Danger, Master….Danger!

THAT’S DANGEROUS! How many times have you heard that phrase any time the Olympic lifting movements are brought up? It turns out that this is misinformation at it’s finest…very similar to the statement that full squats are extremely hazardous to your knee joint (a research conclusion based on a study in the 60’s that was flawed in about a dozen ways).

Olympic lifting has been singled out as perhaps the most dangerous thing you could ever think of doing…just one step below going into a hot zone on infantry patrol. I’ve been competing in, and observing the sport of Olympic weightlifting since 1965, and I have yet to see one death from doing the Olympic lifts. I have seen one case of paralysis (due to defective shoes).

If you compare the sport to ALL the others, it turns out that it’s one of the safest sports on the planet, about 30 times safer statistically-speaking than playing soccer.  And, how many strength and conditioning coaches have you ever heard yammering about how dangerous playing soccer is?  None, of course – even though it’s 30 times more hazardous than Olympic lifting.

Olympic lifting is a straight-ahead, hip flexion-extension sport rivaled by no other. Some durable athletes have competed in this sport at the Olympic level four or five times (12-16 years). Where, exactly, did all this danger nonsense get started?

I know exactly where: in Munich, Germany on an August day in 1972.  And that, sports fans, is the subject of another blog.

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