Coach Brian’s Weightlifting Journey

 In Olympic Weightlifting, Uncategorized

Coach Brian Reisenauer’s Weightlifting Journey.

I began my weightlifting career at age 25. It all started by my introduction to CrossFit, in Fargo, ND.  For those of you that have never met me, I’m 5’2” and approximately 130 pounds. I would never be a CrossFit Games athlete. Since I had a very competitive spirit, this realization was tough for me. My box owner noticed this and tried to help build my spirit. She said that I lifted a lot for my size and should give it a try. I agreed.

My first weightlifting competition

The competition was called The Minnesota Open, which is a fantastic local competition in Rochester, MN. I was the only one in my weight class so I got an automatic first place, which did not exactly lift my spirits. With my competitive nature I had a new goal in mind, qualifying for the American Open.

I had no coach, and NO IDEA what I was doing.  I had never been to or even seen competition, I didn’t know what counting attempts were or how to warm up, nor did I even really know how to count in kilograms. My plan was simple, when they call my name, I go lift the weight. Fortunately for me, this ridiculous plan paid off, and I qualified for the American Open by lifting exactly the qualifying weight.

In the months leading up to the American Open I continued doing CrossFit every day and supplemented with more than usual weightlifting. I flew to the American Open and had done very little to prepare. Still no coach, no warm up strategy, and no clue what I was doing. I was just going to lift when they called my name. I made weight and walked into the warm up area and immediately freaked out. Everyone had at least one or more coaches with them, had claimed a platform for warm ups, and seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I stood in the back trying to figure out where I could maybe stretch and warm up before I lifted.

At this point already you are wondering why I have told you all of this seemingly useless information. I will tell you why right now.

At this very moment at the American Open, the way I viewed Olympic Weightlifting changed completely, and made me believe in what the sport represents.

Someone who I didn’t know, never talked to, and didn’t know me, asked if I needed help. He offered to coach me at the competition, count my attempts, and get me ready to lift. I didn’t know who this man was and he had only recognized me from my very first weightlifting competition in Minnesota. I subsequently went on to take 5th in the total at this competition. After the competition, I was adopted by my current weightlifting team, Mash Mafia.

In my career I have won the American Open, I have taken 2nd at the American Open, I have won several local competitions, and I have bombed out twice at nationals. Yes twice. My career has been filled with successes as well as failures, and that will continue. The constant is the belief that this sport, the people, and even my opponents all want me to thrive and be successful.


The man that helped me at my first American Open is still my coach to this day. I am telling you this because I want to be that person for you. I want to be there for you in your journey, I want to be there for your successes and failures, and I want to be able to help you achieve your goals.

One of my favorite sayings is, “never have someone in your corner who doesn’t think you can win.” My coaches have always believed in my ability to win. I want you to know that I believe that you can as well.

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