  Make sure you’re still hydrating, but also helping others out via our Sweat Angels check-in with H2OpenDoors.  Are you ready for Week 3 of SunzOutGunzOut??  Are you ready to dominate your handstands?  You’ve probably seen some random athletes and coaches using those bands with handles, but now you can learn about CrossOver Symmetry in one of our workshops!  Have you heard of Pyrros Dimas?  How about Tanner Paul?  The two of them hung out this week.  Stay focused on your nutrition in all situations with Social Nutrition!


Sweat Angels

The numbers are in, and as a community we helped donate 48 pairs of shoes last month!  Great work community!  You are crushing it this month with 297 check-ins, each one providing 100 gallons of water to someone in need.   Keep up the good work and let’s see where we can get by the end of the month!


Keep crushing it guys and gals!  If you’re out doing your long run or getting in your accessory work at home, please tag us on Facebook or Instagram!  Use #CFKSOGO2017 to let us know what you’re up to!  Also, if you’ve completed the fitness challenge for the week, please sign your name on the SOGO board!  Yes, we want you to strive to complete the nutrition challenges as well, but we are only tracking the fitness components on the board.  And if you miss a week, you’re not out!  Just complete the following week and sign up then!  Now for week 3!


Half your body weight in ounces of water

2 fists of veggies at each meal

Add some healthy fats!  Your brain runs off of healthy fats and they are also involved in many hormonal processes.  So make sure you’re eating some nuts and seeds, avocado, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, etc.  These are healthy options, not trans fats or animal fats from grain fed animals.  Personal favorite:  avocado.  Full of omega 3’s and lots of fiber.  Two things that many standard diets lack.  Just throw it on your food, or the side, or make some guac!


Remember, you still have your 5 or 4k run or row, plus your 100 situps/150 situps/125 toes to bar, but now we add in….

Novice 50 elevate push-ups

Rx 100 push-ups

Rx+  150 push-ups

Focus on quality reps!  This is not meant to be sets of really fast, sloppy push-ups.  Focus on a really tight core, moving your entire body as one unit, and really protracting the shoulder blades at the top, like we do for our gymnastics plank.


Don’t forget that we have a workshop for handstands coming up!  This will be open to the entire Knoxville Community, but our members get a discounted rate.  If you have wanted to develop your handstand, or maybe you’re already pretty good and want to work towards more advanced skills, this is a unique opportunity!  Check out our blog post for more details.

CrossOver Symmetry

CrossOver Symmetry is a little bit about mobility, but a lot about stability.  We do a lot of work with our shoulders in CrossFit, but we generally just focus on the big muscle groups.  This can lead to some imbalances and instability.  Enter CrossOver Symmetry, a warm-up, cool down, and strengthening routine for the tiny, often forgotten muscle groups.  CS can help with a large variety of things in the shoulder including pain, coordination, overhead mobility, and stability.  Athletes have seen improvements in pull-ups, kipping, overhead positions, snatch/overhead squat, and handstands, all from incorporating a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down with CS.  (personal note from the writer:  I went from occasionally being able to hold a free standing handstand for 3-5 seconds or walk for about 4 feet, to holding for close to 10 seconds or walking up to 12 feet with no additional practice, but simply adding this routine in to my normal workouts)

Coach Cameron will be leading workshops on CS after the regular CrossFit classes the next two weekends.

July 22nd @ 11:15 a.m. WEST

July 29th @ 10:15 a.m. NORTH

It’s free to you but spaces will be limited, so let a coach know ASAP if you would like to sign up!


Are you struggling to fit your new lifestyle in with your old one?  Have some serious fitness and/or nutrition goals, but maybe you fall off in social situations?  It’s happened to all of us!  This week Coach Sara is leading a nutrition workshop all about this and more at North, Tuesday at 6 p.m.  Sign up soon to get in!

As always, you can use one of Johnny’s e-mails as a reference, too.


Many of you know we have some strong weightlifters at the gym, but did you see that Tanner Paul got to go train with Pyrros Dimas this last week??  Pyrros is the most decorated Olympic Weightlifter of all time, with 3 golds and 1 bronze from the Olympics, and now is in charge of training for USA Weightlifting.  He had some great things to say to Tanner, and we hope to hear more soon!

The Week

Monday – Long Chipper

Start the week off with a favorite of many athletes:  the chipper.  You must complete the reps for each movement before going on to the next.  Double unders, handstand push-ups, squat cleans, pull-ups, and more double unders!  There is a high gymnastics load in this, plus a challenging squat clean.

Tuesday – Field Day!

We haven’t seen field day in a long time!  We’ll be rolling out the tires, carrying some kettlebells, practicing rope climbs, using slam balls backwards, and getting some fast sled sprints in.  Move at your own pace, work for 35 minutes, and focus on quality movement.  No score today!

Wednesday – Rower and Wall ball training

EMOMs are great for practicing technique and focusing on getting a certain amount of work done in a short period of time.  Alternate between 20/15 cal row, 20 wall balls, and rest.  Cap your row at 50 seconds and try to hit that number each time.  Do all of the wall balls unbroken.  If you stop to rest, whether that is on the catch or dropping the ball, just call it there.  This is training to do 20 unbroken, not sets of 5!  No score again today.

Thursday – “Keep ya abs tight!” – Lee Cross

Five rounds of sit-ups, power cleans, and 300 meter runs!  Scale to a weight that allows the power cleans to be unbroken for at least the first round.  And don’t save your SOGO sit-ups for today!  Get them done early!

Friday – Shoulder Day!

10 rounds for total reps of BURPEES.  The breakdown:  30 sec work 30 sec rest of burpees and push press (NOT shoulder to overhead) with dumbbells or kettlebells.  Remember, score is just the burpees.  Don’t rush the push press, but instead focus on some quality movement.

Saturday – Partner 800s

Run 800 m with your partner before each new movement.  100 T2B, 100 Russian Swings, 100 Push-ups, 20 rope climbs.  Rep schemes will be designated, so you don’t even have to think about how to break up the work load!

In Closing

We’re halfway through the month!  If you’ve had a lifetime accomplishment, or just something you’re proud of or want to brag on a friend, send us your notes!  We’d love to feature them in the upcoming newsletter.  Send your e-mails to coach Scott!  [email protected]

Week In Preview – July 10th, 2017

“The true masters are still on the field when the fun ends.” — Reinhold Messner

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the 4th of July at CFK!  We had a blast!

We hope everyone has also gotten in their SunzOut GunzOut challenge for the week!  For the next week you still have your challenges from week 1, plus:

Nutrition:  Eat your greens!  Make sure to get a serving, 2 fists, of healthy vegetables at each meal!


Novice – Accumulate 100 sit-ups

Rx – Accumulate 150 sit-ups

Rx+ – Accumulate 125 toes to bar

Don’t try and do these all in one day!  Get them done throughout the week!  As with all the coming fitness challenges, make sure to go for quality.  Stop before bad reps.  We want you to practice perfect reps and get the most out of it that you can, not just fumbling through.


Want to do handstands like this guy?

Jordan Garcia Balance demo 2016 from Jordan Garcia 亀 悟 on Vimeo.

Well lucky for you he is coming to CFK for a workshop on handstands!  Check out this blog post for all the info for how you can sign up.

We have another speciality seminar in nutrition coming up out North on the 18th about Social Nutrition.  How to still eat healthy when you’re out with friends and family.

The Week Ahead

Monday – Track and Gymnastics

800 m repeats, and use your pace from the 1 mile test run from June 16th.  Try and maintain your pace for each round.  In between rounds you will be performing some gymnastics skill work to both develop the skill and also practice under fatigue.

Tuesday – Push/Pull/Squat

21-15-9 of thrusters, pull-ups, overhead squats, and hand release push-ups.  The goal will be sub 15 minutes, hopefully closer to 10.  Try to go unbroken on barbell work.

Wednesday – Scotty

In honor of Scott Deem of the San Antonio Fire Department, who lost his life in a four-alarm fire while searching for survivors.

AMRAP 11 minutes of 5 deadlifts, 18 wall balls, and 17 burpees over the bar.  The deadlifts will be heavy!

Thursday – Split Jerk Work

Split jerks from behind the neck, which helps keep the elbows under the bar and push straight up.  Start with doubles for four sets, then drop down to singles for six sets.

Friday – 4 person teams!

Partner 1: Row 500/400 m, or bike 1250/1000.  Rotate stations when this is completed.

Partner 2: Max distance DB bear crawl

Partner 3: Max reps single leg lateral plyo skier

Partner 4: 50 ft med ball crab walk, the max KB swings until rower is finished.

Saturday – Partner Run and S2O

Run 200 m together, then accumulate some shoulder to overhead.  Start at 50 reps at 135/95.  Once completed, run 200 m together again, then divide up 40 at 155/105.  Continue running in between sets for 30 at 185/125, 20 at 205/135, and 10 at 225/145.  Finish with another 200 m run.