Olympic Weightlifting Austin
Sarah completing a 73kg Clean & Jerk at an Olympic Weightlifting Meet in Austin


Last month in Austin, in only her second olympic weightlifting meet (ever), Sarah clean and jerked 73kg – that’s 13kg MORE THAN HER BODYWEIGHT!

Great lifting, Sarah!  80kg isn’t far off!!!*



Last month this 50kg weightlifter set 2 new Personal Records.  She easily snatched 33kg and clean & jerked 40!  This month she’ll celebrate 54 years.  Pretty amazing!

Julie, you inspire all of us with your tenacity (and your cute outfits).  We can’t wait to see what amazing feats of strength you’ll accomplish in the months to come!*

Amalia Litras: Owner – CSCS, USAW

After spending two years teaching and coaching in Kansas, Amalia decided to move to a warmer climate. Once in Austin, she spent the first few years outdoors, either riding her bike or running.  Eventually she found her way back into the gym and began strength training.

After becoming a Texan, she ran a marathon, pedaled through a century ride, competed in amateur boxing matches, and lifted in several powerlifting meets before discovering olympic-style weightlifting.  A month before her 40th birthday, she competed in the 2011 National Weightlifting Championships, finishing in seventh place.  In 2013, at the age of 42, she competed in the American Open Weightlifting Championships.

512.699.7732 | [email protected]


I started training with Amalia when I signed up for her Olympic Weightlifting class two years ago. I had very little experience with strength training and, frankly, was rather weak. Under Amalia’s coaching direction, I have mastered the Olympic lifts and gained considerable strength—I can now squat more than my own body weight!

What I value most about Amalia is her enthusiasm and her sincere interest in my improvement. She is unfailingly supportive and positive. When my technique starts going haywire, as it does every now and then, she patiently and matter-of-factly adjusts my workouts with the appropriate drills to get me back on track. On the rare occasions when I have been injured, she modifies my workouts to work around my injury so my recovery is as quick as possible. She offers me constant support, gently pushing me to push myself and improve my lifts.

It’s inspiring to learn from someone who competes at the national level, and her training programs have helped me make steady progress without burning out.  After two years, I still look forward to my workouts every week!*

Colin M.

At just 85 kg, Colin clean and jerked 114 kg (that’s 250 pounds) to set an new PR and secure 3rd place at this year’s  highly competitive Texas State Meet.

Colin, you inspire all of us with your competitive spirit and indefatigable work ethic!  Great job at the meet!*

Pattie Farley: Owner – CSCS, USAW

While earning a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech, Pattie fell in love with endurance training and began competing in 5Ks. Once she graduated and moved to Austin, she decided to try her hand at longer distances, running a half-marathon before deciding to ride in the 1998 Tanqueray AIDS Ride (Austin-to-Houston-to-Dallas/575-miles).

Shortly thereafter she suffered a shoulder injury and decided to focus most of her energy on strength training.  Since that time, in addition to two marathons and countless century rides, she has competed in several powerlifting meets and bodybuilding shows.

512.619.4071 | [email protected]


Amalia became my Olympic Lifting coach a little over a year ago. At that time I was working off programs from “The Science of Strength Training” (one of the bibles of weightlifting) and one out of a book written by the head Strength and Speed Coach of a major university whom I’d personally interacted with and had the opportunity to train alongside world class athletes, both pre and post graduation. However after months of training on my own, I had plateaued, getting frustrating and discouraged, and getting sloppy in the process. In short, I didn’t know what my problems were nor how to fix them.

Immediately she noticed the sloppy/lazy habits I’d regressed into without supervision, subsequently preventing me from any further advancement. As such, she constantly varied my workouts, quick to demonstrate the corrective action and patient with me when I didn’t get it right away. She also stood by calmly when I questioned/challenged the reasoning behind every new idea presented to me. Let me emphasize that this is hardly an easy task.

Yet without her guidence, I never would’ve entered the Texas State Weightlifting Championships (my first Olympic Lifting competition ever) in Jan. 2009, and as such, would never have gotten second place in my weight class. In less than a year of working with her I’ve increased my Snatch 15kg (33lbs) and my Clean and Jerk 10kg (22lbs). My Jerk has gone from 105kg to 120kg (231lbs to 264lbs), my Front Squat from 105kg to 120kg, Clean pull from 105kg to 135kg, Snatch pull from 90kg to 105kg.  Since working with Amalia, I’ve noticed a few unique things. First, she genuinely cares about the successful goal attainment of her clients, however big or small they may be. Whether it’s being able to do a single pull up or getting someone to a nationally competitive level, she’ll be just as excited for either one. Good coaches know that getting their client to a point they never thought possible is all that matters, and it’s the steps (mini-goals) along the way that provide that personal satisfaction. From my experience, every lift I do under her supervision becomes her lift, and as such she commits the same emotional investment in each one.

Second, she puts thought into each individual program she creates. The weight, %’s, and volume are all carefully calculated and tailored to that person and their goal set. One of the first things I noticed was that my schedule wasn’t based off a mindless computer program. She takes injury (past or present), weakness in certain areas, and athletic ability into consideration when creating them. If I was buying a suit, my ability would be the roll of fabric and she the bespoke tailor. Not only has she increased the Olympic Lifting community several fold since I started lifting at the gym, she’s making quite a name for herself as a national competitor as well.

Update 6/15/10:  After another 6 months of training, he’d added another 5kg to his snatch (20kg increase/100kg Snatch) and another 5kg to his Front Squat (125kg).*

Paul F.

A few months ago, Paul approached us about joining the olympic lifting class.  The olympic lifts are quite explosive and highly technical, so naturally Paul was a little bit intimidated, but he joined the class nonetheless.

Since that first Saturday, he’s worked very hard to learn not only the technique, but also the vernacular commonly used on the platform.  He asks questions, prints out email to reference during his workouts, and carefully studies other athletes during their lifts.

He’s incredibly positive and has worked really hard. We’re very proud of you, Paul!*

Tom S.

Tom has trained with Team GrassIron for the past couple of years and has seen a profound improvement in both strength and flexibility.  During the past few months, Tom has really stepped it up a notch and made an effort to improve his current level of fitness.  He now arrives at his training session 15-20 minutes early to warm up properly.  He even comes to the gym on his “days off” to do cardio!

Not only that, Tom has maintained a very positive attitude while trying to learn the highly technical and often frustrating olympic lifts.

Outstanding job, Tom!  We’re very proud of your efforts!*