How is it possible that Olympic lifting isn’t more more popular? You want abs? It’ll get you abs.

You want shoulders? It’ll get you those too. It will also make you stronger, bigger, more ripped and more explosive. And it does it quicker than any other exercise on the planet.

So what happened? I’ll tell you what. YouTube happened. Watching a big man with a paunch blow his knee out of his hamstring is what gets videos hits, and just like any sport, Olympic lifting has some spectacular injuries. But that’s no more Olympic lifting than a man getting paralyzed tackling someone is rugby.

The movements associated with these lifts are complicated when compared to a bicep curl, but then again, so is drinking from a water fountain. When broken down, it is the combination of a few basic movements, and also the most functional exercise available to an athlete.

There are two Olympic lifts, namely the clean and the snatch. The clean involves moving a bar up from the floor to your shoulders, while the snatch involves moving a bar from the floor to above your head. Both movements involve the highest recorded physical output by a human being, and in studies conducted by the USA Weightlifting Federation, the sport of Olympic lifting was found to result in fewer injuries then women’s volleyball.

It’s time to cowboy up guys.

I have been Olympic lifting for a while now, and after having been a guy who benched, curled and did crunches, I can’t even begin to explain the difference it’s made to my body and my performance. It got me in the best shape of my life, while making me stronger, quicker and more explosive. I’m not sure what else anyone could want from an exercise?

So what are the negatives? They rest only with those who teach these lifts. I wasn’t taught properly and it resulted in me hurting my back. But if you weren’t taught how to drive properly you’d probably also injure yourself.

After completing the USA Olympic Lifting Coaches Coarse held in Los Angeles two weeks ago, as well as being taught by USA Olympic Team coaches Mike Burgner, Dr John Garhammer and Sean Waxman (google them), I believe I’m as well equipped as anyone to teach these movements to athletes of any ability. They will be taught at Roark Gyms, and they will be practiced often. They’re quite literally the best exercises anyone can do, no matter if your goal is based on athletics or aesthetics.

Enough with the bosu ball crunches. Enough with the shoulder presses. It’s cleaning time.