Dr. Yessis excerpt on OLifts and Sport Training

This is an excerpt from a post by Dr.Yessis on the Supertraining list.

I feel that his statement, brief as it is here, points the fact that any method or means of lifting weights, for anyone other than an Olifter, powerlifter, or strongman, is GPP.

"I disagree with the statement that “Olympic lifts are simply more specific to some sports.” Olympic lifts may be specific to some skills, but never to some sport except weightlifting.

The comment, “At the beginning of each play the stretch-shortened cycle is removed by holding a stance before the snap, much like a sprinter waiting on the blocks.” This is not so. If you closely analyze the movement of linemen or backfield players, you will see some backward motion before forward motion. Thus, they do apply the stretch-shortened cycle. A sprinter does this by moving the heel back before coming out of the blocks.

It is stated that “Olympic lifts provide unique opportunities in levels of power development and transferability.” What elements of the lifts provide unique opportunities? Power development is not universal. It is specific to the muscles, joints and actions involved. To state that Olympic lifts have unique opportunities in transferability must be explained because only certain actions of the lifts can be transferred to the same actions in other sports skills. See back issues of the Soviet Sports Review for more information on these topics."


Still trying to Bash the OL’s eh!!!

Its not about enhancing movement patters(sports skill) but enhancing motor qualities.

Here what Siff has to say about using the OL’s for sports specificity and why they are so unique:

exercises are not simply for teaching or reinforcing
certain movement patterns, but also for enhancing certain motor qualities,
stabilising capabilities, abilities to accelerate and decelerate the body or
its limbs, mental attributes, metabolic functions and so forth

he also states:

Similarly, athletes may use the power clean not to improve their technical
ability to extend the spine or hips in a way that is very close to what is
needed in their sport, but more to improve their ability to accentuate force
and power production over a certain range of movement or to their ability to
stabilise the whole body under conditions of heavy loading or ballistic
action. There are many such reasons for using a given exercise to supplement
one’s sport specific training.

And finally:

It is not true that there is no eccentric component in OL, especially
during training. In fact, the rate of eccentric amortisation of the downward
movement during the drop into the squat and during the dip for the jerk is
much greater than that during any downward movements in powerlifting. Thus,
just as in the upward concentric phases of OL, the peak power generated is
greater in OL than in powerlifting.

I question why cant the OL’s and Powerlifting(or westide) coexist in sports training. Why not take the middle gound and utilize both styles of training when appropriate? There are many strong successful athletes both powerlifters, OL ers and other athletes from other sports who utilize these styles of training. Who is to say who’s right!!!

Frit, you misinterperted my intentions. What I took from Yessis’ view is simply that lifting weights, whether it be OL, powerlifting, or what ever, is GPP, NOT SPP, for any athlete other than one who competes in OL, powerlifting, strongman, etc.

The only athletes, in my view, who would use lifting weights as SPP are OL, powerlifters, strongmen, as lifting weights IS their sport skill.

Frit, we are in agreement. My biggest criticism of athletes using the OLifts in training is the lack of most strength coaches ability to properly teach the lifts.

I am actually a huge fan of the sport of Olympic weightlifting and I am truly amazed by the ability of some of the athletes who compete in the sport.

For me, the decision as to whether I will instruct the Olifts to any of my athletes is a factor of time. If I have some athletes who want to spend extra time in the off season to learn the lifts, then I will instruct them. However, my view, as I know yours is also, is that technical proficiency (specifically for the Olifts) is much slower to come by when compared to squatting, benching or deadlifting, for most trainees.


Sorry about that, you are right about the GPP. I just looked back on what you had said in your original post and I read it the wrong way.

I tell you though, that Siff archive is a great refrence tool!!!

Frit, what is the link to the archive. I think that I acidentally deleted it.


I think this is it. All you have to do is become a member of the group.

There are hundreds of topics.

Thanks, I realized that I forgot my password to sign in.