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Olympic Lifts
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the chef Offline
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Post: #1
Olympic Lifts
Lately I've been working out with an old friend since we're both home from uni for the summer. He's an athlete and schooled me on how olympic lifts (power cleans, snatches, clean and jerks/presses) build functional explosive strength that enhance athleticism. I've definitely incorporated them into my workout as I think they're dope cause they work on the body as unit rather than just isolating one muscle group. As someone who enjoys sports I found olympic lifts to be more useful than the typical bodybuilding routine (not saying that athletes don't do bicep curls cause they do), but I feel as if Olympic lifts give you more bang for your buck. Learning these lifts with proper technique was definitely challenging but I definitely feel myself getting stronger.

What are your guys takes on Olympic lifts? Do you incorporate them into your workouts? Do you shy away from them? And if so, why?
(This post was last modified: 07-19-2012 10:03 PM by the chef.)
07-19-2012 10:03 PM
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metalhaze Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Olympic Lifts
my take is only do olympic lifts if you have the physionomy to do so. if you are tall you'll just end up "breaking" your back.

I do no want to sound ominous but Injuries from olympic lifts are serious and can end your bodybuilding "career".

it is virtually impossible to keep correct form if you are training to failure at high poundages and one day, something is gonna snap.

I dont do olympic lifts, neither squats/deadlifts.
I do dumbel squats, goblet squats, very low poundage front squats, dumbell lunges and stair climbs. Overhead press, incline press and bench press from time to time (high risk on the shoulders)

so be carefull and always have a trainer around.

this is my 2 cents, some people will tell you otherwise.
07-19-2012 10:15 PM
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WesternCancer Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Olympic Lifts
Metalhaze where are you getting your fear of the barbell from?

My take the Olympic lifts are great. If you can take a course get a good trainer, but if youre used to powerlifting type stuff itll come easier and will help with your other lifts. Plus they're fun if you're into challenging yourself.

I do clean and presses on my squat/dead days and full clean and jerks on my third squat day (usually use this day to play around with different squat/dead variations etc)

70s big just had a good post about mixing oly lifts and powerlifting. Id link if o weren't on ky phone
(This post was last modified: 07-19-2012 10:30 PM by WesternCancer.)
07-19-2012 10:24 PM
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Hades
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Post: #4
RE: Olympic Lifts
I have no beef with the olympic lifts. They are excellent to do if you have the equipment, and they're a good way to get relatively cut and swole.
07-19-2012 10:30 PM
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the chef Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Olympic Lifts
yeah man, they're ideal for achieving that lean, chiseled cut moreso than the arnold schwarzenegger physique hence why a lot of basketball players and MMA fighters are into em.

but i definitely agree that they are not for beginners. but once one is able to deadlift and squat with excellent form i think they'd be able to venture off into olympic lifts. maybe not snatches... but power cleans definitely.
07-19-2012 11:41 PM
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Thug Muffin Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Olympic Lifts
I love the o-lifts and have even done a few competitions. It's a great way to build explosive power. Plus I just feel manly when hitting a tight snatch.
07-19-2012 11:50 PM
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Laser Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Olympic Lifts
Olympic lifts are awesome. I feel like a wizard when I'm able to magically throw a bunch of weight up into the air and the average bro has no idea how I'm doing it. (hint: the "bro clean" aka deadlift to reverse curl limits the amount of weight you can lift).

As for metal haze, I really don't understand the fear. Learn the proper technique and you'll be fine. In fact, if you're not gonna make the lift, just drop the bar. Olympic plates are specifically designed to be dropped.
07-20-2012 04:06 AM
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Sanblz33 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Olympic Lifts
I love o-lifts but for my cleans & snatches I make sure I have a spot
07-20-2012 04:09 AM
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velkrum Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Olympic Lifts
the chef Wrote:
  1. What are your guys takes on Olympic lifts?
    Olympics lifts are ok, they are not really useful for anything other than variety/novelty.
  2. Do you incorporate them into your workouts?
    I use to incorporate them into my routines, not anymore.
  3. Do you shy away from them? And if so, why?
    I don't shy away from olympic lifts but I find they detract from my progress. They are not necessary for my goals of athleticism,aesthetic, strength, and power.
07-20-2012 02:46 PM
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JohnKreese Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Olympic Lifts
I work them into my workouts either 3 or 4 days a week (snatches, cleans, cleans and jerks). I hadn't really done them since high school, but I have definitely noticed increased performance in other "athletic" movements. Definitely helping to get more cut as well. Also, if you are an attention-whore at the gym, I guarantee that throwing weight over your head is a way to get noticed. People often start conversations with me asking if I'm an athlete or if I'm training for something specific.

Since I hadn't trained in these exercise for so long, I bought this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Olympic-Weightlift...0980011108

It is very detailed in terms of coaching technique and developing workout plans. One of the better fitness books that I have ever owned.
07-20-2012 03:06 PM
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the chef Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Olympic Lifts
(07-20-2012 02:46 PM)velkrum Wrote:  
the chef Wrote:
  1. What are your guys takes on Olympic lifts?
    Olympics lifts are ok, they are not really useful for anything other than variety/novelty.
  2. Do you incorporate them into your workouts?
    I use to incorporate them into my routines, not anymore.
  3. Do you shy away from them? And if so, why?
    I don't shy away from olympic lifts but I find they detract from my progress. They are not necessary for my goals of athleticism,aesthetic, strength, and power.
could you elaborate on that?
(This post was last modified: 07-20-2012 04:51 PM by the chef.)
07-20-2012 04:50 PM
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MikeCF Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Olympic Lifts
Even with good form injuries are inevitable.

I used to do 'em.

Then I looked around the gym at the old guys.

How many old guys do o lifts?

That shit wrecks your body.

I use hammer strength machines as much as possible.

I've been injury free for at least three years (since I stopped going oly lifts).
07-20-2012 05:20 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Olympic Lifts
(07-20-2012 05:20 PM)MikeCF Wrote:  Then I looked around the gym at the old guys.

How many old guys do o lifts?

i think correlation may not be causation here my friend.

most people don't do oly lifts because they don't know how. they are highly technical and require coaching and a serious time investment in achieving competency.

thats why at a normal gym, you dont hardly ever see anyone doing oly lifts.

i oly lift regularly. snatch, clean, clean and jerk, power snatch, power clean..plus accessory lifts: overhead squat, front squat, and deadlift.

there is nothing more representative of power than being able to lift a weight from the ground to over head.

to the guy above who said that oly lifts dont help him with his goals of power - i say to him, what is your definition of power? oly lifts are widely regarded as being the most explosive and most powerful lifts you can do because of the distances traveled.

the clean and jerk is the grand daddy of all lifts.

it has a deadlift, a clean, a front squat and a jerk all in one movement.

if you're only going to do one lift EVER...do the clean and jerk!
07-20-2012 05:39 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Olympic Lifts
(07-20-2012 04:50 PM)the chef Wrote:  
(07-20-2012 02:46 PM)velkrum Wrote:  
the chef Wrote:
  1. What are your guys takes on Olympic lifts?
    Olympics lifts are ok, they are not really useful for anything other than variety/novelty.
  2. Do you incorporate them into your workouts?
    I use to incorporate them into my routines, not anymore.
  3. Do you shy away from them? And if so, why?
    I don't shy away from olympic lifts but I find they detract from my progress. They are not necessary for my goals of athleticism,aesthetic, strength, and power.
could you elaborate on that?

i dont think he understands what olympic lifts are. they are highly athletic, highly technical and are raw expressions of power. sure a deadlift or squat in isolation may be more pure strength but an olympic lift is a highly coordinated multi joint total body explosive movement...

I would guess this poster has never really spent a lot time doing real snatches or cleans.
07-20-2012 05:42 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Olympic Lifts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ0oJE2_HJI

573 lbs! this isn't about power and strength???
07-20-2012 05:45 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Olympic Lifts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-nlhZ0RR4A

explosive power

214 kilos 470 lbs

SNATCH
07-20-2012 05:47 PM
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MikeCF Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Olympic Lifts
^^^ Oly lifting is like BJJ. Injuries are inevitable. It's just part of the game.

As you get older, you can't recover from injuries as quickly.

Think about getting your arm kinked when you were 22. Then at 32. Imagine 42.

Collagen and shit breaks down.

Guys who are 50 and jacked have learned a thing or two in their 2-3 decades in the gym.

Hell, how many old guys do you even see doing flat bench presses?

Every swinging dick used to do bench. But not many old guys do that exercise.

(I don't bench, and nearly all of my prime mover movements are hammer strength.)

I still do some dead lifts occasionally, for the muscle density purposes. But not regularly.

Just go to Gold's in Venice. You can see Lou Ferringo there most days. He does cardio and 30 minutes of machines.

Could be Lou missed the Oly lift train....Or could be he knows something about staying jacked while being old.

Even most yougner bodybuilders do mostly machien stuff.

Now I wont' say oly lifts don't "work," because that's a lie.

They are a great way to pack on muscle.

But all of my injuries in the gym were caused by free weights.

Same with most guys.

I want to look good 10 years from now.

So for me that means not missing workouts. (Especially as you get older, it's easier to lose what you've got. If you pop a shoulder and are out for 8 weeks, fuck your life, that's tough getting back into the gym.)
07-20-2012 05:56 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Olympic Lifts
I forgot you were a geezer.

Wink

yeah at 36 my time with the olys may be winding down but i love them and they give me the endorphin rush like nothing else. it also helps with just mood and confidence for the day. starting off the day with a 225 clean and jerk (chump change compared to the olympians) just makes for a good day.

don't know i'd get the same feeling from doing 3x10 of lat pull downs.
07-20-2012 06:05 PM
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MikeCF Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Olympic Lifts
^^^ Sure, oly lifts are like two different conversations.

1. They work great. (No argument to be had.)
2. They can fuck you up and will fuck you up once you're older.

So guys will say, "How can you say they will fuck you up. They pack on muscle!"

Both are true. Wink
07-20-2012 06:08 PM
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raliv Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Olympic Lifts
Lift weights but be good to your body. You only get one body so take care of it.

Stay safe bros.
07-20-2012 07:58 PM
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Hades Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Olympic Lifts
Whenever possible, I try to avoid injuries. If I were to ever do olympic lifts, it would be with sandbags, and very low rep. 2-4 reps would not be unreasonable.
07-20-2012 10:05 PM
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velkrum Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Olympic Lifts
reaper23 Wrote:
  1. i dont think he understands what olympic lifts are.
    Actually, I trained with the men's American weight lifting team and I have been coached by John Coffee himself.
  2. an olympic lift is a highly coordinated multi joint total body explosive movement...
    and how will that help my triceps and chest grow ?
  3. they are highly athletic, highly technical and are raw expressions of power.
    So is a deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press etc.


MikeCF Wrote:what is your definition of power?

I don't make up definitions.
Power = Work divided by Time.
Why ?


the chef Wrote:could you elaborate on that?

Spend 5 years doing olympic lifts as your primary exercises and compare your physique to someone who primarily trains like a body builder/powerlifter (within the same 5 years).
Whose physique will look better and have more useful real world function ?
(This post was last modified: 07-20-2012 11:42 PM by velkrum.)
07-20-2012 11:27 PM
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reaper23 Offline
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RE: Olympic Lifts
(07-20-2012 11:27 PM)velkrum Wrote:  
reaper23 Wrote:
  1. i dont think he understands what olympic lifts are.
    Actually, I trained with the men's American weight lifting team and I have been coached by John Coffee himself.
  2. an olympic lift is a highly coordinated multi joint total body explosive movement...
    and how will that help my triceps and chest grow ?
  3. they are highly athletic, highly technical and are raw expressions of power.
    So is a deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press etc.


MikeCF Wrote:what is your definition of power?

I don't make up definitions.
Power = Work divided by Time.
Why ?


the chef Wrote:could you elaborate on that?

Spend 5 years doing olympic lifts as your primary exercises and compare your physique to someone who primarily trains like a body builder/powerlifter (within the same 5 years).
Whose physique will look better and have more useful real world function ?

you're contradicting yourself now. you said that your goals included power and athleticism and now you're saying just physique.

if in fact your goals are just physique related, then yes, body building is going to do that for you.

use real world functions? i dont even think it is a debate that olympic lifting has far more universal applications in the real world than bodybuilding.

here is someone else's explanation of oly lifts:

"Olympic style training involves “using heavy loads that are performed at a high velocity resulting in a high power output” (Hoffman, et al 2004). The term speed strength combines two very crucial attributes of athletic performance to express “power development.” An athlete’s power capacity includes “maximum strength, high load speed strength, low load speed strength, rate of force development, reactive strength, skill performance, and power endurance” (Hori & Stone 2004)."
07-21-2012 09:10 AM
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reaper23 Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Olympic Lifts
(07-20-2012 11:27 PM)velkrum Wrote:  
MikeCF Wrote:what is your definition of power?

I don't make up definitions.
Power = Work divided by Time.
Why ?

exactly. olympic lifts move weights much faster and farther than powerlifting resulting in far far greater power generated.

in fact, oly lifts work on both the numerator "work" by increasing distances traveled as well as the denominator "time" by making the movements happen in as quick of a time as possible.

saying that Oly lifts won't help with power is simply incorrect.

"they are highly athletic, highly technical and are raw expressions of power.
So is a deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press etc."

actually no. neither of those lifts involve large distances which increase WORK and they certainly don't require the quickness which reduces TIME relative to distance/weight.



To be clear: I also deadlift, squat, OHP regularly along with the Olys but the misinformation here needed to be clarified.
07-21-2012 09:17 AM
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velkrum Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Olympic Lifts
Perfecting your olympic lifts makes you a better olympic lifter.
  • It does little to improve your physique
  • it does little to improve strength
  • it does little to improve power, except for becoming a more powerful olympic lifter.
If you want to develop strong powerful legs
you would not prioritize box jumping over
squatting, lunging and doing various traditional strength exercises.

If you NEVER did an olympic lift and only trained like a traditional bodybuilder / powerlifter there would be no consequences or negative effects for that decision.
  • Are they fun to do ? yes
  • Are they necessary for developing an aesthetically balanced physique ? no
  • Will they make you stronger ? no
  • Do they carry over to improve sport performance ? no
  • Do they carry over to improve bench pressing / squatting / deadlifting performance ? no
  • Are they good for rehabilitation ? no

Olympic lifts do little to help anything other than getting good at olympic lifting.

(This post was last modified: 07-21-2012 11:00 AM by velkrum.)
07-21-2012 10:57 AM
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