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Olympic Lifting for Sports
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HSDAD

Just finished my shift in the ED where I was in triage. A 16 year old comes in who is over 6 feet and goes 270 lb. His left shoulder is dislocated. I ask him how he did it.

He was at the opening day of his football team's off season strength training program. He plays O line and Dline. They had these kids doing snatches and cleans! During a snatch, his shoulder popped out. Even with the best of care, his shoulder will likely not be normal again without surgery. No 16 year old should have to go through that because his coach was a jack-ass.

I know we bicker about this stuff on here all of the time, but this kid is proof that those who recommend ballistic lifting, especially for young athletes, are utter and complete jack-asses. If this were my kid, that coach would have a concussion, a fractured orbit, and if I could work it, a dislocated shoulder of his own.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

HSDAD wrote:
Just finished my shift in the ED where I was in triage. A 16 year old comes in who is over 6 feet and goes 270 lb. His left shoulder is dislocated. I ask him how he did it.

He was at the opening day of his football team's off season strength training program. He plays O line and Dline. They had these kids doing snatches and cleans! During a snatch, his shoulder popped out. Even with the best of care, his shoulder will likely not be normal again without surgery. No 16 year old should have to go through that because his coach was a jack-ass.

I know we bicker about this stuff on here all of the time, but this kid is proof that those who recommend ballistic lifting, especially for young athletes, are utter and complete jack-asses. If this were my kid, that coach would have a concussion, a fractured orbit, and if I could work it, a dislocated shoulder of his own.


It "is not" the exercise, but the coach who is the problem. NO ONE should ever perform lifts unless they are coached by someone who knows what they are doing.

Thousands of safe and effective snatches are performed everyday. IT IS NOT the exercise.

Someone should confront the coach and his knowlege and experience, not the exercise which is perfectly safe if performed correctly.

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jwb

I think only a pretty small %age of the population can walk in and do snatches safely.

This kid was basically untrained and unskilled and snatches was a very poor choice... they could have started him off with some half cleans off the power rack first surely.
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Raider22

Ohio, USA

Doing snatches are a complete waste of time. They violate the law of specificity in training. There is nothing in sports that is exactly like doing snatches. Snatches provide absolutely no benefit to becoming a better athlete. There are so many effective ways of developing strength and "sports" power.

Why would anyone, in their right mind want to do an exercise that decreases shoulder stability? When high school coaches are coaching 50-100 athletes, how is it possible to do such a high skill lift with proper supervision? Olympic lifts are contra- indicated for high school athletes, or any athlete for that matter.
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dhitquinn

Raider22 wrote:
Doing snatches are a complete waste of time. They violate the law of specificity in training. There is nothing in sports that is exactly like doing snatches. Snatches provide absolutely no benefit to becoming a better athlete. There are so many effective ways of developing strength and "sports" power.

Why would anyone, in their right mind want to do an exercise that decreases shoulder stability? When high school coaches are coaching 50-100 athletes, how is it possible to do such a high skill lift with proper supervision? Olympic lifts are contra- indicated for high school athletes, or any athlete for that matter.


I agree, ive never really understood why people think that if they have someone 'watching' them its going to make the exercise safe. particularly in exercises that are so explosive they are practically performed in a split second. unless Clark Kent is watching over you that is :)

Its a disgrace also as someone pointed out the 16 year old has no sustained an injury that will likely last a lifetime and destroy his chances of properly performing other productive exercises all because some clown has gained a qualification based on the shite that you read in flex magazine.
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strengthmaster

Michigan, USA

Having trained high school athletes for
30 years, I believe I can speak from experience. While it's true that any exercise in the wt. room carries some risk. There are exercises that carry a
"higher" risk than others. Any Olympic lift or variation of one falls into this
category.

I always do a Risk/Benefit analysis of anything we do in our program. For me, the risk of ANY olympic lift FAR outweighs any potential benefit to a high school athlete. Remember you're dealing with high school kids, with a WIDE range of abilities, some of whom are not extremely coordinated. There are far better and safer ways to train high school aged athletes.

There are some collegiate strength coaches who do not include the snatch in their program, although they do the clean. The shoulder capsule and the excessive stress caused by the catch phase of the snatch has them excluding
it from their program.

Scott



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summaHIT

Ontario, CAN

Personally I have never done the snatch but have no aversion to them.
Right now there are hot chicks at Crossfit gyms all over North America doing snatches.
This kid could have been hurt on the field blocking, tackling, or even throwing the football.

When I was in University the O-lifting coach had my friend use the bar only for at least a few weeks before they gradually added weight.
We can get hurt doing anything if we are not careful.
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Mr. Strong

If he was just using the bar would he have been injured? No, chances are that too much weight was put on the bar too soon. Also these exercises should be practiced for months before any real weight is added.
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spud

I was thinking about Olympic lifting the other day.

I don't think it's the Olympic lifts per say that build the strength and muscle that Olympic lifters have because of the momentum needed to perform them.

It's the "assistance" exercises that build the muscle and strength.

What do I mean by "assistance" exercises?

Overhead Squats (helping the the final bit of the snatch) -

http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=53mWqnZ2iN4


Front Squats (helping with the final bit of the clean)

Presses - Helping with the Jerk.

Back squats - Not specifically linked to either of the lifts but Olympic lifters still do them for general strength - http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=3Y8yKSJbpFI

And I think you get can get all the strength and muscle building benefits of the power clean by performing the deadlift. Let's face it, the muscular loading in the clean goes out of the window once the bar has passed the point where it would stop at the top position of the deadlift.

So basically, nobody NEEDS to do the O lifts unless they are O lifting competitively.

Squats, presses and deadlifts work all the muscles that the Olympic lifts do, but they allow you to do it a little more safely as you don't HAVE perform these movements explosively.
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aaronmh

When chosing exercises for athletes who are not weightlifters to use I ask myself these questions:
1. Is the exercise orthopedically safe for my athletes to use?
2. Can my athletes quickly master the techniques required? If they can we can begin utilizing the progressive overload principle which is the only tried and true principle that exists in exercise.
3. Can we perform this exercise, or a close variant to it, throughout the year/career?
If we cannot answer yes to these questions then I do not feel that we can incorporate it into the program. When training athletes you are limited on time. Do what they can do well and do what is neccesary for them to receive benefits. I talked to an accomplished Olympic style weightlifter and asked him how long it took him to feel that his proficiency on the Olympic style lifts was good enough to progressively overload that exercise...his reply "nine years". Athletes don't have that long.
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HSDAD

summa wrote:
Personally I have never done the snatch but have no aversion to them.
Right now there are hot chicks at Crossfit gyms all over North America doing snatches.
This kid could have been hurt on the field blocking, tackling, or even throwing the football.

When I was in University the O-lifting coach had my friend use the bar only for at least a few weeks before they gradually added weight.
We can get hurt doing anything if we are not careful.


If a kid gets hurt in the game, that's OK. Football is a tough sport and the kid and his parents know the risks. But the weight room is where coaches are supposedly preparing these kids to play and practice with less risk of injury. For a kid to get injured seriously there by a coach who must be an idiot is an unforgivable sin.

As I was taking this kid for his xrays, I told him that all he really needs to do is deadlifts, benches and chins or pulldowns. He said they don't do deadlifts. If a football coach doesn't have linemen doing deadlifts (the best posterior chain exercise in the world), but DOES have them do O-lifts, he's an idiot. And an unwitting 16 year old kid is going to pay for that idiocy for the rest of his life.

Thankfully the school my son will play for next year does almost all machine lifting although it's not really HIT. They tend to emulate Penn State, so I feel a whole lot better about that.

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summaHIT

Ontario, CAN

HSDAD,
I agree the coach is careless and probably should not have them do snatches on the first day. That is actually more wreckless!
Being a Highschool boy, I am sure he went too heavy too soon like most of us did at that age.
Live and learn.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Interesting comments and there seems to be a few anti-OLYMPIC style lifting posts.

However, if the figures were looked into, you would find more players are injured by:

1) Bench Presses

2) Squats

3) Deadlifts

The above are FAR more injury producing that the snatch or the clean.

But in the end it is STILL and always will be the coaches, (and then the parents) responibility.

And recently (last football season) a USC player almost killed himself performing a bench press, so even supervised lifing has its hazards.
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strengthmaster

Michigan, USA

BIO-FORCE,

While you could well be correct about the exercises you mentioned, I would assert that those exercises are performed FAR more prevelently than the snatch. Remember, we are talking about high school athletes. I would say most of the time it's 20 or more athletes and
usually only one coach in the wt. room.

I believe there are many coaches out there who are not qualified or knowledgeable enough to be teaching the olympic lifts in the first place. Even then, teaching and performing the olympic lifts is a far more technical endeavor than the bench, squat, or deadlift. On that point, you would have to agree.

At the college level there is a definite teaching and performance progression. Most high schools who do them I believe just jump right into doing cleans and snatches, without breaking them down and teaching it in phases. So, yes, part of it is poor coaching. Just as some other injuries from the ones you mentioned probably are.

I just choose not to use an exercise with my athletes that I believe carries a higher risk than others that can be done. I still don't believe that the olympic lifts are what makes a difference in winning or losing games, everything else being equal.

Scott
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Tomislav

New York, USA

The athlete on the left is my uncle; pic is from an exercise mag in the 40's. Everyone knows the athlete on the right with the 407 lb snatch.

My uncle would agree with BIOFORCE; the only injury he sustained was from deadlifting 565 in his 60's, and that he attributed to wearing straps (shoulder gave out since his hands were strapped on). He was never injured with snatching or power cleans, just built a lot of muscle.

Another interesting fact; these athletes didn't train much differently. You can attribute the sloppy physique on the powerhouse to an open ended weight class, nothing else.

btw Steve, thought you would appreciate a clean strongman; remember your thread from a while back :)
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Raider22

Ohio, USA

First, the Olympic lifts are events in a sport. Second, they are a very ineffective way to develop strength and mass. Third, the idea that they have a magical effect on power is BS. The nervous system is systemic, so the thought that those specific lifts have any more or less effect on the nervous system is flawed thinking. The best way to develop power in sports is to increase muscle mass and strength.

Work on being as fast as you can in running, agility, and exact skill development. You can move much faster and explosively unloaded. So it's this simple. Lift heavy and hard with compound lifts to develop mass and strength. Move as fast as possible when executing field and court training. The rest is BS. There is no, no, no, research that shows quick lifts improve power for SPORTS.

Practicing the skills of your sport at game speed when other teams and athletes are in the weight room dislocating and loosening their shoulders you will have a MASSIVE advantage.
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Raider22

Ohio, USA

http://crossfitie.typepad.com/...Powercleans.pdf
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HSDAD

BIO-FORCE wrote:
And recently (last football season) a USC player almost killed himself performing a bench press, so even supervised lifing has its hazards.


Yes interestingly, he was doing bench presses just the way you do them in your videos. . .no thumbs around the bar and with plenty of body english. It took 2 lengthy surgeries to reconstruct his anterior neck and larynx.

The point is this: had this kid been following a program something like Turpin is doing in his videos, he'd be starting on both offensive and defensive lines this season. But because his coach bought into the ballistic lifting B. S. that you all quacks profess, he'll be sitting it out and likely going through all of the risks of surgery that would otherwise be unnecessary. And if he DOES play in the future, that shoulder will always be a question mark.

Why should a kid go through that? What might he have gained from ballistic lifting that he couldn't have gained from lifting how they do at Penn State, Michigan State or at the Jacksonville Jaguars?
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physcult

Im not an O lifting enthusiast but the statistics are available for any one to see.

The statistics suggest that weight training is ever so SLIGHTLY more likely to cause an injury than weightlifting. Neither have injury risks that could be considered dangerous when compared to other activities.

http://www.exrx.net/...ing/Safety.html
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strengthmaster

Michigan, USA

HSDAD,

You started a good thread. Just so you are aware. Ken Mannie at MSU runs an outstanding program, but they do cleans in their program. The Jags got a new strength coach before this past season and I'm pretty sure that they now do olympic lifts in their program as well.
Penn State is one of a scant few who don't do them.

Scott
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Landau

Florida, USA

HSDAD wrote:
Just finished my shift in the ED where I was in triage. A 16 year old comes in who is over 6 feet and goes 270 lb. His left shoulder is dislocated. I ask him how he did it.

He was at the opening day of his football team's off season strength training program. He plays O line and Dline. They had these kids doing snatches and cleans! During a snatch, his shoulder popped out. Even with the best of care, his shoulder will likely not be normal again without surgery. No 16 year old should have to go through that because his coach was a jack-ass.

I know we bicker about this stuff on here all of the time, but this kid is proof that those who recommend ballistic lifting, especially for young athletes, are utter and complete jack-asses. If this were my kid, that coach would have a concussion, a fractured orbit, and if I could work it, a dislocated shoulder of his own.


"Olympic Lifting" - Non Applicable, a Specific "sporting skill" Unto itself. Indoctrinization, Inculcation, Tradition, "only the strong survive" Some Can, Some Can't - But Really Other Than Macho - of What Value? Answer - Wasted Effort at Best!
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Raider22 wrote:
First, the Olympic lifts are events in a sport.


Hi Raider22,

While that is a true statement, they, and elements of them are used very successfully in training athletic qualities in Sports Conditioning. Benches, DL, and Squats are also PowerLifts which is also a sport.

Raider22 wrote:
Second, they are a very ineffective way to develop strength and mass.


While that can be debated, one might certainly look at the Elite Olympic lifters and find them excellent candidates for the NFL. They are Powerful, Fast, Strong, Coordinated and Kinetic Chains that meet those needs.

Raider22 wrote:
Third, the idea that they have a magical effect on power is BS. The nervous system is systemic, so the thought that those specific lifts have any more or less effect on the nervous system is flawed thinking. The best way to develop power in sports is to increase muscle mass and strength.


No the thinking IS NOT flawed. RFD is well documented and tested, and while I would not argue that increased muscle and strength are great contributors, to ignore the qualities developed by specific lifting to RFD does not make it less meaningful.

Raider22 wrote:
Work on being as fast as you can in running, agility, and exact skill development. You can move much faster and explosively unloaded. So it's this simple. Lift heavy and hard with compound lifts to develop mass and strength. Move as fast as possible when executing field and court training. The rest is BS. There is no, no, no, research that shows quick lifts improve power for SPORTS.


While I am not one to collect and quote research, you might want to investigate that a bit more with an "open mind". There is tons of support out there. One of my old friends Loren Chiu did some a few years ago,

I have trained with some very high level Olympic Lifters over the years and their quickness, speed, and jumping ability is second to none. You just seldom find 300#+ athletes with a 36" vertical leaps like you do in those who employ the quick lifts.

Raider22 wrote:
Practicing the skills of your sport at game speed when other teams and athletes are in the weight room dislocating and loosening their shoulders you will have a MASSIVE advantage.


So you suggest, but you will find that MOST use Cleans, Power Cleans and some even use Snatches.


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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

HSDAD wrote:
BIO-FORCE wrote:
And recently (last football season) a USC player almost killed himself performing a bench press, so even supervised lifing has its hazards.

Yes interestingly, he was doing bench presses just the way you do them in your videos. . .no thumbs around the bar and with plenty of body english. It took 2 lengthy surgeries to reconstruct his anterior neck and larynx.


While you have no idea how he was performing his benches other than the grip, the point is he got injured and was not perfroming snatches.

I have been lifting with that grip for 45 years and no injuries, so there you go.

HSDAD wrote:
The point is this: had this kid been following a program something like Turpin is doing in his videos, he'd be starting on both offensive and defensive lines this season. But because his coach bought into the ballistic lifting B. S. that you all quacks profess, he'll be sitting it out and likely going through all of the risks of surgery that would otherwise be unnecessary. And if he DOES play in the future, that shoulder will always be a question mark.

Why should a kid go through that? What might he have gained from ballistic lifting that he couldn't have gained from lifting how they do at Penn State, Michigan State or at the Jacksonville Jaguars?


I also posted that it was the coaches and parents responsibility to make sure the kid lifted safely and well supervised.

And you seem to not understand that FOOTBALL is a dangerous sport and that needs to be an awarness going in.

There is NO value difference between recieving an injury in the weight room or receiving it on the field.

Do a google on "concussions" in Football if you want an education. That is why I was a Shot and Discus thrower. I didn't care to kick someones but on the feild of risk injury on every play.

I'd rather do progressive and controllable snatches and cleans not have a brain injury or paralysis like some of my school mate fellow athletes.

Call me a wussy.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

strengthmaster wrote:
BIO-FORCE,

While you could well be correct about the exercises you mentioned, I would assert that those exercises are performed FAR more prevelently than the snatch. Remember, we are talking about high school athletes. I would say most of the time it's 20 or more athletes and
usually only one coach in the wt. room.


Hi Scott,

You are correct and I am 100% aware of that. Point is however, an injury is an injury.

And if you read my post you know I don't blame the exercise, I blame the coach.

strengthmaster wrote:
I believe there are many coaches out there who are not qualified or knowledgeable enough to be teaching the olympic lifts in the first place. Even then, teaching and performing the olympic lifts is a far more technical endeavor than the bench, squat, or deadlift. On that point, you would have to agree.


I agree on the coach part. I don't delinate that ANY high force lifting is less important than any other.

Most football programs are NOT going to make the SNATCH the mainstay of their program, nor the JERK.

Power Cleans can be very valuable as can Hanging Cleans. Some may want to argue that point but it is a waste of time as there is no way to measure the benefits and transfer.

As an athlete myself, I know the benefits and that is suffcient to have an understanding.

strengthmaster wrote:
At the college level there is a definite teaching and performance progression. Most high schools who do them I believe just jump right into doing cleans and snatches, without breaking them down and teaching it in phases. So, yes, part of it is poor coaching. Just as some other injuries from the ones you mentioned probably are.


It will "always" be brought back to the coach. If he doesn't understand it, then he shouldn't be employing it.

strengthmaster wrote:
I just choose not to use an exercise with my athletes that I believe carries a higher risk than others that can be done. I still don't believe that the olympic lifts are what makes a difference in winning or losing games, everything else being equal.

Scott


It will always be a value judgement.

Do you personally have much experience in those movements?

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strengthmaster

Michigan, USA

BIO,

Yes, I do have some experience with them. I have in the past done power and hang cleans, power pulls, and push jerks. Besides an occasional steel log clean and push press combo, I no longer do any. But,the risks I would assume for myself, and some of the things I do, I would NOT have any of my high school kids do.

I have also coached some of our college players who have come back to work out in the summer with us who had to do them as part of their college program. But only with no one else in the room but me and them. And with me supervising every rep of every set.

I am also a believer that: if you are in fact going to do them for any sport besides olympic lifting: why even do the catch at all. All the benefits that are touted as reasons to do them (explosiveness, triple-extension, etc.) can be derived from pulling only. The catch is something that need not be done. And show me a group of high school athletes that have good (not great, just good) technique. How many have you seen? I can count that number using one hand, and not need all my fingers. And I've seen a lot of high school programs.

Scott

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