Equipment doesn’t make you a better lifter….

In America, we get the best of everything. When it comes to lifting equipment it’s no different. We American’s drool and salivate at the site of an Eleiko equipped gym or the latest Rogue bumper plates. Yet countries like Colombia who create world class lifters winning championships and Olympic medals get by and much less. Believe me, I was in Colombia in 2015.


I visited Barranquilla Colombia and met with the Junior National Coach Luis Arrieta who coached Luis Javier Mosquera to the Junior World Championship. (For the interview with Junior National Coach CLICK HERE) He showed me his gym which was situated under the stadium seats of the Atletico Junior stadium. Upon arriving inside the gym you can tell it was filled with broken bumper plates, rusty bars, rubber matted platforms with broken edges. Most ordinary American’s would scoff at the site but these are the gyms that are producing the young talent that Colombia is pumping out to create the strongest lifters this side of the world.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like nice equipment like Eleiko but if you want to be stronger you don’t want to focus on the equipment, you want to focus on your attitude and the training environment you are training in. The training environment must support the energy level you are searching for in order to make the strength gains you are looking for. And you want to train with other lifters who are much stronger than you. This is so important. I cannot stress this enough.

The strongest Weightlifters in the world come from gyms with equipment that is rusty, broken, and old. However, these conditions create the start of those young lifters who will later go on and represent their countries in world championships and the Olympics. Only then when you have earned your position on the senior national lifting team will you have the privilege to lift at the countries central gym where only then do they have all the nice equipment that us American’s demand. The Russian National team training base is Chekhov in Russia.

image courtesy of Hookgrip

If you’re looking to be stronger, shift your focus from having nice equipment and instead focus on your training. Focus on the attitude you bring. Focus on your other teammates and observe what kind of energy they are bringing. Because countries such as Colombia and Russia are doing much, much more with much less.


Josue Cano

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