Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic Weightlifting or “Weightlifting” – not to be confused with weight-training or powerlifting – is an Olympic sport in which the athlete trains to perform a maximum weight single lift of a barbell. The two lifts in order are the snatch and the clean and jerk.

We take a holistic approach to weightlifting.

Dynasty Weightlifting is all about community spirit. We work as a team. Weightlifting may be an individual sport but it takes a team to support you to help you reach your potential.

We strive for personal development, and improvements in people’s confidence to live their lives. We encourage everyone to participate and compete, regardless of age, body, gender, etc.


When you start attending our Weightlifting classes, you will be on our “On-ramp” program. The on-ramp has been carefully refined over years teaching beginners, and is designed to teach you how to lift correctly before adding heavy weight. This program can take up to 3 months, but can be completed faster based on how often you come to class. Once you complete the on-ramp program, you will be part of the Development Team. We post customized programming for the development team on a weekly basis. We also have customized programming for more intermediate and advanced lifters. The programming can be found on the wall of the gym, as well as in our “Dynasty Gym Members” Facebook group.

Program Director/Head Coaches:

  • Patrick Vuong
  • Richard Kam


  • Brendan Takata
  • Andy Siy
  • Jure Smerdelj

Dynasty Pillars

We’ve built a system that focuses on long term athletic development of our athletes. We believe in teaching the fundamentals first and instilling sound practice habits before progressing on to heavier loads. Our system borrows from the best practices the Russians, Bulgarians, Chinese, and other strength experts throughout history did best.


Try raising a sail on a rocking boat. It is much easier to lift on solid ground. You do not want your feet to rock forward or back. Find balance throughout the first pull, second pull, and pull under. It all starts with balance in the feet.


Weightlifting is a practice of patience. Rush a lift and you may miss. Optimal focus or ‘flow’ is the key to success.


Weightlifting is a speed-strength sport. It is very fast and explosive, however, that does not mean one should rush the lifts. If you do, it’s a recipe for failure. Finish each segment of each lift and fully as possible. It ain’t over till you hear the bell.


Timing of your feet and your hands. Timing of your legs and your back. Timing of your lock out and receiving. Proper sequential, synchronized, and symmetrical timing is everything.


The penultimate pillar that underlies the other four is serenity. You must remain tranquil in order to maximize your strength and power. Too anxious and you will rush and miss a lift. Too calm and you may not have the adrenaline to lift at your potential. Like every other sport, learning to control your nerves is the most important facet of this sport.

Weightlifting is renowned for its ability to develop explosive power, grace in technique, and to push the athlete to bring attention to other aspects of their life that affect their performance such as nutrition, sleep, mobility, and mental discipline.

Lifting weights has many health benefits, including:

  • Fighting osteoporosis 
  • Stopping cardiovascular disease and diabetes 
  • Improving posture and balance
  • Reducing pain and inflammation
  • Improving mental health
  • Increasing energy
  • Boosting metabolism

We have a few guidelines that we suggest to keep everything running smoothly. They can be narrowed down to 3 categories:

Respect others!

  • Share the equipment: barbells, weights, or squat racks. 
  • Do not walk directly in front or behind people focusing on a lift. 
  • Be mindful of the space – It can get busy, we don’t want anyone to get hurt!
  • Do not step over another lifter’s bar.
  • Cheer on your fellow teammates.

Respect the equipment and the facility!

  • Show up on time!
  • Put your equipment away where you found it and in the correct spot.
  • Brush excess chalk off the bars.
  • Do not drop an empty barbell and anything less than 10KG.
  • Adhere to our open-gym/class times.

Respect yourself!

  • Leave the troubles of the day (and your phone) at the door. This is the time you get to work on yourself. 
  • Come prepared. Don’t show up late without your equipment, and disrupt others.
  • Always do a warm-up before you get started:
  • Get your heart rate up. This warms up your muscles protecting you from injuries, and brings your attention to the workout. 
  • Practice the movements with a dowel or an empty barbell.
  • Do some “Active Dynamic” stretching. (See the “Dynasty Warm-up” on the whiteboard).

Personal Equipment

This is equipment that you are recommended to purchase for yourself as needed.
Most things can be purchased on the Rogue online store. Members also sometimes sell or give away their unneeded equipment at the front desk.

Training Log

Whether you track your progress on your program card, or in a notebook, it’s good to log all weights, sets, failed reps, pains, notes, etc. 


Weightlifting shoes have a solid raised heel between 0.5-1.5” to help you keep your torso upright, and get deeper into the squat.


A singlet is a tight fitting 1-piece leotard that must be worn after your first competition.

It helps reduce the possibility of the bar dragging on your clothing, as keeping the bar close is important. 


Weightlifting straps can be used to assist in gripping the barbell for pulls, and complexes where the bar does not go down between reps. We avoid relying on straps, as they are not allowed in competition, and grip strength is important. Rogue straps can be bought at the front desk for $12.


Knee wraps/sleeves and wrist wraps can be used to brace joints.

We try not to rely on these things to mask pain, as we’d rather try to address the underlying problem, and rest injured joints instead of making them worse. 


Athletic tape and gloves can be used to cover calluses and to protect skin from tearing. Taping thumbs can be useful to alleviate the pain caused by hook-grip. Different types of grips can be used, as well as gloves, but they can interfere with grip. Fingerless gloves are preferable to full gloves. Gymnastic grips can be bought at the front desk for $7.

Gym Equipment


In competition, men use a 20kg barbell, and women use 15kg. In master’s competitions, men may use the 15kg barbell up to a certain weight. Within the gym, there are a couple training barbells that are lighter than 15kg, and unweighted PVC dowels.


In Olympic Weightlifting, kilograms are used instead of pounds. 

Kilo-Pound conversion tables can be found on the pillars around the gym, or you can convert to kilos by doubling, and adding 10%. 1kg = 2.205lbs

Full size and change plates are colour coded from lightest to heaviest in the order of:

White (0.5/5kg) > Green (1/10kg) > Yellow (1.5/15kg) > Blue (2/20kg) > Red (2.5/25kg)

Squat Racks

On the weightlifting side there is a stationary squat rack, a green, metal jerk rack, and multiple movable squat racks on either end of the gym. You can take the portable racks to your platform as long as they go back where they were found, and the height is reset when you’re done. 


Chalk is used to stop the bar from moving around your hands, and can help cushion points of friction on the hands and collarbones. 


We recommend you do not rely on a belt to create core tension, but they can be useful to give feedback for your body to feel the tension. Belts can be found hanging on the pillar where the class starts. Some athletes purchase their own belts, but this is not necessary as we provide them in the facility. 

We highly recommend all our athletes compete. All the members of the team need to support each other. This is a big part of the process of becoming a proficient weightlifter and it’s a fun experience!

We host an open competition once a year in the summer called the Vancouver Classic. 

We also host an in-house competition during the Spring and Fall, called the Inter-club Challenge. The Inter-club Challenge is a great event for newcomers to get a feel for how the events are run and attempt new personal records. 

  • Three judges will decide whether a lift was successful.
  • The Centre Judge will give you a “down” signal when all judges have voted. 
  • You must receive two out of three positive votes to get a good lift. 

“No-Lift” Common Errors

Press Outs

 Elbows must be locked out at the top of a lift.

Double Dipping

Oscillating the barbell before dipping in the jerk is prohibited.

Early Drops

The lifter must wait for the “down” signal before dropping the bar.


The body must be stable in the catch position. Shoulders are the main concern.

Other things to note: 

  • Feet must be together in the holding position.
  • Feet are the only part of the body that may touch the ground during the lift.
  • The lifter must remain fully on the platform.
  • The bar must be lowered past the shoulders, dropping the bar from overhead, or slamming it to the ground is poor practice. 

There are different levels of competitions. 

  1. Development – Can compete in any “open” competitions.
  2. Provincial – Must qualify based on the provincial standards for your weight class.
  3. National – Must qualify based on the national standards.
  4. International – Pan-American, Worlds, Olympic other IWF sanctioned events. Qualification is more complicated for these events.
  5. Masters – Anyone over 30 years of age can participate in BC. 

Age categories are broken up into increments of 5 years.


Participate in Weightlifting classes with Dynasty’s Elite Membership or Platinum Membership plans.

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