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D., a professor of exercise science at Eastern Tennessee State University.
"And Olympic weight lifters had higher average jumps than all other groups--basketball players, gymnasts, sprinters, everybody." Even the bulkiest Olympic heavyweights make astonishing leaps.
Alternate between Routine 1 and Routine 2 so that you do only two of the modified Olympic lifts each session.
(Or, for a complete training plan, see "Inside the NFL's Secret Training Camp" ) A couple of pointers: The high pull and the jump shrug are speed exercises, so use a weight that requires a strong effort to lift it quickly, but isn't so heavy that you can't control the bar.
Shane Hamman, the top American lifter in the history of the sport, weighs in at 350 pounds but boasts a vertical jump of 36 inches. Not only can Ham-man dunk (he's 5'9"), he can also drive a golf ball 350 yards. The Olympic lifters who aren't heavyweights are among the leanest--they're certainly the strongest--athletes in the world.
One study of elite athletes found that Olympic weight lifters burn almost as many calories per day as marathoners do, and another reported that, on average, the lifters have as little as 5 percent body fat.
These are the muscles with the greatest potential for size and strength, and the ones that are typically ignored in most men's weight workouts.
I'm watching Pyrros Dimas, a three-time Olympic gold medalist from Greece, prepare for an Olympic weight-lifting competition.
During the pull, you explode upward, yanking the barbell off the floor and in front of your thighs, as if you were trying to jump out of the gym.
In the catch, you quickly move your body under the bar and catch the weight on your shoulders or above your head. S., a certified USA Weightlifting coach in Santa Clarita, California.
Granted, these men are moving more than 175,000 pounds in a typical training week, but they also eat 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day.
So what is it about the Olympic lifts that works such magic on the human body?