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Old 12-09-2007, 04:04 PM   #1
Troy Archie
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Default O-Lifting; Heath and Longevity

So I had my first Olympic lifting meet yesterday. I was pretty dismal but it was good fun and a pretty cool experience. It, along with the recent article “Integrating the Olympic Lifts with CrossFit” and re-reading the “Heath and Longevity Bias” thread has left me thinking about O-Lifting in terms of overall heath and longevity and if such a thing exists.

Thru my short experience in the lifts and observations at the meet, I saw a lot of guys with nagging injuries, chronic and acute, which is something I’ve also felt in my short time working with the lifts. I’ve seen a lot of guys constantly fighting problems and injuries ranging from younger 22 y/o lifters to the older guys lifting in their 40’s and 50’s, the latter spending a lot more time recuperating from their injuries if at all. You’re probably going to find this same thing in any sport/competition.

On the other end of the spectrum you find it in the day-to-day 9-5-work week but not from over-reaching and over-training but from complete lack of physical activity and a shitty diet.

So where is the balance? Is there a balance? Can one use the O-lifts as a means of maintain and obtaining health and longevity? I’m just a guy who things the O-lifts are good fun and likes to keep fit.

I’m surprised there wasn’t more questions posted about the recent O-lifting and Crossfit integration article, which has left me with the conclusion that it’s one or the other when it comes to O-lifting and a mix isn’t really that feasible, leading to over-training/reaching or a mix/screw up of motor patterns…
Just throwing thoughts out there.

Great article BTW Greg, same with the Heath and Longevity Bias thread. Solid reads.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:51 PM   #2
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Troy;

Nice job, but you have to post your numbers.

As to your comments or observations, I think it's a matter of priorities and training/competing intelligently.

If you're training for big meets, national/international records, you might be willing to lay it out on the line somewhat more then the occasional meet, or trying to get a big CFT number.

Some more knowledgeable then I will chime in, but I'm backing off the CF WOD's to focus more on my O lifting, as there's no way I can hit both(thats me, others might be able to).

I have a couple of meets over the next two months, would really like to get my rookie(clueless) abilities and technique to improve, as I'd really like to attend the Masters in April, so that is my goal and priority.

As to injuries, I didn't play high school/college sports, so I'm not too banged up. I do get monthly massages, stretch, get plenty of rest, eat pretty good, so will I tweak something, you bet, will I train through the injury, doubtful. I'd like to be lifting like my coach Lou DeMarco, he's putting the weights up, 6 days a week and he's in his 70's.

Just my two rumbling cents.

Last edited by Jay Cohen : 12-09-2007 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:05 PM   #3
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Bottom line is that any committment to specialization at an advanced level is accompanied by some degree of sacrifice--that's the just nature of sport at high levels, and O-lifting is by no means unique in that regard, although there is plenty of variation among sports in terms of the nature and degree of said sacrifice.

With attention to recovery, smart programming, and maybe some luck, I do think most can manage a fairly high level of O-lifting while not damning themselves to a wheelchair at the age of retirement. Much of the chronic injuries you see are less a product of the sport itself than of poor management of acute problems. That is, many of the athletes are focused on the more immediate, i.e. training this week, or for the next meet, and neglect the big picture, i.e. wheelchair. With a broader perspective, I think much of this can be avoided, and of course, this is an issue of priorities.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:32 PM   #4
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Interesting points...

My results? Right here.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:29 PM   #5
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I think O-lifting is a different thing than the high repetition movement exercises/sports. (as most reps are usually 5-1). Anything done to any extreme will of course cause more damage. Lots of ways to cause damage. Like Greg said, recovery is going to be key and any sport will most likely have some degree of damage to go with it. Case in point...I play ice hockey..,.my knees probably have been damamged...I play once a week but if I was trying to practice 3x a week and play games 3x a week my body would probably wear down. Balance and recovery. Doing anything to the extreme will most likely lead to accelerated aging, a new hip and knee.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:44 PM   #6
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I have only competed twice, but between the two I have witnessed two men and two women well over the age of 60. I think one man was close to mid-to-late 70s, and he set an american record that day.(Connecticut Open) The absolute weight that he lifted was not huge, but when you take into account his age and what he was lifting it was awesome! The other older masters lifters were also throwing up some good weight. Personally, I would think that having the basic strength and power to c&j 90 pounds when you are eligible for a senior discount would greatly help in performing normal, daily tasks around the house. Im not saying that these athletes were moving around like they were in their 30's, but they were much more mobile than most older people I come in contact with. Im very confident that their training has a large part to do with that.

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Old 12-09-2007, 09:26 PM   #7
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Keep in mind that many, many of the old guys have gone away for the sport for a while and then come back after a decade or three of sitting behind a desk. That takes its toll... I don't know how many case studies there are of old, continuously active oly lifters, especially any with good nutrition.


It's great that you're starting oly lifting. Trust me, you have a long way to go before you start to push the cost: benefit ratio envelope into undesired territory. I've snatched 95, C+Jed 125, power snatched my bodyweight, and power cleaned 120 at a weight of 85 kilos, and I've never come close to injury. There is a qualitative difference between, one the one hand--- training once a day, 4 to 6 days a week, and training harder some months than others and not doing as many comp lifts, and, on the other--- training 6 to 7 days a week, once or twice a day, always doing comp lifts, and pulling the foot off the accelerator only just as often as is necessary to generate gains. You have to do the latter to get injured; you also have to do the latter to be really good at the sport. But you don't have to do the latter to get a bodyweight snatch, a C+J 15 to 30 kilos beyond that, and comparable strength numbers.

Just my two cents, and good luck, whatever you decide to do.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Archie View Post
Interesting points...

My results? Right here.

Troy;

Great job, nice write up of the meet. Those numbers are very close to my present level of competency.

I'll post after my meet Sunday.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:03 AM   #9
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I actually have a patient who was an American record holder in the old Olympic Press in the 225# division. He's coming to me in hopes of avoiding his THIRD back surgery.

It made me rethink my priorities.

No one expects racecars to last a long time, they constantly push their limits. While humans can recover (as opposed to machines), constantly pushing limits will overextend recovery capacity more often than not. Oh yeah, racecars that are constantly trying to surpass their old records often have spectacular accidents.

Just some thoughts. I've found that once a competitive mindset enters the picture, it tends to corrupt health as a priority in one's life. This is an insidious thing.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:09 AM   #10
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To continue with Dr. G's racecar analogy, remember that dragster engines are rebuilt after every 1/4 mile. There is certainly a cost to high-level athleticism, a cost that I felt last summer when I was CFing at a much higher level than I am now. Nagging elbow tendonitis, constant muscle soreness....I decided that it wasn't worth it to strive to be a 99 percentile CFer when I can work hard, but not kill myself and be a 65 percentile CFer and 90 percentile when compared to the rest of the hoi polloi in the nation. Give me health and longevity over performance.
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