T Nation

Assistance Strength Exercises for Oly Program


#1

Hey -
So I need help, I am trying to start olympic lifting and read the article https://www.t-nation.com/training/olympic-lifting-made-simple. In this article it gives a 4 week program. This program is 4 days a week and 2 days are dedicated to the snatch and 2 days are dedicated to the clean and jerk. I also read in another article on this website about putting on muscle well doing olympic lifting and it reccomended assitance excercises.
I seperated the assitance excercises in to two categories push/pull

Push : Incline/flat bench, military press/push press, dips, tricep extensions.
Pull : Pullups, bicep curls, Lateral Raises, Post delt raises
I was planning to do Monday - day 1 of the program which is clean and jerking. Tuesday - day 2 which is snatching. Wednsday off and then do thrusday friday the same as I did monday tuesday. Finally have the weekend off and repeat. Would this work? My final question is for the assitance excercises to do at the end of the workouts should I do the pulls on Snatching days or clean and jerk days and should I do the pushes on Snatching days or clean and jerk days?
All advice would be appriciated I am kind of new to the olympic lifts. So I will spend a couple week going through technique. I am familar with strength training though. Please no hate would love to hear constructive comments!


#2

I wouldn't suggest to load yourself with assistant work. Adding to the olympic lifts military press/push press, triceps extensions and so on will lead you to nowhere, if we assume that you want to be a weightlifter. It could be a weak attempt to make it "all in one", but it is a free-fall on the ground from two chairs. If you lift the right way, under the right regime, every hour of your 24-hour cycle will be priceless. The olympic lifts themselves aren't just pulling of the ground weight up to above your head, but doing it the right way, which requires a lot of practice, time, patience and getting to know the frequency of your whole organism, not simply the current condition of your skeletal musculature. Because if you do things wrong, in a given moment you will sorry. So, to not sorry, put your focus and mind in learning the lifts and when they become a reflex to you, then if you want it that bad - add an exercise here and there.

As far as putting on muscle, frequent lifting will cause hypertrophy anyway, in case you know what to do.


#3

Depends on if he wants to be a competitive weightlifter or whether he just wants to get good at the lifts and enjoy them, but train for all-around mass or field athleticism. If he just wants to get competent at the lifts then assistance exercises can be fine for adding mass for aesthetic or athletic goals. Rest of your post I agree with. I would add though that Russia and China both field world class lifters and do plenty of accessory work, so it can be done...intelligently. Add a ton of assistance work all at once may not be the way to go of course, but adding in some at a time can work.

OP--your assistance work will be dependent on your goals. And also on your weaknesses. If you have a weak posterior chain--and most people do starting out on this--then you will want to work on a lot of posterior assistance work for hamstrings, glutes, low back, upper back. On the off chance that you do not have a weak posterior chain then this may not apply. However, I notice pretty much all your assistance work is upper body: benches, presses, dips, curls, lateral raises, pullups....you're leaving a lot out.

Rows of all kinds, deadlifts and variations, etc. So just bear that in mind. You need a strong back to be a weightlifter...and you also need a strong back to be a good athlete or a jacked bodybuilder. So pretty much, you need a strong backside regardless! Types of work you do may differ, but be careful not to train only what you can see in the mirror for assistance exercises.

I'd also start with very little assistance exercises until you get used to the new program and then add it in slowly.


#4

That's why I noted - if we assume that he wants to be a weightlifter. If he want's to be a weightlifter, and by saying to be a weightlifter I mean practicing olympic weightlifting as a main concept in his physical developement, therefore to compete if he wants to, then initially he should focus on learning the movements, specific for the olympic weightlifting. If he load himself with assistant work before he knows the main movements themselves, as an addition to his weightlifting he doesn't know yet in first place, then his developement as a weightlifter wouldn't be as efficient as it could be. He wrote that he's trying to start olympic weightlifting.

Yes, Russia and China produce world class lifters while implementing accessory work, but the author isn't one of them, at least for now. He's approaching the sport at this moment, so he has far more issues and questions to seek answers for, than what assistant exerscice to add. If he doesn't know that, he'll learn it in the near future. Adding assistant work wont do harm to him, but it in my opinion this shouldn't be his priority for now.
Another thing - we don't know, at least I don't know the author's age, his physical condition, how he performs under physical tests, therefore does he needs general physical preparation, doesn't he, does he has certain impalances in one or another form or he doesn't have such, is there a legit mentor nearby to watch him or he is alone in this.

Assistance work can be in help in certain circumstances, but according to me, such assistance work is different than the assistance work he ask for in his thread.

But otherwise yes, if he just want's to get to know the lifts, if he's just interested to try something as an addition to his arsenal, then the olympic movements themselves can be the assistance work and don't devote his soul in them.


#5

No real arguments there