Class Review: B.O.L.T.

2nd July

Whether you’re a regular at the rack or shyly admire snatch techniques from afar, BOLT is a class with plenty to offer. Between the expert guidance of your Gymbox instructor and the snazzy tech tracking your every move (in a much less ominous way than Zuck) it’ll help you master the Basics of Olympic Lifting Technique in a flash. We sent resident blogger Hayley to give it a crack…

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Olympic weightlifting looks pretty rad but is only for absolute units surely? Wrong! Gymbox’s latest offering B.O.L.T is bringing lifting to the masses so in no time at all you’ll be Clean & Jerking and Snatching like a total pro.

I’m not ashamed to say I was pretty apprehensive before the class, I had done some compound lifts before but not for a while and nothing ever like the movements we would go through in class. However, the vibe in the studio was friendly, with a distinct lack of hulking great strongmen. It was an equal mix of girls and guys.

The teacher, Lin, was loving it. A self-confessed fiend for ‘Oly lifting’ Lin was enthusiastic and super patient. As most of us were beginners, the main focus on the first part of the class was technique. You can do serious damage to your back and neck if you try and lift heavy weights the wrong way.

We paired up and started with a practice barbell that was very light. Lin talked us through the very basic movements – the dip (bar below waist, bent legs), the hinge (bar hanging loose, knees bent, back straight) then lifting to chin on your tip toes. It was quite easy actually and I was feeling pleased with myself but then I remembered the bar was plastic not metal and there was zero weights on it. So I checked myself.

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Once Lin was confident we were all capable of doing these moves with ease we started using a proper barbell. A standard Olympic barbell weighs 20kg – so not impossibly heavy but definitely a step up from the first one. The next part of the class was where Gymbox’s cutting edge technology came in. Each pair was given a smart device that tracked our technique and power and graded it. The barbell was synced to the device so it knew exactly what you were doing – or not doing. The unique technology it uses is a great tool for the more experienced lifters out there. By being able to track the speed of a lift you’re able to actually see improvements and compete with yourself week on week.

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My partner had great technique and was soon stacking the weights on. But I wasn’t ready. I started with 20kgs, struggling with the last lift from hinge to chin. The bar wobbled and it was a bit embarrassing. But Lin came to the rescue, adjusted my technique, dropped the weight to 10kgs, and then I was fine.

Before long I was back up to 20kgs, but decided to quit while I was ahead and not go any heavier… for now.

The latter part of the class was spent playing around with weights on the bar and building them at your own pace. The instructor is always on hand to help and encourage you. I felt great afterwards and proud that I had done a class that I was intimidated by to begin with! Weight lifting isn’t just for bros and doing it doesn’t mean you’ll end up hench as a house. It’s a great way to burn fat, it’s good for your heart, it encourages focus and most importantly, it’s good fun.

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