Strength is the vessel…power is what you put into it

I’ve had a few emails as well as the comments in the previous thread regarding Olympic lifting. One of the questions/points that was made was that if I love Olympic lifting so much why don’t I utilise the lifts more often in training. Another was regarding when I would use them….both of which are fair points. As usual I’ve made myself as clear as mud so I thought I would answer those questions here….so people could ask more questions and I could answer them and at some stage in the future I could actually make myself understood.

Lets start off this way…if you’re a male athlete and you can’t squat or deadlift 1.5 times your bodyweight, can’t bench your bodyweight, can’t do 5+ pull ups if you weigh over 100kg’s or 8+ pull ups if you weigh under 100kgs, can’t do 35+ push ups and 20+ inverted rows in 60 seconds….then you have bigger things to worry about than learning how to snatch.

I look at things like bands and chains the same way….every body wants to worry about the icing…no one seems interested in the cake. Athletes just like general trainees get all excited about all the sexy stuff with regards training. The thing is…you need to take care of the basics first. When you are starting out…snatching is definitely icing.

Anyway…as to the first question/comment…why don’t I Olympic lifting more often. Firstly, because I don’t train any Olympic lifters. Secondly, I have a minimal amount of time with athletes and Olympic lifting doesn’t give me as great a return on investment time wise as other training methods.

The next question/comment was regarding when I would use them. I would use them with athletes with whom I had more time and who were already hitting their other gym performance targets.

Matt Darcy is doing cleans because he’s a great athlete…has the time to devote to it….and the return is worth the investment.

The reason he has the time is because at 79kg he Deadlifts 210kg, Benches 95kg, does 20 Pull Ups, 64 Push Ups and 42 Inverted Rows in 60 seconds. He is not having to spend the time chasing mass gain…which for him would at little to nothing to his game and besides the bench…which I’m not overly concerned about as it is close enough to his target for me and benching is actually the test that I value/care least about of all the gym tests that we do. For Matt…Olympic lifting gives a good return on investment because we’ve well and truly reached the point of diminishing returns elsewhere. His only goal and the goal of any athlete at his level of development is to maintain his physiological balance, maintain his strength, improve his rate of force development and do what is required to decrease his risk of on field injury.

He’s build himself a huge vessel strength wise and is working on pouring more power into it.


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