We talked to our Newington Connecticut personal trainer about Olympic lifting. This is what he had to say,
“I have seen a ton of trends and fads come and go. There has been a recent boost in popularity of Olympic Lifting. Olympic lifts are ballistic movements that combine dynamic speed, flexibility, mobility, and strength. When performed in the Olympics (where they got their name), they are performed as a one-rep maximum effort test of strength. The Olympic lifts include: the snatch, the clean, the clean and jerk, the clean and press, the push press (jerk), and the split jerk.”
Our Newington Connecticut Personal Trainer goes on to say that Olympic lifting, especially when incorporated into a well-rounded training program, is amazing for building dynamic explosion and power. These things are crucial for any athlete and tactical athlete, but have very little application for the average personal training client.
Olympic lifts are extremely complicated, and they require all the components to flow together perfectly, to be executed properly and more importantly, to be carried out safely.
“Performing Olympic Lifts properly,” says our Personal Trainer Newington in CT, “can take weeks, months, or even years to perfect. These are not exercises to be performed ‘just because.’ They have a very specific purpose and should be used for such.”
The Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook even states that plyometrics and Olympic lifts, due to their complexity and impact, should not be used as cardio-based exercises. Simply, performing these exercises when you are in a state of fatigue, results in breakdown of form and will lead to injury.
Our Newington Connecticut Personal Trainer goes on to say that because these exercises are designed to build maximum power and explosiveness, there is a very clear protocol on how they should be performed. The “work” sets should be performed with a–close to– maximal weight for 2-6 reps, with at least 3-5 minutes of rest between sets. They should also be performed as one of the first few exercises in your workout. It is necessary to perform the most taxing and complicated lifts early on in your workout to ensure there is no breakdown in form. When executed, as discussed here, you will ensure that you get the most benefit out of these exercises in the safest way possible.
There are some gyms out there who have made a name for themselves by throwing out all of the knowledge that has been widely known and accepted for decades.
Having said that, cross training is a great tool that can be used to promote weight loss. Our Newington Connecticut Personal Trainer will often cycle it in to a client’s periodized routine to help break plateaus or give that little extra push.
The problem occurs when fitness centers or other, less experienced personal trainers incorporate high-risk exercises into their circuits. Olympic lifts and Plyometrics should not be done for time or high reps. Period. This is not what they were developed for, and can be an injury waiting to happen, due to fatigue and improper form.
Our Newington Connecticut personal trainer told us that one of his pet peeves is when trainers try to implement these kinds of exercises into the program of clients who simply don’t need them. They are high-risk, high-reward exercises, and should only be used if the reward outweighs the risk. For an athlete who is trying to build speed, power, & agility and can devote the time to learn how to perform these lifts correctly, then– yes the reward far outweighs the risk.
For John Doe who is sitting at a desk all day and just wants to look and feel better, the risk versus reward is way too high.
There really is no reward for John Doe; he doesn’t need a 40 invert to be able to get out of his desk chair.
“As a responsible [Newington Connecticut] personal trainer it is my job to pick the exercises and programs that are right for the client and that will deliver the results they are looking for!”
What about the logistics of teaching Olympic lifts? When it comes to personal training, clients are paying for 30- or 60-minute sessions and they are relying on the trainer to get them results.
Our Newington Connecticut personal trainer can easily spend 10-20 hours just on instructing and breaking down proper form for Olympic lifts. The time necessary to adequately teach these exercises would result in precious time lost for the clients to get the real results they are looking for!
So, what does our Newington Connecticut Personal trainer think about Olympic lifts?
“I love them! I think they are great and some of the most useful exercises for those specific clients who need them! They are fantastic, but they are just not for everyone,” he says. “If a trainer can use them properly and with the right clients, they are a great tool in any trainer’s arsenal!”
If you’ve enjoyed these articles, Horizon Personal Training Centers of Newington Connecticut would love you to read on about the habits of really healthy people!