Rick Scarpulla: Power Lift to Get Stronger Olympic Lifts

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Page:  1 Next »
Print
by RICK SCARPULLA

Rick Scarpulla: Power Lift to Get Stronger Olympic Lifts

[T]he same approach that helps gain strength for the power lifts also helped grow the Oly lifts, but max Oly lift training alone did little to improve themselves.
Building bigger Oly lifts is something every CrossFitter wants and needs to do to continue making progress toward their quest of being a better competitor. Again we are back to those key phrases –“explosive power” and “absolute strength” — because bigger Oly’s require added explosive power and more absolute strength.

First, let’s understand that the “Big 3” power lifts — squatdeadlift, and bench press– serve as key building blocks to the Olympic lifts. As much as CrossFitters may hate to believe it, building the three powerlifts stronger will transfer to bigger Oly lifts; however, many CrossFitters simply don’t understand the correlation between the two.

We continuously have athletes put 20-25 pounds on each of the Oly lifts in a short period of time through not working them in a max fashion, but instead working on them using speed techniques and with lighter percentages. Instead of max Oly’s, they focus on building a bigger box squat, bench and deadlift. Here we are looking at how to grow the Oly’s through the “Big 3″ powerlifts.

The “Big 3″ Build Absolute Strength

The "Big 3" Build Absolute Strength
As an example, let’s look at my buddies Kane Greene at CrossFit Fairbanks and the crew out at Golden Empire in Bakersfield, CA. Both of these facilities stopped beating their heads against the wall with the slow gain grind of standard Oly training. Both started to understand that the same approach that helps gain strength for the power lifts also helped grow the Oly lifts, but max Oly lift training alone did little to improve themselves. Simply put, the powerlifts will grow the Olympic lifts.

The need for overall strength gained through training for the “Big 3” powerlifts correctly as part of your routine will spark the growth across the board, including the Oly lifts.
Being good at the “Big 3” power lifts will not automatically translate to bigger Oly lifts; you must still work them with technique and speed. Yet if you use this approach to build the “Big 3,” it will have an absolute strength carry-over that will translate to the application of the Olympic lifts. Just doing the Oly lifts themselves is akin to running a 40-yard sprint over and over to get faster at the 40. That type of training only works for a beginner; an intermediate to advanced athlete will soon run aground, resulting in halted progress and increased frustration. An intermediate athlete will need to work the different areas of the task at hand — in this case, running the 40 — in order to see gains, and the same is true of trying to improve the Oly lifts.

This approach has brought both of the aforementioned facilities to new heights. In fact, Kane has broken and now holds many Olympic lift state records using this approach. Tim Nakashima’s Golden Empire gym has a current world record bencher from the exact same approach. Most of the CrossFit facilities I am working with now use this approach with great success. The crew at 7 Mile in Cayman in another example. They are crushing all previous PRs and making a nice name for themselves.

Crushing PRs using this method
Why does this approach work? The main factor is increasing strength in your weaker areas. Strength is paramount in CrossFit, yet the fact that it is a multi-faceted sport means it must be approached with situational training methods and need application must apply. You must attack all training aspects of the sport.

The need for overall strength gained through training for the “Big 3” powerlifts correctly as part of your routine will spark the growth across the board, including the Oly lifts. It will help your endurance as well — if you can squat 500lbs, you will need to use less energy to complete a required task then someone who can only squat 250lbs.

By growing your squat and deadlift, you will have a large increase in overall lower body and core strength. By making the bench grow you will have more power in all pressing movements. This is accomplished not just by doing the “Big 3” powerlifts, but also by using the proper accessory work that complements that growth.
As for your exercise selection — especially at the early stages of development —  it is very important, as the wrong selections too often may hinder your progress.

The fact is that the strength gained in getting a big squat using this method can be easily transferred to bigger Oly lifting because you are not discontinuing the Oly mechanics entirely; you are just not working them maximally. Therefore the bio-mechanical pattern remains intact. If you were to abandon the movement altogether, it would still not take you long to get it back and you would have greater strength to use.

Printable Version
Page 1 2 Next »

Looking for a competition near you? Having an event?
Check out our new Event Calendar!

Our event calendar lets you create your own event listing for any type of event - throwdown, adventure race, seminar, you name it. For free. In 2 minutes. It's as easy as writing a Facebook post. And you can embed the calendar right on your website.
Try it today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Contribute to this story by commenting below:

Most Popular of All Time

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

CrossFit WV shared an image on Facebook

JJ gets a bar muscle on his last day at crossfit wv!!!

CrossFit Rife posted on Facebook

*****reminder there are no 6 or 7pm classes this evening. Please plan accordingly.

CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

WOD 4/10/14 - http://www.crossfitrva.com/2014/04/10/wod-41014/

CrossFit RVA posted an article
CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

RVA Fit 4/10/14 - http://www.crossfitrva.com/2014/04/10/rva-fit-41014/

CrossFit RVA posted an article
cfwhrob published the post 4 Common Kettlebell Swing Errors Made by CrossFitters on Tabata Times
The kettlebell is a common tool in the CrossFit arsenal. Every box has a collection of them, and I...
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CF Teens Spring Break Schedule Mon 4/14- preteens @ 5:30pm, teens @ 6:15pm Weds 4/16- teens @ 6:15pm NO class T/Th! CF Kids class this Sunday 4/13 12pm at Patriot! Hang Snatch 2-2-2-2-2 4 Rounds 10 HSPU 15 Box Jump (24/20) 2 Rope …

North End CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

http://northendcrossfit.com/?p=2118

North End CrossFit posted an article
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Compound CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Chesapeake shared an image on Facebook

A great night with the CrossFit Chesapeake Kids!! Rowing, tire drags, and burpees, oh my!!

CrossFit Chesapeake posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

Don't forget about Yobility at 6am tomorrow morning with a Coach Alicia!

CrossFit Old Town shared a link on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Everyone is invited to join PCFer ML Gilbride's family and friends in a celebration of her life and legacy by participating in a CrossFit WOD in her honor. All are welcome to participate, spectate, or just come out to honor our friend. Registration link and details below. http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=2128714

CrossFit WV shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Strong work today

CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Fairfax shared a link on Facebook

5 rounds for time: • 5 Pistols Right leg • 5 Pistols Left leg • 5 Deadlifts 275#/185# • 10 T2B

CrossFit Reston shared a link on Facebook

5 rounds for time: • 5 Pistols Right leg • 5 Pistols Left leg • 5 Deadlifts 275#/185# • 10 T2B

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit West Springfield posted an article
shortz published the post Is it time to pay judges? on
Is it time to pay judges? CrossFit and CrossFit Competition is big business. There is a lot of...
CrossFit Chronic posted an article
CrossFit Rubicon posted an article
CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Max and Texas working hard this afternoon...

Ballston CrossFit posted on Facebook

New website is live!! Featuring many of our members. What do you think?

Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

Congratulations to Brickhouse athlete Sean O'Brien and his wife Angela on the arrival of their healthy baby boy William Cooper O'Brien!

Brickhouse CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Coach Neal Jamison says an "aerobic finisher" does the body good. What exactly is he talking about?

CrossFit West Springfield posted an article
North End CrossFit posted on Facebook

FREE COMMUNITY CLASSES!!! Saturdays at 10am are now open to our local Community and our NECF Friends and Family! Been wanting to try Crossfit, but been to nervous?!?! Come as a guest to NECF for a great beginner style workout. Coaches will be there to welcome and instruct you through basic Crossfit movements to keep you safe and efficient while you work. Current members are welcome as long as they bring a guest:) We hope this will be a great opportunity for more of our neighbors to get involved and see how NECF and being a part of our family can greatly improve health and daily life. Look forward to seeing you soon!

CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

RunningBrooke hitting the WOD with Team 0915!

CrossFit RVA shared a link on Facebook

Last chance to sign up for the mobility and recovery seminar with Svetlana and Brian! You are not going to want to miss out on this!

CrossFit South Arlington shared an image on Facebook

Benchmark week.

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Scores for the WOD "Squat Jumps, Pull Ups and HSPU" on Friday April 4 have been posted

CrossFit Annandale shared a link on Facebook

Sometimes your PR might not seem so awesome compared to big-time CrossFitters, but remember that you are probably stronger than almost everyone you know! Check out this article for some numbers to shoot for at different levels.

Fentress CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK....The only schedule change we will have is....THERE ARE NO 11AM CLASSES ON MON, WED AND FRIDAY! All other classes are ON!

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

AM all finished... What could the wod(s) be?

CrossFit Fairfax shared an image on Facebook

Happy Birthday today to Keya!! Enjoy your special day you beautiful BEAST!!

Brickhouse CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Congratulations to Brickhouse Athlete Chassity Martin for her feature on the CrossFit Games website!

Patriot CrossFit posted on Facebook

Effective Monday, April 28th, Potomac will no longer be offering a 7:15pm Class.

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Yoga for Outlaws http://wp.me/p1bPVX-1po

Ballston CrossFit posted on Facebook

BCF - we are expecting our new and improved website to launch today! We may have some downtime during the transition and Thurs WOD may be delayed in being posted.

CrossFit Advance posted on Facebook

Meghan, our new in house sports massage therapist will be in tonight from 5-9. If you are feeling sore, need a little recovery or just want to treat yourself be sure to see her. It's a game a changer!!!

Outlaw CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Outlaws, we are happy to announce a new specialty class we will be offering on Thursdays and Sundays! Check out the flyer below for more info on Yoga for Outlaws! Thursday classes start April 24th and Sunday classes start April 27th.

CrossFit RVA shared an image on Facebook

Deadline for orders is 1pm today! If you haven't tried them, fED meals are a great way to begin improving your diet and getting the most out of your hard work in the gym.

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

Download this free app CFC peeps. You're gonna need it today :)

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

Ugh, I am a day late, but yay for more birthday wishes. CFC wishes this longtime, dedicated, strong, and beautiful gal a Happy (day late) Birthday! Happy Birthday Teresa!

CrossFit Chronic shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

Reppin that Tribe

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

6am just completed the day 3 blackout wod, what is it though?

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

Brickhouse CrossFit posted on Facebook

TODAY'S WOD: “Nasty Girls” 3 RFT 50 Air Squats, 7 Muscle Ups, 10 Hang Power Clean (135 / 95). Post experience to comments!

Fentress CrossFit posted on Facebook

Wednesday's Programming: Strength: Dead Lift Warm Up 10x Empty Bar 10x 20% of 1RM 10x 50% of 1RM Strength 3x5 85-90% of 1RM 3xMax Strict Pull-Ups (In between Sets of Dead Lifts) THEN WOD: 5 Rounds 400m run 10 Thrusters 95/65

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV