Exercise Overviews: Weightlifting

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“black adjustable-weight barbell” by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

his article is the one of a series of overviews of popular exercise methodologies. Most people find one training method and stick to it, but in reality it is better to switch things up and use different methods like the tools they are.

Every training style has unique benefits you cannot get elsewhere, but they also have unique shortcomings. I will be doing a quick general overview of each method so you can understand what I’m referring to, and then listing pros and cons for each.

Weightlifting: Separated into two categories, weightlifting involves using full body movements under high loads to build strength, mobility, and prevent injury. Often highly misunderstood by the outsider, weightlifting is actually one of the most powerful and functional training modalities.

Focused on the Creatine-phosphate energy system, weightlifting has particular benefits for your energy. It focuses directly on your body’s mitochondrial efficiency. This is not why most people weightlift though. Weightlifting is the best type of well-known training for pure strength gains, and the types of weightlifting done in sports display this well.

The two forms of weightlifting are Powerlifting, which involves displays of strength in the forms of squats and presses: Front Squat, Overhead Squat, Back Squat, Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, and Strict Press. Then there is Olympic-style weightlifting, which shows off technique and power.

These lifts include the Clean and Jerk, and the Olympic snatch, which both involve explosive power. The fastest recorded power outputs of all time are those performed in the Olympic snatch movement.

These exercises are similar to HIIT in that they have positive hormone benefits, but more than anything they test and strengthen the body’s ability to work as a complete system. Weightlifters often have surprisingly good mobility for this reason, and are often less prone to injury.

However, weightlifting requires high levels of skill and technique, and without proper coaching, many people quite simply do it wrong and may in-turn hurt themselves. You also risk burnout, and the consequences can often occur during a lift, creating a dangerous scenario where you have to dump a bar which may way twice your body weight.


  • Great for building pure strength and power
  • Great for efficient bodies, mobility and ability to express strength through a range of motion is high
  • Best training for the creatine-phosphate energy system, which is your immediately available energy
  • Powerful hormone benefits


  • High skill requirements. You can mess your body up if you don’t learn proper technique
  • Dangerous if done without spotters or by doing reckless weight-loads
  • Can lead to burnout, though not as intense as HIIT training

Written by

Founder: www.keenanerikssonfitness.com ISSA Certified Trainer, Ziglar Legacy Certified Speaker, Biohacker, Perspectivist, Conscious Carnivore

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