Max Aita’s Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting Review

TLDR: Drill good movements right at the beginning to perfect the Olympic Lifts

Olympic movements can be very hard to learn for the self-coached. However, with this ebook, Max’s goal is to arm beginners with enough knowledge to alleviate uncertainty associated with learning weightlifting without a coach. The product contains guidance on equipment, warm-up and learning drills, progressions and video tutorials and finishes off with a 12-week program.

For both the snatch and clean, Max splits the movements into 3 phases:

  • Turnover/catch
  • Explosion
  • Pull

In each phase, different things are brought into focus; the Turnover/Catch phase is focused on teaching how to turn over the bar, catching and proper footwork and timing, the Explosion phase is about being in the right positions to create an explosive movement that accelerates the bar upwards, and setting up and pulling the bar to the power position correctly is the goal of the Pull phase.

The jerk is segregated into the split, which is the receiving position of a jerk, and the dip and drive, where proper start position is taught such that it allows the creation of an explosive upward drive.

The program attached to this is 12 weeks long, with three 4-week blocks with different focuses. Block 1 is primarily working on positional drills, with exercises like overhead presses from split and contact drills, to teach the lifter good positions to maintain.

Block 2 has lesser drills and is building on the skills learnt on Block 1, the lifter now does the full classical lifts with high sets (6-10 sets) to drill in quality movements. At the end of Block 2, the lifter is expected to build up to a maximum single with at most 3 misses.

For Block 3, it begins to mimic a real Olympic weightlifting program, but with variants of the snatch and clean & jerk done in every session to continue drilling the movements. This block also ends with the lifter working up to a max at the end of the 4th week.


  • A systematic approach to introducing the movements to beginners
  • Decent starter program


  • The money spent on this could have gone to getting a coach or reading it online and watching Cal strength youtube videos (but that’s my critique of all beginner weightlifting books)
  • Costs the same as the Weightlifting Triad (by the same author), which contains even more useful information

Neutral thoughts:

  • I think that to learn the classical lifts, hiring a good coach is compulsory. No product /video course /workshop will be more valuable than a coach staring at your movements a few times a week


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *