Complete Olympic Lifting

I hope you had a great weekend. I spent the last 4 days in Phoenix at one of Andreo Spina’s combined Functional Anatomical Palpation and Functional Range Releases courses and then shuttled right out to Lincoln, NE for a PRI course, where I still am. Lots to soak in, but great information. Looking forward to coming home and applying it (and sleeping!).

Right before I left, I had an opportunity to watch a new DVD from Wil Fleming called “Complete Olympic Lifting” which dives into teaching the highly technical Olympic Lifts.

If you’re not familiar with Olympic lifting, it’s one of the most effective strategies for increasing power and high load deceleration in athletes. Take a few minutes to watch the video below, which features some of the world’s strongest athletes in the Olympic lifts.

When I watch videos of these guys, I’m always impressed with two things:

  1. How incredibly strong/powerful these folks are
  2. How smooth the lifts look, even at extremely high loads

Watch the guy at 2:02. The guy set an Olympic record and it looked as clean and quick as a practice load. THAT is exactly how Olympic lifts are supposed to look. Check out the celebration from the guy that nails the lift at 2:55. Think he has some power?

Olympic lifts, and their variations, are very clearly an effective means of developing high levels of power in athletes. The largest barrier to integrating these lifts into your training program is understanding how to do them correctly. The lifts are very technical, can be hard to learn, and at times frustrating to teach. This is one of the biggest problems with some CrossFit and many high school strength and conditioning programs; inexperienced lifters are performing highly technical lifts with insufficient supervision/instruction.

In addition to being technical, the Olympic lifts also require great mobility and stability throughout the body. As I’ve talked about in the past, many people will have restrictions in the ankles, hips, and thoracic spine AND insufficient core strength/stabilization that will need to be addressed prior to jumping into advanced lifting.

Female Overhead Squat

Deep overhead squatting requires extremes of ankle, hip, and thoracic mobility, as well as outstanding stability through the lumbar spine and shoulder complex.

These are just a few of the reasons why I liked Wil’s Complete Olympic Lifting DVD so much. The DVD opens with a section on “readiness” assessment and requisite movement requirements. In other words, it helps identify whether you’re a good candidate to performing the lifts in the first place, which is a necessary first step to ensure you don’t get hurt. Wil then breaks down detailed teaching progressions for the clean, the jerk, and the snatch, outlining common mistakes, the reasons why athletes make those mistakes, and how to correct them. In addition, he provides a TON of terrific coaching cues, which will allow coaches to say less, but get more out of their athletes, and is extremely beneficial for athletes who can use these same cues as self-reminders if they’re training on their own.

Colby Cohen hang cleaning 235 for 3 reps at Endeavor 3 college hockey players performing a 1-arm DB hang snatch at Endeavor a few Summers agoOlympic lifts and their variations are an important piece of our programming at Endeavor. So much so, in fact, that I paid for David Lasnier and I to take the USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach certification a couple years ago, which essentially takes a weekend to dissect the clean, jerk, and snatch, just as Wil has in this DVD. Honestly, I was very happy with what I learned at that course, and thought it was ~$900 (for the two of us) well spent. After watching Wil’s DVD, I think the information is almost identical, but I picked up some great new coaching cues that I didn’t hear at the course, and the DVD is available at a fraction of the price. If you’re interested in learning how to perform the Olympic lifts (to help with sports performance, to compete at some point, to assist in your CrossFit pursuits, or just for fun) or interested in teaching them to athletes more effectively and efficiently, I highly recommend you check out Wil’s DVD.

For a limited time, you can get Complete Olympic Lifting at a 40% off discount. The sale ends Friday so if you’re interested, make sure you move quick!

Click here for more information >> Complete Olympic Lifting

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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