If you have joined the fitness movement that is Olympic Lifts, you might be wondering how far you can push yourself. Olympic Lifting is a style of weightlifting that stems from the Olympics Games that involves lifting very heavy weights in short movements. It is an extremely effective way of building muscle strength and also, honestly, looks very impressive. However, while it is a great way to inject some variety into your workout routine, it can be hard to tell how often you can (or should) be training Olympic Lifts.
Before You Get Started
Before we look at how often you should be training, we should quickly discuss the technique of Olympic Lifting. These style of lifts require full-body movements at maximum effort, so it is very important not to be fatigued and to have enough time to workout out properly – with the correct form and technique. As you are working with extreme weights, do not underestimate the effort and technique that is necessary for performing these lifts correctly without injuring yourself.
How Often Should You Be Training?
Unfortunately, like most health and fitness questions, there is no easy answer. Due to the intensity of Olympic Lifting, it depends on your experience, fitness level, time availability, and fatigue level. As you become more experienced with Olympic Lifting, you will be able to work out better and more consistently, but in the beginning, it is important not to push yourself too hard.
Here is a basic guideline for those wanting to take Olympic Lifting seriously:
Recreational: If you are a general fitness enthusiast or do other kinds of fitness training such as CrossFit (which includes a lot of weightlifting), you might not be looking to train Olympic Lifting too intensely. For recreational training, it is recommended that you start with 2 or 3 days a week for short sessions.
Beginners: If you have just started Olympic Lifting (and you want to include it as a regular part of your workout routine) it is recommended that you start with three days a week. On those days you should aim to perform about five movements in total consisting of several different moves (e.g. Snatch or Clean-and-Jerk), some squatting and movement work to improve form, and exercises such as push presses to help improve your timing and balance.
Intermediate: If you have been working on Olympic Lifting for some time and you have developed your form and seen improvement, you might want to increase your training sessions. In this case, you can increase to 3 to 5 days a week for longer sessions. However, some people find it more helpful to train more days a week (6-7) for much shorter sessions. It is all about discovering what works best for you.
Advanced: If you are looking to increase your lifting strength seriously or are looking to compete competitively, you will need to train around 5 to 6 days a week for at least an hour at a time. If you are training at this level, you must be monitoring your body and its responses, allowing for adequate rest and recovery. It is also recommended that you perform other light exercises to ensure that you are building strength and overall cardio fitness, without overstraining certain areas of your body.
If you want to become a pro at Olympic Lifting, then you should be doing our Olympic Lifting Course. Follow this link for more information.