T Nation

Aspiring Novice!


Hi! You guys can call me ViKtor.

I would like to know what you would personally recommend for a novice lifter like me to get started in weightlifting, ASIDE from getting a coach (I'm not ready for it).

What routine should I do?



why do you think you are not ready for a coach?

i thought one had to be able to do the lifts pretty well in order to get a coach... but turns out coaches kinda like teaching you how to do it from scratch rather than having to undo a bunch of bad habits first. bad habits are fairly inevitable, i think :-/

most people seem to recommend catalyst athletics (awesome site) for their exercise demos to help you get the hang of the basic positions. i'd try and learn them before incorporating the full lifts in a program.

be interested to hear what other people suggest.



here are some videos for the snatch and the clean. I think they are a pretty good idea on how to learn them.

Train every day you can with light weights learning the technique. Front squat and back squat a lot(how often depends on you... I'd say 3 times per week is enough for a start). It should be your first priority strength wise. I also find push pressing to be nice for learning the dip and drive for the jerk.

Stretch a lot.

Don't rush to add weight to the bar, keep training technique and don't get impatient. It's going to be better in the long run. You didn't tell us your squat numbers or height/weight and age but i'd stick to up to 60kgs for technique.


Thanks to both of you.

I used to lift weights religiously almost two years ago. I never did truly train the classical lifts but my best front squat was 275 for 2 repetitions (as deep as imaginable, with a one second pause at the bottom).

I just got back from the gym yesterday and wow...

I couldn't snatch 95 pounds (I used to snatch 135 for two reps) and could not split jerk 115 properly. It's nightmare, but I have to restart somewhere and I have a feeling it's not going to take long before I get back to my original strength levels, and get stronger.

That's my background and I am thinking of doing something like this: http://www.criticalbench.com/bulgarian-weightlifting.htm

I am looking forward for further input and am now starting my training journal in this website! Stay tuned!

(EDIT: I don't know if this makes a difference but I am currently 19 years old and I was 17 when I did those front squats.)


thats not a program for a beginner. I didn't read it all but it has you doing maxes and you don't wanna be doing them anytime soon. Your front squat was about the same as mine yet your snatch and c&j are far behind and my technique isn't that amazing to begin with.

here's a program

Personally I'd just do what they do in the videos I showed you with 40-60kgs on the bar and try to get a feel and understanding of the lifts. The videos talk about 3 positions. the power, the knee and the floor. I'd stick to lifting from the power position until you can get a good bar trajectory that doesn't throw the bar too far forward, make sure you aren't overpulling with the arms and generally using them correctly to get under the bar and being FAST.

Then i'd lift from the hang trying to stay on heels and keep the bar close and transition properly into the power position... and so on. It's gonna take a few months to start ramping up the weight but I think its best this way for long term progress


it is probably more about your technique than about your strength.

unless your aim is to get really good at muscling the weights around, of course.

why don't you think you are ready for a coach?


Umm, is it just me, or my posts take time before they get displayed?


lol. Gas money. I still live with my mom dude.

Plus, college will start soon so there comes more bills.

What I CAN do is not ingrain some bad habits while lifting without a coach so that when I do get a coach, the coach will not have a hard time teaching me the lifts.


ah, gotcha.

yeah, you can try and not ingrain bad habits. i don't have a coach either, so i'm trying to do the same.

vids can be helpful if you can take 'em. getting some feedback from others and developing your own eye for technique.

welcome to the forums :slight_smile:


Do not start without a coach, instead invest your time in getting stronger and mobility work.


Explain yourself.

sits back and crosses his arms to judge whether or not TheApprentice's reasoning and wisdom are legitimate.


Explain yourself.

sits back and crosses his arms to judge whether or not TheApprentice's reasoning and wisdom are legitimate.


Hi, ViKtor, your nick reminds me of this girl:

Anyway, happy lifting!


You can lift on your own. Just post videos so people can comment. It's hard to lift on your own or see how you'll take to learning on your own from reading text and watching videos.

I've never had to do it on my own as I've always had a coach from the get go so I can't comment on how hard it would to pick it up without one. But I will say there are few people who train without a coach that have very slick technique. There are a few that have good technique without a coach, but they are few and far between. Or guys that use to have a coach but no longer have one, these guys are at a huge advantage still. They know what to look out for and how to correct their issues.

It would be interesting to see who posts here that has never had coaching or say less then 10hrs and see their technique.



depending on how you define 'coach' i'm probably in that category. mind you, after lifting around 6 times per week for a little over a year... i certainly don't claim to have 'good' technique.

having fun, though.

and getting better.


Unless you are a 'natural', starting on your own is a waste of time, imo, the lifts are too technical. You can always pay for online coaching, Donny Shankle, Kendrk Farris, Jared Enderton all offer online coaching.


i think everybody has the problem of posts taking a while to display sometimes. i'm not sure why - but i think there is some kind of automated moderating / spam checker or something??? sometimes it seems to get eaten so you need to post it again (I try and copy before submitting in case it goes AWOL) but othertimes it just takes a while to become visible.


No they're not :stuck_out_tongue:

A coach is always preferred but I think the effort to learn and it's value is relative to the person. It might be too much effort for you but not necessarily for me or anyone else.

Coaching is important but without one I don't think you need to give up the sport.


agreed with Deb. We might not make it to the Olympic games or anything, but damn this shit is fun and rewarding.


It's my second day of oly lifting today. I did a semi-perfect snatch...... No really, I MEAN it. I'll post a video soon.


I'm awesome even without a coach. MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!