Weightlifting vs. Powerlifting in Personal Training Programs

by Allen Hedrick |   Date Released : 17 May 2012
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Allen Hedrick

About the author: Allen Hedrick

Allen Hedrick, M.A., CSCS*D, Registered Coach, FNSCA, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Prior to being hired at CSU – Pueblo Hedrick worked for three years at the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Before that Hedrick was employed at the United States Air Force Academy for 12 years, the last nine years as head strength and conditioning coach at that institution. Prior to going to work at the Air Force Academy Hedrick worked for three years as the head strength and conditioning coach at the United States Olympic Training Center. Hedrick graduated from Chico State University with a B.A., and from Fresno State University with an M.A. Hedrick has been published numerous times on a variety of topics related to strength and conditioning, has authored a book on training for football, written chapters in two text books, published a number of DVD’s on various topics related to the profession, and has spoken often at both national and international conferences and clinics.

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Comments (9)

Shelley, Zane | 23 Jul 2012, 17:28 PM

Let me be the first to say great article, Allen. Although we are without Olympic platforms at my gym, we stay creative with bands and other equipment to match explosive lifts and the goals of our clients.

Hedrick, Allen | 24 May 2012, 17:51 PM

Aaron if you compare bar velocity when performing the Olympic lifts and the power lifts you will find the bar moves at a considerably great speed when performing the Olympic lifts. The bar also moves through a greater range of motion at a faster speed. Further, unlike when performing the power lifts, when performing the Olympic lifts the lifter does not have to intentionally reduce the bar speed at the end of the range of motion. These statements are not opinons, they are based on scientifically based evidence. Allen Hedrick, M.A., CSCS, RSCC, FNSCA, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Sakevich, Aaron | 23 May 2012, 18:23 PM

Low Velocity = Power Lifting? Not quite.

Hedrick, Allen | 22 May 2012, 02:54 AM

Joe I am saying that it depends on the needs of the sport. Let's use an extreme example. A shot putter does not need to perform 10 minutes of kettle bell snatches. Their sport is all about strength and power and those components can not be developed training in 10 minute bouts. Allen Hedrick.

daniels, joe | 21 May 2012, 16:15 PM

Allen I'm saying it should all be used to create a proper performance enhancing multiplanar training program.

Hedrick, Allen | 18 May 2012, 16:22 PM

Casey you are confusing terms. Weightlifting is the sport of weightlifting, competing in the snatch and clean and jerk. Weight lifting refers to training against resistance, regardless of the mode or format of training. Allen Hedrick, M.A., CSCS, RSCC, FNSCA, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Hedrick, Allen | 18 May 2012, 16:20 PM

Joe you are correct Olympic lifting is not designed to develop muscular endurance. However, unless you are training for an event that requires muscular endurance, or simply want to improve your muscular endurance, the training format you mention will not best improve athletic performance in most sports. Most sports are power generation activities, not muscular endurance activities. As a result it is important to say that it depends on what your goals of training are before determining what training method over another. Allen Hedrick, M.A., CSCS, RSCC, FNSCA, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Colorado State University-Pueblo.

daniels, joe | 18 May 2012, 03:07 AM

Interesting article. There is one thing that both of these modes miss out on .muscular strength endurance. GIrevoy Sport is the sport of lifting kettlebells using the jerk, snatch. And clean and jerk. Except sets are measured in 10 minute time periods. Imagine jerking two 24 or 32 kg kettlebells repeatedly for 10 minutes at a pace of 8-15 rpm! Force production, endurance, respiratory and vascular output increases , not to mention force acceleration AND DECELERATION ( something that is not trained with Olympic weightlifting. . This mode of training is gaining popularity in the US. We teach competitive kettlebell lifting at my gym Swing This Kettlebell and Stength to all types of athletes as I feel it has one of the best carryover to all sports as well as rounding out weightlifting and powerlifting programs. The last training I completed before this weekends competition was 5 x15 reps of double 28kg clean and jerk. Followed by 5 sets of 20 reps double 24kg bells. Finishing with endurance swings and squat jumps. Goal is to compete 80-90 reps clean and jerk with double 24kg bells. A challenging task by any standard.

ANDERSON, CASEY | 17 May 2012, 22:35 PM

Does the sport of weightlifting really only focus on snatch and clean-jerk? Olympic weightlifting does, but in the broader sense, weightlifting is an all encompassing term referring to the act of lifting weights.

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