Joe Mills Cheat Sheet

Mills believes weightlifting should be a “way of life,” aimed at teaching young men and women inner toughness, discipline and concentration.

“You’re feeling that weight. It should all be one movement. Look up at the top of the pull and jump down fast. All one movement. Time it right, and the weight will literally feel like it’s pulling you up from the bottom position.”

“You’re stubbing your toe on the jerk. And your shoulders are dropping down as soon as the bar comes off the floor. You’ve got to keep them back.” “Is that it?” Klonoski with some surprise. “I was told I was arm pulling, but that didn’t sound right.” “It wasn’t right,” retorts Mills. “Letting your shoulders drop slows you down.”

As the workout proceeds, it becomes clear that in response to Mills’ comments, all three lifters are quickly making adjustments which improve their lifts. Grillo, for example, brings his feet closer together at the start of the pull and, as a result, finds he can use his quadriceps more effectively.

“But if I can get a lifter down to one mistake per lift, that’s acceptable. With two or three, he won’t lift to his potential.”

“By doing the lifts three times a week, Brusie’s developing the core muscles, all the little muscles you use for lifting. To be good at lifting, you have to lift” says Mills. “Also, my lifters always know exactly what they are capable of lifting. In competition, they can start with 10 pounds more than their best in training.”

“Say a guy is snatching 95 kg.,” Mills explains. “I’d have him start with 65 kg. For five reps, 70 for five, 75 for 5, and then take single attempts in 2.5 kg. jumps to 90 kg. That’s 21 lifts. If he makes all 21, he adds 2.5 kg. To all attempts in the next snatch workout. So he’d start with 67.5. If he misses the last lift (90 kg.), he stays with the same 65 kg. starter, no increase. If he misses several of the heavier lifts, he is probably just tired. He should listen to his body and rest.”

Mills believes that the York courses, including the fast deadlifts and repetition squats, remain the best general conditioners for weightlifting.

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