Greg Everett is the king of coaching Olympic weightlifting, and the author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Coaches and Athletes… but unless you’re really into the sport, you probably won’t make it through that 423-page tome. Olympic Weightlifting For Sports, however, is a sleek 120 pages jam-packed with useful information on the lifts and highly accessible to coaches and athletes of all stripes.
This book is not for competitive weightlifters (his other book’s for that), but that level of detail isn’t exactly essential for the rest of us. If you simply want to learn the Olympic lifts (or variations thereof) to improve your athletic performance in a different sport, this book has everything you need.
Olympic Weightlifting For Sports begins with an explanation of the benefits of Olympic weightlifting, including kinesthetic awareness, knee and hip extension power (aka explosiveness), the ability to effectively decelerate or oppose force (which is really useful for anyone in a sport where you need to “stop, change direction or absorb the force of colliding opponents”) chief among them.
Everett, who works as the head coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting program as well as the director of training at the gym, takes the reader through his 9-part learning progression for the lifts with clear and concise descriptions, step-by-step instructions, and great photographs, so you can learn what you need to without any unnecessary detail — and even refer to the bullet points for the fundamental information.
My favorite thing about the book is that it’s entirely devoid of hype, which leaves room only for information which is useful for the reader. Instead of stating that ALL athletes need to learn ALL the lifts, Everett encourages coaches to look at all the variables in each specific situation–availability of equipment, time considerations, starting competence, and so forth. Not all athletes need all lifts, and it’s refreshing to come across a book that doesn’t read like ad copy.
What else is in it? Everett also included a nice dose of error correction, touches on flexibility, and has a section on program design, which includes a 2-day template, 3-day template, and a sample 12-week training program. And that’s it. Really great, concise information on the lifts and their variants in language that anyone can understand.
Disclosure: I did not use affiliate links in this review. I did received a review copy of the book, and have worked with Greg on various projects over the years–but only because he is awesome.