Olympic Weightlifting as Plyometric Training

Photo By Bev Childress


Is Olympic-style weightlifting just a totally different type of plyometrics? This question has been bouncing across the power and conditioning group for quite a long time. The answer, nevertheless, is true in front of our eyes. Verkhoshansky and Siff left a superb amount of breadcrumbs along the best way. Let’s comply with the path and connect the dots.



Is plyometric training only a query of jumping, hopping, skipping and leaping? Well, if we obey the definition of plyometric we certainly cannot disagree. The stretch-shortening cycle seems to be the one and only standards that defines what’s plyometric and what is not. It’s encrypted within the identify itself “plyo”, from the Greek “to increase”, and “metric” which means “length”: what if we exchange the prefix “plyo” with “power”? How would that sound?


In their guide, Supertaining, Siff and Verkhishansky redefined the concept of bounce training by describing the “mechanics” of plyometrics when it comes to velocity, kinetic power, and floor reaction pressure finally deriving a mannequin that applies to more than just depth jumps and drop jumps. They referred to as it “power-metric” they usually outlined it when it comes to mathematical, virtually algebraic equations which are, for almost all of us, fairly troublesome to digest.


I assume we should always have expected such a scientific strategy, in the long run, we’re speaking a few mechanic engineer (Siff) and one probably the most sensible sports scientist of the last century (Verkhishansky). It is possible, nevertheless, to determine and simplify a couple of of these difficult equations and derive a few of the primary rules in power-metric; rules that underline the various similarities between plyometric training and the pull in Olympic weightlifting. Let’s start from where we left off: what are the three distinguishing traits of plyometric training?


1. The Pre-Stretch

What a few snatch? Or a clean and jerk? The lively, concentric muscle action of the quadriceps muscular tissues in the course of the first pull leads to the eccentric contraction (pre-stretch) of the hamstrings and glutes. It is a primary reflex, recognized as reciprocal inhibition. As the knees are extending, knee flexors are stretched till the second knee bend begins.


It’s “stretching” however it’s underneath load.. we could name it “eccentric load”? Nothing dissimilar than what we experience landing from a depth bounce.


2. Eccentric Overload

During the first pull, the lively contraction (eccentric contraction) of hamstrings and glutes forestall the trunk from changing its angle compared to ground. Namely, as hamstrings and glutes are “stretching” (see level 1) they are additionally producing pressure to preserve the angle on the hip joint all through all the first pull.


What about elastic power? We discovered eccentric pre-stretch=elastic power. Should we modify our thoughts just because we call it Olympic weightlifting and not “shock method”?


3. Peak Power Output

For the pull in weightlifting to be efficient, the transition between first and second pull have to be as quick and reactive as potential. Any delay will end in lack of correct velocity coming from the facility position, “wasting” the elastic power stored in the muscle-tendon complicated in the course of the moments previous the second pull. A fast, explosive eccentric to concentric muscle motion does, ultimately, end in higher peak power output making Olympic-style weightlifting exercise a number of the strongest power training exercises.


Olympic Weightlifting as Plyometric Training - Fitness, olympic weightlifting, snatch, plyometrics, mel siff, first pull, plyo, shock method, Yuri Verkhoshansky



Bringing Weigtlifting and Plyometrics Together in Training

Olympic-style weightlifting exercises are probably the most explosive movement an athlete can carry out in the weight room. As explosive as a vertical leap, like John Garammher, demonstrated back in the late ’70s. Are they plyometric in nature? The reply, now, appears fairly evident. Here is the best way plyometrics and Olympic-style weightlifting can come together within the training of athletes:


For a beginner athlete: vertical jumps and box jumps might help younger and/or newbie athletes to study the essential in training without having to cope with extra difficult movements such as the snatch, clean and jerk. Basic jumping exercise have a fantastic diploma of similarities with the pull in Olympic weightlifting they usually can be used to show correct physique mechanics and to develop general power and coordination.


For an intermediate athlete: excessive impression plyometric training goes hand in hand with Olympic type weightlifting. Jump training emphasizes velocity over the power (velocity power) whereas snatch, clear and jerk emphasize power over velocity (strength-speed). They complement each other as they characterize a superb approach of distributing training volume and depth within each micro and mesocycle.


For a complicated athlete: Olympic-style weightlifting exercises and plyometric drills fit into a more natural development that goes from basic power training (GPP) to sport specific training. Snatch, clear and jerk turn into the surrogate for power training in the course of the pre-competition period whereas plyometric – particularly low influence plyometrics – takes over as the season begins within the effort to further enhance velocity, energy, and agility.


Olympic-style weightlifting exercises could be thought-about as probably the most athletic-like form of shock technique.



1. Enoka, R. M. “The Pull in Olympic Weightlifting.” Medicine and Science in Sports 11, no. 2 (1979): 131–37.

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