MSC Performance

Home to Birmingham Barbell Club

MSC Performance

Home to Birmingham Barbell Club

OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING – SHOULD I?

Powerlifting consists of three very important lifts everybody should do in their training. In this article, I want to tell you about the Olympic lifts, their benefits and why you may consider adding them into your training.  

1. Be a skilful athlete. 

Go and learn a new skill. This is why I recommend you trying weightlifting first. Weightlifting is a major part of Strength and Conditioning because the lifts offer transferable skills to enhance an athletic performance. Thus, athletes with various sports backgrounds train in the weight room to be successful in their sport. The main two movements are snatch and clean and jerk. Then, there are their derivatives which you probably heard of (e.g. hang snatch, hang clean, power clean, hang power clean, clean pull). 

2. In its simplest form, snatch and clean and jerk is just a jump. Then, it is jumping with a barbell, and if all of you can jump, then all of you can perform Olympic lifts too. Because of its plyometric nature, you will find the weightlifting movements more explosive compared to powerlifting. Also, because of the explosive components and multi-joint use demands, the movements are a great value for an athlete. They allow a lifter to move at faster velocities across a load spectrum. Moreover, these movements have a positive impact on neural efficiency, balance and improved motor control. 

3. Any athlete can incorporate the lifts into their training. If you ask me, if a marathon runner needs to do weightlifting, I would probably say no; no, for the performance, as such athlete doesn’t need to be explosive and perhaps, doesn’t need to gain more muscle mass either. Conversely, I would say yes; yes, for all the benefits weightlifting brings, such as improving the joint health, mobility and strength. On the other hand, most of the athletes want to move faster, run quicker, be snappier and develop more power, mostly in sports where athletes have to generate force against the ground. 

Many sports club coaches argue that to learn the movements is time consuming and too difficult. Well, firstly, I believe that if you want to get better at anything, the key is a progress, and the progress takes some time. Secondly, has anyone ever thought, whether the reason why it takes too long to learn the lifts, has anything to do with the way they are being taught? Perhaps, we need to look at the benefits of these lifts and take into account what we want our athlete to achieve by performing them.

Following various publications studying the speed, rate of force development, lower body forces applied etc, there isn’t an established model. If we segment the lifts, there are phases which when performed should lead to a successful lift. However, different body composition, strength level, training age, lifting experience and many other factors will have an impact on the lifting performance.  That doesn’t change the fact that these movements improve sports performance variables as much as other types of training and in some cases, they may be more beneficial. 

Super excited to start a new progressive program!