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An Olympian’s Perspective

By Holley | In Olympic Weightlifting, Rest Day | on September 4, 2011

A unique (not to mention extremely beneficial) part of the training we get at Intrepid is the focus on strength training. As all of you have noticed, we do a lift almost everyday, and while it isn’t traditional CrossFit programming, many elite CrossFit athletes have adopted this as a part of their training.

Recently, the CrossFit Games website had an article by the Olympic lifter, Chad Vaughn with his comments on the Games. In case you aren’t familiar, Chad Vaughn is a 2-time Olympian, 6-time national champion and the American record holder in the clean and jerk at 429 lbs (85 kg division). Within the last year he has added CrossFit to his training and has become a big fan of CrossFit.

Below are highlights from the article that we could all stand to learn from whether we plan on competing or not. His major points covered technique, leg strength, and power (explosiveness):

“Technique and leg strength will be necessary for optimal efficiency through workouts with barbells set at low weight for high reps. Using more core, hips and legs during low weight/high rep barbell workouts – and less extremity and arms…”

During a WOD, the less we use our extremities doing lifts, the more energy we’ll have when performing the rest of movements. This will certainly apply to those of you planning to compete when you’re doing multiple workouts in one day.

“To improve their efficiency, ability to conserve energy, and performance in one-rep max efforts, athletes must learn proper positioning and movement of the bar and their body. Ideally, to lesson the use of extremities, the bar will stay close to their body throughout the lift and contact their body upon completion of extension. …powerful, controlled hip extension is – as we CrossFitters know – the base of all athletic ability and crucial to success…”

The last bit of advice applies to those of you really looking to build your leg strength:

“If you weren’t blessed with a lot of natural leg strength – as many of the competitors this year were – you better regularly add extra squatting to your programming. It may even be necessary to go through cycles with periods solely focused on strength training. Later, when you return to met cons, I believe you will have more overall potential while still maintaining your physical memory of the met con. Just my opinion, of course.”

Obviously Chad Vaughn is biased towards strength training, but with any sport, I have found it useful to pull advice from experts in any field. Hence, I love the exposure we get to strength movements, pose running, gymnastics, etc. at Intrepid. We’re a lucky group!


REST DAY 09.04.2011

One Comment to "An Olympian’s Perspective"

  • Xuan says:

    September 4, 2011 at 2:41 PM -

    Nice post Holley. I agree we are a lucky group!

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