Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
July 2, 2017
Over the course of the past year, Parsons Training has embraced a rather popular and beneficial method to working out. No, we ain’t talking about Crossfit or Underwater Spin Classes or even Black Metal Suspension Bikram Yoga (I’m sure that is just around the corner). We’re talking about the foundation of all weight lifting, the granddaddy to all the things we do on a regular basis. I’m talking about Olympic Weightlifting. What started out as a refresher course has turned into a mission here at Parsons Training. While other personal trainers and gyms seek to utilize whatever is trendy and “boutique” we have embraced Olympic Weightlifting as the core training method for all of your fitness needs. Now yes, some “haters” might start pitching some criticism stating that “olympic weightlifting is just an excuse to keep a client coming in” or “olympic weightlifting is a good way to burn up sessions.” Tune those kind of people out because clearly, they know very little about the true benefits of olympic weightlifting. The truth of the matter is, olympic weightlifting is a long term process, but on the other hand, fitness in general is a long term pursuit. Much like getting fit and establishing good habits, the benefits will always outweigh the so-called “negatives.” Now, what is olympic weightlifting? The two most common lifts are the snatch and the clean and jerk. Over time, we here at Parsons Training will give you the tools to master these two workout methods. And we will teach you the right way, unless your goal in life is to end up on Fail Army and start racking up massage and chiropractic bills. And here is the best part about this form of working out…it will definitely improve other areas of your weight lifting. Think about the amount of movement and precision you would need to master these two lifts. A person would have to build up other areas of the body, which means a full body focus will be necessary to give you the tools to succeed. So while it looks like you are just practicing on a couple movements, you really have to be ready to work on your full body, from flexibility, speed and coordination.
The best part about olympic weightlifting is the overall power you will develop as a result. The amount of strength needed to get a barbell full of of weight off the ground and over your head is much more than you would expect. Trust me, when I originally started with the program I could barely do the bar, and now I am doing 125. It was a slow process due to the fact I had some issues with my shoulders and needed to really build up some flexibility, but the process is showing some fruits as I add a little extra weight every week. I definitely feel a lot more powerful in my upper body even though I am not utilizing the classic weight lifting tropes of bench presses and curls. So I am sure you are also asking another question when I keep mentioning the build up of power and force? Shouldn’t this be called power lifting? Well, there is a pretty big difference between power lifting and olympic lifting. https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/the-scientific-differences-between-weightlifting-and-powerlifting The biggest difference is the type of lift. Powerlifting meets usually focus on the dead lift, the back squat and the bench press, which are all fine methods of working out and developing strength. But here is the biggest difference…powerlifting requires less body control. While there are proper ways to do the dead lift, back squat and bench press, these lifts can be compensated with a little bit of elbow grease and determination. This might mean you body is gaining strength in certain areas, but lacking in others. Olympic lifting forces you to look at your body as one complete mechanism, with all gears perfectly lined up and well greased to make the movement work. So while you got your one rep max on the bench press, learning to coordinate a full snatch will take time and witness you training with lighter weights than you are used to. There is a reason why so many bodybuilders and power lifters avoid this style of training, mainly because A) it requires more patience and work, and B) finding certified trainers to teach and correct your forms are hard to find. This is what makes Parsons Training so valuable to you. We have multiple trainers that are certified to teach olympic weightlifting, which is a valuable asset for you as you continue with your health and wellness regime. Take my word on it in regards to this one. It’s not all about learning how to swing a bar over your head. It’s about working tense and tight muscle fibers that you never suspected being tight. It’s about coordinating cardio AND power all in one ferocious movement that is both exhilarating and beneficial to your health. Even if you think this method of working lacks drama, one of the most riveting moments in Olympic history was when two diminutive olympic lifters went to battle in 1996, breaking four work records in five minutes! https://youtu.be/VfpuHTKgllk Watch this video, you will be inspired!
Now when you see those minuscule men throw around enough weight to match a modern Smart Car, you might start thinking this sort of thing is impossible to reach. But let me bring you in on a secret…it doesn’t matter how old you are or “out of shape” you might believe yourself to be. While assessing the long term goal of doing olympic weightlifting must be carefully decided by your trainer, you are never too old to work on this sort of training. There are great many benefits to doing olympic weight lifting as well. http://main.poliquingroup.com/Tips/tabid/130/EntryId/2295/Top-Five-Benefits-of-Olympic-Weightlifing.aspx First and foremost, you will see massive changes in your speed, strength and mobility…perfect details for a budding athlete or someone like myself who is trying to shake off the last vestiges of a 400-pound body. But it can also be great for the older crowds, for doing these types of lifts will increase your flexibility and also help reduce body fat. You will also strengthen you bones and keep your mind active, which are both necessary ingredients to a long and happy life. Wait a sec, how does it reduce body fat? Well, think about the amount of energy you will need to get that bar over your head. Not only are you working on strength, you are forcing your body to dig deep and use the stored energy you have in your fat cells (in addition to the foods you have eaten). And ladies, I know it sounds like this is something strictly tailor-made for men, Parsons Training will not only teach you to do this type of training but openly encourage you. While lesser minds like to spout off about women and weight lifting, there is no better way to build a better version of yourself than through olympic weight lifting.
So in summation, Parsons Training takes its training methods very seriously and cutting corners is not an option. Not only will you learn how to properly make these lifts, you will see for yourself just how much these methods will help you develop a stronger, more capable body.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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