The Great Debates Part II – Olympic Lifting vs Other.
Last week’s debate was on Training Failures. This week is more serious. The debate to include olympic lifting in athlete training programs has been raging over the last few years. It seems that many trainers are taking olympic lifts out of the programs. Let’s hear your opinions!
- Large muscle groups utilized.
- Benefits balance, core strength, and coordination.
- Provides an explosive training technique.
- Good technique required to be effective.
- Takes time to teach good technique. That time could be used doing other lifts.
- Other explosive training out there that is easier to teach.
My Opinion: I feel that adding olympic lifts can benefit a program in which you train athletes for a long period of time. If you have them for just a season, then the instructional time would be too great to receive much of the benefits. It is tough to beat the force and explosiveness required to perform Olympic lifts. The saying “often imitated, never duplicated” seems to apply here. Yes, tire flipping or keg tossing can simulate olympic lifts, but it just isn’t the same. However, with my younger athletes I do prefer to use the simpler lifts. I’m throwing so much information at them in the first few months, I don’t want to overwhelm them with a complex lifting technique.
Keg Tossing Picture from Joe Defranco’s
To state my bias, my college football training program at Colgate largely revolved around performing the hang clean while occasionally performing the power clean, snatch, and push jerk. I personally enjoyed it, but I can see why it might not be for everyone. The lifts took the right mind set to perform safely, correctly, and with a lot of power.
Many college programs around the country have had great success with training their athletes using Olympic lifts. Are these athletes succeeding because of their training, or in spite of their training. Your thoughts?
POST YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS – ALL OPINIONS ARE RESPECTED AND APPRECIATED!
-J. HASHEY, CSCS-