Thursday Class Times: 5:30a, noon, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p
"Olympic Weightlifting for Weight Loss" by The Poliquin Group:
Practicing Olympic-style weightlifting is an effective way to lose weight – period! Step on a platform, grab a barbell, and do some snatches and clean and jerks with heavy weights and watch the pounds melt away. It’s that simple.
Before explaining how weightlifting can transform your physique or figure, let’s clarify that the term “weightlifting” refers here to the sport of Olympic lifting. There are just two lifts performed in competition, the two-hands snatch and the two-hands clean and jerk. Certainly there are many variations of the lifts, such as power cleans and pulls, but the basic training of a weightlifter consists of performing these two lifts along with some form of squats.
The public rarely associates weightlifting with fat loss because the sport gets scant attention from mainstream media, and when it does get it, the coverage usually goes to the super heavyweights. Nevertheless, leanness is an attribute of most athletes in the sport. Anyone who has attended a high-level weightlifting meet will see that the sport is divided into body weight classes and, with the possible exception of a few athletes such as the super heavyweights, most of the competitors are extremely lean.
Now let’s look at some research. The textbook Sport Nutrition by Asker Jeukendrup, PhD, and Michael Gleeson, PhD, (Human Kinetics, 2010), lists the body fat levels of athletes in numerous sports. For males, body fat ranges from 8 to 15 percent among ice hockey players; 11 to 14 among volleyball players; and 12 to 16 among tennis players. The range among male weightlifters is 9-16 percent (no data is provided for female weightlifters). The weightlifters’ range compares favorably to other lean athletes, so it’s no wonder that snatches and clean and jerks have become a key aspect of many “bootcamp” workout programs for the average population.
Weightlifters tend to be lean because the sport involves high energy expenditures. Supporting this connection is a paper published in 2012 in the journal Sports Medicine entitled “Unique Aspects of Competitive Weightlifting” by Adam Storey and Heather K. Smith. The authors report that the caloric expenditure during moderate-to-high-volume weightlifting training “…is comparable with the metabolic cost incurred by high-volume circuit-style resistance exercise.”
One reason weightlifting is so effective for fat loss is that it focuses on the large muscle groups. The snatch and clean and jerk are considered large-amplitude activities. The lifts move the body through a large range of motion and a lot of muscle. For example, the clean and jerk could be considered a deadlift followed by an upright row followed by a reverse curl followed by a front squat followed by a military press and a lunge. That’s a lot of metabolic bang for your buck. When you do this sequence in the form of a clean and jerk for a few reps with a heavy weight, you become a fat-burning machine.
One important weightlifting research study was conducted more than 30 years ago by former competitive Olympic lifter and weightlifting coach Dr. Mike Stone. This paper, “Cardiovascular Responses to Short-Term Olympic Style Weight-Training in Young Men,” was published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Sport Sciences in 1983.
In eight weeks, using conventional weightlifting methods, the subjects decreased their body fat by six percent – an impressive change – and increased their lean mass by four percent. So much for the myth that you can’t build muscle while losing fat! The resulting muscle mass gain is an important bonus, because an increase in lean muscle mass means the body burns more calories at rest; this explains why the effects of such training last longer than the effects received from an aerobic training program that decreases body fat without significantly increasing muscle mass.
Over the years, some fitness celebrities have promoted the idea that only aerobic activity burns fat. The result? Countless people jogging or spending hours on cardio machines performing low-intensity, steady-state aerobic training. Eventually, research showed that interval-type training is more effective than aerobics for burning fat. So if you want to lose fat, the better choice is obvious: weightlifting!
A) Tabata Push-ups
B) 2x500m row for time
C) 21-15-9 of:
- deadlifts 225/155
- ring dips