Developing Explosive Triple Extension! | The Fit Facility

Why We Don't Use FULL Olympic Lifts At The Fit Facility

I get asked all the time about why we don’t do FULL Olympic lifts at The Fit Facility.


Pretty fair question considering my background in collegiate football 🏈 and coaching.


First I think it’s important to address why athletes (field/court ⚽️ sport athletes, not Olympic weightlifters and CrossFit athletes; it’s actually part of those sports and should definitely be performed) would use them in the first place.


If the goal is to get ‘strong’, then I’d say that oly lifts are a poor way to build strength, especially if you’re not already strong.


If the goal is to become more ‘explosive 💥 ’, virtual every lift can be an ‘explosive 💥 ’ lift. Use submaximal weight and lift with compensatory acceleration.


The most common variation of oly lift performed by field/court  sport athletes is the power clean. Coaches love programming these as part of their strength and conditioning program for the “violent triple extension” of the ankles, knees, and hips.


Which is an expression of explosive 💥 power, and like everything in life, if performed CORRECTLY can be a good exercise to train that expression of explosive 💥 ability.


However, I don’t believe the oly lifts, or their variations to be the most effective, efficient, or economical way to train athletes (again, field/court athletes ⚾️) to become more explosive 💥 .


Here’s why...


The time that it takes to get an athlete proficient enough to achieve the DESIRED TRAINING (becoming more explosive 💥 ) can be weeks/months. This isn’t a skill they’re working on daily, it’s something that might get touched on twice a week. If the athlete is in high school, probably even less...


On the other hand, exercises such as: weighted jumps, medball throws, and box jumps can be implemented immediately, (all of which share the DESIRED TRAINING EFFECT of explosive 💥 triple extension) starting the training process of becoming a more explosive 💥 athlete.


Time isn’t the only factor that gives me this opinion. It’s also the ease of an exercise. Weighted jumps, medball throws, and box jumps are simply much easier to LEARN and EXECUTE than Olympic lifts.


Oly lifts are EASILY the most butchered lifts in the weight room, and often done with WAY TOO MUCH WEIGHT. To the point where the lift actually isn’t ‘explosive 💥 ’ at all.


Now some people may say “oh you want to take the easy way huh?”


...Well hell yeah I do!


If an exercise is EASIER TO LEARN, there’s much less of a chance to MESS IT UP due to the technical demands, and the DESIRED TRAINING EFFECT IS THE SAME...


Then sign me up!


At The Fit Facility we train for the desired training effect, and we aren’t married to any particular exercise.


Again, if oly lifts are a staple in your sport, knock yourself out! But if you’re a field/court 🏐 sport athlete, or a person looking to get into better shape utilizing ‘explosive 💥 lifts’, there are more efficient ways to get that desired training effect you’re looking for! 

Here's two examples of triple extension. The one on the left is the power clean, the one on the right is a weighted jump. Both are achieving explosive triple extension. 

However, the power clean took a tremendous amount of time to learn, and become proficient enough to achieve a desired training effect. 

On the other hand, if an athlete knows how to jump and land safely, weighted jumps take literally seconds to explain and learn. 

Triple Extension using power clean and the weight jump | The Fit Facility | Jamie Dixon | Florence Alabama | Fitness Facility.JPG

Again, if you or the athletes you coach are proficient enough to use oly lifts to become more explosive, use them! 

But if you're training field/court sport athletes that need to become more explosive without the stringent learning curve, all of these other exercises that achieve triple extension are worth considering!