For the most part, the Crossfit and Weightlifting community get along happily and enjoy the beneficial union. But some are not this way.
This is a silly battle.
Crossfitters and Weightlifters should be friends.
Crossfitters, because weightlifting is integral to your sport and you need the skills that such a friend can provide. Weightlifters, because you have long been the strong but lonely geek in the corner of the sports arena, and need a popular friend who wants to learn your ways.
Why do Crossfitters and Olympic Weightlifters rub each other wrong?
Typically Crossfitters are very appreciative of Olympic Weightlifters.
However, some weightlifters think that Crossfitters don’t belong on the platform at all (due to lack of technique, knowledge of weightlifting, etc…).
(I am a weightlifter, so I speak from our side of the aisle, offering an olive leaf as a sign of peace.)
To help bring everyone together, let’s go back to the definition board.
What is Olympic Weightlifting?
Olympic Weightlifting consists of two very technical lifts – the snatch and clean and jerk. Weightlifting is indeed a skill, one that must be forged and refined, as the blog First Pull put so well a week ago.
“If by nature weightlifting is a skill, and if by default the acquisition of a skill require a very specific approach, then the training of weightlifting has to be done a way that accounts for this reality and is conclusive to improved motor skill.”
Weightlifting must be treated like an art piece, technique that will take a lifetime to perfect. Crossfitters, just because you CAN clean and jerk a weight 30 times, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD, specifically if the technique is not there for it. You can’t just muscle your way to good form. Solid technique needs to be your #1 priority in regards to weightlifting.
What is Crossfit?
Crossfit is a fitness sport. It includes weightlifting, but it is not weightlifting in and of itself.
Weightlifters, you need to remember that Crossfitters are indeed trying. Sometimes the coaching or programming is at fault, but Crossfitters are working hard to gain what you already have.
There are many great Crossfit lifters. Is their technique world class? Not quite. Are the weights at a world level? Not really.
But who cares? Olmypic Weightlifting is not their sport. Crossfit is.
So to expect world-class technique on a killer WOD is unrealistic. (CONTINUED BELOW)
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Future of Weightlifting
Sean Waxman, one of the top weightlifting coaches in the U.S., recently pointed out:
“For those in Weightlifting who bash Crossfit I would like to point something out. The 2013 World Weightlifting Championships currently going on in Poland. And playing on ESPN right now is a REPLAY of the clean & jerk ladder from the 2013 Crossfit Games. Keep bashing away!”
As amazing as it is to see a clean and jerk ladder on ESPN, how awesome would it be to expose the world on mainstream media to the incredible technique displayed at the current World Weightlifting Championships?
Weightlifting needs to adapt. May I be so bold as to suggest weightlifting change their rules to make the sport more popular. But short of that, at the very least weightlifting can increase it’s presence through the following 3 steps.
3 Ways Crossfitters and Olympic Weightlifters Can Get Along
- Crossfitters need to get in solid technical work before trying to go heavy on the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Remember, it’s a skill!
- Weightlifters stop thinking of crossfitters as full time weightlifters, because they aren’t
- Everyone appreciate the boost in popularity that weightlifting has received from Crossfit. Weightlifting is the greatest sport in the world to me. No one else but you and the bar. You, left alone to conquer all of your limits without outside interference.
So keep the critics out of the beauty! Weightlifters, instead of hating on the Crossfit community, accept their offer to share and teach your expertise. Some like Mike Burgener and Diane Fu are doing just that.
Weightlifting is an art? Then show them.