Olympic weightlifting is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic program in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. The Olympic lifts used in CrossFit are the Snatch, Clean and the Jerk.
The Snatch - The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion. There are four main styles of snatch used: squat snatch (or full snatch), split snatch, power snatch, and muscle snatch.
The Clean - a lifter grasps the barbell just outside the legs, typically using a hook grip. Once the barbell is above the knees, the lifter extends explosively, raising the bar as high as possible before quickly dropping into a squat and receiving it in a "racked" position in front of the neck and resting on the shoulders.
The Jerk - begins from the "front rack" position, which is the finishing position of the clean. The lifter dips a few inches by bending the knees, keeping the back vertical, and then explosively extends the knees, propelling the barbell upward off the shoulders, and then quickly dropping underneath the bar by pushing upward with the arms and splitting the legs into a lunge position, one forward and one back. The bar is received overhead on straight arms, and, once stable, the lifter recovers from the split position, bringing the feet back into the same plane as the rest of the body.
Olympic Weightlifting pros and cons
- Skill based weightlifting, it is artistic work combined with a loaded barbell. Gymnastic trainers can be very good at it very quickly
- It takes a long time to learn the intricate technical aspects of the lift. Not negotiable!
- Enormously satisfying and confidence building method of lifting weights
- Captivating and jaw dropping when watching the lifts in person!
- Superior method of building strength and power
- Superior method of building mobility, proprioception and athletic skills
- Very low rates of injuries but injuries can happen unannounced!
- Highly addictive
- Extremely humbling
- Needs complicated programming
- Requires bumpers, special bars with rotating parts
- Requires coaching and programming
- Great way to build total body power and explosiveness
- Can help bridge the gap between training room and field of play
- Can help develop resiliency in joints and soft tissue
- They add variety and challenge to a training program
If combined with plenty of solid nutrition and sound recovery you can build amazing fitness conditioning, superior cardiovascular conditioning and skills & physique to back it up.
Is Olympic lifting for you? Best way to find out is to drop in on a class, chat with one of our coaches or better yet sign up for our 8 Week Olympic lifting course taught by the fabulous Coach Stephanie!