So far I remain at novice level in Cross-Fit inspired workouts. But today I did some stuff that made me feel tough, and made me think about the virtues of Olympic Lifting.
The Olympic bar is used in regular gyms primarily on bench press set ups or, increasingly, in highly controlled smith-squat machines, where the bar is really a part of the machine. In other words, your standard gym doesn’t actually let you use the Olympic Bar as it is designed to be used: for “Olympic lifting.”
So far, by being in cross fit, I have trained with the free-floating 45# and 35# Olympic bar plus weights on the following exercises: deadlifts, front squats, hang power cleans, and thrusters (a combination of front squat and push-press). Today we did “thrusters.”
What I can’t believe, looking back on my morning, was that I was taking a 90# weight and pulling it off the ground, bringing it to my shoulders, front-squatting with it, and then “thrusting” it overhead.
Ninety pounds is a lot of weight man.
The virtue of so-called “Olympic” lifting is that it is about full range of motion and full body exercise. Every Olympic weight lifting movement combines major muscle groups from front and back, top and bottom, and involves the stabilizers and small muscles throughout the system. The result of training in these movements is “functional fitness” and a feeling of real body confidence. Not to mention you can get big.