Olifting and increasing power

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by DBradD, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. This thread reminded me of something I was thinking about a while back, but forgot to post.


    Now you guys know that I really like watching Olifts and doing lifts such as power cleans, so I'm not an Olift-hater. That being typed, what is the evidence--surely there is some--that cleans and other similar exercises bring about *increases* in explosiveness? My thought is that it's a chicken and egg thing--which came first.

    Looking back to my limited personal experience, I THINK that my power cleans *measured* my level of explosiveness, as compared to mostly-static strength such as in the DL, rather than increased it. My power clean has always been a very high percentage (70%+) of my DL, even from the beginning.

    I am not sure at all about this, though, and am wondering what you guys think about it.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    Obviously not my area, but.....

    I thought Oly lifts could teach you to HOW to be explosive, and use or incorporate all your motor units as a team.

    (this coming from a guy who has never done an Oly lift ever, LOL)

    I do know that I tried DE Bench for a while, and it did nothing to boost my bench numbers. I always thought it just taught me to move light weights fast, not heavy weights fast. I've seen some bigger names in powerlifting agree with this. This doesn't include bands or chains which can be used to make the lift harder when it should be getting easier (like lockout).

    So I kinda think any increase in explosiveness is more teaching you how to be explosive.

    And I agree that the DL (for example) is a static lift, but it takes explosive strength to do it. But you've moving such heavy weights they come up slower so it doesn't look explosive.

    You can explode when throwing a baseball, but if you were throwing a same size ball of depleated uranium it would move much slower.

    In the words of Fred Hatfield, "No one tries to move a heavy weight slowly".

    I'm done rambling. I think I just made zero sense. :rofl:

  3. California Jack

    Millennium Member

    I have a book that might have some helpful info. If I remember I'll give it a quick review and post my interpretation.
  4. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    I can't remember what book I read it in, but doesn't all lifting teach you how to fire more muscle or motor units?

    It rings a bell, but its also above my head kinda. Can't remember all the scientific-ness of it. LOL
  5. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

  6. It made perfect sense, the part about moving heavy weight fast. I try my hardest to explain this to people, but it never comes out clearly. It's hard to explain and to understand unless you already understand it. Catch-22 if you ask me.
  7. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    Not to hijack Brads 's thread.....

    But I think that is one merit of DE style movements for beginners, is to get them to understand what they should be doing. Launching that bar as fast as they can. It is hard to imagine since many lifting movements look so slow.

    Thats one thing I like about bands and chains, they teach you to blast through the whole movement. Otherwise (especially with bands) you can't outrun them and get stuffed.
  8. I just got into a disagreement with some guy the other day about this. lol... He said that if you take light weight and do it for more reps at a fast pace you'll get quicker. I told him that he isn't even hitting the fast twitch fibers this way, which are the ones needed for the most strength & explosiveness. He then asks "who is faster, sprinters or OLs?" He said that sprinters use light weights/high reps (which I knew was BS because I was a sprinter throughout my whole track career) and OLs use heavy weight. I pretty much had to stop there from laughing at the complete idiocy this guy was spewing. He then claimed to be a personal trainer in his college years.:upeyes:
  9. California Jack

    Millennium Member

    OLers are faster in the first 3 yards or something like that.
  10. Right, but I'm not sure that increase in an Olift isn't mostly due to getting stronger overall and getting a lot better technique. I'm still not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg.

    No, but it does look great and I'd guess that the answer is in there. My reading list is heinously large at the moment, so I can't add another book. LOL, if I didn't add another book and read as fast as I can, it'd probably take me a year to get through it. Between my job's research and Bible studies, I already sacrifice sleep almost every day.

    Rip talks about this. Supposedly, explosive movements build strength in movements such as deadlifts, but not the other way around. I think that's a compelling argument for designing a program around the Olifts.

    LOL, the other compelling argument that I can think of is that they're darn cool! I'm still not sure if "I'm going to *increase* my explosiveness." is a good reason, though.

    And they look a lot cooler doing what they do! I've read that some Olifters have tremendous vertical leaps also. My question is whether they would've had these anyway and the activity of Olifting provides a really nice opportunity to take advantage of the innate explosiveness. Reminds me of some other physical attribute that I read about a while back (VO2 Max?) that is pretty well set and can't be altered very much, like 10-20%. Innate gifts are more important for some attributes than others.
    #10 DBradD, Jul 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  11. California Jack

    Millennium Member

    I am sure at elite levels, OLers have fantastic jumping ability before training. But I am also sure training help increase it.

    Heck, just watching my son in his first track season, he started out fast and is even faster now.
  12. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    I hear ya.

    technique also appears to be a huge part of Oly lifts.

    I still think I read something about beginning lifters not being able to fire all motor units at 100%. And as you get more experienced the body/brain/muscle connection learns to fire more and more.

    This is a very obtuse explaination, I can't remember the specifics of it.

    And I'm not sure how this relates to an increase in explosiveness. Whether it be a true gain in explosion, or just harnessing your potential.

    I too and about 15 books behind in my reading. Right now I'm obsessed with the surrender of Bataan and the death march and Japanese POW treatment during WWII. Also dabbling in the Manhattan Project.

    But I think that book is right up your alley.
  13. Bataan and death march! Wow, that's some heavy reading.

    I wish I had about 4 more hours during the day. I've resorted to listenng to some things on mp3 while driving to work and walking to my office to gain another 30-40 min.
  14. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!

    Yeah I've read a few books on the subject and it leaves me shaking my head. The whole situation is so surreal. The surrender of such a large force. The language barrier. The brutality.

    Some of the stories about the conditions on the ship transports are mind boggling.

    So of course I then had to read up on the Manhattan Project to cheer myself up. :supergrin:
  15. LOL, are you into sci fi? I remember reading The Foundation Series about 20 years ago and it was so good that it spoiled fiction for me ever since. I've only been able to read about 2 fiction books since then that I thought were OK.
  16. BCR

    BCR BIGASS!!!!


    I actually don't like Sci-Fi at all.

    Unless its stuff like the Hobbit or some Piers Anthony fantasy.

    95% of my books are non-fiction.
  17. I Olympic style lifting for 6 yrs when i was a youth.i was pretty good, but not Olympic team good. So i moved on to doin benchs, deadlifts , etc after a few yrs of that. i saw a old buddy who want do some Olympic style lifts at the gym 1 day. i was suprised how much more i could do wieght wise, being i;d not done these lifts in a few years.The deadlifts & squats had really increase my total body strenght.
    #18 fal fiend, Jul 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  18. California Jack

    Millennium Member

    Why did you switch to standard style training? OLs are a lot more fun, no?
  19. California Jack

    Millennium Member

    Random thoughts that occured to me while reading this thread:

    Sprinters train with heavy weights and low reps. THis is not to develop fast twitch muscles. It does 2 things. It allows them to apply greater force to the ground and more importantly it primes the CNS.

    I think there is some confusion regarding elite OLers. Yes, they have a genetic pre-disposition to be elposive and fast twitch dominate. These people are selected to be OLers. But, just because they are genetically gifted does not mean that OLing does not increase this.

    Learning to fire all nerves at the appropritae time is part of the DE or CAT theory. I do not believe it is to develop fast twitch muscles.

    I think all heavy lifting teaches you to use all your motor units as a team, whether it be PL, OL or any other L.

    Another compelling reason is it is more fun than laying down while working out. I believe OLs have also been shown to improve some cardion functions.

    I think moving a lighter weight can help, but the more reps thing is not right. When the speed of the bar slows down yu should stop if you are training for speed.

    I s Rip saying Xfit is responsible for the increase in popularity of OLing?

    Technique is important in all lifting not just Oly. But if you are saying that techniques is the overwhelming factor to be a success in the sport, then why do they need weight classes? Technique can be perfected regardless of weight class.

    Sorry to waste your time.

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