Olympic Weightlifting/Strength Training

Since the outset in 2005 we have emphasized the Olympic lifts and have been fortunate to have had outstanding coaches to teach them.

We believe that the Olympic Lifts are so important that they should be a standard component of all athletic and fitness training.  Unfortunately they are not.  None of the big chain gyms will even allow you to do O lifts.  They don’t know how to teach them, they don’t like people using chalk, and they won’t let you drop the weights because don’t have the right equipment.  But the O lifts  have always been a foundational aspect of CrossFit programming.  Here’s what Coach Glassman says about them in the “Foundations” article:

“There are two Olympic lifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch. Mastery
of these lifts develops the squat, deadlift, power clean, and split jerk
while integrating them into a single movement of unequaled value in all
of strength and conditioning. The Olympic lifters are without a doubt
the world’s strongest athletes.

These lifts train athletes to effectively activate more muscle fibers more rapidly than through any other modality of training. The explosiveness that results from this training is of vital necessity to
every sport. Practicing the Olympic lifts teaches one to apply force to muscle groups in proper sequence, i.e., from the center of the body to its extremities (core to extremity). Learning this vital technical lesson benefits all athletes who need to impart force to another person or object as is commonly required in nearly all sports.

In addition to learning to impart explosive forces, the clean and jerk
and snatch condition the body to receive such forces from another
moving body both safely and effectively.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the Olympic lifts unique capacity to develop strength, muscle, power, speed, coordination, vertical leap, muscular endurance, bone strength, and the physical capacity to withstand stress. It is also worth mentioning that the Olympic lifts
are the only lifts shown to increase maximum oxygen uptake, the most important marker for cardiovascular fitness.

Sadly, the Olympic lifts are seldom seen in the commercial fitness
community because of their inherently complex and technical nature.
CrossFit makes them available to anyone with the patience and
persistence to learn.”

To which we add the following observation:  the Olympic lifts require and develop 8 of the 10 elements of fitness described in the “What Is Fitness?” article, namely: strength, flexibility, speed, power, coordination, balance, accuracy, and agility.  When done with lighter weights and high repetitions, you can add cardio/respiratory endurance and stamina to the list, so that with CrossFit workouts involving high rep O-lifts you can work all 10 elements of fitness in one workout. 

Developing proper movement technique and increasing strength are important to improving performance in CrossFit.   CF ATL’s best athletes, including all the individual and team competitors who have qualified for the CrossFit Games, make Olympic lifting a major part of their training. It has long been CrossFit’s conviction that the needs of elite athletes and the needs of all others differ in degree, not in kind. Everyone who has participated in our Olympic Lifting/Strength program has seen rapid improvement in their overall physical abilities.

CrossFit Atlanta offers Olympic Lifting/Barbell Strength classes specifically tailored to the the individual.   The morning classes are free to CF ATL members, and $20 per session to everyone else ($150 for 10 session punch card).  Morning classes are 6-7 AM MWF.  The afternoon classes are Monday and Wednesday from 6-8 PM.  Evening classes cost $20 for non-members ($150 for 10 session punch card), $15 for members.   These classes are appropriate for members at all levels of fitness.  

Morning sessions are run by Brent Wenson, (email Brent).  Evening sessions by Jaen Black, (email Jaen)

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