T Nation

All OLY/Only OLY?

Hey guys I’ve been doing olympic weightlifting for the past 5-6 months (from a bodybuilding type regimen with power lifting thrown in as well, whatever you may call it) and I must admit they have me hooked! My strength has increased a great deal and I feel as though my technique is improving as well. One thing I did upon taking up olympics, however, was abandoning all bodybuilding movements.

I guess you can say I have the attitude that if it wasn’t directly supporting my total, I wasn’t going to have anything to do with it. My question is if this was a good choice or not; can I or should I still be doing isolation movements for my arms, bench presses for chest, etc.? My legs, back, and traps have gotten bigger and more defined, but everything else is not nearly as nice looking as it was 6 months ago.

Yet again, if this will infringe upon my progress in olympics for any reason (potentially decreased flexibility?) I could care less because my only true goal is strength, but if I can have some looks to go with it I absolutely wouldn’t mind either. Any opnions are greatly appreciated and sought after, thanks for reading.

You’ll get mixed replies here.

The soviets and eastern europeans used a lot of exercies…sometimes even the bench press !!

Also, a lot of the York guys did the lifts plus pulls, presses in the rack, rows…I think if you look at pics of guys from the 60’s and 70’s, you’ll notice they have much better builds.

The current trend is to do ONLY the 2 lifts and squats. I’ve tried both ways, and overall, I think the mixed approach is better…but thats for a mix of competing in OL and for sports.

I have curled and done inclines while preparing for a meet. I’ve also done only the lifts + squats…not much difference for me.

Work on your flexibility. For me, also, I noticed inclines tend to help my press and jerk, while benches make my shoulders tight.

If all else fails, take Dan John’s advice and make the warm-up the workout…do some complexes with different non-OL exercises…curls, rows, pull-ups…

And, make sure no matter what, that you don’t forget that OL is a strength sport. Bill Starr had a great article about this in a recent MILO. I think heavy pulls, Snatch DL’s, Clean DL’s, power pulls and the like are essential.

Where in NJ are you? There’s some great coaches in this state.

Hey thanks for the reply, I do the olympics, their power movements, pulls, front squats, overhead squats, snatch grip deadlifts, and abdominal work currently. I may start to add in a bodybuilding movement at the end of each training session. I live in Essex County, can’t find any coaches around here.

The closest I could find was Team New Jersey coached by Dave Evans in Livingston (which is still a half hour without tarffic from me) and every time I’ve tried calling (very often) there is never an answer on the given number. If you have a good recommendation as far as coaching I’m all ears, I’d love to find a coach as I fully understand this could take me much further. Again, thanks for the reply.

~ Chris

I dont know the layout of your half of jersey…Honestly, anything past trenton is like another state to me…

But i know Team NJ is up there, also theres a gym in Queens, the LBH that is legendary.

FDU’s weightroom is open to the public and they have an excellent coach. That’s in moorestown.

I know that Team NJ may be a commute…but consider going there maybe once per week and getting some coaching.

Also, try posting at goheavy.com, in the OL forum…LOTS of NJ people there.

A guy named Mark Cohen should be able to help you out, he’s a great guy and really knows his stuff.

There’s some meets coming up too…I’ll be at the meet in may in vineland (south jersey). There’s one in march in Moorestown too.

Yeah I think I’m going to take a trip to the Team New Jersey Center and check it out considering they apparenlty have no phone or something, and see what the rates are on getting a coach.

Like you said, even once a week there to check technique and what not what would be a big help, I have a nice set up at home with some mats, a rack, a rack, a bench, pull up bar, and of course, a beautiful Eleiko training line bar.

I do the full lifts, front/back squats, clean and snatch pulls from floor and below the knees, hang clean and snatches from different heights, drop snatches, and snatches off the blocks.

I don’t do any other exercises that will effect my recovery, but after this sunday’s contest, I will start doing some chin-ups, scapular retractions, external shoulder rotations, and reverse wrist curls just to bring up the smaller muscles.

I am not really concerned about having a smaller chest or upper arms. My back is much more developed than before I started OL and the flexibility, speed/power are greatly improved. Plus my support strength is a lot stronger. The thing with OL is that you get accustomed to holding heavy weights overhead.

You have had some great responses so far. Generally, I like to note the dangers of hyper-specializing in physical endeavor so soon, since you’ve been working the OLs for about .5 year, (and not on the Bulgarian National Team) but from what you’ve commented, your program seems wellrounded, as you hit all ‘planes’ of the body with a variety of movements in varying speeds except the horizontal push, which, if you are a training human male, most likely have done enough benching to last you years.

That said, without knowing anything more about current shoulder external/internal issues, etc, I highly doubt a 15 minute session of incline or flat bench tacked on once a week or two could do anything but provide GPP in the Olympic lifting sense. If you are worried about mobility issues and losing flexibility, I would recommend using DBs with a full range of ROM. Personally, I was not able to work the Jerk and bp heavily in the same week, doing so led to burn out and general shoulder malaise.

Arm flexor work also indirectly helps grip, so there’s your excuse for having some arm work too, especially of the reverse/zottman curl type, although weighted chins should have already taken care of arm issues.
-k

I think you can and should do bench, military and triceps work. Some people may argue the bench press isn’t good for the oly’s but I think that’s just wrong.

I know personnally a former world champion (from '77) and he told me that he would do bench press on a very regular basis just cause it kept him happy! Around 500lbs raw mind you… And he still snatched 400lbs.

get the Ironmind DVD #1357

“it will give you bird’s eye view of Georgi Gardev (BUL), one of the world’s top 85-kg weightllifters. You’ll also see Polish phenomenon Szymon Kolecki working out–get to know him now, because he’s destined to make headlines in weightlifting.”

Szymon Kolecki Is a current world record holder and I believe Georgi won gold in Athens competing for Georgia.

They do so many different types of excercises it will amaze you! So many I’d never seen before. Yes they even do Bench Presses. In fact Szymon benches over 400 lbs.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I looked back and realized I forgot to include that I do a very strict miltary press once a week, usually for triples. Following the advice given from everybody, I’m going to start doing either a bench press or incline press about once a week as well, keeping it light as to not interfere with my olympic lifts, maybe a 5x6 or 4x8 would do < sound good? I did enjoy the bench press a lot when I used to do it, it’s a fun lift. I actually found somewhere that the Chinese olympic lifters do a good deal of chest supported horizontal rowing, maybe some of that is line as well for me. Any further suggestions are welcome, too. Thanks again to everybody for contributing, I appreciate it.

~ Chris

hello, ive switched from bodybuilding/powerlifting(westside) routines to oly lifts only for wrestling. im hooked! i find it much more taxing on the body but love it. anyway i was wondering how you guys structure your routine.

ive been doing two day split routine…monday clean and jerk(max effort) tuesday, snatch (max effort) then thursday clean and jerk(dynamic) and saturday snatch(dynamic). i rep 8s 3r on the speed days and 4s 2r on the heavy days…

thanks

[quote]thehorse65 wrote:
anyway i was wondering how you guys structure your routine.
thanks[/quote]

Always glad to see another lifter.
Here is my routine for the last few weeks that I have been following.

Sometimes I don’t record all the work sets in a movement…just writing the final heaviest sets. (3X2 = 3 sets of 2)

Lifting 3x week.

Snatch + Snatch (below knee)
The Drill(PC+ below knee Cl. + full Cl)
up 100-105kg.
Back Squat 140 3*3

Muscle Snatch
Jerks from Rack 110kg2
Back Squats 70kg 3
5

High hang snatch 60kg 33
Hang Clean above knee 100kg 3
3
Drop Snatches 70kg 3*3

Clean and Jerk 125kg X 1
130kg (Clean)
Snatch Pulls 97.5kg 33
Back Squats 130 3
5

Snatch from blocks (at knee) 82.5kg X 1
Front Squats 137.5kg X 3
Jerk Recoveries 120kg X 1,0

Drop Snatches 40x3, 50x3, 60x3, 70x3, 65x3
Snatch Pull 70x3, 90x3, 105x2x2
Push Press 60x3, 70x3, 75x3

Muscle Snatch 40x3x2, 50x3, 55x3x3
Power clean 60x3, 80x3, 90x3x3
Front squat 70x3, 100x3, 115x3, 130x2x3
*Front squats felt heavy, getting used to big weight jumps.

Power Snatch (lbs) 95x3x2, 115x3, 125x3x2
Drop Snatch (lbs) 95x2, 135x2, 155x3x2
Back squat (lbs) 155x5x3
*Very easy lifting, getting better at feeling it in the hips on pull.

Snatch up to 85kg,0,0,0,1
C&J 3 sets of 275x1
1-jerk forward, 2-nailed it,
3-felt dizzy, dumped it.
*Haven’t done full snatches in a while. Nailed the all cleans, easy.

Hang Snatches (above knee) 65kg 3 X 3
Clean pulls (1 off floor, 2 from below knee) 140X3
Front squats 135kg 2 X 2

Snatches (lbs) 95X2, 115X2, 135X2, 155 4sets of 1
C&J (lbs) 135X2, 175X2, 225 4 sets of 1
Back Squats (lbs) 225 4 sets of 3

1/28/2007
CONTEST!

[quote]thehorse65 wrote:
hello, ive switched from bodybuilding/powerlifting(westside) routines to oly lifts only for wrestling. im hooked! i find it much more taxing on the body but love it. anyway i was wondering how you guys structure your routine.

ive been doing two day split routine…monday clean and jerk(max effort) tuesday, snatch (max effort) then thursday clean and jerk(dynamic) and saturday snatch(dynamic). i rep 8s 3r on the speed days and 4s 2r on the heavy days…

thanks[/quote]

Considering I am absolutely a beginner with this type of lfiting, I’ve been doing a very basic three day per week program that usually looks something like this:

Front Squats (doubles or singles)
Snatch Pulls (triples;emphasize speed)
Clean Pulls (triples;emphasize speed)
Military Press (triples or sets of 8)
Abdominals

Overhead Squats 5x5
Snatches (triples, doubles, singles; depending on week)
Snatch grip DL (normally triples)
Abdominals

Front Squats (triples)
Cleans (triples, doubles, singles;depending on week)
Jerks from rack (usually doubles)
Abdominals

I vary this a lot, such as substituting the full movements with power movements, miltary press with push press, jerks from the rack with actual clean/jerks (I feel that dividing them helps me focus on the form for each part better), and sometimes cutting out my pull day for some unconvential type lifting. Overall I’ve been progressing great on this template, seems to work well for me. The volume I perform is totally dependent on how high my intenisty is on that day plus how I am feeling on that particular day (listen to your body not the paper!)
I am by no means an expert at all at this type of lifting, but this is what has been working for me recently. Hope it helps.

One thing to remember is, even though some will talk about how improtant tech. is in OL…strength still rules. Two people with the same form…the stronger will win.

Not saying anyone in this thread isnt paying attention to strength…but just keep it in mind.

i posted this in another post about trying to incorporate olifts and deads/squats… i’ve revamped it a little and maybe you guys could me your’ opinions:

mon: plyos/olifts/ME squat or deads
3x10 tuck jumps
3x3, 2x2 clean from squat pins set at knees
squat ME: 3x3, 2x2
good mornings/rdls - 3x5
glute ham raise:3x5
pullups 3x5
abs

tues- tempo running

Wed- off

Thurs:
plyos:
3x10 tuck jumps
3x5 depth jumps
ME power cleans: 3x3, 2x2, 1x1
Deads: 3x3 (not ME bone done reasonably heavy)
Hang snatch 3-4x3
GHR 3x5
split sqauts: 2x5
Military press 2x4
abs

fri- tempo running

Sat-
bounds: 3x10
alternate leg bounds: 3x10
box jumps 3x5
depth drops 3x3
power snatch: 3x3, 2x2
bench 3x5
rows 3x5
abs
interval runs (950 m max volume)

Sun- off

[quote]IL Cazzo wrote:
One thing to remember is, even though some will talk about how improtant tech. is in OL…strength still rules. Two people with the same form…the stronger will win.

Not saying anyone in this thread isnt paying attention to strength…but just keep it in mind.[/quote]

That’s not totally exact. It’s the ability to applicate maximum force in minimum time. So power is the key more so then strength alone.

here is my current routine. Im also a beginner, training the snatch w/40kg for 6 sets of doudles, and have clean & jerk’d 80kg.

note: Im not training for a OLY meet, this is just on the side of my NHB so there are other lifts included.

power snatch (doubles, tech oriented)
squats 5x5
bentover rows 3x8->5x10
+re/prehab

power cleans (triples, doubles)
front squats 3x4->6x6
push press 3x6-8
+re/prehab

deadlift 3x3
bench press 5x5
standing barbell curls 3x6-8
+re/prehab

re/prehab = repetition effort circuits
(back extention -> shoulder complex -> tricep pushdown etc. that kind of stuff)

what do you think?

[quote]FredB4 wrote:
IL Cazzo wrote:
One thing to remember is, even though some will talk about how improtant tech. is in OL…strength still rules. Two people with the same form…the stronger will win.

Not saying anyone in this thread isnt paying attention to strength…but just keep it in mind.

That’s not totally exact. It’s the ability to applicate maximum force in minimum time. So power is the key more so then strength alone.[/quote]

I think what he was getting at was not to put so much emphasis on attaining perfect technique at the expense not doing enough strength training movements…squats…etc.

[quote]Krollmonster wrote:
FredB4 wrote:
IL Cazzo wrote:
One thing to remember is, even though some will talk about how improtant tech. is in OL…strength still rules. Two people with the same form…the stronger will win.

Not saying anyone in this thread isnt paying attention to strength…but just keep it in mind.

That’s not totally exact. It’s the ability to applicate maximum force in minimum time. So power is the key more so then strength alone.

I think what he was getting at was not to put so much emphasis on attaining perfect technique at the expense not doing enough strength training movements…squats…etc.
[/quote]

Exactly.

[quote]IL Cazzo wrote:
One thing to remember is, even though some will talk about how improtant tech. is in OL…strength still rules. Two people with the same form…the stronger will win.

Not saying anyone in this thread isnt paying attention to strength…but just keep it in mind.[/quote]

True but speed and technique is more important then strong and technique imo. well I’d pick that anyway. Best situation is you have everything :smiley:

To the original poster. Can you sit down in a Snatch properly with the bar over head? Can you rack the bar properly in a Clean? IF you can then you can do whatever exercises you want as long as you keep your mobility. If you can’t then the best piece of advice would be to avoid bench pressing as it is the main killer for people who can’t get the correct OLift positions!

Mon, Wed, Fri lunchtimes = squast
Tue, Thur lunchtimes = conditioning/ fannying around/ resting legs (Mon: flat bench press, pull ups, sot press [bottom of front squat military pressing]; Tue: inclne bench press, curls, bent forward rows) basically to rest my legs
Mon, Wed evenings = OLift
Sat afternoons = Olifts

Current schedule has me doing lots of power stuff from the hang and maintaining technique. I’ve been lifting for 6yrs.

I’ve always done some strength and conditioning stuff outside of the OLifts as it is important to be ‘rounded’ and to not have a weakness. Also started as a 16yr old so wasn’t exactly up their in the strength terms overall. But you don’t need a 140Kg+ bench press to lift well. You should be able to Snatch more then your Bench press.

As long as you get enough sleep and recovery your good.

Koing