When people think of Olympic weightlifting they think of pain, injuries and danger to their health.
To a degree, I can understand where they are coming from. From the outside looking in, we see a bunch of muscly guys lifting weight the human body should never be able to lift.
We see the bar bending in the middle from all the weight, and we see the strain in the faces of the competitors.
But what viewers fail to see are the benefits associated with the sports, and the real figures of just how dangerous it is.
The reality is, the actual sport is far from dangerous, and studies have shown there is more chance and risk for injury in all contact sports than there is in weightlifting.
In addition, research has found that those who partake in the sport actually have a lower percentage of back related issues than those who do not.
The idea weightlifting gives you a bad back is wrong, and if anything, it strengthens it and prevents it from further injury.
The biggest benefit of weightlifting is the amount of muscles used in the lifts.
The Olympic lifts involve basically every muscle in the human body and this entails a great workout. It also forces stabilizer muscles to activate to secure the weight overhead in the lifts.
People involved in the sport lower their heart rates, lean out, lower their blood pressure and increased strength.
Athletically, Olympic weightlifting increases explosiveness, and studies have shown those who do so for a few weeks will begin to improve their vertical leap and their running pace.
In addition, the sport also helps prevent osteoporosis. To put it simply the greater the bone mineral density (BMD) the less chance of osteoporosis occurring.