CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource

Meal Of The Day

What is Olympic Weightlifting?

The Sport of Olympic Weightlifting is one of the world’s most misunderstood and under appreciated sports.  Part of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, Weightlifting is the only Olympic Sport in which heavy weights are used.

There are two recognized Weightlifting events, the “Snatch” and the “Clean and Jerk”.  In the Snatch, the bar is pulled in one explosive motion from the floor to full arm’s length overhead.  The combined attributes of great strength and blinding speed are needed to accomplish this challenging event effectively.  The best lifters in the world in the lighter bodyweight classes can lift as much as 2.5 times their bodyweight in the Snatch.  The best super-heavyweight weightlifters in history have lifted nearly 500lbs/227.5 kg. in this lift.

In the Clean and Jerk, the bar is also lifted to full arm’s length overhead.  However, although it is considered one event, the Clean and Jerk is really two lifts that must be completed immediately after the other.  In the clean, the bar is raised (pulled) in an explosive motion from the floor to a point of rest approximately at the level of the shoulders.  The second part of the Clean and Jerk, the Jerk, consists of bending the legs and then extending both the arms and the legs to bring the bar to full arm’s length over the head in one explosive motion,  In order to make the lift easier to perform, athletes typically drop into a “split” position, or merely bend their legs quickly while the bar is rising in order to catch the bar at arm’s length.  Since the athlete is lifting the bar in two stages in the Clean and Jerk, heavier weights can be lifted in the Clean and Jerk than in the Snatch

The best lifters in the world in the lighter bodyweight classes can lift as much as three times their bodyweight in the Clean and Jerk.  The best super-heavyweight lifters in history have lifted nearly 600lb/272.5kg in this lift.

Why Olympic Weightlifting is important to general fitness, and athletic development:

Olympic Weightlifting is a safe and time efficient way to develop multiple athletic capacities within:

1. cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
2. stamina
3. strength
4. flexibility
5. power
6. speed
7. agility
8. balance
9. coordination
10. accuracy

Olympic Weightlifting consists of a “ground based” series of movements designed to create strength and power.   This will carry over into any sport you’re currently participating in whether it be:  Football, Soccer, Running, Baseball, Tennis, CrossFit, etc…

Full body development of our athletes is also a benefit of these lifts, including:

-Developing Kinesthetic awareness.
-Increasing muscle fiber diameter.
-Increasing neural adaptations.
-Improving intra-muscular coordination.
-Improving inter-muscular coordination.
-Increased “Core” strength, stability, and control.

What happens during a  Clear Lake CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Class?

Each of our Olympic Weightlifting classes are under the supervision of a USA Weightlifting Certified Coach.  All ability levels are welcome to attend these classes!

Each class consists of:

-Dynamic warm-up, and flexibility.
-Skill-Transfer and Skill-Development movements pertaining to the Snatch and Clean and Jerk.
-Hands-on feedback from the Coach.
-A progressive program for all ability levels.

Whether you’re training for a competition, new to the lifts, developing your athletic capacity for another sport, or just enjoy the feeling of moving something heavy over-head, this class is for you!

Garret Taylor. CSCS, USAW National Coach, Crossfit Level One.

Coach Taylor, a 1992 Graduate of Trinity University, lettered in football and was a team captain for the Tigers. In 1992 he was recoginzed as an N.S.C.A. All American. Also that year he won the A.D.F.P.A Collegiate National Powerlifting Championships. Coach Taylor has spent the last 12 years coaching at Alvin High school coaching Football, Powerlifting and is the strength and conditioning coordinator for multiple sports. The lady jackets have won two State Championships in powerlifting since he joined the staff. He has also coached numerous individual athletes to state and national meets in Powerlifting and Weightlifting. Coach Taylor has continued his own lifting winning the Sub-masters Nationals in 2002 in powerlifting and winning a bronze at the USAW Masters Pan-Am Championships in 2008. As an assistant coach with Team Houston He has coached lifters to the national level. His teams have placed 2nd twice at the Jr and Youth Nationals. He has had several athletes qualify for the American Open and the Sr. Nationals. One of his former lifters is a current resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.