Name: Loree B. Smith
Sport: Track and Field, Hammer
Do you use the Olympic Lifts as part of your training?
Of course, I use the snatch, clean, and jerk. I use variations such as from the ground, not letting go between reps, and from various heights such as from the shin, knee and thigh.
What benefits have you seen in your throws from the lifts?
Some people wrongly confuse throwing for just about strength. Yes, we’re strong, but it’s more about power and speed. We need to move things quickly. Olympic lifting is one of the most explosive lifts as opposed to heavy squats, bench, etc in traditional thinking of lifting.
Do you find that weightlifting is similar to throwing the hammer?
There are things similar. I’m transferring energy that I produce with my body to move an object outside my body. Some mechanical things are similar such as the hip movement, but the hammer is a little weird. Much of the basic strength comes from lifting and then the specific comes from throwing.
What’s your favorite lift?
The spoon full of ice cream to my mouth lift. Um, probably power clean (I don’t drop so well.) I love moving weight that most people can’t squat!
When you started lifting, did you have any concerns about how weightlifting would affect your body or sport?
Ha ha, I actually asked the weight coach who was female at the time, if I would look like a man if I lifted. But that was because growing up, my aunt and mother would tell me if I exercised too much I would look like a man. Even today, my mother’s boyfriend told me what I’ve done to my body is unnatural and when I stop its going to turn to flab. As to that… I’m the tallest female in my family5’6” at about 178lbs and the rest of my family is obese but I’m the one who gets lectured. There is a lot of fear, ignorance, and prejudice I think surrounding the athletic female. The idea that you can become too strong, too athletic, too anything is ridiculous.
|Loree’s badges of honor…ripped calluses|
What facility do you train at?
I currently lift at Norco Crossfit in Windsor, CO. Funny enough, most gyms don’t have the equipment I need to lift. I tried a “fitness center” and walked in and they directed me to the locker room, group fitness studios and spin room before I finally asked, “Where do you just lift weights at?” Am I the only woman who lifts weights at this place?!?
Would you recommend Olympic weightlifting to other people?
I think it’s beneficial for anyone. I would even do modified movements for my Silver Sneakers class (65+ fitness class) We want to work out for life and life is dynamic and has multiple movements. Doing a light clean and jerk with help you prepare for picking up your suitcase you over packed and throwing it in your car more than sitting on the abductor machine will.
What would you say to other people who are thinking about using the lifts as part of their training?
Absolutely use Olympic lifting if you want to be a better athlete. Being an athlete is about transferring speed and power quickly. What better way to prepare your body for explosive sports than through explosive training. The difference between body building and being an athlete though they can look very similar is one only looks good, the other looks like an athlete and can compete like an athlete.
What would you say to girls who want to start weightlifting for the first time?
YOU GO GIRL! Don’t be afraid, you won’t turn into a man, it’s impossible. Don’t be intimidated, if you need help ask. Learn the correct way; don’t get stuck in the idea you have to lift almost non-existent weight a lot of reps to get toned. If you want it to do something, you have to feel it. And for god sakes, leave the push up bra and lipstick at home; this is a gym, not prom.
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