Weightlifting

Colin Burns: USAW National Champion


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Colin Burns put on a tremendous performance last weekend in Salt Lake City in winning the most competitive weightclass in the country, the 94kg Men’s weightclass. Colin set a 12kg meet PR in the snatch and briefly held the American Record in snatching 167kg and followed it up with a great Clean & Jerk of 192kg to take the title with a 359kg total over the likes of Kendrick Ferris and Norik Vardanian. We sat down to get Colin’s reflections on his performance…

Q: What an amazing performance! What does this winning this title mean to you?

A: This has been huge for me in a few ways.  Most importantly for me is that I finally put my lifts on the platform.  167 is an all time best snatch, and 192 is only 3kg shy of my best in training, which I hit only a few weeks prior.  The fact that it all came together to win the total is really the cream on top.

Q: After a string of frustrating meets, how were you able to not only match, but exceed your training performances on the biggest stage?

A: Honestly it was all in the preparation.  I came in knowing I was more prepared than I have ever been.  That set me up to be in a much better mindset.  I was locked in on this meet for the past two weeks.  Everything else took a back seat.  People would ask me if I was ready, and it almost got old because in my mind, I had answered that question a hundred times.  I knew I was.  When you know you are ready, the nerves go away, the extra thought goes away, and you just do.

Q: How did this Nationals make you feel about the future of Weightlifting in the US?

A: This meet was a huge step forward in my mind.  I have my issues for sure, but they are good problems.  Too many competitors is a good problem.  The room was packed during our session.  The live feed crashed because it couldn’t handle the volume of viewers.  You can’t ask for much more when your sport is growing faster than anyone can anticipate.  I’ll be the first to admit I had my doubts when I saw the number of participants and the fact that it was going to be two platforms the whole meet.  But it was actually on time almost all weekend.  The warm up rooms were huge.  the training hall had no shortage of equipment.  These are all huge factors as a competitor and we are making strides in the right direction.

Q: There was a lot of gamesmanship going on with attempt selections during the 94kg class, what advice do you have for young athletes/coaches in regards to selecting their weights?

A:  As an athlete, stop watching the board.  it’s the coach’s job to worry about what is going on with the cards and attempts being taken.  You have enough to worry about with lifting.  You don’t need to add more stress by watching numbers jump around on the board.  As a coach, pay attention to the table.  Especially in A sessions where people are going to play games to gain a place, you never know what can happen.  Come in with a plan, and stick to it.  Don’t let other coaches dictate what you do.  Make them do what you want them to do.

Q: Who are some of your favorite lifters to watch?

A:  Ilya has always been a favorite of mine.  I mean, he hasn’t been beat.  Every time he touches a barbell it looks like a warm up.  Apti Aukhadov is another favorite.  His precision is unreal.

Q: Training primarily by yourself and through correspondence coaching is a unique challenge, how do you manage to stay motivated during tough training?

A:  Usually I don’t even have to think about it.  I mean, if you constantly have to look for motivation, you are probably in the wrong place.  It’s easy for me because I love my sport. I love perfecting my art.  I don’t really have to go out out of my way to try because it has become just part of who I am.  Once in a while though, I have to remind myself of my goals. Usually it is enough to remember why I am doing what I’m doing.  The realization that I have not yet done what is necessary to get where I want to go is usually enough of a kick in the ass to get me through the day.

Q: What are the next steps for Colin Burns?

A:  We aren’t really sure on the next meet. A few things have to happen before we know but soon enough.  No matter what the goal is to hit another meet to have a more secure hold on the world team spot.  All of it is steps towards that ultimate goal of going to Rio in 2016.  We, as a country, still have a lot of work to do in order to secure some spots for that.  Professionally I have a few awesome projects coming up.  I am relocating back to Ann Arbor in order to work with Doug Chapman and his facility, Hyperfit USA.  this is an awesome opportunity.  There is going to be some great stuff to help weightlifters everywhere coming out of this whole relationship.  The best upcoming event though, is my e-book I am working on.  This will cover everything from technique to implementation of the movements for different sports.  It has been slow work since my focus switched completely to nationals, but it will get done eventually!  No matter what else is going on though, my training takes priority until I either make 2016, or I fail doing everything I can.

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