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What changes aftre 5 months of Olympic weightlifting?

Summary of an article looking at the changes in young male elite Olympic weightlifters after 5 months of training.

Who

13 male elite weightlifters aged 13.2 ± 1.3 years with an average of 3.5 years of experience (Germany).

Maturation:

  • 3 pre-peak height velocity athletes
  • 7 circa-peak height velocity athletes
  • 5 post-peak height velocity athletes

Design

Single-group repeated measures study over 5 months (2 macrocycles: 9 and 11 weeks).

Outcome measures

  • anthropometry (standing and sitting body height, body mass, BMI)
  • body composition (lean body mass, relative fat mass, lean upper and lower limb mass)
  • physical fitness (isometric handgrip strength, drop-jump height, countermovement jump height, drop-jump contact time, drop-jump reactive strength index, dynamic balance)
  • sport-specific performance (snatch, clean-and-jerk, total)

Main results

What changes after 5 months of Olympic weightlifting

Over the 5 months:

  • athletes trained 4.6 ± 1.2 sessions per week. Total sport-specific training volume increased.
  • only BMI and upper limb lean mass stayed unchanged.
  • body height, body mass, lean body mass, lower limb lean mass increased.
  • fat mass decreased.
  • grip strength, countermovement jump height, drop-jump height, balance did not change.
  • drop-jump contact time decreased, and reactive strength index increased.
  • both snatch and clean-and-jerk results increased, on average 16kg more in total score.

Take home message

For a clinician
Young male elite weightlifters grew, got stronger, faster and better at weightlifting over the 5 months, but their physcial fitness remained unchanged.
For a parent
Young male elite weightlifters grew, got stronger, faster and better at weightlifting over the 5 months, but their physcial fitness remained unchanged.
For an athlete
Young male elite weightlifters grew, got stronger, faster and better at weightlifting over the 5 months, but their physcial fitness remained unchanged.

Original article

Chaabene H, Prieske O, Lesinski M, Sandau I, Granacher U. Short-term seasonal development of anthropometry, body composition, physical fitness, and sport-specific performance in young olympic weightlifters. Sports. 2019 Dec;7(12):242.

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