Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Everyone Should Incorporate Olympic Lifts Into Their Workout

Throughout the past couple years there has been a transition in the weight room from traditional bodybuilding exercises such as the bicep curl, leg extensions, and the lat pulldown to the more non-traditional Olympic lifts. The Olympic lifts consist of variations of cleans, snatches, and jerks (pressing the weight above your head). The benefits of Olympic-style weightlifting are being discovered by more and more coaches, athletes, and the general population.2 That is why I believe that everyone should incorporate Olympic lifting into their workout regimen. Here are a few reasons why everyone should consider Olympic lifts:
       Increases power:  The Olympic lifts are particularly effective for this purpose. While squats and deadlifts are key exercises that are rightly emphasized in most elite strength and conditioning programs, the power outputs of the Olympic lifts are significantly higher than those exercises.3
        Improves body composition: The Olympic lifts have become key exercises in many boot camp programs, largely because these lifts are especially effective for helping trainees lose fat and build muscle. In an 8 week Olympic weightlifting program study, participants lowered their resting heart rate by 8%, lean body weight increased by 4%, fat dropped 6%, and systolic blood pressure decreased by 4%.3
        Improves flexibility: The Olympic lifts not only require exceptional dynamic and static flexibility, they also develop these qualities. In fact, many personal training and physical therapy screening programs use one component of the snatch, the overhead squat to assess dynamic and static flexibility.3
        Uses the whole body: One of the first areas most novices to Olympic lifting discover is the whole chain of muscles.Shirts begin to fit funny as the muscles of the upper back grow to accommodate the pulling movements. What muscles do the Olympic Lifts build? All of them.1

These are only a few reasons why someone should incorporate Olympic lifts into their workout regimen. Before you start doing these lifts there are a few things that you should know. The Olympic lifts: the snatch and clean are very technical lifts and should be taught by someone who has mastered the lift themselves . If you decide to start using Olympic lifts here are some words of wisdom to go by, “quality over quantity.”
Olympic Lifting for Beginners Link

Example of a Snatch
  1. John, D. (2014, March 31). - Four Reasons To Olympic Lift! Retrieved March 23, 2015, from
  2. Smith, C. (2015, March 9). - Learn The Olympic Lifts: Snatch And Clean And Jerk Progression Lifts. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from
  3. 3. Top Five Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting. (2014, September 29). Retrieved March 23, 2015, from

1 comment:

  1. Glad someones talking about it, people are afraid of it and it mainly has to do with the fact that they are uneducated about it. Most people who tell me olympic lifting is dangerous, I ask them what olympic lifting they don't like, and they usually answer with some form of deadlift, which we know is not an olympic lift.