Leave the Olympic Lifts for the Olympic Lifters

Getting the general population to do Olympic Lifts is kind of like getting someone that failed grade 8 math to do your taxes. They’re clearly not good with numbers, so they have no business doing a challenging task involving numbers. But more importantly, there’s serious consequences if they’re executed incorrectly.

They also have no desire to be an accountant, and simply came to you to sharpen their math skills.  So, the logical person asks:

“Why ask them to do this in the first place?”

Which in the case of Olympic Lifting, is usually answered with:

“Because it’s part of  the CrossFit Box.”

Or better yet:

“Because CrossFit.”

And sadly, it appears to come with all this too:

All jokes aside, the Olympic lifts are advanced (if not expert) weight training maneuvers that should be reserved for the ‘very’ experienced. Since, even the athletically-gifted, that have spent years lifting weights, struggle with proper technique.  And despite the popularity of CrossFit, even high-level Strength Coaches still avoid recommending the Olympic Lifts to their amateur and professional athletes, because of the time spent developing proper technique, and the high risk of injury.

Olympic lifting is a sport for a reason – it’s friggin hard!

To think you can walk in a gym with no lifting experience and execute a power clean (or for a coach to think you can) is ridiculous. Not only because it’s technically challenging to do properly, but because there’s no baseline of strength to prevent injury.

And realistically, the 3 moves you need to master before the power clean (deadlift, hang clean, front squat) shouldn’t even be on your radar the first day you walk in a gym. As they all require great technique, excellent body control, and a solid baseline of strength on their own.

Olympic Lifting has never been a mandatory requirement for getting in wicked shape.

Sure, CrossFitters end up looking great, and kudos to them for that, but it’s not hard to figure out that their results are a combination of lifting weights CONSISTENTLY, better nutrition and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).  Which has been the case for anyone and everyone that’s ever hit the weight-room intelligently and altered their diet appropriately.

…since forever.


In other words, the majority of the population is better staying away from Olympic Lifts, for the simple fact that they’re going to get hurt. But also because their time is better spent progressing in strength exercises they can actually execute with proper form.  Like pushing, pulling, bending, and extending.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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