T Nation

Beginning Olympic Lifting In Chicago

I’m interested in getting into the sport of weightlifting, with the hopes of competing in meets at some point in the future. I’m a complete beginner in Lincoln Park, Chicago, with some weight training experience in the past, but basically completely deconditioned and green right now.

The only gym in the area that has bumper plates and a platform that I can find is Quad’s Gym. Does anyone on here go there, or know if there are active weightlifters there? Their site just mentions powerlifting as the main activity.

I know from the USA Weightlifting site that there’s a group in Sayre Park, but that’s almost a 45 minute drive away - too difficult to get to before work.

I’d also appreciate it if anyone knows of good online resources for beginning lifters. I’ve read many of the articles on this site, Dan John’s book, “From the Ground Up,” and watched the videos on the Hatchdome site.

I’m more than a little unsure of where to begin, but very excited to start making some positive changes in my physical life through the pursuit of this sport.

Thanks for any help you can offer me!

Isn’t there a Y in Sayre Park that has a WL club? I know there was at one time, but I not sure if it is still active or if they still have the platforms and bumbers. That woulbe pretty close to LP.

Quads as in Ed Coan’s Quads???

I’m new to olympic lifting as well: 3 weeks ago I started the introductory oly lifting routine out of CT’s Black Book, and really love it. I don’t have access to bumper plates, but I’ve found that with the loads I’m using, they really aren’t necessary.

Keep in mind that, early on, you’re just trying to learn proper technique and don’t want to lose speed or form just go heavier. Thus, being restricted to weights you can bring down from overhead without dropping them might be a good thing :slight_smile:

I spoke to someone at Quad’s over the phone, and he told me that there are a few active olympic weightlifters there (8-10). I’m going to use the week trail membership when I get back to Chicago after Christmas break, and hopefully get one of them to show me the ropes. $75 a month is a little pricey, but I want to make sure I develop the proper skills from the outset.

Until then, I’m going to keep reading all I can, and watching a ton of videos.

I am a current member of Quads gym in Chicago living in lincoln park. I have trained there for a while and would disagree with the information that there are between 8-10 olympic lifters. Once when i was doing my dynamic warmup someone told me that i was the first person they had ever seen do a snatch in person. There are between 8-10 strength athletes that train there total. Most are general fitness/bodybuilding.

The deadlift/olympic platform is not very rigid and slightly warped. it would be better thrown away just to use the floor. Some positives to note are the farmers implements(however there is barely room to use them), good power rack, box for squatting, steel log, reverse hyper, real glute ham raise, eliteFTS c3 competition bench, kettlebells, bumper plates and ivanko powerlifting plates.

As far as technique with olympic movements i would suggest the poliquin performance center about 30 min. north of quads off of I-95. None of the trainers at quads are well versed enough to instruct on any olympic movements and i have never seen any of them do them with clients or personally.

I am making the switch from pure powerlifting using a modified westside template to strongman. I will be purchasing some of my own training tools to accomplish this because quads is over-crowded with old equipment and non-serious strength athletes. During the week i find that the atmosphere is not condusive to the focus required due to the amount of families taking their children to the martial arts classes right through where the platform/powerlifting area is.

And yes, i have seen ed coan there a couple of times training other people. he still trains at the other quads location.

bottom line, its a great place (and the only place in chicago) to use these types of equipment besides poliquin, which is a private facility and pretty pricey. I do go there for ART therapy and have enjoyed the results.

[quote]gsorrels wrote:
I am a current member of Quads gym in Chicago living in lincoln park. I have trained there for a while and would disagree with the information that there are between 8-10 olympic lifters. Once when i was doing my dynamic warmup someone told me that i was the first person they had ever seen do a snatch in person. There are between 8-10 strength athletes that train there total. Most are general fitness/bodybuilding.[/quote]

gsorrels,

Thanks for the honest post. This is exactly why I decided to post on T-Nation before dropping a bunch of money on a gym membership.

I’m disappointed that there isn’t an active olympic weightlifting community at Quad’s. Perhaps the person at the front desk was confused about the difference between olympic weightlifting and powerlifting?

Thanks for the tip on the Poliquin center as well. I will investigate that further - maybe I can get some training there to get me started, and then practice by myself at a cheaper facility.