Norik Vardanian Talks Seminars, Training, and Being an Olympic Power Couple

On August 2nd, 2012 Olympian Norik Vardanian took to Instagram to announce an upcoming seminar schedule for this fall. In addition to himself, the other featured clinician will be his girlfriend Jenny Arthur, who will be coming from her Olympic debut in Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games.

As of Tuesday his schedule was as follows:

September 9th – 11th Reno, NV (Calavera Barbell Club)

October 1st – Hoboken, NJ (CrossFit Hoboken Barbell Club)

October 2nd – Brooklyn, NY (Murder of Crows Barbell Club)

October 7th – 9th Orlando, FL (CrossFit High Performance)

I was able to catch up with Norik this week on the phone, and I now have some more information that I am sure his fans will appreciate knowing about.

Your Instagram post had well over 1,000 likes in the past day. Have you added any more seminar dates?

Norik: Yes, due to demand we added 4 dates, and there’s a lot more interest all over social media. We just added seminar dates for:

Oct 15th – Chesapeake, VA (CrossFit Unrivaled)

Oct 29th – Harrisburg, NC (Harrisburg Barbell Club)

Nov 5th – Loveland, CO (Norco CrossFit)

Nov 12th – Denver, CO (Denver BBC)

What is the status on your health? You had to withdraw from the Pan Am Games due to injury, how are you feeling today?

Norik: I am feeling better every day. When it happened my back felt tight, but I didn’t think anything was odd. I was doing front squats up to 210KG for doubles, I got to 210 on my first rep and I felt a sharp nerve pain in my right glute. It shot down my leg. I tried it again and it felt worse. This was about two days before I was supposed to be leaving for the Pan Am Championships in Colombia. The next morning I got an MRI and found out I had a herniated disc. I had surgery 3 weeks ago and it went great, I feel better every day. Mentally I am prepared to work back from it.

What is the time line on your return to the platform? Are you aiming for the American Open in Orlando? Or are you strictly rehabbing your back for the near future?

Norik: I probably will not compete at the American Open. I am probably aiming for the 2017 Arnold or Senior National Championships to be my next competition; I want to make sure I am 100%. I will be on the scene in 2017 that is for sure.

Can you briefly discuss Jenny’s plans for after the Olympics? Will she take time off from competition to rest?

Norik: She’s been training her ass off for the Olympics, and will take some time to rest. Knowing her she will be working out and training but not competing for the rest of the year unless it is an event for a good cause like a charitable event.

Can you give us a brief outline of what a Vardanian and Arthur Weightlifting Seminar consists of? What does the synopsis look like?

Norik: You will gain knowledge, laugh, learn and enjoy the full time. It is different from everyone else. You will learn a lot of different cues. The fact that it is a male and a female you will get perspectives from both of us, which are great; the best of both worlds. Jenny is a freak athlete and I am all about weightlifting. Jenny goes through her warm up (about half an hour) and workout and I do my own thing (shorter warm up), and we are different in that regards but we have both reached the Olympics. There are many ways to train and compete and we have a great time. We go over many exercises, then we put the athletes through the exercises and we are very hands on with the seminar. Every athlete will receive hands on coaching from Jenny and me.

What do you enjoy about teaching the Olympic Lifts to people of all different ages and experience levels?

Norik: I enjoy spreading weightlifting knowledge; the sport is my life and my passion. My favorite part of all of this is that there are so many people who want to learn. 10 years ago no one cared about the knowledge I have from my dad or from other experiences, but today there are so many people. And I enjoy being in a gym atmosphere and helping people. The opportunity to travel and help people and make a little bit of money is like a dream come true, I do what I love.

What kind of advice have you been able to provide Jenny based on your own experiences from the London 2012 Olympic?

Norik: The main thing I told her was to enjoy the experience, take it all in. When I was there it was very hectic and I felt a lot of pressure, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I told her to take everything in; you did something great to make it here so enjoy it.