More on Olympic Lifts


Olympic lifters that cannot jump?? Come on Carl you know that 99% of the Oly lifters at the Olympics an jump. You don’t need a study to tell you that. If they look fast around the bar and quickly drop under to receive it then surely you will agree that they can jump. Watch a video of Taner Sagir missing a Snatch at the ’08 Olympics and watch how far he leaps out of the way during the miss. With the majority of 69kg lifters back squatting around 270kg are you going to tell me they cannot jump? Watch them squat with 200kg. It will look like you with 135lbs. Pablo Lara POWER Cleaning 190kg at 76kg……….

I could see them not being good sprinters after a few meters.

Sure. My point is that we are not talking about the top 1% of athletes of olympic weightlifting but the majority of athletes that use olympic lifting to help advance their abilities in their respective sport. For clarity I made sure people are aware that we are talking about strength and conditioning programs that have styles of training that are rather one dimensional. My confidence is huge that if one can do heavy loads in the olympic lifts with great technique they will have great verticals. We all heard the stories (some real some lies) about olympic lifters having great power abilities such as fast running and great leaping ability. The research supports this. Still let’s get down to reality since I work at a facility that has a team of olympic lifters that compete at high levels and local levels. A new local level lifter that is female (read small population) can win a trophy but not jump over 24 inches. An international level women (will have to worry about China) will need to be rather explosive to win and I bet she is over 30 inches on her vertical as they represent the top in the world. A local weight lifter may place 5th at a state championship but will he have a vert like the big boys? Not sure, but as the level increases Brook is right, they are likely to be very explosive and if they reach the olympic cames I will bet on the middle weight classes to have great numbers in the vertical.

A high school athlete that olympic lifts 245 pounds in the power clean who happens to be 215 may jump high or may jump average in the vertical leap but what about bounding and running jumps off of one leg? What about lateral cutting. Verticals are great but we must think of jumping as an array of skills, sometimes the vertical doesn’t not shed light on the abilities like Stefan Holm in the High Jump. He does not have a vertical over 30 inches but is a world beater in his event as he is able to transfer the speed of his approach to one leg.

The first question I have is who tested in his vertical during the olympics as Yessis is rather sure the infamous world combine of speed and power happened during the olympics. It did not. Like how Ivan Drago was punching in Russia in foot pounds (no kilowatts?), no sprinter was being tested in yards internationally as Lenox Miller (100m) and Kaarlo Kangasniemi (weightlifting) were not going through any combine or scientific testing at the olympics. Rome or Mexico City was not doing any testing of the athletes in that fashion that I know of. This is perhaps one of the biggest myths ever and I think we can move on by the fact I need to see Ilya Ilin run 1.43 in the 10 yard test. I think with training he can be close but remember a great vertical is a raw test of power and a measures of speed is locomotive and far more complicated. A three point start may be a bit strange for a guy that is use to having flat shoes (olympic lifting shoes are hard soled and elevated) and using a rounded back during initial action. Weightlifters tend to have straight backs and are not use to having a shoe that allows for the ball to bend a lot. Initial movement is very quad dominant in the sprint start and is less so in the initiation of the first pull in either the snatch or clean and jerk. Also the rate of contractions and the arm action is opposite arm and opposite leg, while the only real action that can compare is the jerk of the lift if they split it. One cool observation was emerging national level olympic lifter running sprints for fun. He was working with my small training group and ran with his arm acition with a lot of elbow lift like a clean rack. I can’t prove it was a motor program from the lifts but only olympic lifting perhaps programmed in that motion to his skill sets.

You do more training of the vertical and more coaching of the sprints. If some Chinese girl rips out a clean looking acceleration like Chambers did weeks ago by just observation I will eat crow. As a betting man most will need to be coached specifically in the sprints. Still with Lena doing well all the way up to 60m I have strong faith in the lifts and thank the board for sharing their youtube links, opinions, and blogs.

Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of the lifts but just because elite guys may do some freaky things doesn’t mean that good technique with medium weight will make a high school basketball player jump like Dominique. My point is that well rounded programs will help, and the loads need to be high and in high school not everyone will be able to have great loads given the time and technical demand of the lifts. While everyone is claiming that it’s easy to do, remember not everyone likes to workout or lift weights. A varsity basketball team in New Hampshire may not have everyone snatching their bodyweight by the time they are juniors as the coach of the team may be a guy that only was exposed to universal stacks when in college. The point of the blog is to remember that your circumstance is not the primary circumstance of the biggest group of athletes that weight train, youth sports at the high school level. We should compare good programs that lift at their high school facility with sport coach or compare a program that can get a lot of athletes to lift well. Working one on one with a super coach at 100 dollars an hour for 12 hours a week is a small subset and the quality can’t replicated by many.

EDIT: I post people’s comments as the deserve to be front page if their point is important. I think some of the members have excellent points that should be addressed. If people don’t like this PM me but if you are posting responses you should be proud of your work. The forum is important to me. I think Brook and Chad have great points that we all can learn from and I don’t do this to insult or attack. What I am trying my best to do is talk about clarity of what we are discussing, as my weakest ability is to keep things narrow as much interaction of many factors are likely to be the root of why things are. CFKA has a great point that I will need to time to address later. I will quote him so people can be refreshed or see what the topic is about. I like CFKA as a coach and person and citing his comments are just ways to keep people updated on what we are talking about.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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