Reader Response To “The Case Against Full Olympic Lifts”

Response To “The Case For Full Olympic Lifts

The following reader response comes from Aaron Martin, head coach of Nashville Barbell Club.  We encourage you the reader to reach out to us at with your thoughts on articles or ideas for new topics.

CrossFit defines fitness as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” CrossFit then goes on the describe ten characteristics of fitness; Cardiovascular Endurance, Strength, Stamina, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.

Every person seeking fitness as defined by CrossFit would be wise to practice and train the major lifts; Deadlift, clean, squat, press, clean and jerk, and snatch. This is suggested in “World Class Fitness in 100 words” and can be read in the CrossFit Journal.

By suggesting the general population has no need for the “full” olympic lifts, you deny them a terrific exercise to increase nine out of ten characteristics of fitness. If with just two movements we can improve quality of life, strength through full range of motion, and kenesthetic awareness, why would you deny any demographic based on an arbitrary qualification of age without first disqualifying based on an individual movement screening?

As it pertains to sport specific training, I’m inclined to agree. Power variants are more favorable for sport specific adaptation in the examples provided. However, athletestoday are showing more sport specific injuries, often the result of over looked and under trained ranges of motion. Implementing a complete general physical preparedness program during off season cycles has shown to prevent injury and even improve performance as the athlete is more well rounded and assisted by seemingly unrelated skills developed.

I believe military members are best suited in the category of the GPP athlete. You could even make the argument of them being the ultimate GPP athlete.