Why the Olympic Lifts should be the Core of your Training Program

Michael Conroy, USA Weightlifting International Coach

In today’s busy lifestyle time is a valued item. Using the Weightlifting movements (pulls, squats, presses, snatches, cleans and jerk) can bring about significant improvements in strength, balance, power, movement, improved esteem and body image in a simplistic and effective manner.


It is a myth that weightlifting movements are, both, difficult to learn and to instruct. Nothing can be further than the truth than this accepted statement.


One needs only to learn 7 skills and they can benefit from weightlifting and see those benefits in their daily life.


While an individual can build up an extensive list of exercises, sets reps and intensity or split their lives into days of the week that have the following designations, Chest and Bi’s Back and Tri’s Legs and Core This same person can have a much more programmed approach.


Fitness Guru Vern Gambetta, accurately, made this statement in the 1980’s and it rings true today. “There are nine skills that a person needs and in this order. Run, Jump, Throw. Pull, Squat, Press. Snatch. Clean, Jerk then go be an athlete

The final three words can be updated to the current sociology… live your life.


However I need to share my starting point. I’m talking about Fitness not Appearance training. Power and effective Energy Output is what we are talking about.


The President’s Council on Physical Fitness, was Founded July 16th, 1956 as a response to the Cold War. It was, actually, a Civil Defense Program. The Soviet had a similar program called GTO and it was aimed at developing a citizenry of physically fit and emotionally strong members that could defend the motherland.


I LIVED this event and still remember, my junior high school years of endless testing of Peg Board and Rope climbs, Softball Throws and Mile Runs, Dips, Sit ups and Push ups. We actually had a public display of fitness via the color of your gym trunks.

Everyone started with White Shorts. The first Level of performance was Green. The Second, Red and the top Gold. (I had Red as I could not meet the Gold Standard in two Event. I ran a mile is 5:47 and you needed 5:45. I could not climb a 20 foot long rope in under 60 seconds using only my arms.) 


While we have moved on from the 1960’s we are, sadly a much less physically fit society.

Only 1 in 11 adult males over the age of 35 can walk a mile without having to stop and rest along the way. The average number of pull ups down by a high school boy is 1 ( and girls can “chin” themselves for 10 seconds. (Hold their chin above a pull up bar.)


Weightlifting movements can be taught in a variety of modalities that allow for fitness to be attained in a short time and in a ‘pain free’ manner.


Life is lived in 3 environmental planes. Up/Down, Forward/Back and Side to Side.

Weightlifting movements accomplish these planes in every rep that is performed.


How would you like to get Fit without living in a training hall but out enjoying yourself, your family and your friends?


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