The recent ”spurt” of popularity of Weightlifting, by different actors such as Crossfit, may also have given the impression that weightlifting is a ”work out” which in turns may influence the way the lifts are being programmed in Gyms. We are seeing the lifts performed with major technical flaws on T.V (Here is an example by a very famous non weightlifter Athlete) and programmed in ways that do not lead to proper skill acquisition/refinement, which makes the general public believe that 1) weightlifting is just like any other resistance training movement 2) technique – or technique development- does not matter. It isn’t and here is why.
About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to watch the upcoming documentary ”American weightlifting” made by Greg Everett (See interview here). I wanted to review this documentary because weightlifting documentary are a rarity (there is Strong! and that’s pretty much it). It includes many interviews with mainly american coaches and seeks to highlight unique aspects of weightlifting : training, competition, older athletes coming from another sport, history of some clubs and many reasons why the USA have a hard time on the international stage. Below is my review of the positive and negative (because nothing is ever perfect) of this great effort by Everett.
One important thing you have to be conscious of when coaching weightlifting is the need for individualization of weightlifting technique. Weightlifting technique depends on an individual’s morphology, preference, strength or weaknesses and, ultimately, on learned behaviors and adaptations (coordination, speed/explosiveness, etc). Sometimes some ”mistakes” or ”pre-lift routine” can also become part of the overall technique. It’s always about having the right amount of individualization and the right amount ”text book” technique. Learning mistakes is never good, of course. Today’s article is not about reviewing scientific papers but just an overall look at some of the most interesting example of individualization of technique among great weightlifters. Videos included.