Embrace Weightlifting, Become a Better Athlete
Weightlifting can be intimidating: the snatch and the clean & jerk are complex movements that take years to master. And experienced weightlifters will even say they’re never really mastered, only refined and improved over hundreds of training sessions and thousands upon thousands of lifts.
What’s more, we see Olympic weightlifting world records and think they’re impossible standards we’ll work toward but never come close to 50% of.
But here’s the thing: Once you take ego out of weightlifting and begin to think of it as an athletic drill, things start to make a little bit more sense, and the lifts start to seem a little less scary.
Photo: Siem Photography
No, you’ll probably never snatch 400+ pounds (really, only a handful of people in the world even can). But a snatch completed with even an empty barbell is a movement that requires a unique balance of timing, mobility (!), speed, coordination, strength, stability, and body awareness. If you’ve ever completed five reps in a row of empty barbell snatches, you’ll begin to understand what we mean.
Heck, even some of the world’s best weightlifters will train for entire sessions with just an empty barbell, because it is A) great to develop all of the above physical skills and B) can be a really amazing workout in its own right.
So next time snatches, clean & jerks, or some variations of those movements come up in a strength session or workout, try and worry less about the weight you’re lifting as compared to other people. Yes, it’s cool to see progress and how you become stronger over time! But even if you’re not lifting as much as the big boys and girls, simply executing the movements can have immense benefits for your fitness.
That’s why you’ll keep seeing them in our programming — so we suggest you begin to love them as much as we do!