The Upper West Side
3 Rounds for time of:
20 BB Push press 85# (men) / 45# bar (women)
30 Air Squats
20 Ball Slams
The benefits of Olympic Weightlifting
Olympic weightlifting is pretty much outlawed in your standard Globo Gym. You generally need a lot of space, plenty of chalk and rubber bumper plates to drop. More importantly, you need a competent coach to guide you through the movements and make the proper adjustments. NLP loves the Oly lifts and for a good reason: They are the most efficient way to build strength and explosive power while improving neuromuscular efficiency.
At NLP, we don’t train for any particular one thing, but for the unknown and unknowable. That doesn’t mean that our training doesn’t directly translate to sport. The clean & jerk and the snatch are two of the most effective movements you can do (that’s what she said). Here is a list of benefits of Olympic weightlifting:
- They are safe – When done properly, Olympic weightlifting is the safest form of resistance training versus machines. The guided movement and support of machines causes muscle imbalances and doesn’t teach the body how to move properly. Injury usually occurs off of these machines when performing everyday tasks such as picking up a box and putting it on a shelf or playing with your kids. Oly lifting not only strengthens your entire body, but it teaches you how to move properly in functional situations.
- You look good – Performing Oly lifts correctly requires just about every muscle in your body to fire. Just to hold the weight overhead, every stabilizer muscle throughout your midline has to be engaged or else you fall over. Moving the weight through the entire range of motion provides us with a higher anaerobic output than machines can provide thus allowing our bodies to burn more fat and build more muscle. In an 8 week Olympic weightlifting program study, participants lowered their resting heart rate by 8%, lean body weight increased by 4%, fat dropped 6%, and systolic blood pressure decreased by 4%.
- Translation to sports – Sports and athleticism is about coordination and explosive power. The Oly lifts teach the body to become more efficient in the explosive movements. The athlete learns to engage more of his or her muscle fibers more rapidly than athletes who have not trained to do so. In order to perform the lifts correctly, the athlete will also need to build the neuromuscular highway to fire the proper muscle groups in the proper sequence. Think of a pitcher who flicks his wrist before fully extending his leg or arm.
- Speed recovery – Take it from someone who is recovering from an injury. The force on the injured spot helps your body speed up recovery. Now that doesn’t mean that if you tear your MCL to go out and clean & jerk 150kg because it will help you heal faster. It means that taking your body through a full range of motion with some resistance can keep muscles from atrophy and help build bone density.
- It’s fun – I used to hate the Oly lifts because I didn’t know how to do them. After a couple of years of practice, I am by no means an expert, but I at least understand them. The oly lifts require practice and patience. It’s fun to stomp your feet and throw around rubber bumper plates. Most people also see dramatic improvements when their technique begins to catch up to their strength and vice versa.