Podcast: From Olympian to Coach with Chad Vaughn

Chad Vaughn is many things: weightlifter, Olympian, father, husband, coach, broadcaster, and mentor. He’s one of the most decorated athletes in American weightlifting history, with more national titles and international team appearances than we can count (seriously). And while Chad is best known for his two Olympic Games appearances — 2004 and 2008 — his career continues to this day in both Senior and Masters competition.

In fact, Chad just narrowly missed out on yet another national title in May 2019 — and he did it at age 39. That’s incredible longevity, and while it’s increasingly common to see older lifters competing for Masters titles, it’s rare to see them doing so against competitors 20 years younger.

Chad’s body of knowledge is incredible. And his lessons in strength, movement, mobility, and recovery have clearly built a foundation for a storied athletic career. But what can Chad’s experience teach the rest of us?

Those lucky enough to be coached by Chad one-on-one know firsthand the sort of impact his pointers and best practices can have. We also touch on his career as a broadcaster and podcast host.

Our hope is that listeners at home can also learn from one of the best in the game.

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, guest Chad Vaughn and host David Thomas Tao discuss:

  • How Chad found weightlifting in high school while training for football (4:00)
  • Chad’s experience at two Olympic Games and transitioning to more of a coaching focus (8:05)
  • What Chad didn’t know about weightlifting UNTIL coaching became a larger part of his life (12:35)
  • Chad’s recent return to the National Championships after a relatively length break (15:00)
  • Will Chad return to the national stage? (19:20)
  • How Chad approaches training differently after over two decades in the sport (and why less is often more) (24:15)
  • The USA Weightlifting podcast and how that media presence has grown (26:25)

Relevant links and further reading:

Featured image courtesy Will Breault

Transcription

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

Welcome to the BarBend podcast, where we talk to top athletes, coaches, Influencers and thinkers from around the world of spring sports presented by barbend.com.

Today on the BarBend podcast I’m joined by an old friend of mine and an athlete with a ton of experience at the highest levels of weightlifting nationally, internationally. Chad Vaughn, thank you so much for joining us today.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Absolutely, thank you for having me. I’m looking forward to the chat today.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

You know Chad, I was originally going to introduce you in this episode as a weightlifter, as a coach and broadcaster then a weightlifter, but you recently step back onto the platform and are competing pretty regularly again. I guess now you’re a weightlifter, then a coach, then a broadcaster. Is that the right order?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Yeah, you know, that’s a good question because I really don’t know. It does seem like, with the competitions that I’ve done this year, that I have turned back into that weightlifter. My wife, Jodi, mentioned as I was training for Masters Nationals and regular Nationals, she could see me going back into competition mode.

 I think myself in competition mode, leading up to the competition the weeks before, I’m probably not really very pleasant. As pleasant as maybe I normally am. [laughs] I’m not sure.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

You’re normally an incredibly approachable person. Working with you at USA Weightlifting events, you get approached by a lot of people. They want their photo with you. They want some coaching tips. I’ve seen people ask you for mobility tips. Just kind of on the fly. You’re very approachable. I guess competition mode Chad, we’re going to see a whole other level of gruff here. No, I’m kidding.

Give us folks a little background about your history in the sport because I think that a lot of people, they see you…they might have seen you competing at Nationals this year. They see you on social media coaching. Your background in USA Weightlifting goes back decades.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Yeah, for sure. I first got introduced into the Olympic lifts way back in 1995. I was a sophomore in high school at the time and had a young coach move in, a strength coach. He was a young guy himself, just…Well, I thought he was old back then, but he was probably late 20s. A young guy, he was just learning the Olympic lifts himself.

He saw something in them he believed that we should be doing them to train for football and I ran track as well. Just did them occasionally and learned them through the next couple of years.

My senior year after football season that coach wanted to take me to a weightlifting competition. I lived in a small town, Oklahoma. We drove down to the Dallas area for that first competition. That was January of 1998.

I met the club that I still lift for to this day, Spoon Barbell Club. Those guys just took me under their wing at that point and told me certain things I didn’t necessarily believe at the moment that I was capable of, but I enjoyed doing it and they kept me going through first couple of years. I never really looked back ever since then.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

You know, that’s a great introduction to how you discovered this sport. So many people who are in weightlifting today or over the past few decades have discovered the Olympic lifts through training for other sports in high school, then they realize they prefer focusing on the Olympic lifts.

From your early days of competing to then making it to the national stage and to the international stage, what did that progression look like and how long did it take?

I know that you’ve told me multiple times, you were in no way an over night phenomenon. You put in the years before you started making it to those upper echelons of the sport.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Yeah, it definitely wasn’t over night. Really when I look back on it and I look at the numbers and the years, I guess it really didn’t take that long. Now that I’m older I can say that it felt like it was a long time. I started training specifically for the Olympic lifts right after that competition in early 1998.

I think I lifted at my first national championships in 2000 or 2001. Then, of course made the Olympic team in 2004. I mean the Olympics really was one of my first international competitions. I hadn’t really done maybe but a handful before then starting in very late 2002. Through 2003 I did maybe three or four international competitions.

At that time in 1998 I was still training at school. I graduated in 1998, so up until that summer I was training at school but then started training just mostly by myself under my parents’ carport for the next couple of years. It was coach long distance from Richard Fleming from the Spoon Barbell Club who is in Dallas, and like I said, I was in Oklahoma at the time.

Under my parents’ carport, eventually moved to a shed in the back there, but got put in a lot of work on my own within those two years. When I look back on it, that was the bulk of the increase in strength that I gained.

Very thankful thing for that time that I had and the coaching that I got from Richard, but that was the progression. For the first two years, a lot of solo training, a lot of reps in the squad, a lot of reps in the deadlift, a lot of pressing, and of course, a lot of snatching and cleaning and jerking as well.

As you know, there was so much volume and strength work that led to where I would ultimately go.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

2004, you make your first Olympic team in Athens. You also competed in Beijing in 2008 on your second Olympic team. Even after Beijing, you were still very much at that upper level in your weight class in USA Weightlifting.

I would argue you still are, but we’ll get to that in a second, as to your recent comeback. When did you start making the transition from being an athlete full time, or as your main focus to being a hybrid coach and athletes during and working with the developing your own lifters?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

That was probably very late 2009, early 2010. I’d been introduced to CrossFit mid-2008 as I was training for the Olympic Games. Richard, who I was speaking about before, I was traveling up to see him every couple of weeks.

He lived about three hours. Now and at the time, I lived near Austin Texas so about a three-hour drive from Dallas. He had just started coaching weightlifting classes at CrossFit gym. That’s where he wanted me to meet him.

The first time I walked into the CrossFit gym, I knew it was a moment that would change my life. For some reason, I knew it would direct my life in some way. I didn’t come back around until, like I said, early 2010.

I started coaching weekly weightlifting classes in the CrossFit community, and traveling around, and doing weightlifting seminars. I’ve been doing that every since then, and it’s pretty quickly snowballed into the level of coaching and teaching that I still do.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

I remember when I was first getting introduced to the CrossFit community and learning about CrossFit, there were some early videos. You have to remind me what year this was CrossFit would produce videos that were movement demonstrations.

A lot of them had their in-house athletes doing thrusters and wall balls and things, but then, there came a point where they started producing these beautiful slow motion multi-angle videos to demonstrate the more complex lifts, including the Olympic lifts.

You were the model for that. Those videos were viewed, I’m sure, millions of times. About what year was that when you started getting involved with CrossFit on that official media side?

 

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

I’ve slept since then, so this is just a complete guess. I’m guessing, maybe 2013, definitely a good number of years ago now. I was very honored and thankful to be a part of that.

Those videos that they shot of me snatching and cleaning and jerking were maybe the first ones that they were experimenting and out with the new camera that they had. That camera may be out of date at this point, I’m not even sure, but at the time, they were very excited about it. They called me up and asked me if I wanted to come in and do that with them.

My first response was, “Are you wanting me to come in and coach you, video me coaching someone else?” because that’s mostly what I was doing at the time. I wasn’t training a whole lot.

I wasn’t in shape in the kind of shape that I would want to be in for them to want to video me. They’re like, “No, you’re going to demo the snatch and clean and jerk.” I was like, “Yeah, of course, I’m not going to turn that down.” I came in, and like I said, I hadn’t been lifting heavy in a while, but I had a lot of fun with it.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

That’s also got to be as a coach, as someone who had made the transition from an athlete full time to really being heavily in the coaching aspect of the sport, a bit nerve-wracking because you have to think to yourself, “Well, my athletes are going to see this.” Anything I’m telling them, any technique/tips I’m giving them, I have to reflect it. These lifts are being captured on camera. [laughs]

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Definitely, and going back and watching the videos now and then seeing them in slow motion then. We recorded a couple segments where I talked through the slow-motion snatch, the slow-motion clean, and the slow-motion jerk. It was really confirmation for me what I had learned of myself as a coach because as athletes we don’t look at ourselves.

I did a lot of watching my own videos and everything to help coach myself, help learn, and to do the best I could. I didn’t really completely understand what I was doing and why until I became a coach and started trying to explain it to other people in more detail and to teach them.

Having to come up with different drills, different cues, and just different methods of getting those points across that I really go back and examine my own movement in that kind of detail as well. Learning a few things here and there that I would maybe like to see done a little bit better with this athlete that I’m watching that is myself.

Then watching those slow-motion videos and talking through them was really a confirmation of those things that I saw and I had been working on.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

Now Chad, when we met and first started working together on color commentary for USA weightlifting events, it was around early 2017. Junior nationals 2017 in Kansas City was the first time we worked together in an official capacity. You were not, I think, competing very regularly then. You were doing some Masters competitions. Since then, you’ve made a bit of a comeback.

Earlier this year we got to see you lift at USA Weightlifting Nationals, not just Masters Nationals but senior nationals, and really came very close to reclaiming your national title. When did you make the decision to ramp back up to competition shape?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

I competed at Masters for the first time in 2015 at Masters Nationals and then again in 2016 at Masters Nationals. Those were the premier competitions that I went to in those years. Honestly not really any intentions of not competing or competing for the next couple of years. As it worked out, I just didn’t. I was, just like you said, busy coaching, traveling, and everything else

A big part of the motivation to come back and do it again this year is it’s my last year as a 35 to 39 age category. Next year I’ll be going into the much older 40-year-old [laughs] category. That, in combination with the new weight classes, maybe this was me justifying into talking myself into it. Too many things that aligned to where I felt like it was meant to be. I’m supposed to do this.

There’s this opportunity here. Of course, I’m a competitor. It got my competitive juices flowing. I started making goals and having these competition dreams again. Through the early part of the year, seeing where I was before the 77-kilo weight class. Now there’s a 73-kilo weight class and this 81-kilo weight class.

Initially, I’m thinking of 81. That’s just silly for me to even consider cutting down. I’m not a high-level competitor anymore. I don’t need to worry about doing that to my body and everything else. Again, because I like to experiment and I’m a very curious individual, “Well, what if I did cut down to the 73?”

A number of years back I was just messing around and thinking, “What if I cut down to the 69 class just for an experiment?” Of course, I was never brave enough to do that. 73, is it possible?

We do a little competition at our gym. It was honestly put together mostly so I could qualify and experiment with the 73 class, but we made a good day out of it. Our athletes got involved in everything. Everyone had fun. I was able to get down to the 73 weight class. I’m not going to say easily but way more easily and way more comfortably than I thought I would.

I thought, “All right. This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to go to Masters and see if I can set the American records.” Things went well enough there. I got in good enough shape there where I started looking at numbers for the regular national competition. Regular nationals was in the back of my mind. I really did not intend to do it until the last couple days before registration deadline came.

I didn’t even look at who was registered or anything else until that last day before. Looking at those numbers and being, like I said, the shape that I was in just coming off of Masters, I just felt like everything aligned. I felt like, “This is right here in front of me. If I don’t try to do this, I’m going to regret it.”

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

It worked out well. You put on a five for a six performance. You were literally a very close missed jerk away from…What would that have been? Your 10th senior national title?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Yeah. That number 10 is such a good, even round number.

Of course, hanging out with Cheryl Haworth all the time, she likes to make fun of me for only having nine national championships. She has 11…

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

Hers were consecutive, which she also likes to remind you about.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

[laughs] Every time she says that, she will not say that it’s consecutive. Definitely that number 10 was a huge motivating factor. It made sense in my mind that I’m not sure if this is going to happen. It makes sense that it will happen because to me in my mind again I’m just telling myself the story that it makes such a good story to come back after all these years and to win number 10.

Ultimately, of course, it wasn’t in the cards but, man, I had a lot of fun training for the event. I had a lot of fun being in such a tight competition scenario with a handful of those guys. There’s a handful of us guys that were lifting around about the same weights.

My second clean and jerk I bumped back up into the lead and then was bumped back down. Then my last clean and jerk, to have that right there in front of me and to be able to go out there and give it a shot to move back into the lead, was all I could hope for.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

Now, it might be too early to speculate, but next year, 2020, the year you turn 40. Weightlifting age is all about the year you’re born. It doesn’t matter when you’re born during the year. You’ll be 40 in weightlifting years. Do you think you might give it another run on the senior national stage?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Up until a couple month ago I would have said no way, but being how things played out this year and just the year that it is and I don’t know. It’s hard to say because I don’t completely feel good about competing depending on who shows up. You know what I’m saying?

I did this year. A little bit of meet me and my decision to compete was because obviously C.J. wasn’t there. C.J is there then I have far less of a chance to win number 10. That’s a little bit hard for me to wrap my mind around. I can’t completely justify it. At the same time, if there’s an opportunity there, we compete to win.

That shouldn’t be the only reason we compete, but a big reason why we compete is to win. If there’s that opportunity there, then it would be hard to turn it down again.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

If you compete again, I would absolutely love to see a Chad Vaughn versus CJ Cummings weightlifting battle but I do think there’s got to be some sort of grace points there, or maybe a handicap there. I think for every year of the age difference, you get to add one kilo onto your total. I think that’s only fair.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Yeah. I don’t know. Even if we used the Sinclair, and what’s it, the Metzler formula for age, I’m still not sure I can get anywhere near beating CJ.

Yeah, he’s incredible.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

Well, Chad, one thing you mentioned, and we were actually talking about this at nationals, right after you competed, you basically came off the stage, and we got the opportunity to catch up. You talked about cutting down to 73, and how it felt easier than you thought it might. Again, cutting weight, it’s never fun.

I don’t think anyone actually really enjoys that in the sport, or very few people do. You mentioned as you’ve gotten older, you think it’s a little easier to cut weight. Do you think that’s physiological or more psychological? Just being more in tune with your body and knowing how you respond to your training and with your nutritional input.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

It’s really hard to say that it’s physiological. I don’t know that I have enough knowledge to say that I can confirm it’s physiological. I’m confident that there’s a psychological component to it. I think there’s also a big skill component to it as well.

Then obviously, being dedicated to that goal in what you’re trying to achieve there and disciplined in what you’re eating and what you’re doing leading up to the competition, is a big part of it, too. That’s all wrapped inside of that skill component of it. More than physiologically, my mind goes to it’s psychological and skill. Mostly skill I think.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

That makes a lot of sense. How else has your training evolved as you’ve gotten older both in the natural aging process of the body but also in what you’ve learned as a coach? With decades of experience under your belt as an athlete, how does your training now look for meet compared to how it looked when you were lifting 15 years ago?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Sure. I learned how to program from Richard Flemming, who I mentioned earlier. I always felt like he was very good at it. After I learned from him at a very young age, I mostly programmed for myself all these years with some assistance here and there from him and a few other folks. I did make a lot of mistakes, yes. I did at times overtrain myself.

For a couple major competitions, I freaked out and changed a lot of things whereas I shouldn’t have. I should have just kept doing more what I was doing. For the most part for some reason I always did a pretty good job at it. I didn’t stay away from things that I needed to work on. I was always on that. I was always getting for the most part the exercises and the volume that I needed.

What has changed for the better is even more of an ability to back off for a competition, so to really get the most out of my body that I’m physically capable of. A lot of that has to do with us as athletes and programmers, too, we have a hard time being OK with doing less snatching and cleaning and jerking when the competition gets close.

Now, of course, we have to do a certain amount of it, but I have more confidence and more understanding that, and this doesn’t happen, but let’s say, I don’t snatch for three weeks before the competition, maybe I’m doing other things.

I’m squatting, whatever else, but if I don’t do a full regular snatch, heavy snatch for three weeks, I’ll be fine. I’m not going to forget how to snatch and clean and jerk. I guess that’s what I’m getting at.

I’m not going to forget how to snatch and clean and jerk in the time that I’m taking to back off and truly get recovered. A bulk of my training before is, like I said, 15 years ago, obviously, I was pushing, squats, and presses and deadlifts, and all that strength work as much as I possibly could.

The majority of my training was heavy snatch and clean and jerk, and now the majority of my training by far is squats, deadlifts, and presses. It’s all about pushing that strength as much as I can, maintaining that or getting it to as high of a level as I can.

Secondary is snatching and cleaning and jerking because just having that confidence that I know how to do it, and it’s not going to go away.

 

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

We’ve talked a bit about your athletic career and a bit about your coaching career, still very much in the thick of both those things, but I did want transition and talk for a second about your career as a broadcaster.

You and Cheryl Haworth have launched, I believe was about a year ago, it might be a little bit more, you launched USA Weightlifting Podcast.

It’s been very cool to see that media property grow, to see the awesome guests you’ve had on, to see you build your audience there. What do you think is next for the USA W Podcast? What have you learned, if anything, from being more involved on that side of the sport?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

It was a little over a year ago when we released our first recording. The only reason that I know this is because I was looking at it, knowing that we were around about the year marker there.

I think it was June 22nd of last year when we released the first recording. We’ve been going very steady ever since then. What you can expect there is mostly more of the same. Cheryl and I getting on there, covering specific topics or specific pieces of technique, and stuff like that

Also, what we’ve been lacking a little bit of here the last 10 to 15 recordings is getting more of our athletes and our current coaches on as guest and interviewing some of them and telling more about themselves, and us as a community getting to know them.

Also, some of the coaches, for example, getting on and helping us cover some of those specific topics that we’re talking about. It’s less about us interviewing them and more about them being on as a contributor. That’s what we’re going to be doing.

We definitely learned a lot. The community gives us mostly good feedback, and that, “Hey, keep doing what you’re doing. We love what you guys are doing. We’re a big fan of Cheryl Haworth.” I get that a lot. They’re just a punch to the gut, you know what I’m saying? We’ve also got some good constructive criticism. Anytime that someone says something like that, I very much take it to heart.

As long as it’s not completely ridiculous, or silly, which I can’t think of any of it that was, then I work on it, and I really try to apply it. More of the same, like I said, just like Cheryl and I work to do in weightlifting.

We’re always trying to improve and be the best that we can be. My hope is that you get better quality from us, your host, and more of what you want to hear.

 

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

Is there a particular recording or guest that really stands out to you as a real highlight? You had a ton of great guests. I’m not asking who your favorite person was or anything like that.

Any particular recording you thought was insightful or if there’s maybe one episode for someone who’s just getting into the USA Weightlifting Podcast that you think really encapsulates the quality of what you’ve all been doing, what would that be?

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

That’s really tough. I’m trying to put out a recording today released one today and this will be our 40-second recording. It’s tough to go back and think through those pretty quickly.

The ones that I’m going to go to just because we were talking about this one very regularly, and it stands out to me because it’s unfortunate that when I look at our numbers, it is one of the least listened to recordings.

If you’re a fan of weightlifting, and surely most people that listen to the podcast are fans of weightlifting to some extent. I think one of the reasons why they don’t click on it and listen to it or less people have is because we titled it the history lesson.

It was with Artie Drechsler. It’s one that Sheryl and I…when we recorded it and we had him on, we both learned a lot more about the sport. Of course, we already know, and at the same time, it’s a fun history lesson.

He digs into the history of where the snatch and clean and jerk came from and talks about some of the old school weightlifters. I think all those things are important.

If you’re a coach in weightlifting, if you’re an athlete in weightlifting, if you like the snatch and clean and jerk, you’re training and you’re teaching other people is going to be better and more meaningful if you know some of those pieces of history. It’s important for people to go listen to that specific episode if you haven’t already.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

That’s a fantastic point. Chad, when I was first introduced to Artie in 2011, he was introduced to me as the man who wrote “The Encyclopedia of Weightlifting.” I laughed, I was like, “That’s a funny joke.”

I get that he knows it’s definitely go, “No.” He really wrote a book called The Encyclopedia of Weightlifting. Beyond that Artie was in his competition days…I should call his junior competition days because occasionally he’ll still do Masters meets.

He was a world record holder. He was the last, I believe, male US world record holder until CJ Cummings set a youth world record number of years ago.

Artie is truly one of the handful of people in the world with that encyclopedic knowledge of weightlifting, but it’s not boring. When he talks about topics and weightlifting, it’s not going to put you to sleep.

It’s interesting. It’s engaging, just like the history of weightlifting. Weightlifting, at this point, one of the more established strength sports with a long history, but it certainly hasn’t been a static sport, certainly a lot of changes that we’ve seen and a lot more to come up.

If you’re listening to this podcast, check out the USA Weightlifting Podcast with Artie Drechsler, really interesting stuff, and one that I personally enjoyed.

Chad, as we dive in or at least cross off these topics, we’ve chatted about before this podcast, so we want to cover it. Do you want to make sure you have a second to talk about where folks can keep up to date with the work you’re doing, the organizations you’re working with as far as coaching, weightlifting and seminars?

Any tips you might have listeners who would either be interested in working with you in a coaching and athlete capacity or just learning more about Chad Vaughn.

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Yeah, for sure. Like we mentioned before, the USA Weightlifting Podcast is a great place to find myself, and with Sheryl Hayworth, of course. We try to get on there on a weekly basis where our average is probably three recordings a month as what we released.

As mentioned before, it’s all about technical aspects of weightlifting and interviewing some other key characters in the sport as well as to try to deliver information in that regard.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

 Keyword characters. [laughs]

Chad VaughnChad Vaughn

Definitely, yeah. They’re usually all very character like. There’s no doubt about it. Of course, my big thing on social media is Instagram. You can follow me there @olychad and I know some people yell at me for saying Oly.

A lot of people are like, “It’s Oly Chad.” I’m like, “I came up with the name, so I think I can call it Oly Chad if I want,” but it’s O-L-Y, C-H-A-D.

I spent a good amount of time trying to create content and keep content posted on that specific channel that I put out videos with voice-overs. Some of my closest acquaintances and friends will make fun of me all the time for the amount of arrows that I draw on those videos.

There are arrows and circles and stuff like that to try to make the points that I’m trying to get across more powerful. That has been helpful and I’ve gotten good responses from that. I learned how to do that from Dr. Aaron Horschig from Squat University.

Him and I worked together a lot as well, so you can see some of my stuff on his channel as well. Another place that him and I we’re working together now that I’m on that topic is my website vaughnweightlifting.com.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been writing regular blog post there. My big motivation there, of course, is to put out content on weightlifting, but what I’ve done is, I’ve started from the very beginning.

When I say the very beginning, I mean the very beginning of where I always start when I’m teaching, and that’s with people understanding the realistic demands of weightlifting. Weightlifting requires a lot of mobility, weightlifting requires you to be strong in specific areas and specific positions, and then getting into the squat after that.

Those are the places that I always started. Since the beginning of the year, we’re still working on getting through the squat. Hopefully, that doesn’t deter anyone, but I think we’re on the 9th or 10th blog post right now.

My hope is over time to collect enough of those to where it can be turned into a book at some point. Writing a book has been a goal of mine for a very long time. I wouldn’t say writing is easy for me.

It’s challenging, but I do enjoy the challenge and I do enjoy writing very much. That’s something that I’ll always do and continue to do, and hopefully you guys will check that out as well.

Always traveling, too, to teach in the coach and try to have about two trips a month. Some of those are my own Vaughn weightlifting clinics, and some of them are with Power Monkey Fitness as well.

Power Monkey Fitness is a company that delivers content and anything that you’ll see in the CrossFit community or in CrossFit workout. We have gymnastics weightlifting running, rowing, jump rope, and so on.

We do Power Monkey Fitness Camp twice a year. It’s a week-long adult fitness vacation is basically what it is. I probably missed a few things here and there but those are the biggest things that I’m involved with.

David Thomas TaoDavid Thomas Tao

One thing I’ll say is @olychad on Instagram, I’ve been saying “olychad,” I’ve been corrected by the man himself. I think it’s one of the most useful Instagram accounts out there. I think your Instagram account is truly one of the most useful when it comes to diving into the “why” behind weightlifting technique.

We’ve talked about this on USA Weightlifting color commentary when we’re live streaming events. I think it’s a lot easier for athletes to internalize cues when the know the “why.” A coach will say, “Chest up, butt back, weight here versus here.”

It means a lot more to me as an athlete, and I think it means a lot more to…it’s easier to internalize and really utilize those cues if there’s an explanation. If an athlete knows why, they’re doing that.

Sometimes in the middle of training, a coach can’t necessarily stop everything for 30 minutes and explain the in-depth why, which is why I think your social media presence is so useful because athletes can really identify these cues and then you explain the logic behind them.

It makes a lot more sense and it’s much more likely athletes actually going to follow those cues because they know exactly what it’s doing for their weight lifting. It’s not just a coach telling them something to annoy them or make their session a little harder. Definitely follow @olychad to get into great tips but also learn more about the logic behind them, which is such a strong tool.

Well, Chad thank you so much for joining us today on the BarBend podcast. Really excited to air this episode. As always, it’s an honor work with you. My hope is that this episode gets people more interested in the work you’re doing through the USA Weightlifting Podcast, through Vaughn Weightlifting, and @olychad on Instagram. Thanks again for joining us.

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