You may turn your nose up at the thought of performing Olympic weight lifting but actually, you might already be doing a fair bit without even realising it. There are a number of benefits to lifting in this fashion and you will almost know about it when you have performed a session like this. Why is it good for you and why should you include at least one Olympic lifting session per week? Here is a brief outline of why I think it is good for you and what kind of exercises you should be looking to perform if you don't already.
Years and years ago the only time you'd really see someone performing these types of exercises was at the Olympic games, now they are being performed world wide in gyms, Crossfit boxes, by personal trainers to their clients and so on. This type of exercise is very popular to those who want to increase strength and work on functional training. Each of the exercises are always performed using an Olympic Barbell which in turn uses most of the body in every single rep. For instance the snatch and clean and jerk are very popular moves lifts that work muscles from head to toe.
What Are The Benefits?
There are many benefits of training like this but the main three I want to cover with you is increased strength, increased fat loss and an increase in functionality of your body. Let's start with the first benefit - increased strength....
This one probably doesn't come as a surprise as the whole point of an Olympic lift is to max out what you can physically do. When you do this you will undoubtedly become stronger with your lifting because the rep range you perform is very small and that focuses more attention on strength rather than hypertrophy. You might find that when you perform these lifts you need longer to rest the following day because of the impact it puts on your body.
Increased Fat Loss
Again, this is another one that shouldn't come as too much of a shock to you, yes lifting this way will cause a dramatic increase in fat loss. How many calories do you think you burn when you are sitting on a machine? Not so many, but when you are lifting with an Olympic bar, the rate at which your body rockets, sky high! This fires your metabolism and causes your body to burn more fat as an energy source. Be sure to eat the right foods before your training session as you want to make sure you give it everything you've got. Finally, like I have mentioned before as these workouts tax a lot of muscles in one lift you will be burning more calories because of the rate at which your body is having to work at.
Last but not least, a final benefit is how these lifts promotes increased functionality within your body. What does this mean exactly? Well, it encourages you to lead a better life through training your muscles effectively. How many times have you performed an exercise and then over a period of time you get a niggle, say in your shoulder? Or another area of your body is experiencing a niggle because of the way you lift? Functional lifting also means you are replicating what you do in everyday life just heavier with some weights and a bar. We all squat throughout the day, whether it is to sit in our cars, a seat or the toilet. WE all lift things above our head and so on. So, lifting this way really helps improve our daily, functional abilities throughout life.
One Last Thing...
Olympic lifting is serious business so make sure before you do so you get some advice/training from a professional coach to ensure you don't injure yourself or someone else. Once you have though, you are all set, good luck!!