2014PanAm Masters

In April of 2013, I had decided to make a change in my life, so I signed up for Crossfit.  Little did I know it involved Olympic weightlifting movements, such as the clean and the snatch.  While I have achieved fantastic fitness results over the past year through the programming of my amazing coaches, I began to notice as I increased the weight on the barbell, I struggled with my technique.  It became so bad, I posted a picture of my bruised collar bone on Facebook, and that’s where Mario found me!  From that picture, he immediately spotted all of the things I was doing wrong in my lift and told me to come see him so he could help fix it.

I walked in on a Monday morning at 0600 to the training room, not knowing what to expect, a little nervous.  He immediately put me at ease, had me do a few lifts to demonstrate my technique, and then developed a program to assist me with correcting my errors.  He is extremely personable, helpful, non-judgmental, and provides constructive criticism as you are training.  Since I have started training with Mario, I have had no more bruising of my collar bone, as he has made me think about using my body correctly every time I approach the barbell, regardless of the weight on it.

Learning the proper Olympic weightlifting techniques has in turn made me a more efficient crossfit athlete.  I am no longer afraid to put more weight on my bar, because I now know how to properly lift and know I won’t hurt myself.  I would highly recommend any crossfit athlete learn the proper Olympic weight lifting techniques, and you will find no better coach than Mario Dispensa!

Rochelle Arnold


OHS or Overhead Squats. It doesn’t matter how you put it, my form, well, what form? I was determined to get at least one. At 48, I know I’m strong but putting something over my head and then squatting with it just wasn’t happening. I got to work with Mario a few times and he walked me, no took me through baby steps in working the basics and the mechanics of the Overhead Squat. I was slowly, with no weight on the bar working on form, how to find my center, how to listen to my body and how my body is performing the lift. Slowly, I was seeing myself not only doing one but one after the other with more confidence. Mario took the time to work with me, methodically and patiently. A tweak here and a tweak there. Mario made a program specific for me, in a Masters category (40+). Multiple reps in a lift had to be scaled in order for my body to respond well to the lifts as they got heavier. Being a lover of weightlifting since I was a teenager, this has been a dream come true to have Mario as an OLY coach. The changes in my lifts, confidence and form have been obvious. OHS? Looking to move on to Clean and Jerks next. Stay tuned!

Mary Jo McBride