I was fortunate enough to have met Donny at a pivotal moment in my weightlifting journey. I had made a real connection with the sport, I fell in love with training, and deep down I knew that I had a lot of potential that was unrecognized. I was never the strongest, my speed was lacking, but what I was missing most of all was guidance. Donny was my first real introduction to the sport of weightlifting, and made me aware of what it means to be a weightlifter. Some coaches offer programming, some have an advanced technical eye. Donny however has taught me something immensely more valuable, how to think. Coaches come and go. teammates come and go. Injuries will arise and conditions to excel and remain confident in your training will become exceedingly difficult. Donny has taught me how to think like a champion and that is something I will carry with me until the day I die. If you have the opportunity to work with Coach Donny, you will be exposed to the athlete you really are. All of the answers are in the process of training.
I had the opportunity to train with Donny for just over a year. My back squat went from 180kg to 210kg, snatch went from 106kg to 121kg, and clean and jerk went from 135kg to 145kg in about 5 months. The simplicity in Donny’s training system encourages great lifting and confidence. Donny has a very broad training background in which he brings in influence from many different sources from his years as a competitive weightlifter. Donny has been one of the biggest influences on my and my weightlifting thus far.
A huge impact not only in the way I approach lifting mentally but also how I coach others
From the first day I started being coached by Donny Shankle, I hit a personal record in my back squat. This PR was a milestone moment, and one I had been pushing myself to hit for well over a year….within a 2 hour coaching session I was there!Over the next year and a half I increased my squats and my lifts by 25 to 40 percent. More importantly over this time I gained 20 to 25 pounds, which was particularly exciting, considering I was in my late 30’s and find it difficult to gain muscle mass and increase my weight given my typical ectomorph body type. Donny taught me to respect the weight, but do not fear it. I learned that the days you don’t really want to train and are exhausted, are some of the best times and results you have in the gym. I worked hard to train and learn from Donny as much as I could and he was more than willing to share his knowledge. As an older athlete I was able to have a large deal of success with Donny’s methods and his teaching.Getting to know Donny was a truly remarked experience and I consider him a friend and coach for life. Much of what I learned and picked up from Donny in the gym also carried over into my personal and professional life.Whenever weightlifters from other gyms would visit, they would always hit a PR. The PR came from the lifter, but the intensity and adrenaline came from the atmosphere created by Donny! If you are a serious weightlifter or serious athlete, you need to be with the best in the business. Don’t short change your potential, train with Donny Shankle and it will be the best decision you could make.
Thanks for being the best coach I’ve ever had. What I have learned from you is irreplaceable on many levels.
Donny Shankle changed the way that I train. He preaches specificity, simplicity, and consistency. I had never trained this way before. The training is extremely specific to weightlifting and Donny expects maximal effort from his athletes. His methods and his expectations led me to several PRs, including a big 200 kilo back squat that I had been chasing for weeks. Donny wants what is best for the lifter and strives for perfection in his gym. He truly loves his sport and his weightlifters.
The first time I met Donny was at a seminar in Australia, where I was still following CrossFit training. At this point, to me; it was clearly demonstrated how demanding the sport it is. But it also defined how beautiful weightlifting truly is; given that you commit to this struggle and art or learning.This was a turning point for me personally; because at the late age of 27, I then decided to pick up this sport on a permanent and primary basis of training/fitness. It was like starting all over, something brand new. I firmly decided to dedicate as much of my time and efforts to learn more on this sport and hope to be a better athlete and teacher.As a foreigner, connecting with Donny has been rather challenging due to logistics. But I am thankful for being invited to multiple opportunities on being coached, and also train alongside Donny while he was closer in the Asian region. Those experiences have nonetheless proved to be invaluable to my own growth as an athlete and coach for this sport of weightlifting.Besides the fundamentals of practical training through simplicity and consistency, I personally have to say the best take away from Donny’s guidance is the understanding of how to be mentally prepared for the challenges in this sport. Being able to be fully aware of how your body feels and work with the mind over and over; is without doubt one of the most difficult tasks to master.However, Donny certainly changed that for me. The seeds of fortitude were planted, and that directly affected how it kept me hungry to learn more, keep my head up, and carry on with the training in sport. I wouldn’t be too sure where I would be today without having the experiences and guidance that was shared with me by this simple and down to earth man.2-Time Gold Medallist: Singapore National Weightlifting Championship,Malaysian National Level Weightlifting Athlete,Head Coach: The Vanguard Weightlifting, Malaysia
I attended Donny’s seminar and then was coached by him for a 4 month period...he is an incredible coach and helped my not only PR all my lifts, but prepared me for my first weightlifting competition where he coached me through it and I medaled...It was an experience I will never forget— because of him, I’m motivated to continuing competing, including entering the World Masters Competition.
It was a privilege and an honor to attend Donny Shankle’s first weightlifting seminar in his own gym. HIs stories, experiences and the opportunity to be coached by him left me on an inspirational high! His application of science based lifting along with an extensive championship weightlifting background and training from around the world made this seminar invaluable.
Training environment is everything. Donny brings that with his knowledge
You can find any number of people out there who will tell you how to pick up a barbell, how to lift some weight, but what Donny offers is an opportunity to grow the mind of a weightlifter, to hone the craft of weightlifting, to become a weightlifter in all senses of the word, both tangible and intangible. This process, although it begins with the simple action of moving the bar becomes something that takes up the whole mind, the whole imagination. It requires consistency and determined application, but the best thing about being coached by Donny is that he is always preparing you for success. So that every single session is both a success in itself, but also the stepping stone to that next success. This is what true coaching is all about, and Donny combines this with his eye for the lifts, making it a winning combination. Donny is sensitive to changes in each lifter, which makes it possible for him to consistently inspire, motivate and elevate. He knows that although we lift alone when we are on the platform, we should not lift in a vacuum. He creates an environment where the lifters you lift with, are both your every day competition and motivation, but also your strongest, staunchest supporters and friends. If you met me at one of Donny’s seminars, or saw me at his gym, you would not pick me out as a weightlifter, and although I love deadlifts, I have to be honest, my snatch was a struggle. Even lifting just the women’s bar. The opportunity of being coached by Donny was transforming both for my physical lifts – snatch, clean and jerk, even back squat, but also for my mentality. Through the hard work of honing my lifting, I also needed to learn the skills of how to approach the bar, how to focus, how to lift with determination and courage and consistency. I can now say that I am a weightlifter, both inside and out. If you are someone who is interested in numbers, over the four month period Donny worked with me, my backsquat 1RM went from 80kg to 100kg, my snatch from 15kg to 42kg and my clean and jerk from 57kg to 62kg. I took a gold medal in my weight and age class at the Masters World Cup in Tokyo, 2016.This is my story. Donny is ready to help you tell yours.
Having the opportunity to train with Donny set a foundation of skills as a weightlifter that I never thought possible. His approach to coaching is definitely tailored to each of his lifters. He knows exactly how to motivate you to achieve what you are capable of and beyond. His strategy is simple and even after the training is over, you know exactly how to smash your own personal records. I am so grateful for this chance, and look forward to growing stronger with all my weightlifting friends.
Being coached by Donny has elevated my place in this sport I only dreamed of reaching
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