Let's Talk About Olympic Lifts

By: Coach Vince

Some quick thoughts around the Olympic lifts in the group program at CrossFit Reviver.

Olympic weightlifting (clean, snatch, jerk) has been around for a long time

It has become incredibly more noticed and popular since the rise of CrossFit and the CrossFit games.  The lifts are great and have a tremendous amount of benefit…assuming they are right for you.  Let’s go over a quick list of things needed to be able to perform the Olympic lifts and get the benefit out of the lifts.

1. Mobility

The Olympic lifts are a full body movement, having full range of motion and symmetry within each joint helps to ensure strong/safe positions.

2. Coordination

The lifts require you to move multiple joints in one explosive movement.  Each of the joints needs to start in a certain position, move in a certain position, and finish in a certain position to ensure safety and to optimize the lift.

3. Strong foundation with basic movements (squat, deadlift, press, jumping)

At the core of the Olympic lifts are the squat, deadlift, press, and jumping.  Having automatic and flawless execution on all 4 of these movements is required to maximize the benefits of the Olympic lifts.

These are the recommended baseline for what your score should equate to in the Physical Assessment categories to perform Olympic lifting properly:

Bending - LEVEL 3

Double Leg - LEVEL 3

Single Leg - LEVEL 2

Core - LEVEL 1

Upper Pull - LEVEL 1 Upper Push / LEVEL 0 (a strong FLR hold would be highly recommended)

Are the Olympic lifts right for you?  Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if you would benefit from the Olympic lifts:

  1. What are my fitness goals?
  2. Do I have proper mobility and symmetry in all my joints?
  3. Am I participating in an Olympic weight lifting meet or CrossFit competition?
  4. Are my squat, deadlift, press and jumping automatic movements? Executed and practiced with virtuosity? (performing the common uncommonly well)
  5. What LEVEL am I at for each of the Physical Assessment categories?

The group program is based on the group as a whole

Every 6 months we test the group out to see where they have had individual improvements and where the group scores in each of the Physical Assessment categories.  When programming for the group there are 3 major categories considered: Mobility/Symmetry, Goals, and Physical Assessment scores.  If you are ever interested in having a deeper discussion on better understanding how the programming works please don’t hesitate to ask.  If you feel you need more or less than what the group program offers, please don’t hesitate to learn more about Individual Programming or how to take better advantage of Open Gym hours.