OWA Hybrid Club Competition at JustLift Start List

Download the Start List for the first OWA Hybrid Club Competition at JustLift!

Weigh-in for the first session will be at 9am, with the first lifters starting at 11am! Spectators, make sure you’re there for the presentation of athletes at 10:45am! Things should wrap up shortly after 4pm. Looks like it will be a pretty full day of lifting!

If you take a look at the start list, you will see we have lifters from 4 different clubs in the area, JustLift (that’s us!), Cornwall Weightlifting Club, Ottawa Elite, and Physics Elite. We currently have 33 registered lifters, aged 10-40 across almost every weight category! It should be a great time!

JustLift Level 2 lifters not competing in the Hybrid Club Competition can train from 8am-10am. JustFit and JustLift Level 1 are still at 9am.

By |November 18th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on OWA Hybrid Club Competition at JustLift Start List

OWA Hybrid Club Competition at JustLift Update

Registration with the OWA for the upcoming Hybrid Club Competition has been extended to this Tuesday, Nov 18.

Clarification: If you plan on doing this competition at JustLift, you need to ensure the following:
You are a registered member with the OWA.
Your club is a registered club with the OWA.
Each club needs to submit a team registration with the OWA and pay $10 + $6/athlete.

ADDITIONALLY, we (JustLift) need to have a list of your lifters (e-mail, with YOB and category information, as the OWA registration is not sent to us. These are the names that I have as of noon today. Anyone that is not a regular member of JustLift will need to pay $24 to JustLift.

Virtue, Maleeka
Amundrud, Heather
Dalle, Esther
Snipper, Sarah
Hoang, Valerie
Meldrum, Stefanie
Hoang, Valerie
Suprovich, Sheila
Sergenese, Abigail
Siegel, Adia
Jurchuk, Abby
Robitaille, Jeanne
Moise, Emilie
Boggia, Julia
Smith-Crowl, Chantal
Botticelli, Alysha
Berry, Noah
Haya, Ian
Orzech, Lewis
Lamothe, Patrick
Lucas, Josh
Hrabowsky, Zenon
Marino, Zachary
Jameson, Austin
Francis, Andrew
Spreg, Aaron
Haspect, Greg
Malone, Doug
Jaeck, Devon

By |November 16th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on OWA Hybrid Club Competition at JustLift Update

OWA Hybrid Club Competition at JustLift

JustLift is proud to be a host for the first Ontario Weightlifting Hybrid Club Competition. This competition is open to all registered OWA clubs and their registered lifters. Each club is responsible for registering their team of lifters with the OWA separately.

Registration forms and additional information are available here:!hybrid-club-competitions/c3zm

Clubs and Athletes are responsible for separate fees payable to the OWA ($10 per club, and $6 per athlete)

If you’d like to bring your team to conduct the competition with us, we’ll need a list of your lifters! After you’ve registered your team with the OWA, send your team list to Ian (

Registration Fees Payable to JustLift:

JustLift Members: $6/athlete (sign up and pay by Fri. Nov 14th at the front desk)
Non-Member: $24/athlete (visiting clubs, collect this fee from your athletes and pay JustLift at the meet)

There will be a full team of officials so that lifters will be able to qualify for Winterlift and the Ontario Provincial Championships.

The results of each team’s best 10 lifters will be used to determine a team winner across all participating clubs at multiple locations across Ontario. Lifters will be ranked according to their age and bodyweight categories. A progressive scoring system that awards greater points to the younger age categories will be used. This is to encourage the participation of younger lifters without precluding other age groups. There is no limit to the number of athletes per team. The winning team will receive a prize for their club from the OWA.

Cumulative points will be kept for the entirety of the Hybrid Competitive season and a banner will be awarded to the top scoring team.

Age groups contested are:

Juvenille (15 and under, born 1999 or later)

Youth (17 and under, born 1997 or later)

Junior (20 and under, born 1994 or later)

Senior/Master (20+, born 1993 or earlier)

IWF rules dictate that age groups are determined by Year of Birth only, for example, anyone born in 1994 is a Junior for 2014 and becomes a Senior on Jan 1, 2015, regardless of their Date of Birth.

The additional Juvenille/Youth Bodyweight categories will also be contested (M44, M50, M94+, W44, W69+).

This competition is not subject to doping control.

By |November 2nd, 2014|Blog, News|1 Comment

Schedule Oct. 25 Training and Club Competition

This Saturday, Oct. 25, we will be having our Fall Club Competition. Here’s the gym schedule for Saturday!

9am-10am – JustLift Level 1

9am-10am – JustFit

9am-11am – JustLift Level 2 (for all those not competing, this is 1 hour earlier than normal!)

10am-11am – Weigh-in for competitors (you’ll need to know your starting attempts!)

11am-11:30am – Setup (conditioning work for weightlifters!)

11:30am – Competitors should be ready to warm up

11:45am – Presentation of athletes

12 Noon – Lifting Starts!

We plan on running all lifters together in one session. Women will snatch first, followed by the men. Then the women will continue to the clean and jerks, again followed by the men. Things should wrap around 2pm, plenty of time to swing by HintonToberFest afterwards if anyone is interested!

By |October 21st, 2014|Blog|Comments Off on Schedule Oct. 25 Training and Club Competition

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic – Coach’s Meet Report

On Saturday, October 4, Team JustLift traveled up to North Bay for the 2014 Ray Hamilton Classic. The first major meet of our competitive season, athletes Ian Haya, Heather Amundrud, Val Hoang, James Jaehak-Kim, Justin Reeson, Sarah Rice, and Julia Boggia all put on impressive performances to further cement JustLift’s place a contender in the Ontario Weightlifting community.

The day began at 7:00am with the first round of weigh-ins. Ian Haya would be the first of our lifters to touch the bar, competing in the first session of the day. Ian, Ontario’s top ranked 62kg lifter, and number two in the country, opened with a confident first attempt in the Snatch at 93kg, more than any of his competitors’ successful attempts. Unmatched in this lift, Ian finished 7kg ahead of the next strongest competitor in his weight category with a final attempt of 97kg. In the Clean and Jerk, Ian and Coach Chin had a fight on their hands, as the local up-and-comer, Niki Alexandrov (son of former World Champion and World Record Holder, Alexander Varbanov) was holding his own, going toe-to-toe with Ian in his attempts. Both athletes would attempt a third Clean and Jerk at 125kg for a new provincial record. Ian, attempting the weight first, would make it through a hard Clean, but just didn’t quite have enough left to stabilize the Jerk. Shortly after, Niki would win the battle with a strong Clean followed by an equally strong Jerk, securing himself the record. Still, having gone into the Clean and Jerk with a 7kg lead, Ian would win the contest with by 2kg in the total. Our hats go off to Niki, though, who is on his way to becoming a force in the sport!

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic Medal Winners (Men's 62kg) L to R: Joel Asselin - 3rd, Ian Haya - 1st, Niki Alexandrov - 2nd

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic Medal Winners (Men’s 62kg) L to R: Joel Asselin – 3rd, Ian Haya – 1st, Niki Alexandrov – 2nd

Following the men of the lighter weight classes would be the women, with JustLift athletes Heather Amundrud and Val Hoang going into this competition as favorites for the top three. The first of the pair to lift, Heather opened with an easy 55kg Snatch, and followed this with an equally strong 57kg, a competition record for her! Heather would attempt 60kg, however, that bar proved just too heavy. In the Clean and Jerk round, Heather went 3/3, going 73, 76, and finishing with 80kg, another competition record! With a total of 137kg, Heather easily made the qualifying total for the Canadian Senior Championships.

Going into this meet, Val had a lot to prove. In our last competitive season, Val had just missed the qualifying total for the Canadian Senior Championships by a single lift. Off to a shaky start by missing her first attempt in the Snatch at 56kg, Val quickly pulled it together and came back with a vengeance, putting on her most confident performance to date. She would not miss a single attempt after the first, subsequently going 56-59kg in the Snatch, and then 74, 77, and 80kg in the Clean and Jerk. This would secure Val the gold, giving her a 2kg edge over Heather, but more importantly, a total that was 9kg above the qualifying standard for the Canadian Senior Championships!

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic Medal Winners (Women's 53kg) L to R: Heather Amundrud - 2nd, Val Hoang - 1st, Bronwynn Sheppard - 3rd

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic Medal Winners (Women’s 53kg) L to R: Heather Amundrud – 2nd, Val Hoang – 1st, Bronwynn Sheppard – 3rd

Next up were James Jaehak-Kim, and Justin Reeson, who were both competing in the 94kg class. This would only be James’ second competition, and Justin’s first. Opening at 80kg, James would receive three white lights on his first Snatch, setting the tone for the rest of his session. Confident, James posted another successful lift with 83kg. James would miss his third attempt at 86kg, just not quite receiving the bar in the right position. Undeterred by the miss, James followed up his Snatch attempts with three gutsy Clean and Jerks, finishing with 110kg, a competition record 1kg off his best in training!

Justin, although nervous about his first meet, overcame his anxieties, and put on a show. Justin opened with a very strong 93kg, pulling it so hard that he Power Snatched it! This was followed up with an even more powerful 98kg, and finally, with a personal best of 103kg. In the Clean and Jerk, Justin would receive successful judgment on his attempts at 125, 130, and 135kg, allowing him to go 6/6 at his very first meet! To top it off, Justin would be awarded with the Best Novice Lifter Award, given to the top lifter new to competition!

Coaches Ian Haya and Greg Chin accepting Justin Reeson's Best Novice Lifter award on his behalf.

Coaches Ian Haya and Greg Chin accepting Justin Reeson’s Best Novice Lifter award on his behalf.

The final round of the evening would see lifters Sarah Rice and Julia Boggia (69kg) put on their best performances to date! First up would be Sarah, opening at 52kg in the Snatch, then going 55, and 57kg, for a new personal record. She would follow this with an even stronger performance in the Clean and Jerk, going 63, 66, and 69kg for another personal record in the Clean and Jerk! What makes it all the more impressive is that prior to lifting she had already acted as an official in numerous capacities throughout the day!

Following close after Sarah was Julia, who, at this meet, would be attempting to qualify for the Ontario Provincial Championships. To do this, Julia would need to total 135kg. Going into this meet with confidence, Julia opened in the Snatch with 63kg. Looking strong, Julia would follow her first lift with successful attempts at 66 and 69kg. The momentum displayed in the Snatch would follow into the Clean and Jerk round. Julia opened with a well-executed 76kg, putting her 10kg ahead of what she needed to qualify for Provincials. In fact, it put her so far ahead that she was only 5kg away from qualifying for the Canadian Championships! Focused, Julia continued her string of favorable lifts, scoring with 79kg in her second Clean and Jerk attempt, and finally, with 81kg in her third, allowing her to finish her competition with a total of 150kg, and the right to compete at the 2015 Canadian Championships!

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic Medal Winnters (Women's 69kg) L to R: Julia Boggia - 3rd, Maya Laylor - 1st, Michelle McElligot - 2nd

2014 Ray Hamilton Classic Medal Winnters (Women’s 69kg) L to R: Julia Boggia – 3rd, Maya Laylor – 1st, Michelle McElligot – 2nd

Just as at last year’s Ray Hamilton Classic, Team JustLift would bring home a collection of medals with 2 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze. Perhaps more importantly, all of our medalists qualified for Nationals in May next year, putting our athletes in a very good position at the start of our competitive season.

As Head Coach, I’d like to thank my good friend, and fellow coach, Ian Haya, for assisting myself and our athletes in their warm-ups and weight selection when they were out on the platform; we couldn’t have done it without him. I’d also like to thank the athletes that performed so well at this past meet; we would not be the club we are without you! It is an immense honor to have had a hand in both your development and accomplishments as athletes. And, finally, I’d like to thank everyone else at JustLift who followed our performance and cheered us on! It is because we are a community that trains together to be the best that we can be that enables us to experience the successes we have had. We’re only going to continue getting better!

Weightlifting in Ontario has grown leaps and bounds since we began. The competitive standard has only gotten higher. Are we up to the challenge? I think our performance says so.

By |October 13th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on 2014 Ray Hamilton Classic – Coach’s Meet Report

Follow JustLift at the 2014 Ray Hamilton Classic

Our Olympic Weightlifting team will be looking to make off like bandits and steal some medals as they travel to North Bay to compete in the Ray Hamilton Classic. This is the first weightlifting competition of the National qualifying season and several of our athletes will be looking to hit national and provincial qualifying marks.

You can keep up with the action as we’ll do our best to keep you up to date via social media:
Twitter (play by play)
Facebook (session updates)
Instagram (pics and video clips)
We’ll be using #2014rhc, and you should too!

Session 1 Weigh-In 7am, lift 9am
Ian Haya (@ianhaya)

Session 2 Weigh-in 9am, lift 11am
Val Hoang (@valhoang)
Heather Amundrud

Session 3 Weigh-in 11am, lift 1pm
Sarah Rice (@sara_g_rice)

Session 4 Weigh-in Weigh-in 12:30pm, lift 2:30pm
Justin Reeson (@justinreeson)
James Kim

Session 5 Weigh-in 3pm, lift 5pm
Julia Boggia

Help cheer on the team!

By |October 3rd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Follow JustLift at the 2014 Ray Hamilton Classic

What To Expect At Your First Weightlifting Meet

We will be having our Fall Club Weightlifting Meet in about a month’s time, and for some of you, this will be your first experience following a weightlifting competition protocol. We will be going over what to expect in training, but I thought it would be good to have something written down for all of you to follow. This will be a friendly club meet to introduce you to the idea of competition. While the results will be official and count for those that need to qualify for Winterlift/Provincials, for the majority of you, think of this meet as more of a practice session, just structured in competition format.


Weightlifting is a bodyweight sport, therefore you only compete against those that are in the same weight class as you. The weigh-in is the first official part of competition day. For your first meet, athletes should not be concerned with what they weigh, as the main goal of the first meet is to make your lifts, so we’re trying to limit the amount of stressors involved.

The start list for each session will be posted close to the weigh-in area. The start list will show the session weigh-in time, start time, athletes names, declared weight class, and each athlete’s lot number. The standard weigh-in time starts 2 hours before the start of the competition and lasts for one hour. Athletes are then called to the weigh-in room one-by-one, beginning with the lightest weight class and lowest lot number within the weight class. Once in the weigh-in room, the athlete will step on the scale to determine their bodyweight, declare their opening attempts in the snatch and clean and jerk, and then initial their start card that lists their name, bodyweight, and declared opening attempts. The athlete should know what their opening attempts are prior to the weigh-in having discussed them with their coach. Typically for your first meet, this will be a weight that you can consistently make.

If an athlete is not present when their name is called, the next athlete on the list is called, and the athlete that wasn’t there must now wait until all other athletes have been called before they can weigh in. Also, if an athlete is trying to “make weight” and weighs in above (or below) their intended category, they have the remaining hour to try and drop (gain) a bit of weight, come back, and be weighed again. In this case, you wouldn’t sign your card until you make weight or run out of time.  As stated before though, “making weight” isn’t something to be concerned with at your first meet.


Mohamed and James in the warm up area at the 2014 Ontario Scholastics


After the weigh-in has concluded, the start sheets will be updated to include the athlete’s bodyweight, declared opening attempts, and their new start number. If there were no athletes that moved from their declared weight category to their actual weight category, the start number order will be the same as the weigh-in order. Athletes and coaches should then be looking at this list when it is made available to determine when the athlete should begin their warm-up. In competition, the weight of the bar only goes up, therefore the lightest weights are lifted first. If you have the lowest declared opening snatch, then chances are you’re lifting first, which means you should be probably be the first one warming up! If you have one of the heaviest declared openers, you’ll need to wait for everyone else to lift before you, and need to time your warm-up accordingly.


Julia and Chenoa lining up for the 2014 Ottawa Regional Inter-Club Meet

There is a “Presentation of Athletes” 15 minutes before the start of the competition. Athletes are lined up in the back room by one of the officials, brought out to the platform, and presented to the audience. The announcer will introduce each athlete individually, usually stating their weight class and what club they are representing. Since this is close to the start of the competition, those lifting first will likely be in the middle of their warm-up, while others may just be loosening up. Once all athletes are introduced, it’s back to the warm-up room, and then the announcer will give the time remaining to the start of the competition.

Usually we define a warm up in terms of general warm up and specific warm up. General warm up includes any mobility type stuff, arm swings, leg swings, air squats, etc. I’ll include empty bar work with this as well. I’ll then define specific warm up as anything with weight. At this point, this should primarily be the full lifts performed for minimal reps. Some may prefer to do complexes/power for the first few sets, but once we really get going, this should be full lifts for mostly singles. The coach should be back and forth between the warm-up area and the competition area to keep their lifter on track so they’ll be ready to lift before their name is called.



Chenoa approaching the platform at the 2014 Ontario Scholastics

Ok, so now you’re weighed in and warmed up. Get ready to have your name called and be ready to lift! You will be called to the platform by the announcer, and the clock will start running. Once your name is called, you will have one minute for your attempt. The clock will stop once the bar leaves the floor, so you can take as much time as you need in the bottom of a snatch, or to set up for the jerk after the clean, as you need. There will be a warning buzzer when you have 30 seconds left. Most lifters will try to either make sure they lift before or after the signal to avoid having it buzz as you are lifting. Once you have the bar overhead under control, with your feet in line, you will either get a down signal (buzzer) along with a light, or the centre judge will give you an audible “down” signal while motioning with their hand. You then need to place the bar back on the platform in front of you in a controlled fashion, keeping your hands on the bar until it is below shoulder level.

Once you’ve completed your attempt, the judges will give their decision of good/no lift. Some informal club meets may be run with just one judge, but for the most part, it will be 3 judges, and majority rules. There are a few reasons you may get the bar overhead and not be awarded the lift. The most common is finishing with a press-out (incomplete extension of the arm). Others include (but are not limited to) lowering the weight before the down signal, elbow touching the knee in the clean, double dipping in the jerk, and having any part of the body other than the feet touch the platform (dropping to one knee).

Counts in CrossFit, but in a weightlifting competition, this is a "No Lift!"

Counts in CrossFit, but in a weightlifting competition, this is a “No Lift!”

If you were successful in your lift, you and your coach will then decide on your next attempt. If you don’t declare a weight immediately, you will be automatically incremented by 1 kg. You can then make 2 additional changes to your attempted weight, provided they are made before the 30 second warning. If you were unsuccessful, you will have the option of repeating the same weight. In either case, if you happen to follow yourself (lift next with no other lifters between you), you will then have 2 minutes on the clock for your attempt. The flip side of this is that if there are a lot of other lifters between your last attempt and your next attempt, you may need to go back to the warm up room to do some more lifts to prevent from cooling down. When following yourself, the first weight change must be made within the first 30 seconds. Each lifter has 3 attempts to put up a number for their snatch score. The highest weight successfully lifted then becomes the first part of your total score.

After everyone has completed their snatch attempts, the competition will then move on to the clean and jerk portion. There is a standard 10 minute break in between the snatch portion and the clean and jerk portion of the competition. Often in larger sessions, usually with 10 lifters or more in a single session, the break is either shortened or eliminated. If there is a change in the length of the break, this will be announced beforehand and lifters and coaches must be prepared to time their clean and jerk warm ups appropriately. Each lifter then has 3 attempts to put up a number for their clean and jerk score. Their best snatch and best clean and jerk are then added together to give their final “Total” score.


James racking 115kg while Coach Greg looks on

Have Fun!

If this all seems like a lot to take in, don’t get discouraged or worry about it. A lot of the technical parts of competing are ultimately the coach’s responsibility. The athlete’s responsibility is to listen to their coach and do what they are told, when they are told, and focus on just making their lifts. Competing in a weightlifting meet is what makes this a sport and is what differentiates a weightlifter from someone who trains using snatches and clean and jerks. Performing in a competition is a skill that has to be practiced and will improve with experience, just like every other aspect of the sport. In the beginning, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t breaking records every time you compete. There’s a big difference between hitting a PR on a random training day when you get to control a lot of the variables, and lifting against the clock, at a specific time, on a specific day, with just 3 attempts, and no option for lowering the weight. That being said, performing well in a competition is one of the most rewarding experiences you will have in this sport knowing that the effort you put in to your training is proven on the competition platform.

For some more info on weightlifting competition, check out the following articles by Uncle Bob Takano:

Weightlifting Competition Etiquette

Preparing for the First Olympic Meet

By |September 24th, 2014|Articles, Blog|Comments Off on What To Expect At Your First Weightlifting Meet

2014 JustLift Fall Club Meet – Olympic Weightlifting Competition

We will be having a Club Meet at the end of the current training cycle on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 at JustLift in Ottawa. This will be a friendly meet ideal for those of you who have never competed in an Olympic Weightlifting competition before, or if you have just a handful of weightlifting meets under your weightlifting belt.

This meet will be sanctioned by the Ontario Weightlifting Association, and lifters will be able to qualify for Winterlift and Provincials. Athletes will be required to have an OWA athlete membership for the 2014-2015 season (ends March 31, 2015). New lifters are eligible for the Introductory Lifter membership discount.

Let us know if you plan on coming to either compete, watch, or help out! We’ll have an athlete sign-up sheet at the gym!

Check back here for more details! You can contact Ian for more info.

By |September 11th, 2014|Blog, News|1 Comment

Fall Schedule Changes

Beginning Monday, September 8th, we will be changing our morning training hours for the fall. Training will be from 9am – 11am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those that are following our JustLift Level 1 program may train together from 9am – 10am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. All changes are now reflected in our online schedule.

By |September 3rd, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Fall Schedule Changes

Back to School and End of Summer Deals

Back to School

Are you a student heading back to school? Commit to making JustLift a part of your semester and save!

3 Months 3x/wk – $300 (Student)

3 Months Unlimited – $400 (Student)

Promotion ends September 30, 2014. Must present valid Student ID

End of Summer

Vacation season is coming to an end, so there’s no better time to dive in and get back into a steady routine of training with the JustLift family!

3 Months 3x/wk – $330

3 Months Unlimited – $440

Promotion ends September 30, 2014

Drop-In, Lift Up

Our 5 session punch card is a steal. For not much more than a month of coffees, you get coaching from our team of experts. We want to see you all come in more and improve, so we will be changing our 5 session punch card to a 10 session punch card at the end of September. But for now, you can still get the 5 session card at the old rate! Stock up now and the 3 month shelf life won’t start until your other cards are done!

5 session punch card – $65


By |August 24th, 2014|Blog, News|Comments Off on Back to School and End of Summer Deals