Olympic Lifting

Hey All! I am placing in an excerpt from the below article about Olympic Lifting.  As my clients know, I teach these techniques extensively with most of my clients, with appropriate weight, sometimes as low as 25 lbs.  Some of the main exercises are the Hang/Power clean, the Clean & Jerk, the Push Jerk, and the Push Press.

 

The National Strength and Conditioning Association, the top authority on fitness research in the world through whom I’ll soon have my final  certification,  gives huge credibility the positive health aspects of performing these lifts, in athletes, and you will see some of it’s members in the references below (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research). But when I took the leap and started instructing these lifts to everyday people earlier this year, I was blown away at the results. <http://www.owresource.com/lifts/benefits.php> Benefits of Olympic Weightlifting

You are probably wondering what makes Olympic Weightlifting a better choice for resistance training than others forms. Weightlifting offers many benefits over bodybuilding, powerlifting, and machines. However, the main reason people do not participate in weightlifting is because they are afraid of getting injury, however this is a false assumption that is easily discredited.

Safety and Injury Aspect of Weightlifting

Various studies were done showing Olympic weightlifting to be the safest form of resistance training there is. One study assessed the injury potential and safety aspects of weightlifting movements and Olympic weightlifting proved to be the safest (Stone, Injury). Another aspect that keeps many people away from weightlifting is the supposed fatal injury to the back. Again this is a false assumption spread through ignorance. A study was done comparing weightlifting to a control group of normal active men and their back pain was assessed. It turns out that only 23% of the weightlifters experienced back pain compared to 31% of the normal active men (Granhed). Another study was performed concerning the injury per 100 hours and yes again weightlifting faired better than other forms of resistance training. In fact, for weightlifters the injury rate was less than half of the other forms of weight training (Hamill). Weightlifting training and competitions together are much safer than other sports such as football, basketball, soccer, etc (Stone, Muscle).

It is clear to see that Olympic weightlifting is an extremely safe form of resistance training and sport for people to participant in. Effect on Bone Mineral Density Olympic weightlifting can also help prevent osteoporosis. To put it simply the greater the bone mineral density (BMD) the less chance of osteoporosis occurring. Bone mineral density measures the mineral density, such as calcium, in the bones. Calcium is also constantly being added and removed from bones and when it is removed faster than it is added then the bones become weaker and are more susceptible to fractures. Remember a solid dense bone is much better than one that looks like a honey comb! A study involving elite junior Olympic weightlifters compared their BMD, at the lower back and the neck of the femur, to an exact age group and an age group ranging from 20-39 year old men. The elite junior Olympic weightlifters BMD were found to be significantly greater then the age matched group and greater than the 20-39 year old men (Conroy). It is suggested that the high overloads of stress from Olympic weightlifting have a major influence on BMD. Again Olympic weightlifting has the ability to develop strong healthy bones that are resistant to fractures.

Enjoyment Factor

One aspect of Olympic weightlifting that people enjoy is the lifts themselves. People enjoy the feeling of the barbell being weightless as they drop underneath it or they enjoy the speed that it takes to complete the lift or maybe they just enjoy mastering a technical skill. For most people there is a larger sense of satisfaction that comes from successfully hitting a personal best in the snatch or clean and jerk than finally getting those 19 inch arms or something along those lines. These are just some of the benefits a person can come to expect from participating in Olympic weightlifting throughout their life.

Hopefully, this also cleared up the ignorance on the safety and injury aspect of Olympic weightlifting. Participating in Olympic weightlifting is a fun and enjoyable experience that everyone should get to know.

References: Conroy, Bp, Wj Kraemer, Cm Maresh, Sj Fleck, Mh Stone, Ac Fry, Pd Miller, and Gp Dalsky. “Bone Mineral Density in Elite Junior Olympic Weightlifters.” (1993): 1103-1109. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 25 (1993). Granhed, H. et al. Low back pain among retired wrestlers and heavyweight lifters. The American Journal of Sports Medicine,16(5):530-533. 1988. Hamill, B. Relative Safety of Weightlifting and Weight Training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 8(1):53-57. 1994 Hoffman, Jr, J Cooper, M Wendell, and J Kang. “Comparison of Olympic Vs. Traditional Power Lifting Training Programs in Football Players.” 18 (2004): 129-135. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 18 (2004). Stone, M. H., A. C. Fry, M. Ritchie, L. Stoessel-Ross, and J. L. Marsit. Injury potential and safety aspects of weightlifting movements. Strength and Conditioning. June: 15-21. 1994. Stone, M.H., et al. Cardiovascular Responses to Short-Term Olympic Style Weight-Training in Young Men. Can. J. Appl. Sport Sci. 8(3): 134-9. Stone, M.H. Muscle conditioning and muscle injuries. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 22(4):457-462. 1990. Tricoli, V, L Lamas, R Carnevale, and C Ugrinowitsch. “Short-Term Effects on Lower-Body Functional Power Development: Weightlifting Vs. Vertical Jump Training Programs.” 19 (2005): 433-437. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 19 (2005).

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