The explosive rise of CrossFit in the past decade has thrust Olympic Weightlifting into the spotlight, with trainers and athletes embracing it as a vital part of their training regimen.
If you didn't have prior exposure to Olympic Weightlifting during high school or through a skilled coach, chances are you're relatively new to the sport. Thankfully, CrossFit has played a significant role in making Olympic Weightlifting more accessible to those seeking strength gains and improved athleticism.
Here are three key benefits of Olympic Weightlifting that apply to individuals of all ages:
Enhanced Mobility and Stability:
Olympic Weightlifting has gained popularity in CrossFit due to its incorporation into the training stimulus. Proficiency in Olympic lifts not only enhances strength in movements like the clean & jerk and snatch but also boosts explosiveness and overall athleticism.
While Olympic Weightlifting programs are suitable for beginners, it's crucial to choose a program that emphasizes proper technique and keeps the intensity moderate.
These complex movements require time to master so you want to make sure you don’t pick up bad habits by grinding through scrappy reps.
Opting for programs that prioritize positional work and lower percentages helps beginners develop body awareness and familiarity with the lifts.
Getting started on a new CrossFit Weightlifting Program
What does a typical weightlifting session look like?
A typical Olympic Weightlifting session may include exercises like the power snatch, power clean with a jerk, front squat, barbell lunges, and glute-ham raises. These exercises target various aspects of strength, technique, and muscle development.
What does a weightlifting cycle involve and how long?
Olympic Weightlifting cycles typically span 8-12 weeks, gradually increasing volume and load to peak performance for meets or testing new one-rep maxes. It's not necessary to begin a cycle at the beginning; adjustments can be made based on your familiarity with the lifts.
What to do if you're a beginner to weightlifting programming?
When starting a new program, start by performing the lifts with good technique, and gradually increasing load over time. If you don't have a current one rep max you can use percentages given and translate that to RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion).
For example, a lift at 75 percent can translate to lifting a weight that feels like a 7 of of 10 RPE; which mean you could probably lift that weight 2-3 more time before failure. Technique is always going to be more important than weight.
Safety is a priority in Olympic Weightlifting within the CrossFit setting. It is essential to learn proper technique before performing Olympic lifts in high-intensity CrossFit workouts. Familiarize yourself with the lifts and ensure you can execute them safely, even under fatigue, before incorporating them into intense workouts.
How do I find a weightlifting gym with CrossFit?
When searching for an Olympic Weightlifting-friendly gym, most CrossFit affiliates are a great choice as they typically cater to Olympic Weightlifting. Look for gyms with bumper plates, designated lifting platforms, and no restrictions on dropping barbells.
What's the best weightlifting programming to join?
For individuals seeking to improve their Olympic Weightlifting while continuing CrossFit training, WPx Weightlifting offers a highly recommended program. Our 3-Day Weightlifting Program provides three weekly sessions that can be supplemented with short conditioning workouts. This allows for a comprehensive training schedule that includes both weightlifting and CrossFit sessions, depending on your availability.
The benefit of adding an Olympic Weightlifting program to your training is to become more efficient at barbell cycling and high volume in metcons, and an athlete will need to increase their strength in each lift. Being strong helps improve your base to allow you to become more efficient and perform better in metcons.