Another important note is that the O-lifts are not useful as a means of developing explosive strength until the lifter is cabable of lifting a large amount of weight. So again, while one lifter is grinding their way towards cleaning or jerking a weight equal to or far in excess of their own bodymass (without looking like a trainwreck) I can teach and subsequently have another lifter execute a throw or jump, or wieghted jump in 30-60seconds. Couple this with a basic strength exercise such as the box squat and we are accelerating their development at a lesser structural risk.-The Thinker

Some valid points by The Thinker at first but l will counter this with some of my experiences, since I came from a background that didn’t include olympic lifts as an athlete and have learned over time to include them. After a few discussions at the Mad Raven in Waltham with some fellow coaches, it was clear that The Thinker is thinking of his situation only, and this is a dangerous viewpoint to share with other younger coaches in other situations that are in a time that they should learn to use them. Most coaches in the public sector work with athletes that are going to spend 4 years in school, be it college or HS. Yes some players leave early but the vast majority of athletes will train four years and then finish their career or continue it in college. This means we have some time to work with and we can be patient as other parts to the program besides olympic lifts are going to help develop the athlete. The Thinker is correct is saying that power can be developed through other means. So what. That’s obvious. He is assuming that we, olympic lift proponents, are not using those means as well in an organized programs? It is not either or, as many programs will have a well rounded program that includes those methods. If he is coupled his training with basic strength such as a squat and other structural lifts while adding in some throws and jumps does that mean we are not doing the same? Of course not. I squat, jump, throw, and olympic lift to some degree. So all being equal he is never going to get any benefits from the olympic lifts ever because he truncated that part of the program out of his system. I say benefits instead of power as he has not mentioned the other qualities of olympic lifts the squat, jumps, and throws are not getting.

Olympic lifts don’t develop explosive strength unless a sufficient load is used. True. He is right that the load has an influence, but medball throws, something he shares to be a bang for your buck motor unit recruiter are on average half the weight of an olympic bar, and holding on is not going to cause you to fly out the window or cause massive structural damage he speaks about. So, we can say some similar benefits are being created with just very little weight. I am not saying that bar work is going to build freaks. I am saying that the weight of the load will place the theme of the exercise into a place in the workout naturally if one follows basic principals of training. Often jerks with the bar are alternate warm-ups, moderate loads to cleans and snatches are adding work capacity and range of motion work, and when someone is strong enough the power will come when ready. Think in years and careers instead of 12 weeks or acute sessions. Patience. Concurrently to those methods, we expect that if they are to weak to get the heavy lifts up such as a squat or other lower body lift,we are working on squats and other lifts that encourage maximal strength if they are truly in need of it.

When one suggests the removal of an effective exercise because the results are not acute or they are not using it themselves, this is wrong for the industry as a whole. With so many HS coaches listening to college coaches for guidance we need to be more open about training and less restrictive to our own personal philosophies. If HS coaches did some sort of light olympic lifting, even if it’s just technique work during the warm-up (providing they are not lying around doing foam rolling and corrective exercises all day) imagine what is possible in college? It seems that The Thinker has sculpted himself into a corner by removing what has proven to work by many. Just because someone doesn’t olympic lift doesn’t mean everyone else is wrong.
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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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