By Bob Takano—Member USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame

Two lifters can be of equal talent with equally good training for a given meet, but one always seems to lift well and the other always underachieves.  The difference can be as simple as the timing of the warm-ups. 

The low performer may do too many warm-ups and sit around too long before the first attempt and then be unable to perform well, while the other lifter’s coach has calculated the exact number of attempts until his athlete must appear on the platform and has spaced out the warm-up lifts so that PR’s are broken in meet after meet. 

Learn how to count attempts and time your athlete’s warm-up lifts so that he or she is always ready to lift at max ability and set PR’s.  Don’t be that other coach!


You know your athlete is going to start at 70 kg so you go to the expediting cards or the warm-up room scoreboard and count the number of attempts before your lifter’s 70 kg opener.  You should plan on your athlete taking 5 warm-up lifts at 60% of your goal weight and higher.  The best plan is to take one warm-up lift for every 3 lifts on the competition platform.  So you figure out which lift will be taken with 15 to go before your lifter’s 70.  That should be a 60% lift.  With 12 lifts remaining you take a 70% lift.  At 9 lifts you take an 80%.  At 6 lifts, an 85%, and at 3 lifts a 90%.  Your lifter should then be ready to take an opener at 94 to 95%. 


Check out our next webinar - How to WIN your next weightlifting competition.  USAW Hall of Fame Coach - Bob Takano will breakdown all you need to know including training cycle leading up to the competition, how to warm up, weight selection, and much more.  


Bob Takano is a highly respected weightlifting coach who was inducted into the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame in 2007 for his contributions to coaching. He has been the coach of four national champions, two national record holders, and 27 top ten nationally ranked lifters. Bob has been on the coaching staffs of 17 U.S. National teams to international competitions, five of those being World Championships and the Summer Olympics. His lifters have competed in seven Olympic Trials with one, Albert Hood, the third American to snatch double bodyweight, earning a berth on the 1984 team. 

Furthermore Bob has been a CSCS since 1986, having authored six articles for the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal, and served as a member of the editorial board of that journal from 1996 to 2000. He has also co-authored a chapter for the NASM’s Essentials of Sports Performance Training, and a chapter on the Training of Weightlifters for the IOC Sports Medicine Commission’s Encyclopedia of Strength and Power. 20 of the female volleyball players he’s coached have earned Division 1 scholarships. 

Bob is on the teaching staff for the USAW Weightlifting Coaching Education program and presents his own seminars as well. He was also part of the CrossFit Weightlifting Seminar staff.  He opened his own gym, Takano Weightlifting in 2013, at 6036 Variel Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91367. He is available for seminars, and is currently running his own coaching internships.