Olympic weight training is a traditional form of strength training. It requires great form and strength to perform. This type of training can help you build serious and explosive power with impressive muscle gains. Although it can look intimidating and challenging, you can ease into Olympic weight training and begin to integrate it into your routine. Let’s look at what you need to know to incorporate Olympic weight training into your fitness regime.
In this article:
- What is Olympic Weight Training?
- How Can You Start Olympic Weightlifting?
- 4 Basics You Need for Olympic Weight Training
What is Olympic Weight Training?
Technically, Olympic weight lifting is a registered sport that uses two specific lifts. During the lift, the athlete is required to lift the loaded barbell overhead in a very explosive way. The two types of lifts are:
- Snatch - the lifter has a wide grip on the bar and lifts the weight from the floor to above the head in one swift motion.
- Clean and jerk - the lifter takes the loaded bar to the chest (clean) and then to above the head with a split jump to finish it off (jerk).
Lifters practice for years to nail these movements. Some of the heaviest Olympic weightlifters in the world can snatch a staggering 210kg. These movements are highly technical and tough, so it’s important that you seek expert guidance when getting started. After you understand the form, you can invest in your own Olympic weight training equipment to practice at home.
There’s a reason that Olympic weight training continues to be popular. It has several benefits, including:
- Develop power, speed, and strength
- Improve body composition
- Increase jumping ability
- Increase core strength and stability
- Develop a strong back and good posture
How Can You Start Olympic Weightlifting?
The key to starting Olympic weightlifting is understanding how to perform the movements correctly. Sloppy technique can lead to injury, and no one wants that. Start by mastering the starter moves to Olympic weightlifting. Head to your local gym or personal training session to learn the basics.
For beginners, start by practising the movements with just the barbell. You don’t need to load the bar when you are starting out. Some of the exercises are hard enough with the barbell alone. Once you and your trainer feel confident that your form is correct, you can start loading the bar with weights. You can break down the movements into sections and practice with lighter loads in the beginning.
4 Basics You Need for Olympic Weight Training
Whether you’re looking to start Olympic weight training or want to invest in a home weights area where you can hone your skills, you need a few basic pieces of equipment to get you started. Olympic weight training involves specific equipment, so it’s important that you know where to look.
Olympic Bumper Plates
You can buy Olympic Bumper Plates in pairs from 5kg to 100kg sets. The plates are robust and ideal for both commercial or home use. What’s great about rubber bumper plates is that they reduce noise levels compared to other types of bumper plates. This is especially useful if you have neighbours to think about.
Bar collars keep your weights secure and stop them from falling off during lifting sessions. Proud Bar Collars use an extremely lightweight yet strong plastic so that you can quickly attach and detach weight plates. The collars themselves only weigh 0.25kg, so that won’t impact your workout.
Olympic Weight Bar
An Olympic Barbell is an essential piece of weight training equipment. You can buy Olympic Powerlifting bars and competition bars, depending on your preference. Look for bars made of high-quality steel. They should be super durable and handle repeated dropping without a problem.
Weightlifting drop pads are commonly used to reduce noise and protect barbells. This is especially true for lifters performing snatch and clean movements. The drop pads will help preserve your equipment for longer and keep the sound down. Drop pads are made from high-density foam and are ideal for a home garage gym.
Olympic weight training is an effective form of fitness that can deliver powerful results. It takes time and dedication to perfect Olympic lifting movements. When performed correctly, it can benefit your strength, speed, and power.