@GethinEvans takes time out of his training regime to introduces us to Olympic Weightlifting. Enjoy . . .
Weightlifting isn’t just going to the gym and performing some curls, bench press, or even dead-lifting. Weightlifting in the purest form is an Olympic sport consisting of 2 movements; the snatch and the clean & jerk.
From when I started going to the gym at the age of 16 up until the age of 22 all I did was the basic compound movements, bench press, shoulders press, leg press etc. So when I started Crossfit in 2012 I had no idea what I was doing when it came to the snatch and clean and jerk (I’m still far from competent). Many of your reading this will be the same, have a look at the videos on the YouTube link below, will give you a good idea of what the two movements are. http://www.youtube.com/user/hookgrip
Why Do It?
Apart from me telling you to, here are some benefits I found to doing Olympic lifting.
- Cardiovascular System
In a Clean and Jerk and Snatch the bar moves from the floor to overhead and every muscle in the body is used. This includes all the support system it also forces stabilizer muscles to activate to secure the weight overhead in the lifts. As a result after completing an Olympic lifting workout you are sweating, exhausted and completely out of breath, and isn’t half as boring as 30min on a treadmill.
- Olympic Lifting workouts don’t take very long
As you train the whole body when training Olympic Lifts the workout do not take as long, but will work you twice as hard within that shorter amount of time.
- Safety and Injury Aspect of Weightlifting
After doing some research on the internet many blogs / articles point out that various studies were done showing Olympic weightlifting to be the safest form of resistance training there is.
- Body Composition Effects
What muscles do the Olympic Lifts build? All of them.
- Athletic Ability
Olympic lifts help improve power, strengths, speed and as the picture shows flexibility.
- Enjoyment Factor
Like golf, Olympic Lifting can be very frustrating, but once you start to master the movements there is no better feeling.
Where to Start?
You will need a gym that has bumper plates, weightlifting bars and a weightlifting area. Not all gyms have these; therefore you might be limited in your choices. There are three gyms that I know of where you can learn Olympic lifting in my area, that’s not to say there aren’t any more.
HAWFC (Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Center)
Once you’ve found somewhere to train then the next part is all about learning the lifts. For me there is only one way to go about this, to get professional coaching. If you have joined a gym with Olympic lifting equipment they should have some sort of coach or instructor that should be able to coach the basics of the movements to you.
Practice Makes Perfect!!!!!!!!
Practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. Ensure that you are doing the lifts correctly with good form. Do not be tempted to go for that big 1 Rep Max when you haven’t mastered the technique, that’s when injuries happen. Therefore it might be a good idea to check back with the coach every now and then to ensure your technique is correct.
In order to aid your learning you could use the wealth of information on the internet to teach yourself how to do the lifts, or if you have a gym buddy you can facilitate the learning experience for each other, comparing each others technique.
These infographics are a great example of what’s out there. They are part of a downloadable Olympic-Style Lifts Poster. A collaborative project between Diane Fu (FuBarbell) and PushPress, and it’s FREE! Get it here.
Remember it’s the uneducated lifter using poor form and inadequate warm-up that ends up injured. So what I’m trying to get at is, give Olympic Lifting a go, you wont regret it!