04/03/2021 # Home
The Olympic lifters are without a doubt the world’s strongest athletes.
There are two Olympic lifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch. Mastery of these lifts develops the squat, deadlift, power clean, and split jerk while integrating them into a single movement of unequaled value in all of strength and conditioning.
These lifts train athletes to effectively activate more muscle fibers more rapidly than through any other modality of training. The explosiveness that results from this training is of vital necessity to every sport.
Practicing the Olympic lifts teaches one to apply force to muscle groups in proper sequence; i.e. from the center of the body to its extremities (core to extremity). Learning this vital technical lesson benefits all athletes who need to impart force to another person or object, as is commonly required in nearly all sports.
In addition to learning to impart explosive forces, the clean and jerk and snatch condition the body to receive such forces from another moving body both safely and effectively.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the Olympic lifts’ unique capacity to develop strength, muscle, power, speed, coordination, vertical leap, muscular endurance, bone strength, and the physical capacity to withstand stress. It is also worth mentioning that the Olympic lifts are the only lifts shown to increase maximum oxygen uptake, the most important marker for cardiovascular fitness.
Sadly, the Olympic lifts are seldom seen in the commercial fitness community because of their inherently complex and technical nature. CrossFit makes them available to anyone with the patience and persistence to learn.
“Weightlifting” as opposed to “weight lifting” or “weight training,” refers to the Olympic sport, which includes the “clean and jerk” and the “snatch.” Weightlifting, as it is often referred to, develops strength (especially in the hips), speed, and power like no other training modality. It is little known that successful weightlifting requires substantial flexibility. Olympic weightlifters are as flexible as any athletes.
The benefits of weightlifting do not end with strength, speed, power, and flexibility. The clean and jerk and the snatch both develop coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance and to no small degree. Both of these lifts are as nuanced and challenging as any movement in all of sport. Moderate competency in the Olympic lifts confers added prowess to any sport.
The Olympic lifts are based on the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk. These movements are the starting point for any serious weight-training program. In fact they should serve as the core of your resistance training throughout your life.
Why the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk? Because these movements elicit a profound neuroendocrine response. That is, they alter you hormonally and neurologically. The changes that occur through these movements are essential to athletic development. Most of the development that occurs as a result of exercise is systemic and a direct result of hormonal and neurological changes.
Curls, lateral raises, leg extensions, leg curls, flyes, and other bodybuilding movements have no place in a serious strength and conditioning program primarily because they have a blunted neuroendocrine response. A distinctive feature of these relatively unimportant movements is that they have no functional analog in everyday life and they work only one joint at a time. Compare this to the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk, which are functional and multi-joint movements.
Start your weightlifting career with the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk, then introduce the clean and jerk and snatch. Much of the best weight-training material on the internet is found on powerlifting sites. Powerlifting is the sport of three lifts: the bench press, squat, and deadlift. Powerlifting is a superb start to a lifting program followed later by the more dynamic clean and the jerk and finally the clean and jerk and the snatch.
The movements that we are recommending are very demanding and very athletic. As a result they have kept athletes interested and intrigued where the typical fare offered in most gyms (bodybuilding movements) typically bores athletes to distraction. Weightlifting is sport; weight training is not.
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