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There is no denying the strength and conditioning benefits of Olympic lifting. Our Olympic weight lifters are some of the most explosive athletes in the world (all but one of our mens’ Olympic team can dunk a basketball from a flat-footed start). Also the clean and jerk and the snatch use nearly every muscle in your body, which make them great tools for conditioning.

The problem with these lifts is that they are very technical and can be difficult to teach to our average fitness clients. We also have to weigh the risk-to-benefit factor when considering adding Olympic lifts to our programs. If there are simpler ways to get similar affects, why waste clients’ time teaching them the idiosyncrasies of complex lifts that traditional training can accomplish?

We have had great success combining traditional lifts with explosive exercises that mimic the same movement pattern. These exercises are performed back to back with little or no rest in between the movements. Here are a few examples:

A Bench press x 3
B Clapping push up x 5

A Squat x 5
B Jumping Squat x 5

A Vertical Press x 3
B Vertical med ball throw x 3

You can repeat this technique with nearly all compound exercises and produce similar affects to Olympic lifting with significantly less risk of injury or technique flaws.

Rick Mayo