UVM introduces new lifting club to students

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Many students may not know that among the many groups of club athletes, UVM has an Olympic weightlifting club.

Officially recognized in October, the club has already attracted members of the UVM community.

Head coach Stephen Groves Jr., formerly a trainer in Dallas, came to Burlington and noticed the lack of experience in Olympic weightlifting.

“I love the whole concept of excellence, performance and functionality within our movements … So I wanted to get people engaged in fitness and weightlifting but learn how to do the whole process properly,” Groves said.

Groves stressed that experience is not required to join.

“We have people who have never touched a barbell in their lives, all the way to people who have been actively lifting for years,” he said.

There are currently 19 people involved in the club, including four females.

One thing that Groves stresses is that Olympic weightlifting is not just for men.

Women with all levels of experience are encouraged to join and better themselves in the sport as well, Groves said.

“It’s in my nature as a personal trainer to try and help people with their lifts.

“I would see people squatting and their form is a little off or I would see them doing something crazy dangerous and I would give them a pointer or two,” Groves said.

As a result, Groves and assistant coach Pearson King said they spread the word about the club simply by helping people at the gym.

King runs the Monday sessions at 1:30 p.m. while Groves runs the sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 a.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

The club is set up to help those who are at different levels.

“You need to be able to do the absolute basics, if you can’t we will regress you to a level that is appropriate for you,” Groves said.

The motto that Groves stresses is functionality over performance.

Since this is a club sport, they do in fact compete. An internal meet will be held March 16.

Next year members will compete in the Ginny Robinson meet in Massachusetts in addition to the New York Open.

All members do not have to compete if they don’t want to.

The club could also be just for their own personal weightlifting purposes, Groves said.

The club costs $5 a week with all money earned going to the purchase of new equipment.

Practices typically run an hour and a half in length and meet in the free weight room located in the Gucciardi Fitness Center.