Why i love Olympic Lifting

20 Mar 2018

Olympic Lifting


Olympic Weightlifting (Oly Lifting) is often stereotyped as a sport done by strong, “fat” people. In reality this is about as true as the flat world theory floating around the internet.
The sport itself consists of two lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk. Each lift requires a large amount of mobility, strength endurance, explosive strength, maximal strength, co-ordination and proprioception to be able to execute the lifts efficiently and to competition standard. Its these factors combined that give Olympic Lifting a massive carry over into a vast majority of sports ranging from rugby to volleyball, tennis and even golf!

How you ask? Simple. All of the named sports have explosive movements in them, the best way to improve upon these movements is to develop what we call your Rate of Force Development (RFD) e.g. how quickly you can move a heavy weight. This allows our nervous systems to produce the most amount of force in the shortest possible time, and helps us swing faster, jump higher and change direction quicker.
One of the best ways to realise just how big of a transfer there is from Olympic Lifting to other sports, is to write down a list of 10 sports that come into your head, and identify how many of them require explosive movement…I bet its majority of them right?

Now on to the “fat” people lifting heavy things stereotype that comes with the sport, I can guarantee that if you go on YouTube right now and search each weightlifting class for both men and women, the word fat won’t enter your mind until the men’s 105+ category or the women’s 90+ category.
By that time however you watch the lower weight classes lift with their Herculean like physiques and reach the heavyweight classes for both sexes, the word fat won’t cross your mind. All you’ll have is admiration for the massive amount of weight those girls and guys are flinging over their heads with relative ease.
Also how many sports have you been to where people cheer/clap for nearly every athlete competing regularly, regardless of what country they are representing? I’ll hazard a guess at not many. The positivity the sport holds can be overwhelming and this is one thing that not many sports can share with weightlifting.

In conclusion weightlifting is one of the most inclusive sports on the planet, people of different sizes can participate and majority of the sport is surrounded in a positive vibe where everyone wants each other to do well. That paired with the carryover to different sports and the sick physique you can build from a proper weightlifting programme makes it, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest sport ever invented.

If you would like to learn more about Olympic Weight Lifting then follow my Instagram posts @sambotan and watch me try and lift heavy stuff!

Written by
Sam Heenan of London Road Sports Centre and The Shrewsbury Club

Why i love Olympic Lifting