What Can We Learn From Olympic Weightlifters?
Functional fitness appeals to so many, for a variety of different reasons.
WODs are fun. That feeling of post-workout elation can be addictive. But some days, it's all about lifting heavy tin and hitting PBs.
Olympic weightlifting movements take pride of place in the CrossFit scene. As a result, the sport has seen a massive boost in numbers from those exposed to lifting at their local box.
It isn't a one-way street, though.
We can learn a lot from those that compete in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
We’ve all heard the saying ‘practice makes perfect’, but that’s not always true.
Practice is only helpful if you’re doing it right in the first place.
Olympic weightlifters take time to turn their sport into an art form. They do this through a dogged approach to training.
Picking the right coach is key.
Learning the movements half-heartedly will only give you half-hearted results.
Whilst you mght hit regular PBs in the early days, poor technique will soon outweigh raw strength. This will always hinder your performance, in the end.
Patience is a Virtue
Success doesn’t come overnight. You need to follow a structured program to build strength, hone your technique and increase your lifts.
Don’t be tempted to max out because you feel the urge. Stick to what’s planned and reap the benefits when you smash your previous PBs (at the right time).
Patience doesn't just relate to the end-goal, either. It's a key component of the lift itself.
For example, cutting the first pull short will impact the efficiency of your lift. This increases the likelihood of failure and, at best, makes it hard work for you to make a successful lift.
Strength Isn't Just Physical
Failing lifts is part of the process: if we didn’t, we’d never improve.
Some days this is easy to deal with, as you brush it off and move on to your next attempt, but others can be harder.
Developing mental resilience to overcome setbacks can be as hard as the training itself.
Some days, everything feels like it’s going wrong. Or maybe you’ve had a run of below-par sessions.
The ability to push through these barriers makes competitive lifters stronger than their rivals. Make your mental strength a priority, too.
Attitude to Learning
When it comes to methodologies, there is no ‘right way’ to train. Instead, we have varying degrees of educated opinion.
Case in point: the knees in vs knees out debate.
There isn't always a right or wrong answer. In this case, the debate will rage on - but it just highlights how diverse opinions can be.
Stay open-minded and embrace new methods. This can act as a catalst for achieving great things, especially when you hit a wall with your training.
We've never met an Olympic Weightlifter that claims to know it all. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they exist. But on the whole, successful Olympic weightlifters never stop learning.
This sense of humility will ensure you're striving for continuous improvement.
Always have the desire to better yourself. This will help you outshine and out lift the competition.