T Nation

Olympic Lifting

[quote]Cymru wrote:
During Olympic lifts and pulls a phenomenom occurs known as the double knee bend, during this period the athlete applies no concentric vertical force to the bar (it contiues to rise under momentum applied in the first part of the pull).

When double knee bend is completed vertical force is reapplied to to the bar again very quickly - through the second pull. This means athletes apply maximum force again very, very quickly,in a sport specific position (jumping, tackling, sprint start etc) and in the time frames that again are specific to sports movements (0.15secs or so). This gives the Olympic lifts an advantage over any other type of lifting.

Apart from this - all lifts can be explosive - Olympic lifts have to be!
Power output is very high - higher than any box squat or fast deadlift. This is not to say Olympic lifts are the be all of a program but are an esential part for able athletes.

The negativity from people who do not want to teach lifts is either due to the fact that they can’t teach them, or teach them without double knee bend - so never see the real advantage.

As for teaching - in my experience should be taught early into program - younger the better (loading is another matter) - young trainers have no ego and desire to utilise upper body musculature at the detriment of form and technique.

I have attempted to attach a force profile showing unloading of force and reapplication in vertical plane - hope it helps explain. Any one wanting more info check out some of Mike Stones research[/quote]

Great reply.

Here is something that I remember reading but I don’t know if it is true or not: In the 1960’s researchers found that Olympic lifters had the highest vertical leaps of all Olympic athletes (including long jumpers and high jumpers) and the fastest 25 meter dashes out of all the Olympic athletes (including the sprinters). I don’t know if this is true but if it is, it presents an anecdotal case for furthering the athleticism of your athletes.

In addition to the Olympic lifts, I like jump squats and squats and deadlifts with band resistance to prevent any deceleration from occurring at the top end of the movement.

Well. Let me tell you about the affect that the Olympic lifts and the related variations and assistance lifts had on my athletic performance. I came out of High School at 205 pounds. Never having done anything but bench, military press, curl, and some parallel squats.

Six months of o-lifts later I was 215. I’d improved my 40 time from 4.70 to 4.59 and my vertical leap from 28" to 33.5". My standing broad jump, which I had never done, was just over 10 feet. I was 18/19 years old at the time.

After I was done playing football I started competing in Olympic lifting. One day, after 5 years of competitive lifting, total focus on the Olympic lifts and no other training. I went with my coach on a Saturday and we tested these same things. At the time my lifts were 135/175. My bodyweight was 230. I ran a 4.55 40. Vertical Jump was 36" and my broad jump was 10’10". I was 35 years old.

Imagine if I had trained back then the way I train now!

Dominator,
I understand your points, and they are valid. But I do respectfully disagree with you on one point - that it takes a long, long time to learn the lifts correctly, at least to a point where you can utilize them in training, without having to workup to a 1RM.

Part of learning the lifts, is learning to drop the bar when your form is compromised. That’s part of the learning. Tell me, how many athletes do you know have been injured utilizing Olympic lifts during a training session? I don’t know myself, but I bet there are more people injured going to heavy on the bench press.

I can tell you from my own personal experience, I spent 12 weeks, one two-hour session per week, with a coach to learn the lifts. After that, I was in a position to go to the occasion meet. Do you consider that long? Sure, I don’t have the best technique, and perhaps I could squeeze out another 10% if I had better technique, but I’m still in a position to utilize the lifts for training.

When athletes use the lifts during, they will not likely be going to a max anyways, nor do they need to, to receive benefits. A good coach will teach them to drop the bar, as part of the learning.

By the way, “Classic Lifts” means the full Snatch and full Clean & Jerk. Anything besides that is not a ‘Classic Lifts’ (ie. Hang Clean, Power Clean/Snatch etc). That is the definition in most Weightlifing books that I have read.

Cymru
You don’t need a double-knee bend to execute the second pull. Simply do the pull from the hang/blocks. Are you tell me that you would not learn explosiveness if you didn’t pick up the bar from the floor and execute a double-knee bend?

Please provide some articles to back that up? I’m alittle skeptical of that, especially since I have been in gyms where coaches only had their athletes perform variations of the lift. They didn’t seem to be concerned about the double-knee bend.

Take a look at some of the programs/articles of coaches on this site, they don’t necessarily require their athletes to use the full classic lifts (double-knee bend) in their programs for their athletes to receive benefits.

|Never mentioned not being explosive only - unweighting and reloading quickly. All lifts can be explosive, if the desire is there

Unless block is very high - greater than mid thigh double knee bend will still occur

[quote]neilbudge wrote:
By the way, “Classic Lifts” means the full Snatch and full Clean & Jerk. Anything besides that is not a ‘Classic Lifts’ (ie. Hang Clean, Power Clean/Snatch etc). That is the definition in most Weightlifing books that I have read.[/quote]

That’s exactly how I defined it, so thanks for reiterating that point, I guess.

As to your point of learning explosiveness from the blocks or hang, yes, you can be fast to a certain point before the weight is too high and comprimises the speed of the lift. Bar speed from the floor, with a double-knee bend, is faster than any other position from the hang or blocks comparitvely with equal and even heavier weights.

I’ve likened this debate to Golf. Sure, just about everyone knows that using a driver off the tee is going to produce longer distance than an iron, but if you don’t have much experience in both golf and hitting with a driver, I think we all know that hitting with a driver with little experience is actually going to hinder your golf performance/score.

It takes time to learn your stroke with the irons, then it takes time to learn hitting with the driver before the benefits of the driver can be seen in the score. This is probably why there is such a thing as a “driving range.” I like to think that hitting with a driver is sort of like learning the Olylifts.

They take time, and once mastered, they improve your performance. But the driver isn’t for everybody, just like the Olylifts aren’t for everybody. Some people will hit the ball straighter and almost as far with a 3 iron off the tee as compared to the driver, and in this case, this approach is best until the driver control has been learned.

I think anyone that’s been through the collegiate system and is fairly educated in multiple lifting approaches will understand this comparison.

georgeb,

You bring up some sincere questions but also scratch a scab in the S&C industry that’s been argued over for decades.

My experience as a former D1 S&C Coach and nationally qualifying o-lifter boils down to this:

Many athletes are good at their sport but are not necessarily good athletes. Since 0-lifting is sport unto itself, o-lifts are not appropriate for all levels of athletes. Even though I consider myself a good lifter and teacher,

I had some of the best results with my teams when I just made them stronger with traditional lifts and just made them more powerful with throws and jumps. O-lifts aren’t always the right tool for the job.

Therefore, it is inappropriate to indiscriminately mandate that all athletes use the O-lifts. It depends on the athlete and his/her strength training background/experience. This applies within a team as well. Each athlete, as difficult as it may be, must have his/her own program.

One of the most effective methods I used when coaching was to group individuals within a team into novice/intermediate/advanced and design their programs accordingly. More work for me, better results for them. If there is a better, quicker, easier to learn means for acquiring coordination, power, and body awareness, for that athlete and for you to teach, than use those means, if they are available to you.

Hope that helps. All the best in the college S&C world.

[quote]harhar wrote:
LittleBigMuscles wrote:
then don’t do them!!!

you can’t argue with results, olympic weightlifters are among the best all-round athletes in the world.

I’m tired of people knocking the oly lifts b/c they’re too hard to perform. If you can’t learn to clean with proper coaching then give up sports period!

Agreed. Hows training going?[/quote]

Training is going well thanks, I’m setting my sights on a 170kg clean and jerk by January. I’m much more focused this year and I know it will happen.

How about you?

Good analogy Dominator. Your point is well taken.

[quote]LittleBigMuscles wrote:
harhar wrote:
LittleBigMuscles wrote:
then don’t do them!!!

you can’t argue with results, olympic weightlifters are among the best all-round athletes in the world.

I’m tired of people knocking the oly lifts b/c they’re too hard to perform. If you can’t learn to clean with proper coaching then give up sports period!

Agreed. Hows training going?

Training is going well thanks, I’m setting my sights on a 170kg clean and jerk by January. I’m much more focused this year and I know it will happen.

How about you?
[/quote]

My backs gotten better since the back injury a while ago. Right now Im just trying to get back to where I was (which was little to begin with).

Btw, Im John from GTA (the “other” asian guy :D).

Good luck.

[quote]LittleBigMuscles wrote:
harhar wrote:
LittleBigMuscles wrote:
then don’t do them!!!

you can’t argue with results, olympic weightlifters are among the best all-round athletes in the world.

I’m tired of people knocking the oly lifts b/c they’re too hard to perform. If you can’t learn to clean with proper coaching then give up sports period!

Agreed. Hows training going?

Training is going well thanks, I’m setting my sights on a 170kg clean and jerk by January. I’m much more focused this year and I know it will happen.

How about you?
[/quote]

Good Stuff LittleBigMuscles. What Category, 85kg or 94kg? Never know with you :slight_smile: Was there an Open last week in Belleville?

[quote]Geoff Neupert wrote:
georgeb,

You bring up some sincere questions but also scratch a scab in the S&C industry that’s been argued over for decades.

My experience as a former D1 S&C Coach and nationally qualifying o-lifter boils down to this:

Many athletes are good at their sport but are not necessarily good athletes. Since 0-lifting is sport unto itself, o-lifts are not appropriate for all levels of athletes. Even though I consider myself a good lifter and teacher,

I had some of the best results with my teams when I just made them stronger with traditional lifts and just made them more powerful with throws and jumps. O-lifts aren’t always the right tool for the job.

Therefore, it is inappropriate to indiscriminately mandate that all athletes use the O-lifts. It depends on the athlete and his/her strength training background/experience. This applies within a team as well. Each athlete, as difficult as it may be, must have his/her own program.

One of the most effective methods I used when coaching was to group individuals within a team into novice/intermediate/advanced and design their programs accordingly.

More work for me, better results for them. If there is a better, quicker, easier to learn means for acquiring coordination, power, and body awareness, for that athlete and for you to teach, than use those means, if they are available to you.

Hope that helps. All the best in the college S&C world.

[/quote]

Geoff,

I couldn’t agree more! I think when it comes to the Olifts, which I love by the way, there are basically two divergent schools of thought. One is that they should be used to develop the qualties in the weight room that the original poster relayed previously.

The second is that if the individual merely increases their strength in the weightroom and concurrently practices their sport, they ‘may’ become better at their sport, but as you wrote, not necessarily better athletes. The best route is usually somewhere in the middle! How the hell are ya’?

Nick Radonjic