Thursday, February 28, 2013
Olympic Lifting and CrossFit: Peak Performance & Life Enhancement
Peak performance refers to an athlete’s state of physical ability to perform at max capacity within a sport. But peak performance can also refer to an individual living life as healthy and fit as possible. Olympic style lifting has been a staple for most all elite athletes as a means of enhancing their careers. Olympic lifting has also been changing the lives of everyday people through the popular workout regimen or sport known as CrossFit.
Olympic lifting is an explosive type of strength training that involves moving heavy loads at high velocities to produce high power outputs (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 1999). In a study comparing the strength and power of Olympic lifters, power lifters, and sprinters it was shown that Olympic lifters had the greatest power output and equal or greater strength than the other groups (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 1999). Look at the body of any Olympic lifter and you will see a fit healthy looking individual. But what about those individuals who use CrossFit as their primary mode of training --- do they reap the same power and strength benefits as Olympic lifters?
What is CrossFit? It’s the combination of Olympic style lifting, body weight exercises, and various strength exercises. CrossFit is the newest craze in the world of fitness and benefits people of all ages who desire to ‘get fit’. Is it the Olympic lifting that provides such immediate success to the CrossFit participants? Or is it the body weight exercises? Maybe it’s the strength exercises? In my opinion, it is the combination of all three with the major emphasis being given to the focus on Olympic lifting.
I saw dramatic changes in my own physical appearance once I added Olympic lifting to my routine. In the end, the Olympic style of lifting is a great way to stay healthy, fit, and can help reach peak performance. Give it a try and see what it can do for you!
McBride, J.M., T. Triplett-McBride, A. Davie, and R.U. Newton. A comparison of strength and power characteristics between power lifters, Olympic lifters, and sprinters. J. Strength and Cond. Res. 13(1):58–66. 1999.