by Khaled Allen

Olympic weightlifting used to be the realm of only a few select athletes who had access to exclusive equipment and facilities. Now, thanks to CrossFit, more and more people are learning the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk, and developing uncommon speed, power, and grace.

Having more people approach heavy weightlifting seriously can only be a good thing. You learn a great deal about yourself trying to convince your body to get underneath a heavy, elevated object, and it teaches you something about commitment when you have to decide to fight to hold a lift or let it drop. It’s only a few instants, but you’ll deal with fear, doubt, excitement, anticipation, elation, and every emotion in between.

When most people think of weightlifting, they think of big jocks pumping barbells for hours while talking lovingly to their biceps. There is no romance, no drama, no self-discovery to that. Or they see the Olympics and think that there is no point if you’re not cleaning 300+ pounds. But the benefits of the Olympic lifts include self-confidence, the ability to commit to a daunting (and sometimes overwhelming) task, and of course coordination and grace rivaled only by the other sport most laypeople never get into: gymnastics.

The individuals in this video aren’t Olympic caliber lifters, nor are they professionals, but they know that moment of fear as the bar comes crashing down on them, and they know the sense of elation when they overcome it. Anyone can experience that, with a little training and a willingness to do some real weightlifting.

If you want real weightlifting, learn the Olympic lifts. That’s an adventure worthy of a true athlete.

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