I thought I'd write about how implementing some Olympic weightlifting into your training can not only help you on your journey physically but how it can also help develop confidence inside and outside of the gym by improving self-esteem and body image. It's empowering!
The Olympic lifts are technical, dynamic and fast. They create neurological (brain to muscle) and muscular adaptations. You become more efficient and effective at firing off those muscles needed to move the bar, plus you'll develop more muscle along the way!
Olympic weightlifting is exactly that. It's what you see those amazing athletes do at competitions such as the Olympics, and is the result of years and years of training. However anyone can start to learn the fundamentals and benefit from including them into a training program.
There are two main lifts as they are known:
- The Snatch. Using a wide grip the barbell moves from the ground to above the athletes head in one continuous movement.
- The Clean & Jerk. Two consecutive movements. With a narrower grip than the snatch, the first movement lifts the barbell from the ground to the shoulders of the athlete. The second then moves the bar from the shoulders to above the athletes head.
These lifts and components of these lifts, when combined with a balanced training program, will enable you to develop more strength, speed and therefore explosive power.
I don't want you to shy away because of the skill level and they look hard. We all have to start somewhere and the skill level improves quickly over time. I especially don't want you to hesitate if you are a female and worried about getting big and bulky (like an “enhanced” bodybuilder-type physique), this type of training (or any other heavy training) will not do that. Training to become an enhanced - bodybuilder with a specific diet does.
Olympic lifts are great for the aesthetic (looking sexy) benefits too! By combining these large body part, explosive movements into your programme you will also gain a metabolic effect. What I am referring to is burning more kcals both during and after the session - you'll become a fat burning furnace. You'll improve your body shape, begin to add new muscle and start to burn more calories overall.
This is better than spending countless hours doing low intensity, steady-state aerobic exercise. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of benefits for this type of exercise as well (I know I do my fair share on a regular basis!) but this is a whole new article for another time.
By adding some Olympic lifting into your training program you can look to benefit from:
- Improved body composition
- Better stability of joints
- Improved posture
- Improved bone health (reduced risk to developing osteoporosis)
- Develop greater flexibility / mobility
- Reduced the likelihood of injury
- Improved muscle tone / mass
- Better motor skills (movement)
- Increased strength, speed and power
- Improved cardio respiratory function
- Improved overall sports performance
- Greater confidence and self esteem
So what is there to lose? Move better, look good naked and feel better about your body, and generally be more awesome!
If you are interested in trying some Olympic lifting get in touch with me, Coach TK, and let me design a suitable program for you to incorporate them into your training. I only use proven techniques combined with safe and effective coaching methods to get you the results you need.