The big Olympic lifts are regulars in the Cardio and Strength Studio. And they play a big role in the Push Pull training plans. But, what are they? And what’s the benefit?
Whether you’re a regular in the weights room, or you’ve never lifted more than a can of beans – Gus has all the A’s to all your Q’s.
Coach Gus, let’s start with the basics. What’s the difference between power and Olympic lifting?
I’m glad you asked that because they’re very specific strength sports. Powerlifting consists of three lifts — a back squat, a bench press and a deadlift. Olympic lifting is made up of two — a snatch and a clean & jerk.
For both sports, you compete within your weight category and get three attempts to set a record with your best lifts, using a barbell.
How does that compare to bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is all about muscle gains and physical symmetry. You lift to stress and damage your muscles as much as possible, so they increase in size as they repair. The process is less scientific — you just go all out.
So how do these sports come into the Push Pull training plans?
Whether you’re training at home or in the gym, we know that barbells aren’t easy to get a hold off (or store). So we’ve taken the science behind power and Olympic lifting and applied it with dumbbells instead.
That means you’ll get the same structure and stimulus you need to build athlete-level strength, without having to use a barbell. And while barbells help you to lift heavier weights, dumbbells will challenge your stability more when you’re taking on single arm or leg movements. So you’ll even out any imbalances and bulletproof yourself against injury more efficiently.
If you’re already a CrossFitter or do Olympic-style training, this plan will complement everything you do – so you can hit the areas you miss in your daily workouts and get that much stronger.
Why does weightlifting follow a specific structure?
If you don’t follow a programme and take on the exact stimulus needed at the right time, your body might go into shock. Or you might injure yourself because you’re not ready for the heavier weights.
Progressive overload is crucial to this type of training, and that’s why Push Pull is the perfect training plan for anyone looking to level up. As you progress, we’ll start demanding more power, speed, agility, balance and explosive movement from you (and we’ll give you the necessary recovery periods in between).
Follow this plan, respect the process and I guarantee that you’ll become a better athlete.
What are the benefits of weightlifting?
Strength. You’ll build core and shoulder stability as well as power and speed. And there are many long-term health benefits that come with that.
Weightlifting significantly decreases your chances of developing metabolic disorders. That’s anything from high blood pressure and cholesterol to diabetes and obesity. It also increases testosterone and growth hormone levels. It supports fat loss and speeds up your metabolism. It improves your posture and strengthens your bones. And it gives your body definition so you’ll feel more confident and empowered.
On a practical level, it will boost your performance in other sports. And better still, it will help you with your daily tasks — whether that’s picking your kids up, doing the shopping or mowing the lawn. Lifting will basically make your life easier.
Will weightlifting make you bulk up?
It depends on your diet. Lifting heavy weights builds muscle and muscle burns fat.
This type of training gives you strength, not size. We want you to be move quicker, with more power, technique and coordination.
The important thing to understand is muscle gains don’t happen overnight. In fact, it will happen very slowly. So please don’t lose out on the (many!) benefits of lifting through fear of how it’s going to change your body. Even if you do start seeing small changes over time, you can do something about it.
Will I see a difference after Push Pull?
If you’re eating and sleeping well and following the plan, you’ll feel the difference. You’ll be stronger, more stable, more powerful, more agile.
Top tips for anyone taking the plan?
Above everything else, learn to listen and respect your body. You won’t be able to train at 100% every day — especially when it comes to weightlifting. So if you feel good, train hard. If you don’t, just do what you can.
Also, respect the weights and don’t lift too heavy, too soon. Trust the process (even if it means doing something you don’t enjoy). And be patient, because quick results are never sustainable.
I’ll be looking out for your post-workout Fiit faces online, so make sure you tag me and let me know how you’re getting on!