Intro: Why I Love Olympic Lifts (and why you should too)

Part of the extraordinary abilities of an Olympic lifter arises out of his or her having learned how to effectively activate more of his muscle fibers more rapidly than others who aren’t trained to do so.  Many people are intimidated by these movements or believe that they are dangerous so they shouldn’t do them.  This is all rubbish.  Obviously, you should be with a trainer who knows how to scale down the weight for you and who knows enough about the lifts to break them down into appropriate phases.  Once that’s taken care of, olympic lifting will only enhance everything else you do with your body.  It teaches your muscles how to fire first from the core, then out to the extremities, instead of initiating lifting with the extremities (which I see a lot of).

There is a science behind it.  Here are 3 main topics that will be discussed individually in the following three posts.

  1. Rate of force development
  2. Kinetic chain synchronization
  3. Neural recruitment

Here is a quote from one of the greats:

“The missing link in so much mainstream fitness programming, from bodybuilding to monostructural endeavors, is the neuromuscular piece—in particular, the development of coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance. We can sum these elements up as “technique.” Omitting them from one’s training necessarily results in only partial fitness, partial expression of one’s genetic potential, and a decreased threshold of maximal capacity. To increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains (the goal of CrossFit), technique is the crucial connection—whether your goal is to win the game, protect your life, complete the mission, or just be fit for the demands of everyday life at any age”.—Greg Glassman

The next post will deal with topic #1) Rate of Force Development

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