Since the outset in 2005 we have emphasized the Olympic lifts and have been fortunate to have had outstanding coaches to teach them.
We believe that the Olympic Lifts are so important that they should be a standard component of all athletic and fitness training. Unfortunately they are not. None of the big chain gyms will even allow you to do O lifts. They don't know how to teach them, they don't like people using chalk, and they won't let you drop the weights because don't have the right equipment. But the O lifts have always been a foundational aspect of CrossFit programming. Here's what Coach Glassman says about them in the "Foundations" article:
"There are two Olympic lifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch. Mastery of these lifts develops the squat, deadlift, power clean, and split jerk while integrating them into a single movement of unequaled value in all of strength and conditioning. The Olympic lifters are without a doubt the world’s strongest athletes.These lifts train athletes to effectively activate more muscle fibers more rapidly than through any other modality of training. The explosiveness that results from this training is of vital necessity to every sport. Practicing the Olympic lifts teaches one to apply force to muscle groups in proper sequence, i.e., from the center of the body to its extremities (core to extremity). Learning this vital technical lesson benefits all athletes who need to impart force to another person or object as is commonly required in nearly all sports.
In addition to learning to impart explosive forces, the clean and jerk and snatch condition the body to receive such forces from another moving body both safely and effectively.Numerous studies have demonstrated the Olympic lifts unique capacity to develop strength, muscle, power, speed, coordination, vertical leap, muscular endurance, bone strength, and the physical capacity to withstand stress. It is also worth mentioning that the Olympic lifts are the only lifts shown to increase maximum oxygen uptake, the most important marker for cardiovascular fitness. Sadly, the Olympic lifts are seldom seen in the commercial fitness community because of their inherently complex and technical nature. CrossFit makes them available to anyone with the patience and persistence to learn."
Developing proper movement technique and increasing strength are important to improving performance in CrossFit. CF ATL's best athletes, including all the individual and team competitors who have qualified for the CrossFit Games, make Olympic lifting a major part of their training. It has long been CrossFit's conviction that the needs of elite athletes and the needs of all others differ in degree, not in kind. Everyone who has participated in our Olympic Lifting/Strength program has seen rapid improvement in their overall physical abilities.