Weightlifting Exercise Program Design for Hammer Throw

by Mohamad Saatara
Weightlifting Exercise Program Design for Hammer Throw


Coach Mo Saatara has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to strength and conditioning and it's application to the the hammer throw and other throwing events. 

In this course he focuses on the applications and demands of the hammer throw and the specific application of designing a resistance training program. 

Topics discussed include princples of strength training, specific factors related to Hammer, exercise selection, and designing an annual training plan. 


The Coach


Mohamad Saatara

Men's Track & Field Assistant Coach


Mohamad Saatara enters his 10th season with the California track & field team in 2022-23. He joined the team in August of 2013 as an assistant coach for throwing events.

Since Saatara joined the Bears, his student-athletes have notched 35 (17 men, 18 women) appearances on the school's all-time outdoor top-10 list and 23 (15 men, eight women) on the all-time indoor top-10 list. He has also coached 16 USTFCCCA All-American performances in his eight years with the Bears, as well as five Honorable Mention All-American performances. To date, Saatara’s throwers have reached five standing school records: Mykolas Alekna’s (2022, discus), McKay Johnson's (2020, indoor shot put), Chimoa Amaechi's (2014, weight throw), Chrissy Glasmann’s (2019, javelin) and Camryn Rogers’ (2021/22, hammer throw); he has also coached athletes to six separate Cal freshmen records. So far, Saatara’s athletes have produced 23 NCAA Championship-qualifying performances and two National Championships (Rogers, 2019 and 2021 hammer throw), as well as two all-time NCAA records (Rogers, 2021/22 hammer throw; Alekna, 2022 discus).

The 2022 track & field season was Saatara’s best one yet, as he was named both the Men’s and Women’s USTFCCCA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year after coaching senior Camryn Rogers to her third straight national championship (and new NCAA record, No. 9 in the world all-time) in the hammer throw and qualifying five additional athletes (seniors Josh Johnson and Iffy Joyner, junior Anna Purchase, sophomore Ivar Moisander and freshman Mykolas Alekna) to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Alekna (2nd), Joyner (4th) and Purchase (7th) each earned First Team All-American status – the first time since 1922 that four throwers received that honor at Cal – while Johnson finished his senior year as a Second Team All-American. At the Pac-12 Outdoor Championships, Rogers, Alekna, and Johnson (shot put) each won titles in their respective events, with Alekna surpassing the all-dates NCAA discus record for the first time and setting a new world record for a 19-year-old. The outdoor regular season was a tremendous success for many of Saatara’s athletes, including Purchase, who became just the second British woman in history to throw the hammer over 70 meters, and Amelia Flynt, who set a new Cal freshman record in the women’s shot put to rise to second in school history. Both Rogers and Johnson appeared at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier that year, with Rogers finishing third in the weight throw after winning the Pac-12 title and setting a new school record to earn herself another First Team All-American nod; Johnson was also named Second Team All-American in the shot put.

Rogers ended the 2022 season with the top 11 hammer throws in NCAA history, while Alekna accumulated 6 of the NCAA’s all-time top 10 discus throws – both were named semifinalists for The Bowerman, with Rogers becoming the first Cal athlete to advance to the pool of finalists. Rogers was also named as the USTFCCCA West Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and a Honda Sport Award Finalist, while Alekna earned the USTFCCCA West Region Men’s Field Athlete of the Year, Pac-12 Men’s Field Athlete of the Year, and Pac-12 Men’s Freshman of the Year awards. In total, Saatara’s athletes collected 12 outdoor program Top 10 marks and 5 indoor Top 10 marks on the year.

Following the 2022 NCAA season, Rogers and Alekna went on to earn Canadian and Lithuanian championships in their respective events before each earning a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships. Flynt also made her mark on the postseason circuit, taking first place in the women’s shot put at the USATF U20 Championships to qualify her for the Junior World Championships. In August of 2022, Rogers became the reigning Commonwealth Games women’s hammer champion while Alekna earned his first ever European Championship title; the latter was subsequently named European Athletics’ Men’s Rising Star.

In the 2021 track & field season, Pac-12 champion Camryn Rogers stamped her mark in collegiate history by breaking the all-time hammer record and meet record – twice – at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-American status, capping off the year with a fifth-place finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which was the highest-ever finish by a female Canadian hammer thrower; Saatara was subsequently recognized as an Olympic Coach and received an Olympic ring to acknowledge his presence and contribution. Rogers, Cal’s first track & field athlete to be named to The Bowerman Watch List, also qualified for the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships in the weight throw and earned the first of her two All-American nods that year. On the men’s side, Iffy Joyner took third place in the discus throw at the Pac-12 Championships, eventually making his way to the NCAA Championships and winning himself an All-American spot.

Despite the lack of a 2020 outdoor season, Saatara’s student-athletes still found reason to celebrate. In his final year at Cal, McKay Johnson broke his own indoor shot put record, winning the MPSF Championship title and reaching his third straight All-American appearance. Teammate Josh Johnson finished right behind in the same event, taking second place as well as All-American honors of his own.

Saatara mentored Rogers on the way to her first National Championship (and All-American nod) as well as the usurpation of her own school record in the women's hammer throw in 2019, a year in which she also first set Canada’s U23 record and placed sixth at the Pan Am Games. Rogers also took first place in that year’s MPSF Championships (weight throw) and the Pac-12 Championships (hammer throw). Not to be outdone, teammate Chrissy Glassmann set a school record of her own in the javelin throw. Under Saatara’s coaching, freshman Iffy Joyner took home a silver medal in the men’s discus throw at that year’s NACAC U23 Championship and qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in that same event, while fellow thrower McKay Johnson broke his own school record in the indoor shot put on his way to a national appearance of his own (as well as a second-place MPSF Championships finish) along with teammate Silviu Bocancea in the hammer throw. Once again, both Johnson and Bocancea notched All-American honors.

In 2018, Saatara coached Rogers to that year’s U-20 World Championship in Finland, where she took gold in the hammer throw. That win was the first world championship at any level for a Cal track & field athlete, as well as the first-ever throwing gold medal for Canada. As a freshman, Rogers broke the school record in the hammer throw and finished third at that year’s Pac-12 Championships, also taking third in the weight throw at the MPSF Championships. On the men’s side, McKay Johnson broke the school record for the indoor shot put under Saatara’s guidance, qualifying for both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships (the latter for both shot put and discus throw after second-place conference finishes in each event), reaching All-American status in the former. Shot putter Peter Simon also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships after placing third at the Pac-12 Championships, as did Bocancea in the hammer throw; both later reached All-American status. Two more discus throwers finished third for the Bears at the Pac-12 Championships – Malik McMorris for the men and Amarie Bremel for the women.

Saatara’s 2017 campaign featured a mix of both veteran and newcomer successes, topped by pupil McKay Johnson’s third-place finish in the shot put at the USATF Junior Championships. Simon also impressed once again, winning the Pac-12 men’s shot put title and earning All-American honors, while women Kendall Mader and Destiny Parker shined at the Pac-12 Championships (third in discus throw) and MPSF Championships (second in weight throw), respectively.

2016’s star thrower under Saatara’s tutelage was freshman Peter Simon, who qualified for both the Indoor and Outdoor NCAA Championships that year and earned All-American honors at the former. At the Pac-12 Championships, Simon placed third in the shot put; his teammate Isaac Dan also took home a trophy from that meet, finishing second in the hammer throw.

In 2015, Saatara helped another athlete – Ethan Cochran – qualify for the National Championships in the discus throw after Cochran placed second in the Pac-12 Championships. New addition Ilse Kaaja earned herself a spot on the podium in the Pac-12 women’s hammer throw, placing third at that meet, while the earlier MPSF Championships featured Amaechi’s second-place finish in the weight throw.

Saatara’s inaugural season with the Bears saw two National Championship qualifiers in Amaechi and Derek White. All-American Amaechi, who broke the school record in the weight throw earlier that year, placed first in the weight throw and third in the shot put at the MPSF Championships, while White took second place in the discus throw at that year’s Pac-12 Championships. Shelby Ashe, another thrower taught by Saatara, also reached the podium at the Pac-12 Championships, winning second in the hammer throw.

Saatara came to Berkeley after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan, where he supervised all field events for the men’s team and specialized in the throws. Under his direction, the Michigan men set seven school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, weight throw, hammer throw and the decathlon. In addition, they earned four All-Big Ten Honors in Indoor and Outdoor conference championships.

Prior to moving to Michigan, Saatara spent eight seasons at Northern Arizona University, helping the Lumberjacks to 12 Big Sky Conference men’s and women’s team championships. He has coached over 20 Big Sky individual champions, as well as multiple school record holders in the throws. During his career at NAU, he coached a multitude of student athletes who competed at the NCAA Regional and National Championships, including six NCAA All-Americans and two NCAA Academic All-American awardees.

Saatara has coached and consulted nine Olympians. He has also coached national- and international-level athletes who have set national and international records. Athletes under his care have competed in the Indoor and Outdoor World Championships, USATF National Championships and Olympic Trials, Asian Games and Championships, and CAC Games. He was also retained as a consultant for several national track & field federations and world and Olympic medalists. One of his premier athletes is Golden Bear shot putter Amin Nikfar, whom he has coached since 2006.

Saatara previous served as interim head coach at his alma mater, California State University Los Angeles. He is a former All-American at CSULA where he finished second in the hammer throw at the 1995 NCAA Division II Championships. Saatara holds several national and international coaching certifications and diplomas, including the IAAF/World Athletics Level V Coach (With Distinction), USA Track & Field Level II and III-Throws. He has been a clinician and presenter for the USTFCCCA and other national and international coaching organizations.

Ratings and Reviews (1)

Marco Bronswijk

The course is a kind of general information. But at the same time what you are gonna aspect at such a low price. Its not for starting coaches because you ought to know where he is talking about.

Jan 31, 24 03:09 PM

This Course Includes

24 hours on-demand video
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Course Info

Rating: (1)
Caterory: Track and Field/Weight/Hammer
Bookings: 17
Videos: 7