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​Australian Weightlifting Federation gives UCOL a boost

By UCOL on Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Hayden Pritchard

Already an Oceania champion powerlifter, UCOL Exercise and Sports Science Lecturer Hayden Pritchard continues to challenge himself – this time in Olympic Lifting.

Having recently undertaken a coaching course with the Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF), Hayden is now certified as an AWF Club Weightlifting/Sports Power Coach Level 1.

He says the certification has benefitted both his research and his students. “I’ve improved my ability to teach students the proper techniques and exercise progressions to learn the Olympic Lifts.” 

The AWF coaching course helped Hayden break down the parts of each movement, providing techniques to help develop coordination and flexibility and added practical insight on progressing a beginner lifter.

“Most students are completely new to Olympic Lifts so you often have to start from square one,” Hayden says.

Learning how to move correctly is important in achieving maximum strength and power - a key area of Hayden’s ongoing research through Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Hayden’s research through AUT is titled ‘Tapering strategies to enhance maximal strength’.

It is focussed around how strength athletes can best reduce training loads near competition to ensure they express strength optimally.

Hayden has one more training study to carry out this year and is aiming to submit the PhD mid-2017.

To date Hayden has had two research articles published from his PhD studies – one in the Strength and Conditioning Journal and the other in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research – with a third soon to be submitted for review.

“I am committed to understanding the science behind strength, and one reason that my students relate well to my teaching is because they see me training as well as researching in the areas that I teach.”

Inspired by Hayden’s strengths, UCOL now has a Barbell Club run by Hayden for the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science students.

“The group meets twice a week and runs barbell training sessions at our gym on campus. It’s great to see our students so motivated and putting into practice what they have learned.”

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