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How well should Strength Coaches know the Olympic Lifts?
Karsten Jensen 11/21/2012 5:49:04 PM
Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:33 PM
Joined: 11/21/2012
Posts: 37

On occasion I hear the belief that “all athletes should perform the Olympic lifts.”

I completely disagree.

With The Flexible Periodization Method exercise selection begins from a clean slate with the goal of choosing the exact combination of exercises – whatever those exercises are – that most effectively transfer to the goal of the athlete or client.

This approach, beginning the exercise selection from a clean slate rather than choosing among “favourites” requiresmore time, more thought and more knowledge about a higher number of exercises but the effort is well worth the increased effectiveness of the programs.

The Olympic lifts are obviously interesting if you train Olympic lifters, fitness clients who are interested in the lifts and also for athletes who need vertical jump power as the 1RM Power Clean is significantly associated with vertical jump height (Nuzzo JL, McBride JM, Cormie P, McCaulley GO Relationship between counter-movement jump performance and multi-joint isometric and dynamic tests of strength. Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research 22(3): 699-707. 200.

I typically do not choose Olympic lifts if the main movement goal focuses on horizontal, unilateral activity (for example tennis). I have also, in some cases, stayed away from Olympic lifts with world class badminton players for whom an overuse injury in the wrist joint would be disastrous.

However, since I teach Olympic weightlifting classes and also anOlympic weightlifting workshop, I continuously educate myself on the biomechanics of these great lifts!

In the next three blog posts I will share studies that I find useful in relation to teaching and understanding the Olympic lifts.


PS: My recommended introduction to periodization is our free video course “The Most Useful Definition of Periodization and The 4 Reason that you MUST base your programs on Periodization if you want to see the best possible results for your athletes/clients.” Get it (email required).

PPS: Check out my Olympic Weightlifting workshop + other NSCA-accredited workshops. Click here and scroll to the bottom.

Phone: 647-869-YESS (9377)
Mississagua, ON, Canada