Olympic lifting

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Coach, I Don’t Want To Be Too Strong

Last week I had a tweet about diminishing returns and an athlete’s strength.  The question comes up, can athletes be too strong?  This is a difficult one to answer.  It’s difficult to answer because if you answer yes then it serves as a rationalization for every athlete that does not work hard during training.  “Hey coach, I’d like to train really hard but I don’t want to become too strong.”   What’s wrong with an athlete becoming too strong?  First,...

The Overhead Squat And Athletes

The back squat is a fundamental exercise for an athletic strength and conditioning program.  It develops lower body strength, does so in a manner that involves exerting force against the ground, and also requires the athlete to strengthen their trunk muscles to support the weight.  A variation of the squat exercise that shows up in Olympic lifters programs, warm-up routines, and has gained popularity thanks to things like CrossFit is the overhead squat.  This is a much more technical lift...

Keeping Training Simple: A Rant

I want to thank Twitter for helping me come up with this post.  Recently I tweeted something to the effect that squats, pulls, presses, rows, and the Olympic lifts are pretty much all you need for an effective athletic strength and conditioning workout.  Think about it, every muscle of the body is trained.  The skeleton and joints are loaded.  Muscles are being built.  The athlete is becoming a lot stronger and is learning how to apply that strength. No coach...

Modifying Exercise Technique: It’s OK To Be Inefficient

The Olympic lifts and their variations are a popular tool with strength and conditioning coaches.  The lifts train the entire body, involve exerting force against the ground, involve the bar moving at 2-4 meters per second, and require the athlete to generate 20-50 watts of power per kilogram of body weight (which is the highest power output of free weight exercises).  Besides those reasons, these lifts teach the application of strength – in other words, they teach and individual how...

Classic Article: Efficiency is Important in Weightlifting

Wolfgang Baumann et al analyzed the snatch lifts in the 1985 world weightlifting championships.  From this, they published an article that is essentially two studies in one article: Examine the kinematics (time and space) of the ten best lifts from the four first-place athletes in the 60, 75, 90, and 110+ kg weight class lifters (A group lifters) and compare them to the ten poorest lifts from the B group weightlifters. Examine the kinematic and kinetic (force), along with joint...