Olympic weightlifting is one of the oldest sports in the world, but it is not a sport for the weak of mind. There are endless ups and downs. Your performance will be fickle, workouts long, and progress slow. It’s as challenging mentally as it is physically. However, while it is one of the most challenging sports, it is also one of the most beneficial. Due to the mobility and torso strength required, Olympic weightlifters are some of the strongest, best movers out there. Here are a few benefits you'll experience simply by training Olympic weightlifting:
BETTER MOBILITY: If you’re a weightlifter, you have good mobility. That’s not up for debate. The various positions of weightlifting require a tremendous amount of mobility to achieve and maintain. Specifically, your ankles, hips and shoulders need a lot of attention to perform your lifts well. Participating in Olympic weightlifting will force you to pay attention to their daily maintenance. It can be challenging to motivate yourself to do the less “fun” aspects of working out (such as warming up and mobilizing) but knowing it will improve your weightlifting is a big help, and your improved mobility will be a huuuuge positive side effect of weightlifting.
BETTER JOINT HEALTH: Again, due to the nature of weightlifting and the Olympic movements, you’ll have to pay extra attention to your joint health, especially your elbows and knees. To perform your lifts well for the lifetime of your weightlifting, you’ll need to take care and add some kind of elbow flexion to your workouts, as well as myofascial release for your quads to keep your knees happy. This in turn will have your joints feeling better outside of your workouts, as well.
MORE STRENGTH AND STABILITY: Olympic weightlifting involves an insane volume of overhead work. All this overhead work will lead to an extremely strong, stable torso and shoulders. The type of strength and stability you develop weightlifting is well-rounded and dynamic, versus other static weighted movements you might perform (squat, deadlift, bench press). This will keep your body healthy and moving well not only in the gym but also in your day-to-day activities.
INCREASED ATHLETICISM: The movements Olympic weightlifters perform on a daily basis recruit every fast twitch muscle fiber in the body. These muscle fibers are responsible for your explosiveness, speed, and most of your actual muscle size. This is why so many other sports recruit Olympic Weightlifting as an element of their training: there is nothing that comes close to its effectiveness at improving overall athleticism, speed, agility and coordination.
There are myriad other positive attractions to Olympic weightlifting. It’s a sport in which any body type can participate (thin, heavy, tall, short). It demands precision, consistency, dedication—and patience. Your nutrition and rest will facilitate your performance. And some days, your performance just won’t be good for no identifiable reason at all. But you’ll keep doing it, because you love it, and no other sport in the world will give you the same benefits. And that’s weightlifting.