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Ask Men's Fitness: "Everyone seems to be doing Olympic lifts. Should I join the crowd?"

Attempt Olympic lifts and their variants, like the clean, only if you've been taught how to do them right.
James Michelfeler

The snatch and the clean and jerk—the two lifts contested in Olympic weightlifting—are great muscle-builders and develop explosive power. But they’re difficult to learn and can hurt you if you don’t know what you’re doing. Serious Olympic lifters spend months practicing with a dowel before their coaches let them touch a barbell. That’s how important technique is.

The Roadmap to Becoming a CrossFitter >>>

With the rise of CrossFit, however, in which Olympic lifting is a big component, snatches and cleans (and their variants) have become trendy, and many people try to do them before they’re ready. The result is sloppy form that leads to plateau and injury.

If you’re really interested in Olympic lifting, get a coach to show you how. Otherwise, stick with exercises you know— you can build muscle and power with conventional training.


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