Shrugged Collective

The Next Great American Weightlifter—Harrison Maurus — 295

Harrison Maurus is a 17 year old weightlifting prodigy and world champion. Last year, Maurus not only won the 2017 Youth World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, but also set a new Clean & Jerk Youth World Record of 192kg at the men’s 77kg group.

Maurus squatted 200kg at age 13, over 3x bodyweight, and just a month ago, earned a bronze medal in both the men’s 77 kg total and clean & jerk at the 2017 IWF Weightlifting World Championships in Anaheim, CA, securing Team USA’s first men’s weightlifting world medals in 20 years.

In this episode, we dive into Maurus’ path in the weightlifting world, his special relationship with his coach Kevin Simons (a CrossFit Games competitor), and his programming and coaching.

Talent, coaching, and hard work.

Harrison Maurus met his coach Kevin Simons (two time CrossFit Games competitor) as his gymnastics coach when he was 10 years old. When Maurus was looking for a change from gymnastics, coach Simons introduced him to Powerlifting so he could get strong. Maurus had an amazing talent and strength at a very young age, and broke all national records around when he was 12 years old. He squatted 100kg when he was 11, 150 kg when he was 12, and 200kg (over 3x bodyweight, weighing 65kg) when he was 13!!!

Watch Maurus breaking national records lifting 200kg, over 3x bodyweight, at age 13!

Key Takeaways

  • You don’t need a weightlifting background — Coach Simons didn’t have a background in weightlifting, but because his student, Maurus, was so good, he dived deep into the science and created very detailed and specific programs for him that prioritize longevity and health.
  • The champion mostly holds back — Maurus only missed 5 total lifts in the past 12 weeks! Which was one “weird” jerk and four PR snatches attempts. Maurus doesn’t get pushed to lift very heavy often to keep healthy, build confidence, and because competitions don’t leave much room for error with 3 attempts only for each lift.
  • How you feel matters — When Maurus walks into the gym with a smile, coach Simons pushes him for upper percentage work. When Maurus isn’t feeling it, coach Simons keeps him at the lower end of percentages. Going by feel helps keep the ball rolling both physically and emotionally.
  • 2020 Olympics aspirations — Maurus dedicates all of his time to weightlifting and set his intentions to represent the USA at the 2020 Olympics. He intends on competing for as long as possible and aspires to compete at several Olympic Games.
  • Jumping a weight class — Maurus intends to jump one weight class to 85kg. He wants to get stronger and lift even more weights! Coach Simons planned big hypertrophy blocks for him: “Lots of sets and lots of volume.”
  • Maurus only goes hard twice a year at two big meets — It’s all about longevity when it comes to Maurus’ training. He only goes out big twice, because lifting so much weights is hard on the body.
  • Vary your training — Maurus’ training includes elements from Powerlifting, Strongman and CrossFit. He does yoke, farmer and suitcase carries, rope pulls, sled work, and more.

Connect with Harrison Maurus

Connect on social: Instagram

Resources: TeamAlphaSC Instagram

Listen to the show

Subscribe to iTunes (iPhone) or Stitcher (android) for audio:

Check out our FREE 50+ page OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING GUIDE! Includes: The Basics, Sample Programming, Links to Technique Videos, and more!


Train smart,

Mike and Doug

Mike Bledsoe

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