Newcomers to the sport of Olympic lifting—and parents introducing their children to this popular and fast-growing sport—are eager to gain the benefits that lifting provides. Growing ever more popular as a component of Crossfit training, Olympic lifting is proven to improve strength, power and muscular coordination.
That said, Olympic lifting newbies (and concerned parents) can sometimes be intimidated by a sport that seems accessible only to professional athletes or hardcore trainers. Others are frustrated by the perceived issues of safety and physical stress of the sport.
For anyone interested in exploring Olympic lifting or any new sport, the right equipment can make a big difference to success. Here are a few points to consider:
Olympic Lifting Stations—Safety Built Right In
The rising popularity of exercise programs like Crossfit have led many ambitious gym goers to seek out new ways to perform weight lifting exercises. Every lifter has their preference, but for newcomers and families Gym Source highly recommends two options in particular from Hoist. First, the Hoist HF-4985 Half Cage is built with safety in mind, and features the brilliant EZ-LOC latching mechanism that automatically locks and unlocks weight bar and safety stops.
Similarly, the Hoist PTS boasts its patented Dual Action Technology—giving users the benefit of traditional Olympic lifting (i.e. simultaneous horizontal and vertical movement of the bar) with the added safety and stability of a Smith machine. (For the uninitiated, a Smith machine is special lifting technology whereby the lift bar attaches to the cage—making for a safer experience.)
Both these Hoist machines give families and newbies the peace-of-mind needed for safe enjoyment of the sport.
Olympic Bars—Starting Lighter, Growing Stronger
No matter your level, Olympic lifting can pose certain risks. The lift motion itself puts a lot of pressure on your back and shoulders—pressure that can cause injury to novice lifters or those who haven’t yet built up their upper body strength.
Consider this: a typical Olympic bar weighs 45 pounds, which can be considerably heavy to a young person or sport newcomer. One option is to purchase a lighter bar, such as the 15-20 pound CAP Olympic bar available at Gym Source. This bar—made lighter by the fact that despite its 6-ft. length, it fits well into a 7-ft. lifting station or squat rack—supports up to 3 plates, and can serve as the perfect starting point for new lifters.
Whether performing shoulder presses or squats, remember that safety comes first. Newbies and younger gym goers won’t be new to the Olympic lifting game for very long—enjoyment and success just take practice, proper training, and the right equipment.