Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic Weightlifting is the sport that is contested in the Olympics that tests strength and technique of athletes. The sport involves lifting a loaded barbell from the ground to overhead. The athletes are required to compete in two specific ways of lifting the barbell overhead position. The Snatch is a wide grip lift in which the barbell is lifted from ground to overhead in one motion. The Clean & Jerk involves two movements – one from ground to the front of the shoulders (the clean) and second from shoulders to overhead (the jerk). These movements require strength, speed, power, flexibility, technical precision, body awareness, coordination, and excellent athletic conditioning. Olympic Weightlifting should not be confused with other weightlifting and weight training sports, such as Powerlifting and Bodybuilding.

Skeletal muscle fibers

The skeletal muscles in our body are made up of individual muscle fibers. There are two types of muscle fibers, fast-twitch and slow-twitch, and they each have different functions. The slow twitch fibers are fatigue resistant, and focused on sustained, smaller movements and postural control. They support long distance endurance activities like marathon running.

The fast twitch muscle fibersprovide bigger and more powerful forces, but for shorter durations and fatigue quickly. They support activities like powerlifting, weightlifting, jumping, and sprinting.

The skeletal muscles contain both types of fibers, but the ratios can differ depending on a variety of factors including muscle function, age, and training. Weightlifting predominantly trains fast twitch muscle fibers as Snatch, Clean & Jerk need explosive strength, are performed at a high speed, and the lift is completed in a fraction of second.

Loss of fast twitch muscle fibers and its implication

Aging causes loss in lean muscle mass, with a decline in our fast-twitch fibers, especially. The fast twitch muscle fibers are very important as we age because they react faster to any unexpected accident/ stimulus and can prevent accidents & fall.

For e.g. – a 60-year-old man is walking his dog and loses his balance due to unexpected pothole. Can he prevent himself from falling and regain his balance? Does he have enough strength in his legs and speed to immediately step forward to stop the fall?

All the answers to the above questions depend on whether the man is practicing strength/ resistance training, jump training, etc., which train fast twitch muscle fibres.

Start weightlifting today

Olympic Weightlifting style strength training is the best way to gain & maintain fast twitch muscle fibres. Besides strength, weightlifting also helps to improve flexibility, gain muscle, lose fat, and increase bone density. Weightlifting can be performed at any age.

Practicing Olympic Weightlifting will make you feel like an athlete regardless of your chronological age.

Train with us at Lift With Mobility Weightlifting Center in Langley, BC.

Train with us at Lift With Mobility Weightlifting Center in Langley, BC.

We offer the best coaching and athlete development for Olympic Weightlifting and provide training programs for beginners and advanced athletes.

Come join us and achieve your weightlifting goals!

Lift With Mobility Weightlifting Team

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