If there is just one reason, out of the many, that you should incorporate the Olympic lifting into your workout routine, it should be for the incredible lats and back development that comes from training the exercises and the overall incredible aesthetic and athletic improvements.
Olympic lifting is an extension of the body’s most natural and favorable movement patterns, a salve for our aches and pains, a one-way ticket to aesthetics city, and it’ll make you feel and look dramatically stronger.
What Is Olympic Lifting?
Olympic lifting is quite simple in theory. It consists of only two exercises, the snatch and the clean and jerk.
In competition, you are tested for the total amount of weight lifted in both of the lifts combined for your overall score.
Olympic Lifting and Performance
When comparing the snatch and clean and jerk to any other movements that you might see a gym rat performing, there is no comparison in the amount of force, technique and overall explosiveness required to complete the lift.
If you have ever seen somebody at your local gym perform a heavy snatch with perfect technique, it is absolutely a thing of beauty.
Coaches always encourage their athletes to work on the clean as it carries over to an incredible explosive power that helps achieve huge gains in many forms, from sprinting a forty-yard dash to giving you the best chance of being able to dunk a basketball.
Why The Incredible Lat Development?
Whenever you’re performing one of the movements, you are deadlifting, hip-hinging, shoulder shrugging, pressing, and squatting, just to name a few.
Whenever you perform these movements, you will begin to use your lat and back muscles in incredible measures.
A lat pull-down does not require nowhere near the amount of stability nor mobility that Olympic lifting does and therefore will never be able to produce the same type of body composition nor performance benefits.
On the other hand, a proper clean or snatch requires explosive pulling movements that are responsible for the amazingly awesome back development.
The Olympic lifts are, without a doubt, the most compound movements that can be performed with a barbell and classic bodybuilders have always incorporated these movements into their routines.
How Do You Start?
Mobility and accessory work are your best friends when first starting off. The last thing you want to do is begin performing these movements without perfecting your technique.
Begin to work on stabilizing and increasing the range of motion of both your shoulders and your squat. Practice remaining in an overhead squat position with a PVC pipe in order to feel the kinks that require addressing in your body.
The first movements you should be working on are the snatch grip deadlift, a hang squat clean and the push press.
The saying, practice makes perfect, does not apply here. Perfect practice makes perfect. Use a coach or research the movements as much as possible on Youtube.
Once you have a solid technique in these accessory lifts, you can begin to attempt to perform the lifts themselves. Again, never go heavy if you have to compromise form.
What To Expect
If you are doing these movements at a local gym, expect some strange stares and a couple disapproving nods. Pay no mind. You are their for your gains, not for the approval of the pretenders.
After a few months of lifting and practicing the movements, you will begin to see gains in all areas related to strength, power and overall improvements in your aesthetics.
Your back will noticeably be the biggest difference. It is often said that the back is to the weightlifter what the bicep curl is to the bodybuilder.
Overall, if you practice these movements and again, most importantly, focus on progression everyday, you can expect to see a much leaner and muscular physique.
My favorite part about practicing Olympic lifting? The incredibly amazing proportional body you’ll have that will fit in any shirt. That, my friends, is a great feeling.