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Thread: Moving into some Olympic lifting

  1. #1
    Senior Member ELmx479's Avatar
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    Oct 2008

    Moving into some Olympic lifting

    Hey guys, I'm looking to spend some more time getting stronger and learning the olympic lifts much better. Just a little background info. I did a few years of bodybuilding style training and then moved into Strength/Crossfit training a year ago which I really enjoy. I've spent very little time with the oly lifts other than power cleans and some power snatch. I'm pretty obsessive with technique so I want to be smart and progress my way into learning the right way. I've read this article and another link with a basic template. I'm just looking for some opinions and have a few questions.

    Starting template..

    Snatch 8-10 singles
    Clean & Jerk 5x3
    Clean Pull 5x5
    Pull Ups 50 reps total

    Push Press 5RM
    Back Squat 5RM
    Bench Press or pressing assistance work (triceps focus)
    Conditioning (10-15min Crossfit metcon)

    Snatch 5x3
    Clean & Jerk 8-10 singles
    Snatch Pull 5x5
    Snatch Grip DL 5RM
    Pendlay Row 5x10
    Glute Ham Raise 5x10

    Push Press 5x5 @ 85% of 5RM
    Back Squat 5x5 @ 85% of 5RM
    1 arm DB press or ring dips 3-4 sets
    Cuban Press 5x10
    Conditioning (5-10min Crossfit metcon)

    Should I be doing any power cleans or snatches just to allow me to work with some more weight since the squat versions will be very light for awhile? Any changes on reps, movements, etc..?

    My Current stats..
    Age: 30
    Weight: 185
    Height: 5'11''
    Back Squat: 330
    Front Squat: 260
    Overhead Squat: 145
    Dead Lift: 425
    Strict Press: 145 (my overhead needs much attention)

  2. #2
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Were this my setup, Id do 20 singles of both Snatch and CnJ rather than the 8-10 singles/5x3. I'd also ditch the Clean and Snatch pulls until you find your weakest link... it is really easy to develop bad habits with those two movements, in my experience-- especially without a good coach; maybe do Clean DLs instead.

    Snatch balances are fun for me... you might give those a try to work with your OH squat (that way you can do OH squats for a few reps when you are not working on the full snatch for your singles).

    I think you also need to have front squats in there somewhere (and replace it for a back squat in your setup)--When I was training, the coach had us high-bar back squat a little, just to keep a heavy squat depending on the lifter... we were mostly front squatting and maybe doing snatch balance. You probably dont need to worry about p-cleans and power snatch.... you are already doing lots of work off the floor and squatting... just progress slowly and keep things simple and youll advance.

    Finally, Id avoid any kettle-bell swings when you do your conditioning. Just my 2cents...

    All the best--
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 12-18-2013 at 06:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ELmx479's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanks for the input man. I was hoping for a response from you since I remember you doing a good bit of oly lifting when I was still doing curls. I was surprised how little most olympic templates included overhead squats and front squats. I will probably alternate front squats with back squats like you said or maybe 3x3 on Thursday. I would like to include snatch balance and some overhead squats to get some weight overhead since my snatches will be low with all the tech work.

    As for conditioning, I've been doing a good bit on the AirDyne or rower. Any reason to avoid the KB swings?

  4. #4
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
    Charlottesville, VA
    Personally, I would do technique work only for the O-lifts for the time being and focus on powerlifting style training to build your overall strength base. You are pretty weak and will make better progress by just getting stronger for the time being (assuming you build your O-technique simultaneously).

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  5. #5
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yea, Im gonna merely echo what Chris said. Strength base is obviously important, as is technique. In that sense find what works for you. Work with technique until you feel 'ace' at it, then add weight. (most OLY coaches do not 'publish' their routines...)

    I'd avoid KB swings b/c, again, is is easy to develop neuro-muscular patterns that will work against your OLY training. But, this is fro my personal experience. I found my KB swing form was quite different from cleaning/snatching weight above head, making the movements fundamentally different for me. I ended up swinging the bar above head rather than jumping it above head (the OLY movements are jumping movements)... which could very easily been MY OWN inadequencies (sp?) and not the "KB Swing" perse. It will all boil down to 'you' and what works for 'you' and what doesnt. Doing such a dramatic change in routine will take some experimenting. Just go easy, be safe and youll be cool... and as Chris said: keep getting stronger in squat and DL (or clean DL).
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 12-18-2013 at 07:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ELmx479's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    That's understandable. I know my numbers are average at best for my size since I spent most of the past year hitting the conditioning pretty hard since I sucked so bad at it. I'm feeling good now and would like to at least maintain the conditioning level I have while getting stronger. I've seen Glen Pendlay mention he has athletes do the Texas Method for strength along with the oly lifts 4-5 times a week at different times of the day. That would just seem brutal to me and tough to recover from.

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