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Gareth Rees
05-22-2011, 02:24 PM
Hi guys,
Just wondering on all of your opinions on the subject of weightlifting for sports. Specifically;

i) How important do you think that technique in the Olympic lifts is, when used for enhancing power production for sports? To give an example, a coach would obviously want an athlete not to pull early with the arms and so would discourage this, but if an athlete were to over-pull it would be disastrous for the weightlifter, but is potentially not a huge issue for a basketball player as he is still getting the training effect that he is looking for and is not looking to clean or snatch maximal weights but just get a training effect.

ii) Most athletes of various sports look at the Olympic lifts primarily to increase their ability to produce force, and as an overwhelming majority of this come from the second pull, is it essentially necessary to go past this point? So I find myself wondering – As the training effect they’re looking for is created primarily in the second pull, and many athletes not being Olympic lifters and many struggling with grasping technique beyond pulls, and the ability to absorb force from the third pull can be increased through squats and similar movements... Is there any need to go beyond pulls or high pulls for the average athlete looking to simply increase his force production?

iii) As we know, beyond Olympic weightlifting in the S&C community the full lifts aren’t practiced nearly as often (or very rarely, if at all in some cases) as power variations. Is this a potentially large mistake? Clearly to safely and effectively complete a successful full squat/clean it takes a lot of specific work, such as addressing flexibility issues, more specialised coaching etc. beyond a point which is necessary for most athletes of most sports, which, granted would take a lot of time and effort on both the athlete and coach’s part, but would the athlete’s ability to lift more weight lead to greater gains?


Random questions I know, but I believe very interesting! Add your own points if you’d like. All opinions greatly appreciated.

Spencer Mackay
05-23-2011, 03:57 PM
This could go on forever. It's touching on the concept of specificity and that is what you make it.

I was discussing this earlier with a coach from the gym. Look at the action of the hips in the full Olympic snatch with proper technique. They sit way back flexed in the pull, explode and extend upwards and immediately re-flex in the OHS to catch the bar. To some coaches this is an invaluable exercise to improve performance for sports requiring powerful hip action, for others it's not used because it's a different movement pattern, and isn't specific to their sport.