I was asked recently why I teach weightlifting to all the ladies I coach. As in why do we spend time learning Olympic weightlifting movements (snatch, clean and jerk), which are quite complex and technical, as opposed to training in a more traditional way – big lifts plus machines. To clarify – I teach both lifting weights and weightlifting. We do not start learning weightlifting until we are comfortable with lifting weights. With weightlifting you have to get involved, immersed and understand what you are doing BUT THAT’S EXACTLY what makes it super interesting and keeps you returning to it. You cannot skim through, pay semi-attention. So if you are able to learn and perform Olympic weightlifting movements well – you can do anything, you’ve enough strength, power, focus to learn anything else that’s calling to you. And as a weightlifting coach I feel that I owe it to my clients to get them strong enough and teach them at the very least the basics of weightlifting, so they can go train anywhere in the world in any class they like and know what they are doing and how.
Here the benefits weightlifting offers, there’s more, of course! Ask me in the gym and I will go on for hours listing the benefits:
- Strength and Muscle Growth – build muscle mass and increase overall strength. You don’t even notice how and when it happens because most of the time you are focusing on throwing the bar around but from month to month you notice how much stronger you are getting and how you’ve muscles in places you aren’t even training directly 🙂
- Improved Metabolism – with appropriate diet it helps with weight management, with fat loss, and yes, your physique changes a lot – with your whole body working it looks strong, defined (read: “toned”), powerful!
- Bone Health – strengthen dem bones, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Enhanced Athletic Performance – by increasing power, speed, and agility it helps improve performance in pretty much ALL the sports. Power cleans are a truly a super move! Thanks to CrossFit, many adopted versions of weightlifting movements are included in all sorts of classes, makes sense to learn the original movement first.
- Mental Health – this is a such a big factor. Weightlifting requires full focus and presence and not only it connects your whole body it also connects your body and mind. My clients call the olylifting sessions a “weighted meditation”. Regular weightlifting boosts mood, helps refocus, reduces stress, and really helps increase self-esteem.
- Functional Strength – it enhances everyday activities and reduces the risk of injuries. There’s a great video on social media of how clean and jerk matches picking up your suitcase and putting it into an overhead locker!
- Longevity and Independence – weightlifting demands strength, good mobility, good balance, coordination and stamina. If you can perform weightlifting movements even with “just a bar” as you age – you definitely have it all. Basically by promoting overall fitness and vitality it contributes to a longer, healthier and happier life.
- Better Posture – strengthening key muscles and working on maintaining sufficient mobility improves your posture and reduces back pain. Yes, want less back pain – learn to lift properly and lift regularly!
- Increased Energy Levels – weightlifting is explosive, it boosts energy levels and combats fatigue.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – it is great fun! Everything is working in unison and you feel like a kid again, I keep hearing “can I do just one more rep” – does this sound like a chore to you?
Weightlifting is truly for everyone, of any age, of any level. It teaches you so much about yourself and your body, what it needs and how to look after it. I would advise working with a qualified coach, rather than by yourself, at least initially. Learn properly, always prioritise form. Quality of movement is The Most Important thing. With good movement you will gradually increase the weight on the bar, minimise the risk of injury and maximise the benefits.
If you always wanted to learn but don’t know where to start – feel free to reach out to find out more regarding training with me and #TeamFox ladies, I offer in person and remote training, and work with people all over the world. Also I offer charity coaching sessions for Grassroots Suicide Prevention, use the link to donate ANY amount and let’s arrange an intro session for you.