Why Olympic Weightlifting?

Why Olympic Weightlifting?

By Coach Izzy

What is it that distinguishes the top coaches of the world from their peers? It is their willingness to keep learning and never be satisfied. These coaches know how even after decades of learning and studying, they have only scratched the surface and there is still much more to learn. The success of their athletes and clients are testament to it.

These coaches know the key to a successful program and results is the understanding and proper application of biomechanics. It is this understanding of how the body reacts, moves, learns, and adapts that allows the successful coach to understand complex training modules and present them to the client in a manner that is understandable, productive, and safe.

I have had the privilege of being under the guidance of some amazing coaches and I honor their winning formula.  I have made it my life commitment to continue learning and better my previous best. During this journey, I have met amazing teachers who have willingly shared their wealth of knowledge, enriched my life, and fine tuned my approach.

This background has allowed me to introduce exercise modalities, Olympic Weightlifting among them, with great success and safety. Careful analysis determines who is ready for what and at what stage. Most people are in fact shocked as they realize how fast and easily they learn, and what a difference it makes to their results.  The exquisite nature and precision of the Olympic Lifts, require constant practice under the supervision of  experienced and dedicated coaching.

I have been highly active in Olympic Weightlifting in the past few years. So what? You may be wondering… many coaches and trainers are involved in other sports. True there’s nothing wrong with that, as I also participate in other sports/activities in addition to Olympic Weightlifting.

However, and this is a big however, no other sport is used in the physical conditioning for other sports like Olympic Style Weightlifting. The benefits of the PROPER use of the Olympic lifts in the conditioning of both athletes and non-athletes are WELL documented. We could take part in triathlons and that’s fine, but not everybody would find the benefits of triathlon training specific to their goals, or would want to become a tri-athlete. The tri-athlete however, would benefit TREMENDOUSLY from incorporating the Olympic Lifts into his routine without having to become an Olympic Weightlifter, see the point?

The nature of Olympic Weightlifting is to help the athlete improve his produce force quickly. Improvements in this ability results in an increased capacity to produce higher partial outputs during “power” endurance bouts. That means  the mixed martial artist can sustain a match with far more vigor and decreased exhaustion, as he will not be tired if he has to exert a movement requiring a high degree of “power” output. The same applies to the racer, soccer players, football players, and pretty much every ground-based sport.  Notice I use the term “power” loosely as it is one of those misunderstood topics.

The sight of athletes performing heavy cleans and snatches in the strength and conditioning room is quite common now. If you have never been to one of these rooms, it may surprise you to know that the grand majority of those athletes are NOT Olympic Weightlifters, but rather, they are involved in sports requiring a great deal of power endurance. We are referring to sports such as wrestling, boxing, hockey, basketball, soccer, track and field, and even cheerleaders; Athletes who were told a little over a decade ago that Olympic Weightlifting would be detrimental to their performance.

Does this mean that everyone should be performing heavy Olympic Lifts? The answer is condition dependent and is determined by the combination of many factors.  However, if that is something tht sounds appealing to you,  you better have a good strength base and good technique, otherwise you need to work on acquiring them.

When the time and conditions are right for the implementation of Olympic Weightlifting, and under the right guidance, it can make all the difference in the physical preparation of the individual whether athlete or non-athlete and lead to excellent results.

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