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Men’s Fitness feature in the October issue

Olympic lifting, the snatch and the clean & jerk, are some of my favorite barbell lifts. They work on speed, power, pure strength and sheer athleticism. However, they are more technical than any other lift.

My good friend and Training Editor at Men’s Fitness Magazine, Sean Hyson, had a write in question from an excited reader looking to start Oly lifts for the October issue. He could not have answered it any better. Bottom line: check your ego; perform these lifts only after you have been taught how to do them safely.

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Sure, you may see guys or girls on Instagram throwing around massive amounts of weight in these lifts. You think you should be able to do the same based on your size or how much you bench or squat. Terrible idea! It takes months of extra mobility work to get set up in the right position. Trust me, the first time I tried a front squat I couldn’t even properly front rack a barbell due to tightness in my wrists, shoulders and lats.

Tack on years of hard work after that with USAW coaches and getting my certification with them, reading books and understanding the biomechanics of loading; now I can safely perform the lifts or teach somebody how to. Make sure you do the same. The Oly lifts are awesome tools, you just have to learn how to perform them properly.