The Pre-Lift Checklist That Will Improve Your Olympic Lifts

By Marcherry Garnica
Feb 23 2015
olympic lifting women

The Pre-Lift Checklist That Will Improve Your Olympic Lifts

What would you do if you had the opportunity to learn proper lifting techniques from a 2 time Olympian?

You’d be crazy not to jump at the chance, right? Well, that’s exactly what we’re bringing to you today.

Chad Vaughn is an Olympic weightlifter and a master at lifting heavy. As a trained athlete, he has relied heavily on 5 foundational points that help him continue to add weight to his Snatch and Clean and Jerk.

This isn’t your run of the mill checklist – this pre-lift evaluation is what he applies before every single lift to ensure safety and success, and one you should start implementing immediately.

It’s not surprising that his pre-lift checklist is full of wisdom, but what really stands out is the simple genius behind each point. 

Before ripping weight off the floor, Vaughn considers these 5 points:

  1. Do I need to do some mobility work or am I comfortable in each of the extreme positions required by this lifts movements?
  2. Do I ‘rip’ from the floor?
  3. Am I hurrying to set up or get into positions?
  4. Does my mind feel overwhelmed by trying to focus on too many things at once?
  5. Do I need to calm down?


If you think back to your last failed lift, chances are you were experiencing one of these issues, but failed to correct it prior to lifting. 

Next time, run through this self checklist and really get in the zone before taking weight off the ground. If it works for Vaughn, surely it will help you add weight to your lifts. 

Speaking of lifting heavy, you need to check out this incredible vid of Chad clean and jerking 315lbs…in suuuuuper slow-motion with dramatic music playing. There’s something oddly serene about watching an Olympian at the Box, in slow motion, destroy a HEAVY ASS weight with perfect form.

And if you’re keen to check out more lifting wisdom from this Olympian, read the full article we were referencing. He details 4 areas of focus that he believes can help anyone add weight to their snatch and clean and jerk.

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