Olympic lifting in WOD’s can help create a variance in aerobic and anaerobic training. What is aerobic vs. anaerobic? At the heart of aerobic and anaerobic training is the scientific fact that to exercise, your body needs to break down sugar and convert it to glycogen so it can be used as energy or fuel. When the body has an adequate supply of oxygen for this process, we call it aerobic respiration. When there is not enough oxygen, like when you are lifting heavy but short intervals this is called anaerobic respiration. For example, you may notice that at the end of a heavy short WOD that your respiration may be different than when you run 1 mile. Anaerobic respiration happens when there is NOT sufficient oxygen present. In this instance, the muscles do not have enough oxygen to create the energy you are demanding from them. When this happens the muscles begin to break down sugar, but instead of producing CO2 and water, it produces lactic acid (that burning feeling in your muscles). Both types of training are needed to challenge your body to be as efficient as possible. Olympic lifting is one of the more effective ways we challenge your fitness levels.
The Olympic lifts can be one of the more frustrating movements to CrossFitters. I find that when people start CrossFit and have never done any Olympic Lifting they have a tendency to just “muscle through” that portion of the WOD. Any why not? In class, there isn’t always enough time to work on these movements properly, they are frustrating, and can take years to master. But I’m here to argue that they are essential to your development as a CrossFitter and to a higher level of fitness.
So what’s the answer? I encourage every CrossFitter that wants to gain in any of these categories: strength, muscle, power, speed, coordination, vertical leap, muscular endurance, bone strength, greater ability to withstand stress, increase cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and overall athletic development to considering spending some time in Olympic Lifting clinics. If you invest some significant time into your Olympic Lifiting technique, you will find that you will enjoy your WOD’s a whole lot more. The lifts will no longer be intimidating, you won’t be concerned about hurting yourself, and therefore your overall performance will improve.
AND there are many opportunities to accomplish that:
USA-W (USA Weight Lifting) – has multiple resources: