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WEIGHTLIFTING AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE


It has been reported that more than 90% of strength and conditioning coaches, in United States, incorporate some type of weightlifting movements in their training

Weightlifting is far more than just a sport. Weightlifting has for years, if not decades, been used as a means to improve athletic performance. From team sports like football, American football, rugby, and handball to individual sports like most of the track and field disciplines, badminton, tennis and many many more!


First of all, what is athleticism

There are several opinions on what complete athleticism is. That being said, there are also 10 pillars that are quite popular for describing the characteristics of athleticism. (Keep in mind, there could be characteristics added or deducted from this list, all depending on who you talk to)


1. Strength

2. Speed

3. Power

4. Mental Resilience

5. Aerobic Capacity

6. Anaerobic Capacity

7. Balance & Coordination

8. Agility

9. Stability

10. Mobility

Can weightlifting improve all the attributes of athleticism?

Out of the 10 pillars, I'd say weightlifting has an impact on 9 of them (No way can it affect aerobic capacity. I've trained weightlifting for two years now and I'm still knackered after one flight of stairs...)


Out of the 9 attributes that weightlifting has an affect on, it does have a greater affect on certain ones compared to others. For instance, weightlifting will have a much greater affect on strength than it will have on balance & coordination, however, it will have some effect on balance & coordination. The same goes for power and anaerobic capacity, large impact on power but small on anaerobic capacity, yet, some nonetheless.


HOWEVER, weightlifting has one hidden superpower that most other types of training methods don't acquire. But we'll get to that later in this blog post, so keep reading.


Which one does weightlifting have the largest impact on?

This is an easy one: Power and strength Because no one can be asked to read a 40 page blog post about all 10 characteristics, this blog post will only cover power, in the form of derivatives, and strength, through the back squat.


Power Development through weightlifting

Power, described as "the ability to create maximal force in minimal time" or "work x time" (if you want to get all geeky about it) plays an essential role in most sports, and is often referred to as a superior athletic characteristic to possess. In many cases it's the difference between winning and losing. But to understand how the Olympic lifts can contribute to power development, we first have to take a look at the force-velocity curve.