Nov 3, 2013

November Programming

Hi, I’m Susan, the November programmer, and I’m passionate about Olympic weightlifting. No other exercise provides more benefits in less time. This month, IMCF programming will focus on barbell technique.  In addition to the daily WODs, we will be doing accessory and strength work designed to build muscle memory and improve efficiency in the Olympic lifts.

Olympic weightlifting consists of two lifts: the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch. These lifts require explosive functional strength and are inherently technical, dynamic and fast.  Since CrossFit movements are constantly varied, I'm always working to improve one skill or another. I have discovered a shortcut, however, to improving many skills at once--the Olympic lifts.  Consider this:
     1. Only the Olympic lifts improve ALL 10 of CrossFit's measures of fitness: cardiovascular/ respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.
     2. Olympic weightlifting increases your vertical jump more effectively than vertical jump training. In an eight-week study, one group of lifters performed Olympic lifts while another group performed vertical jump exercises. At the end of the study, the Olympic weightlifting group had significantly increased their vertical jump over the group that used vertical jump exercises.
     3. Olympic weightlifting increases your sprint speed. The Olympic lifts engage nearly all of your muscles to move weights farther and faster than conventional exercises, which allows you to target your type II, or fast-twitch, muscle fibers. Working these fast twitch muscle fibers enables you to produce more force in a shorter amount of time, allowing you to sprint and accelerate faster.
     4. Olympic lifts improve your gymnastic skills. Gymnastic movements require core strength, flexibility and balance, all of which are developed with the Olympic lifts.  Nothing solicits more core strength, flexibility and balance than catching a barbell in a full snatch.

In training the Olympic lifts, technique matters.   With poor technique, you are more likely to get injured and less likely to reap the benefits of the exercises. Take time this month to watch the instructional videos in the Coach's Notes. If you'd like additional guidance, talk to me or another USA Weightlifting coach.  I love this sport and hope you learn to love it, too.


Scott S said...

I'm in. Pretty sure I can only make gains for my Snatch, so it's good to have the Queen in the drivers seat!

Sadr City King said...

Great info Susan! Beast mode is looking forward to this month and the info you provided is going into the kit bag. Charles

Jared said...

Picked up some Adidas weightlifting shoes today in preparation. On sale at the legends. I am all in.


Olympic lifting looks pretty cool when done correctly. Recommend everyone show up a little earlier than usual this week and become best friends with a PVC pipe...

IronJake78 said...


I appreciate the studies you included in your intro. I'm always looking for science to back up folks BS.

I've been wanting to get more Olympic, this may be the excuse I've been looking for.