T Nation

Beginning Olympic Lifter

I am a college student studying exercise science, and i recently decided i want to be a strength and conditioning coach. I know that i need to become better at my olympic movements, but i find myself spending 3 hours in the gym doing clean and snatch and not having time for anything else! what is the best way to balance olympic lifts while still aiming for some big hypertrophy gains?

Honestly, just practice on a seperate day if you’re training for hypertrophy. Or maybe in a seperate session.

Another popular method is just to warm up with them every day, doing around 15-20 reps total with very light weight.


If you’re studying exercise science, its time to bust out that Essentials of Strength and Conditioning book that will become your bible on the way to passing your CSCS and see what it has to say about integrating power and high neural effort movements into your workout.

No offense, but you shouldn’t be spending three hours in the gym at any one time anyway. Much less O lifting (seeing as how you aren’t on Olympic team).

Depending on how you divide your workouts, more than likely you will be placing the Olympic movements first in your workout. If you do total body work then put the O lifts first and perform cleans/clean variations and snatches/snatch variations on alternating days. If you break up your work by either upper/lower or B/C–B/T/S–Legs then put the O lifts on leg day.

No matter what, if you are performing these lifts for Oly lifting benefits and not a warmup, you shouldn’t be doing reps of more than five (one to three would be better). Give them time and be consistent, constantly improving technique (meaning bar speed) and you will be happy. Remember, its better for athletes to “jump out of the gym” with 135lbs than to pull 185lbs slowly.

I’ll throw out a plug for Christian Thibaudeau’s “Black Book of Training Secrets.” In this book he goes over the techniques very thoroughly and actually designs a 12-week program designed to teach you the basic mastery of the olympic lifts. I also guarantee that working on these lifts and their variations and accessory lifts will get you bigger and stronger. Check it out, you won’t be dissapointed.

i’m starting a year long o-lifting program january 1 or 2nd… i’m just working on my basic lifts & conditioning for now till that time comes.

I have a great many programs by people written up, PM me if you want a peek at them.

The ones i like best are from qwa.org