T Nation

Mr. Olympians and Olympic Lifts or Chin Ups?

I seen videoes of ronnie coleman and jay culter. They dont use olympic lifts or chin up in their routine. They replace pull up with pull downs. Olympic lifts pump lots of test into the body from what i read.

I am curious to know why they dont do them.

Because theire training is geared toward muscle gain, not performance…therefor, Olympic lifts wont be as effective as other exercises for their goals.

Um, I think they have enough TEST in their body anyway, and the increase in test from olympic lifts wont make a difference comparingly.

RE them replacing pullups with pulldowns, this is mainly because they are soo damm big and heavy, that they can’t get many reps out whilst doing pullups, comparingly to pulldowns.

GJ

[quote]sijun wrote:
I seen videoes of ronnie coleman and jay culter. They dont use olympic lifts or chin up in their routine. They replace pull up with pull downs. Olympic lifts pump lots of test into the body from what i read.

I am curious to know why they dont do them.
[/quote]

because, despite what you might have read in an article, there are other effective ways to train that dont involve olympic lifts or chin ups.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
sijun wrote:
I seen videoes of ronnie coleman and jay culter. They dont use olympic lifts or chin up in their routine. They replace pull up with pull downs. Olympic lifts pump lots of test into the body from what i read.

I am curious to know why they dont do them.

because, despite what you might have read in an article, there are other effective ways to train that dont involve olympic lifts or chin ups.[/quote]

Very true. Also, just because testosterone may see an increase from certain stressors, that does not mean this equals increased muscle growth directly as a result. I get the feeling some of you take certain science facts and come up with whole unintended scenarios about the effects.

Olympic lifts are not the holy grail of physique development.

Folks at that level, ie jay, ronnie, flex, phil, would be so in tune with their body, they’d know, or atleast, have a pretty darn good idea what works (for them) & what doesn’t, that they’d juz be repeating their personal system.

Olympic lifts are great, not gold. They have their place, not sure where they for bodybuildesr

With Olympic lifts the relative time under tension for the muscles is small and thus they are not well suited to hypertrophy. While they can be an effective part of a strength training program I have yet to see them used effectivly for hypertrophy.

Most people do them wrong anyways, if you don’t have access to a good coach you would be wise to pass on them, otherwise you will likely do more harm than good.

If you recall, Ronnie was a powerlifter for a good amount of time, and thusly laid a huge foundation before focusing more on building muscle over strength. Is that the only way to build a solid muscular base? Of course not, it’s just a really good one.

S

well obviously because they’re so musclebound that they’re muscles have become unfunctional. olympic lifts? why they can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without becoming winded, missing a step, and careening all the way down to the bottom. duuuuuuuhhh

Or consider the fact that Olympic lifters consider thick pecs a serious disadvantage, interfering with movement of the bar.

Obviously, Olympic lifting-style training is not then going to result in a Mr Olympia style physique.

If a successful top bodybuilder finds that a given Olympic lift helps his muscular thickness, I expect he does it. If over the course of his many years of experience he concluded that it did not help him for his purposes, why should he do such lifts?

I am not at all sure that the thickness of some muscles of top Olympic lifters has so much to do with the excellent, for that purpose, of the training methods, as with the fact that those that don’t have a gift for thickness of those muscles WON’T BE A TOP OLYMPIC LIFTER.

And so there’s a selection process going on, unless you also make a point of checking out the physiques of a more representive sample which is almost entirely folk that don’t wind up being top lifters.

Additionally, I expect that a number of successful bodybuilders – as well as all kinds of lifters dedicated to building muscle – don’t do Olympic lifts because they find that personally there is a resulting injury rate or likeliness of injury that is just not worth it.

For example, it is certain that if I do cleans of any sort, soon I will have tendinitis that will preclude direct biceps work for months. Not worth it when not involved in competition requiring that lift. No matter how wonderful various coaches may have it to be, it surely is not NECESSARY for optimal bodybuilding results.

[quote]sijun wrote:
I seen videoes of ronnie coleman and jay culter. They dont use olympic lifts or chin up in their routine. They replace pull up with pull downs. Olympic lifts pump lots of test into the body from what i read.

I am curious to know why they dont do them.
[/quote]

well acually dorian yates used to do pull-ups in his back routine until his bicep injury but again every pro uses what he thinks works best for his body

a cannot personally attest that cutler does pull ups but i can say w/ all certainty that many top bodybuilders do utilize pull ups.

[quote]laroyal wrote:
With Olympic lifts the relative time under tension for the muscles is small and thus they are not well suited to hypertrophy. While they can be an effective part of a strength training program I have yet to see them used effectivly for hypertrophy.

i agree.

[quote]cyruseven75 wrote:
a cannot personally attest that cutler does pull ups but i can say w/ all certainty that many top bodybuilders do utilize pull ups. [/quote]

How?

I think power cleans are great. So what if they might not get you jacked by themselves, you’ll be able to throw girls in the pool like ragdolls and bodyslam punks before they even get a swing on you. That’s just cool.

I think guys that deadlift in the 600-800 lb for reps range and do rows with 300-450 lbs are not going to have any trouble picking up 110 lb girls or “body slamming” punks if they so choose.

They are just that functional.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
I think guys that deadlift in the 600-800 lb for reps range and do rows with 300-450 lbs are not going to have any trouble picking up 110 lb girls or “body slamming” punks if they so choose.

They are just that functional.[/quote]

For real. I don’t do power cleans. I don’t even want to meet the woman I can’t lift.

  1. As it was mentioned, the Olympic lifts have a short time under tension because the movement is explosive. Each rep lasts a second or less. And if you consider that 3/4 of the rep is performed mostly by momentum (created by the initial short burst of force application to the bar) then the actual amount of time where the muscles are producing a forceful contraction is around 1/3rd of a second. If you perform a set of 6 reps (which is fairly high by Olympic lifting standards) it puts the muscles under tension for around 2 seconds per set. Considering that MAXIMUM hypertrophy stimulation occurs with sets lasting at least 20 seconds (30-50 seconds being better for most) then it is easy to see how the OL might not be ideal to stimulate growth.

  2. Another important component when it comes to stimulating growth is the eccentric portion of the movement (lowering the weight). It is believed that it is during this phase (controlled lowering) that most of the muscle damage occurs, and that this is one of the main stimulator of hypertrophy. In the Olympic lifts the eccentric portion is de-emphasized if not completely taken out (by dropping the bar after each rep); which might also explain why these lifts are not optimal to stimulate muscle growth.

  3. A lot of people look at elite Olympic lifters and see the huge legs, shoulders and traps and assume that the OL are thus the best exercises for these muscles. Let me be clear on several aspects: a) not all elite lifters are very muscular, most of them look athletic but wouldn’t really stand out in most gyms (we are talking physique not strength). YES a few of them have freaky physiques, but they are actually not the norm. b) olympic lifters tend to have very muscular legs and shoulders… that’s it. But these are arguably not the result of the OL themselves. Do not forget that Olympic lifters squat… and squat often!!! They normally squat 3 to 6 times a week. Contrary to the Olympic lifts, the squat has a longer time under tension AND an eccentric phase… which means that it will build a lot of muscle. As for the shoulders, they are under tension moreso than other muscles simply because olympic lifters tend to hold the weights overhead for 3-5 seconds per rep, which puts the delts under a longer time under tension. As for traps, deadlifts and pulls are part of the training of most lifters.

Bottom line… even among the elite, few lifters stand out as extremely muscular. And those that are, are often more muscular due to exercises other than the competitive lifts.

  1. Back in the days (60s, 70s and early 80s) Olympic lifters as a whole were MUCH more muscular than today’s lifters. Why? For 3 reasons:

a) Until the late 70s they did not have bumper plates (which can be dropped) so lifters from that era had to lower every rep under control while today’s lifters even drop their warm-up reps!

b) The overhead press was contested until 1972. This is a slow-speed strength movement much like the bench press and to perform well on that lift, Olympic lifters did a lot of accessory work like the incline bench press, military press, flat bench press, dumbbell press, close-grip bench press, etc.

c) The average number of rep per set has dropped significantly over the years. Back in the 60s and 70s a lot of lifters did sets of 4-6 reps on competitive movements and up to 10 reps on assistance work. Today you will rarely see an Olympic lifter do more than 3 reps on a competitive lift or more than 5 reps on assistance movements. Heck, Bulgarian lifters will do 90% of their workload with sets of 1 or 2 reps!!!

As a result old-time lifters had a lot more muscle mass but today’s lifters are more efficient.

god, what a great post.

Not every oly lifter looks like Dimas, or the Bulgarian dude whose picture pops up all the time.

I think the lifts are cool and can have their place, but they’re mainly for people that, you know, compete in weightlifting.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

  1. As it was mentioned, the Olympic lifts have a short time under tension because the movement is explosive. Each rep lasts a second or less. And if you consider that 3/4 of the rep is performed mostly by momentum (created by the initial short burst of force application to the bar) then the actual amount of time where the muscles are producing a forceful contraction is around 1/3rd of a second. If you perform a set of 6 reps (which is fairly high by Olympic lifting standards) it puts the muscles under tension for around 2 seconds per set. Considering that MAXIMUM hypertrophy stimulation occurs with sets lasting at least 20 seconds (30-50 seconds being better for most) then it is easy to see how the OL might not be ideal to stimulate growth.

  2. Another important component when it comes to stimulating growth is the eccentric portion of the movement (lowering the weight). It is believed that it is during this phase (controlled lowering) that most of the muscle damage occurs, and that this is one of the main stimulator of hypertrophy. In the Olympic lifts the eccentric portion is de-emphasized if not completely taken out (by dropping the bar after each rep); which might also explain why these lifts are not optimal to stimulate muscle growth.

  3. A lot of people look at elite Olympic lifters and see the huge legs, shoulders and traps and assume that the OL are thus the best exercises for these muscles. Let me be clear on several aspects: a) not all elite lifters are very muscular, most of them look athletic but wouldn’t really stand out in most gyms (we are talking physique not strength). YES a few of them have freaky physiques, but they are actually not the norm. b) olympic lifters tend to have very muscular legs and shoulders… that’s it. But these are arguably not the result of the OL themselves. Do not forget that Olympic lifters squat… and squat often!!! They normally squat 3 to 6 times a week. Contrary to the Olympic lifts, the squat has a longer time under tension AND an eccentric phase… which means that it will build a lot of muscle. As for the shoulders, they are under tension moreso than other muscles simply because olympic lifters tend to hold the weights overhead for 3-5 seconds per rep, which puts the delts under a longer time under tension. As for traps, deadlifts and pulls are part of the training of most lifters.

Bottom line… even among the elite, few lifters stand out as extremely muscular. And those that are, are often more muscular due to exercises other than the competitive lifts.

  1. Back in the days (60s, 70s and early 80s) Olympic lifters as a whole were MUCH more muscular than today’s lifters. Why? For 3 reasons:

a) Until the late 70s they did not have bumper plates (which can be dropped) so lifters from that era had to lower every rep under control while today’s lifters even drop their warm-up reps!

b) The overhead press was contested until 1972. This is a slow-speed strength movement much like the bench press and to perform well on that lift, Olympic lifters did a lot of accessory work like the incline bench press, military press, flat bench press, dumbbell press, close-grip bench press, etc.

c) The average number of rep per set has dropped significantly over the years. Back in the 60s and 70s a lot of lifters did sets of 4-6 reps on competitive movements and up to 10 reps on assistance work. Today you will rarely see an Olympic lifter do more than 3 reps on a competitive lift or more than 5 reps on assistance movements. Heck, Bulgarian lifters will do 90% of their workload with sets of 1 or 2 reps!!!

As a result old-time lifters had a lot more muscle mass but today’s lifters are more efficient.[/quote]

now i get it. thanks

Coleman used to do pullups until his back injuries.