Which are the Best Olympic Lifts for Grapplers & Wrestlers?

Which are the Best Olympic Lifts for Grapplers & Wrestlers?

Everyone these days has an opinion on the Olympic lifts. Thanks to Crossfit and a resurgence of old-school functional training, the Snatch and Clean and Jerk are now programmed into even the average Joe’s routine.  Here’s our take on the Olympic lifts and specifically, their place in a BJJ fighter’s S&C program.

In an episode of the Mayn Idea Podcast, Catalyst Athletics founder Greg Everett shared valuable insights on the best Olympic lifts for grapplers and wrestlers.  Greg Everett and Abe Maynard delve into how Olympic weightlifting can benefit ground-based sports like martial arts and wrestling.

  • The Value of Olympic Weightlifting: “There’s no doubt that Olympic weightlifting has some benefit for essentially any ground-based sport… having powerful legs, hips, trunk, and grip is valuable. Olympic lifts are going to contribute to some extent.”
  • Balancing Time and Energy: Everett emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between the time and energy invested in weightlifting and the limited resources available for training in the primary sport. He notes, “The potential injury risk or even overuse… things like tendinitis… you can potentially run into by adding this kind of stuff on top of your primary sport.”
  • Simplification and Adaptation: “It can be simplified and reduced in a way that pretty much anybody can implement it to some degree… even if that means doing nothing but power cleans once a week, that is going to give you some kind of benefit.”
  • Customization for Individual Athletes: He advises that athletes should tailor their weightlifting routine based on their physical condition and skill level. For instance, those with bad wrists or elbows might focus on poles or jumping back squats with lightweight instead of power cleaning.
  • Avoiding Over-Reliance on Physical Strength in Combat Sports: Everett warns against the tendency to rely too heavily on physical strength in combat sports. “In BJJ… stop trying to power my way through everything… with a truly skilled guy, you’re still going to tee off on you… all you’re going to do is be really out of breath and tired while he’s just giggling at you.”
  • Focus on the Primary Sport: The importance of prioritizing the primary sport over supplementary training is highlighted. “If your sport and the skills directly related to that sport is not the overwhelming majority of your focus and your time and energy investment, it’s going to change the way you play.”
  • Skill Over Strength: Everett concludes that developing skills should be the primary focus, and strength training, including Olympic lifting, should complement those skills. “When you have the skills… you’re allowing them to happen because you’ve trained those skills and those situations so much.”

This podcast episode provides a comprehensive look into how Olympic weightlifting can be effectively incorporated into the training regimen of grapplers and wrestlers, offering valuable advice for athletes at all levels.

You can watch the whole episode here:

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