I love Olympic Lifting

The thing is that I don’t think it is contributing what people think it is contributing when it comes to sport performance.

Here are a few comments with regard to a previous post:

garrett said…
I was just trying to make the point that if you are using olympic lifting to help with your rugby or Gaa or whatever there is already a high enough chance of injury without your lifting contributing on top.

I agree…I was just pushing your buttons because I can.

So wouldnt it make sense then to go and learn how to do the lifts properly so you can get the most benefit out of it and not injure yourself in the process. Same for benching squatting whatever.
Absolutely agree…the problem is that the Olympic lifts are complex and take not only technical ability but a large amount of functional mobility and stability that is not necessarily essential for other sports…think how much functional mobility is needed to snatch versus how much is needed to run.


This takes a lot of functional mobility and stability.


This does too…but in a completely different way.

So for most athletes not only is there a significant amount of time needed to master the technical aspects of the lifts but an significant amount of time would also be required to attain the functional mobility and stability needed.

For most non professional athletes just finding the time to do any training is difficult enough and all that I am saying is that I use what will give me the most bang for my euro with regard to maximising sports performance…in far and away the most cases…that is not Olympic lifting.

I think someone that competes in Olympic lifting is probably going to be pushing a bit harder on the lifts than someone who is using them as part of a training program for their main sport but I think the incidence of injury would be a lot lower than soceer , rugby or GAA ?
I agree…the point that I am making is that for many athletes who are Olympic lifting as part of their training program for their sport is that they are skinning the wrong cat.

Barry Oglesby said…
I see what you’re trying to say regarding injury rates in conditioning. But surely something badly performed is going to cause injury no matter what it is?

I agree.

For my money I’ve never seen many people injured by cleans but I have seen plenty of people done by deadlifting for example.
You need to get out more…I’ve seen plenty of people injure themselves doing both.

I can’t vouch for all of their techniques of course, I didn’t train them but that would be my anecdotal experience for what it’s worth. (Given that far more people dead than clean).
I’m glad you said this because I think this is the important point…no where near as many people Oly lift as deadlift. The other thing is that no one hurts themselves deadlifting or Olympic lifting with just the bar…get groups mediocre technique wise and strength wise with both and see what happens then.

Can you expand a bit on what you see are the greater dangers in O-lifting?

I think this question may be a result of my incoherent rambling and hopefully I’ve cleared my views on the issue…if not ask me again?

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11 thoughts on “I love Olympic Lifting

  1. Good post Will. I see what you’re getting at.

    With regard to the functional stability you’re talking about, would that not benefit an athlete in the long run to gain the flexibility needed for say, the snatch? What I mean there is that I can see why teaching a 28 year old prop (or any older athlete) how to do a full snatch might be more hazardous than beneficial, but what about younger athletes? Teenagers etc.

  2. Fair points Will, a simple apology would have sufficed …
    I do think though that a power clean/clean isnt that hard to learn and is a pretty good exercise .
    That being said its hard to know how good your technique is without regular feedback.

  3. Barry, if you want the athlete to gain flexibility/mobility, there’s still no need for snatches(full). Teach them how to overhead sqaut, for example,in warm-ups, with med-balls, etc.

    Even if they’re young, i wouldn’t feel confortable with them snatching as the potential for injury to the shoulders/elbows is too high for the potential benefits.

    That being said, i love the OLifts and use them in MY own training. I just don’t prescribe them.

    If you have plenty of time, then go ahead and teach them, but be very careful with technique.

    Just my opinion,though

  4. Barry Oglesby said…
    Good post Will. I see what you’re getting at.
    Good…send me an email and explain it to me in simple words.

    With regard to the functional stability you’re talking about, would that not benefit an athlete in the long run to gain the flexibility needed for say, the snatch?
    Why? I’m sort of taking the piss asking that….but think about it. How much flexibility do you need for your sport? This is one of my problems with some rugby teams doing yoga or pilates that sort of thing…I think it is stupid…I think it contributes next to nothing to most players and actually causes more problems and increases the risk of injury. We’ll stick with rugby for a minute…think about their knees for example….how much flexibility do you want in their knee? How great do you want the range of motion to be? What is the benefit of increasing the flexibility of that joint? Think of it in these terms…how loose do you want that joint to be?

    What I mean there is that I can see why teaching a 28 year old prop (or any older athlete) how to do a full snatch might be more hazardous than beneficial, but what about younger athletes? Teenagers etc.
    The thing I always look at when programming is this….how much time do I have, what will give me the biggest return in the shortest amount of time…if it was snatching….I would be all over it like white on rice…but it isn’t. Given more time….absolutely…I would definitely teach it because it would come somewhere on my return for invested time chart below box squatting and above tricep kick backs.

    garrett said…
    Fair points Will, a simple apology would have sufficed …
    You have me confused with someone else.

    I do think though that a power clean/clean isnt that hard to learn and is a pretty good exercise.
    I agree…but other stuff is higher on my return on investment chart for the majority of athletes.

    That being said its hard to know how good your technique is without regular feedback.
    True.

    João Mimoso said…
    Barry, if you want the athlete to gain flexibility/mobility, there’s still no need for snatches(full). Teach them how to overhead sqaut, for example,in warm-ups, with med-balls, etc.

    Even if they’re young, i wouldn’t feel comfortable with them snatching as the potential for injury to the shoulders/elbows is too high for the potential benefits.

    That being said, i love the OLifts and use them in MY own training. I just don’t prescribe them.

    If you have plenty of time, then go ahead and teach them, but be very careful with technique.

    Just my opinion,though.
    Everyone thinks they’re a bloody coach now!

  5. Dude, i have olympic, all-stars,etc, all training with me. And the ones who aren’t, it’s because i don’t want to train them. I don’t work with lower level athletes.

  6. garrett said…
    “I do think though that a power clean/clean isnt that hard to learn and is a pretty good exercise . “

    Have you looked at youtube lately? Most people seem compeltely incapable of teaching a decent power clean.

    Then again, most people’s form on most exercises is shit.

    Lyle

  7. I think Youtube is the cause of a lot of bad technique. People no longer go to coaches cos hey, they can see it all on t’internet.

  8. Barry Oglesby said…
    How much stability/flexibility of the knee- I'd like this much please.. at around 2min40 especially. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqhFDyCxZL0&feature=related
    For what you do….you definitely need it and if I was training mixed martial artist snatching could very well be one of the tools that I would use.

    I can see every side to this, which is unusual because usually I nail my flag to a mast and then dogmatically defend one position until I get bored.
    Only a fool sees everything in terms of absolutes.

    Barry Oglesby said…
    I think Youtube is the cause of a lot of bad technique. People no longer go to coaches cos hey, they can see it all on t’internet.
    YouTube is only good for demonstrating ones obesity.

  9. Lylemcd

    It’d be nice if fitness experts spent more time putting up quality ‘how-to’ exercise clips on Youtube, than bitching about all the shit ones.

  10. Kira said…

    Lylemcd

    It’d be nice if fitness experts spent more time putting up quality ‘how-to’ exercise clips on Youtube, than bitching about all the shit ones.
    That’s my job.

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