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Beginner O Lifts

16 yr old, 140 ish lbs
3/2 plate squat/dead, 155x1 easy power clean. Can’t really catch a snatch, 95x1 almost upright snatch
I’m currently rehabbing my left arm- ruptured my tricep tendon, and would like to push my clean and snatch numbers once healed. How should I approach this?

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I just did 5 triples of cleans, and 6 doubles of snatches, adding 5-10 pounds or so once I felt comfortable. Worked up to (I think) a 250-ish hang clean that way and my snatch almost made it to 1 plate (I started this wayyy after my clean).

Sorry, nothing amazing.


I wasn’t looking for anything complicated lol - Just something that works

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Wendler has also said 5/3/1 works for oly lifts. Most think 5 reps on them is blasphemy but if you can keep decent form than no problem. Haven’t personally tried it, but I bet you could get up to at least a 2-3 plate clean, if not higher, using 5/3/1. Works for every other lift.

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I mean I did cut my teeth with crossfit esque programming; amrap cleans here I come

Maybe check out Dan John’s stuff. He seems to know his stuff when it comes to O lifting. Or any coach dedicated to actual O lifting.

Fair point. From a quick look it looks like he likes doubles/triples too

Hopefully this topic isn’t too old for me to bump. I found it interesting since I used to be in love with the Olympic lifts (especially Power Snatches).

Back in high school, I got to around a 225lbs Hang Clean and 160lbs Power Snatch from just doing them in multiple sets of 1 - 3 reps. At first, I would do them during a lower body workout, but I eventually started doing them at the start of every workout since I noticed they actually made me feel more energetic instead of tiring me out. Thibaudeau has talked about using Power Snatches to “activate” athletes before the main lift, and from experience, this works as long as you don’t overdo the weight or volume.

The hardest part of the lifts was learning the technique. It took me months to go from cleaning the bar to cleaning 135, and from snatching the bar to snatching 95lbs. But after that, the strength increases got a lot faster.

I only played sports in high school, but it’s not uncommon for college-level Track and Field athletes and Football players to Power Clean crazy weights. They all seem to just do it for sets of 1 - 5 reps, and I don’t see how that wouldn’t work as long as you still did your Squats and other lower body/posterior chain work.

Anyway, hope this helped.

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yeah, thanks
makes sense that techinique would be the biggest hurdle -atleast to start, especially on the snatch

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Please don’t take this the wrong way, because I really, truly am intending to help you and honestly you are about the age and size was at when I got into Olympic weightlifting, so I wish someone would’ve told me this when I was younger.
I tried to “teach myself” and it ended horribly, then I got a coach and things got a little better, but I quickly realized he was an idiot who didn’t know what he was doing. I struggled for years until I found a better coach and a good team. It was only then that my lifts became respectable and I made REAL progress.

Approach weightlifting with humility and a COMPLETELY empty mind. Get a good, reputable coach and PAY for coaching. If you don’t like it after a year or two…change coaches, but as a 16 year old, you need supervision on EACH and EVERY snatch/clean/jerk you do if you expect to ever be any good.

Again this all comes from my own poor experience. Learn from my mistakes.

People “think 5 reps is blasphemy” on the lifts for a reason. You can do 5’s, but I would NOT do them as a 16 year old just trying to learn.
I’ve seen a guy carry a fridge on his back when he ran marathons, so that’s possible but no one does it for a few reasons

  1. It’s fucking dumb
  2. If you’re trying to LEARN how to run, why would you run a marathon, and why would you do it with a fridge on your back? You’d be better off learning the CORRECT MECHANICS by doing shorter distances and lower intensities until you LEARN how to FUCKING RUN CORRECTLY.

I have applied the O lifts to 531, and it definitely DID NOT give me a “3 plate” clean or a “2 plate” snatch or anything like that.
I’ve been in the Olympic Weightlifting community for a long time and I’ve never heard of anyone commenting on how many “plates” they clean or snatch, since we don’t usually use 45lbs plates in training or competition. We use kilograms as our metric. It sounds like you’re wanting to apply powerlifting terminology and programming to weightlifting. The “rest/pause” method works great for bench press, and going to failure works great for bodybuilding, but neither of these things actually work for 99% of everyone who snatches and CJ’s. Low reps, moderate weights (70%-80%), lots of sets and tons of heartache and frustration is the only way to get good at weightlifting. If you think anything different, you haven’t been weightlifting for very long, or your name is Kate Nye.

I’m here to tell you, applying these different methods to the snatch/cj doesn’t work. If you want to get good at weightlifting, find a real WEIGHTLIFTING COACH and do a real WEIGHTLIFTING PROGRAM.
If you want to get made fun of, then go to any local USAW sanctioned weightlifting competition and brag about how many “plates” you clean.
Then stick around for the open women’s division, because they will probably outlift you.

Dude, chill out.

Here, maybe this will help: I have cleaned 102 kilograms for 5 reps, using a mixture of 5/3/1 and double progression. My 1RM was higher, and there’s no doubt in my mind that said methods could’ve got me even higher.

I’m sorry I didn’t use the correct terminology, but you’re wrong. A 16 year old with a little lifting experience, and hopefully some idea of how to deadlift and front squat, absolutely can pick up Olympic weightlifting. Will his form be perfect? No. Will he set work records? No. Can he improve and get stronger? Yes. My friend, who’s a very athletic guy, snatched 185lbs with no trainer. That’s nothing mind blowing, but it’s not too shabby. I worked up to 95lbs on my very first time.

There’s a difference between people wanting to get stronger at lifts and wanting to become professionals. Spending money on a coach to teach you how to pick up a barbell and rest it on your shoulders when you just want to be stronger than your high school teammates is dumb. If you intend to compete and take it seriously, fine, get a coach.

This is like the 5th thread you’ve replied to in the past 24 hours that’s a couple months old, if not a year old. If you actually want to help people see what new threads are coming up. A lot of posters never return after their question’s been answers.

EDIT: I feel the need to say 1). I was not bragging about my clean - I don’t think that’s an impressive at all number, but I got it when I was 17, by doing sets of 5, which you said was wrong. And 2). I referred to cleaning and snatching “plates” because I’m not an Olympic weightlifter at a USAW sanctioned comp making sure I fit in and use the right lingo.


Here, maybe this will help.

I have coached 176lbs women to power clean 220lbs and jerk it overhead with no problem with about 6 MONTHS of real weightlifting coaching.

Your “very athletic friend” who can snatch 185lbs snatch would tie for first in the 151lbs class for fourteen year old girls at the 2018 USAW YOUTH national championships. FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRLS. Keep in mind he could only take 1st in the total if he can CJ 231lbs after his snatch attempt.

Any “very athletic guy” weighing anything around 185lbs he should be able to snatch bodyweight within the first month or two of being coached, so that’s average, C student type results. Not “very athletic” in any remote sense of the word.

“I worked up to 95lbs my very first time”
Jesus Christ, have you been to a weightlifting meet or actually met a weightlifter? MOST women I have coached snatched 45kg their very first time,. I have yet to meet ANY MALE over the age of 16 who has had trouble snatching 45kg on their first day.

You have absolutely no perspective and you’re sitting here telling me your methods and results are fine for people “wanting to get stronger.” OK super coach, if you think having a snatch and CJ that wouldn’t even place in a female YOUTH category in a USAW meet is “strong enough” then go ahead and stick with shitty programming and no coaching. Good luck, and I mean that with the upmost sincerity because you have no clue what you’re talking about.

Huh. Almost like they were going through real weightlifting coaching, not just general strength training.

He did so on his first attempt. He could also squat a lot of weight and run very fast so in my eyes, he was athletic. My bad if I’m wrong on terminology again.

No. I already said that when I was corrected on my usage of “plates.” And again, it’s almost like you’re talking about competitive weightlifters with real coaching, and I’m talking about high schoolers trying to just get big and strong.

They are. A few weeks ago I saw my school’s football team training. They were doing cleans. And they sucked. Like really, really bad form. But some of them had 405lbs in their hands and they’re bigger and stronger than me, so that must mean something’s working for them.

…to you, because you disappeared for two months and still found yourself so upset by what a stranger on the internet said that two months later you had to put him in his place.

This made me chuckle. And I know I’m totally participating, but it’s because this amuses me.

How much have you clean & jerked and snatched, and at what weight? Serious question - you sound like you know what you’re doing so I’d like to know.

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