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October 13, 2011

10*11*11 Q&A Olympic Lifting for the athlete.

Despite their popularity among the athletes, in you opinion, do you think the oly movements carry over?

I enjoy the oly movements because I think they're fun, but I have specifically left them out of my off season training So I can focus on other aspects such as conditioning, hypertrophy, speed, and strength.  I personally don't find they carry over as much as throwers put emphasis on them because I throw "OK" numbers but have pretty pathetic oly movement numbers in comparison.

Is it a coincidence the top throwers have incredible Olympic lifting numbers because they are just that powerful and explosive ( read huge/fast/deads/squats/ohps) or do you feel they are the top throwers specifically because of the movements, all technique aside obv. Thoughts?


Do I think the Olympic movements carry over for athletics.  This is not as easy as a yes or no answer, but so we can move on the short answer is yes.  The Olympic movements the snatch and the clean are tow movements where the full body is being used to generate force through the ground on two legs.  This type of explosive power is seen in almost every sport.  It is also an issue of body awareness and getting muscle to fire in a specific order, both of these things are also incredibly important in sports.  For the athlete not competing in an weightlifting competition I do not see the benefit for focusing on the second half of the movement.  The ability to drop under weight and catch it is specific to weightlifting.  I personally like doing a variety of full lifts and pulls from the floor and hip.  This is for no other reason than my clean has always been a good indicator of where I am speed and flexibility wise.

Remember training is not a job or any of us.  (chances that is you are a professional athlete ie. making your full living off of your respected sport, you are not reading my blog.)  So it needs to be something you enjoy and are passionate about.  So "doing them because you think they're fun" is a prefect reason to do them.  You say that you are focusing your off season around conditioning, hypertrophy, speed, and strength.  Personally the Olympic movements fulfill all of the criteria that you are trying to accomplish as an athlete.  This is the exact reason so many Crossfit workouts use the clean or snatch.  It recruits a ton of muscle activity and can be done relativity light weight for great cardio.  For the athlete I would rather see someone doing high rep sets of pulls then going to run 2 miles.

I don't think it is a coincidence that the top throwers have pretty good Olympic numbers.  Be careful saying things like incredible numbers because that is not true.  There are no guys who's main focus is throwing that can walk out on the platform at a weightlifting meet and even compete with top weightlifters.  A 2x body weight clean and jerk is pretty common for top weightlifters, I am willing to bet there are no throwers that are pulling that off.

The top throwers are good at Olympic lifting cause they have been doing it for 10 years as well as training hard.  Most of the top guys spent time playing sports in college and most throwing programs spend a lot of time doing the Olympic lifts.  So they also spend 4-5 days a week throwing.  One is not necessarily going to make you better at the other.  If you are a competent thrower and you technique is good then being faster and stronger is going to benefit you.  The Olympic movements make you faster and stronger.

You can't say technique aside especially when dealing with Olympic lifting and throwing.  These two things require technique over absolute strength so much that if you can make big jumps just focusing on technique.  It is all about being efficient with the strength that you have.


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