USA Weightlifting Announces Development Camps to Identify Top Youth Athletes

Yesterday, USA Weightlifting made an exciting new announcement in regards to youth level weightlifting. They’re launching development camps across the nation to help introduce new athletes to the sport, while providing them with a training program.

From USA Weightlifting’s press release: “Led by Region administrators, USA Weightlifting-affiliated clubs will host 2-day camps for athletes new to the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. Attendees will learn about the Olympic movements, and receive a 12-week program to aid them in their sports performance.”

USAW plans to invite back the top athletes from each camp to further their development with elite-level camps:

“Once local camps conclude, certain athletes will be selected to participate in Regional and National Camps where the sport’s top coaches will evaluate the athletes’ skill and potential.”

The announcement continues: “Then, twice a year, a National Development Squad will be named. The squad will consist of the top ten 17 and under athletes and the top ten Junior & Senior athletes.”

USAW is making an effort to reach every athlete possible, and they’ve broken down the camps to take place in five US regions. The press release states, “The Athlete Development Camp program is broken down into 5 regions across the United States. During this trial run, local camps will be held in Regions 1 (West) and 4 (Southeast.)”

Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Weightlifting, recently took to Reddit to answer a few questions readers had about this announcement. He provided insight into where and when camps will be held/announced. He stated, “The sanction process is currently open. We are trialing the program in the West (Region 1) and South East (Region 4), we encourage all USA Weightlifting member clubs to host one.”

“So far on Day 1, there is one already on the books in Harrisburg, North Carolina in August. For the Regional and National Camps we will announce shortly the final locations.”

Below is the tentative 2017 schedule that was included in the recent press release.


  • Jun 1-Aug 31: Local Camps
  • Sep 23-25: Region 1 Camp
  • Sep 30 – Oct 1: Region 4 Camp
  • Dec 10 – 17: National Camp

The sport of weightlifting is becoming increasingly more popular in the United States. Hopefully with these camps USAW will reach more youth athletes and continue to expand the sport.

Editor’s Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Unless otherwise noted on collaborative content, the two organizations maintain editorial independence.

Feature image from @usaweightlifting Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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