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  • Jesse Irizarry



It was almost five weeks since I posted on social media that I was going to formally work under and be coached by my good friend, Yasha Kahn. Yasha is a three time US national medalist in weightlifting and very smart and learned coach. He has learned directly from some of the very best weightlifters and weightlifting coaches in the world, often touring the US doing seminars with them as their translator being that he himself is Russian. Yasha’s full bio can be found here.  Yasha had been a friend for close to two years already and had always been willing to train with me, coach me, and teach me new things, but my idea was to start a project where I ask him to formally coach me and document what I learned.

My grand idea for this project was to train under a great coach for an extended period of time and actively try to learn everything they were able to teach me. This would include coaching for my own lifting, tools I could use in coaching my own lifters, thoughts on technique and programming, and their overarching philosophies and principles in training.  I’d share my journey in learning this through writing about it and creating pieces of video content outlining all different tips and in-depth methodologies. Yasha was my obvious first choice to reach out to.

So I hopped on his online team programming and got started scheduling times to meet with him in person where he would coach me and I would record the session to post for viewers. At the time I started the training cycle, it had been about two months since my last weightlifting meet and I had fallen off the wagon a bit as far as training goes, again. Life got a little loco and I was struggling to train even twice a week much less eat enough food to keep weight on or take care of my body and all the nagging injuries that have have plagued me for some time.

I was 96 kilos/211 pounds, about 8 or 9 kilos down from my bodyweight at my last competition. Because of the bad shape I was in, and when I planned on competing next, Yasha decided for me to start his team winter cycle from the beginning even though the online program schedule had them finishing it up and going into the next cycle. The start of the winter cycle emphasized GPP ( General Physical Preparation) and some bodybuilding. He even had me going on some runs, which was actually very refreshing.

Unfortunately life stayed pretty frantic for me and training remained inconsistent  for the next several weeks and while I tried to follow the program as closely as possible, I had other responsibilities that would  pull me out of the gym all day so that I couldn’t even set aside a half hour to get some work done. I was still trying to learn from Yasha as much as possible and post content when I could, but it was pretty fragmented and there was no structure in how I actively learned from him or posted the content.

So, as I sat in my apartment one early morning, planning out my day, I decided to journal all of this instead. I had said that everyone who watches my videos or reads my blog could follow along but I hadn’t made myself responsible to this task or to the people who actually would care enough to watch or read. I settled on the idea of journaling the training and everything I learn each week to share it with everyone. You’ll be able to follow along with this week by week as I post the journals to the website, and it will also be compiled into a complete online resource/ebook that can be referenced and read as a whole.

I’ve been able to regain some stability in my life and now is the time to go head first into this and give the best back to everyone who I’m fortunate enough to have listen and learn from me as I listen, learn, and do the deep extended work to learn from great coaches like Yasha.


Each week I’ll post a weekly review of the training program and my progress through it and all that Yasha is teaching me and having me do or focus on. I’ll also include how I’m feeling with the training, an ongoing log of my bodyweight, numbers in training, nutrition and ongoing supplement intake, recovery and sleep quality, and any additional methods I include for overall health, longevity, movement quality, injury prevention or management.

I’ll specify if Yasha told me to do these things directly or if they’re from my own knowledge base and how everything fits into the big picture. Hell, I may even include a progress picture here and there because although the goal here is strictly performance, how my body physically changes to the training is important and rebuilding muscle and weight gain is a priority at the moment.

Each weekly journal will be added to its own specific section on the website under Yasha Kahn’s training and compiled over time to act as a complete reference of my time working under Yasha. At the end, it will all be available as one downloadable PDF and as a type of online reference e-book for anyone to read through in its entirety.

So in all, it will basically be a little e-book chronicling my time being coached by and learning under the one and only Yasha Kahn.

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