Hello there, Austin Fit Fam! It’s Billy Bosco, your AFM ambassador, local personal trainer and boot camp instructor. Now I’ve been lifting for over eight years, and I’ve never changed my lifting routine… mostly due to being stubborn and lazy. For me, it has always been strength training in your typical commercial gym followed by pick-up basketball with whoever wants to play. So when Austin Fit asked me to review Austin Barbell Club, I was ecstatic! I would finally get to work on some cool lifts that I never felt confident enough to do on my own.
Austin Barbell Club is a gym that focuses on Olympic weightlifting. There are six main lifts that you will be judged on in competitions. They are all compound lifts such as the power clean and power snatch. This is not your average boot camp where you drop in and have a casual workout. A lot of these lifts require the proper form to prevent injury and the group sessions include usually you following their lifting program while they watch your form and provide tips. So, you need to know what you’re doing and be dedicated to this style of lifting.
Before getting started with the workout rundown, this month’s Ambassador’s Corner is supporting the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, which has been advancing conservation in Texas for 30 years and counting. Thank you for your generosity and support in transforming Texas for current and future residents. Every donation goes toward caring for our state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources.
Billy’s Chosen Nonprofit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation
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Austin Barbell Club recommends a couple of one-on-one training sessions for new clients. That’s when they can evaluate your current limitations and teach you proper form, which is how the training program works. When you become an athlete, you join their program. They have a very detailed app that every athlete gets. Each day, you’ll have your workout, reps, sets and weight ready for you to do that day! They have group training hours when you can come in with a group and do your own workout. The coaches will be there to watch your workout, chat with you, correct your form and give you modifications if you need them. It’s definitely not your typical boot camp group fitness-style gym.
In my experience, I came in during a group session but got a one on one. I had always wanted to learn the power snatch, which is when you set up a deadlift, launch the barbell overhead and catch it with straight arms in a squat. In my head, I had always thought of this move as being dangerous. There are so many opportunities for you to get hurt during it, but thankfully, I had Robert there to coach me.
We started with a lightweight and eventually worked up to 85 pounds, which I was happy to be able to lift. The typical session would include a warm-up, then the compound Olympic lifts, then followed by accessory work. The workout falls somewhere between having a personal trainer and working out on your own.
Olympic lifting is a niche in the fitness world that is not meant for a casual workout. This is meant for people who want to compete or greatly improve their own strength. I think when someone does find this sport and wants to pursue it, they’re going to be dedicated and will love it.
Austin Barbell Club has a great program that comes with their app. You’ll have a road map to follow that focuses on the competition lifts as well as the accessory lifts. Part of lifting will always be community-based, and you’ll find a community here during the group sessions. You’ll get stronger and improve your physique as well!
Ultimately, it comes down to what your preference for lifting is. As much fun as I had while learning the power snatch, I will always be a commercial gym bro who does his typical push, pull and leg splits. If you’re a detailed-oriented person who wants a structured yet semi-independent workout routine, this place is definitely for you. Ultimately, you have to try every form of exercise routine until you find the one you love.