T Nation

Combining Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting


I have been lifting for approxitmaly 9 years now. I have dabbled in amateur powerliftng and low level bodybuilding and recently started Olympic weightlifting. I was throwing around some ideas and i just wanted to get some feedback or thoughts on a couple things before i design my program.

  1. Are there any programs our right now that combine all three?

  2. What type of periodization would you use on the bodybuilding side?

  3. How often "per Week" would you Deadlift,Squat,Bench and OHP?

  4. How would you program your Olympic lifts with traditional splits/routines?

I currently in the crawl phase of this program, any input or advice would be great. Also one more thing, i definitely understand the importance on sticking with one goal, i am not trying to cross fit here. I am trying to logically and methodically create a template that incorporates all three.



You might like some of CT's layer system stuff. He lays some options out in his forum, including some powerlifting templates. They all include at least high pulls (and I think he is doing some Olympic lifting), and at least the secondary goal is aesthetic; he calls it the "power look".


Combining the PLing and BBing is fairly straightforward. 5/3/1 would be a great way to start, just use BBing techniques (isolation movements with dropsets, supersets, giant sets, etc) for your assistance work.

I'm not sure what to say about olympic lifts, except that not all of them would give much benefit, because some only have relevance to competitive olympic lifting. Clean and jerks probably wont do much for example. but if you stick to the power versions of cleans and snatches you could probably squeeze them into a program somewhere, but if you wanna do the full versions of the lifts it would really depend on how technically proficient you are at them


He's the only guy I know to do it. He's a freak of nature and totally dedicated. So his results are that he's pretty awesome all around.
His split is

"Anyways... my training is mostly 5-lift, weightlifting style... even when i powerlift, and my programming is all my own. I'm a 'more is more' kinda guy...

Right now i'm on a 4-day 'week'. This refound powerlifting emphasis has laid a hurting on my weightlifting again, but its temporary. Some general knee bitchiness has made snatching and full cleans more trouble than they're worth, so for now i'm just kinda flailing around with powercleans and pulls mostly for weightlifting. I train instinctually, sort ov "Chinese style" if i HAVE to label it, no set schemes for most lifts, at the moment, only bench follows a scheme.

My split through November looks something like this:

Day 1 - bench, squat, deadlift, heavy bench assistance (inclines, presses, close-grips, etc.), grip work
Day 2 - olympic lifting, squat, upper back, arms,
Day 3 - olympic lifting, squat, deadlift, grip
Day 4 - rest

Repeat. "


There was a recent article by Chad Wesley Smith called "Training for Everything". It is basically all about Koklaev who of course is the only man ever to compete at the highest level in the world in powerlifting, Olympic lifting, strongman, and Highland games. Give it a read. There is some great info there about training for all four strength sports that you could probably apply to your own situation.



Thanks for that i will defintly check that out.


That's a bad ass picture!


Don't flame me, but isn't crossfit (the newer stuff like what they do at the game) kind of what you're looking for?


I think it kind of is but he probably doesn't want to do 100 of anything LOL


There's always modification :slight_smile:


Here's a modification of a program I designed that might fits the bill:

1. Bench press ramp to 1RM
2. Bench press from pins just above sticking point, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Bench press lockout (from pins, last 2-3"), start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
4. Speed bench 6 x 3 with 50% of no.1

1. Power clean & push press ramp up to 1RM
2. Clean & Jerk start at 80% of max no.1 and work up to a 1RM
3. Deadlift start at 80% of max no.2 and work up to a 1RM
4. Barbell row 3-4 sets of 6-8

1. Power snatch ramp to 1RM
2. Snatch start at 80% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Snatch high pull from blocks, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
4. Back squat 3 x 6-8 reps

1. Bench press ramp to 3RM
2. Bench press 8 x 3 @ 90% of no.1
3. Close-grip bench from pins (just above sticking point) 4 sets of 3 with 80% of no.1
4. DB shoulder press 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps

1. Clean & jerk (1 clean + 3 jerks) work up to 3RM
2. Clean & jerk (1 clean + 3 jerks) 4 sets of 1+3 with 90% of no.1
3. Clean & jerk (3 cleans + 1 jerk) 4 sets of 3+1 with 90% of no.1
4. Front squat 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps

1. Snatch ramp to 3RM
2. Snatch 6 sets of 3 reps with 90% of no.1
3. RDL 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps
4. Barbell row 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps

1. Slight decline bench (not from pins) ramp to 6RM
2. Slight decline bench (not from pins) 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
3. Slight decline close-grip bench (not from pins) 4 sets of 6 with 80% of no.1
4. Rope triceps extension 4-5 x 8-10

1. Clean complex 1 (3 cleans + 3 push press + 3 front squat) 4 sets with 70-80% of the max no.1 on the preceding day

  1. Clean complex 2 (3 cleans + 3 front squats + 3 Romanian deadlift) 4 sets with the same weight as no.1

  2. Back squat 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps

1. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 6RM
2, Snach-grip high pulls 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
3. Barbell row 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps

DAY 10
Test your max on snatch, clean and jerk and bench press



That split by TC looks fantastic.

Please do it, and start a log, I'd be really interested in seeing it play out.


I'm thinking about giving it a shot myself.


Sorry i have not responded guys. I have been deployed with little or no internet access. I am going to try CT s modified program. And thank you sir for that reply it is greatly appreciated.



how's going with this plan? Thoughts? Would you recommend it?


Hey guys, have started doing this program (looks great), but have a few rookie questions...

  1. Bench press from pins just above sticking point, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
  2. Bench press lockout (from pins, last 2-3"), start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM

Where is the sticking point, and how am I doing these exercises differently from the normal bench press?

  1. Slight decline bench (not from pins) ramp to 6RM

And how do I do the bench not from pins? Would I be right in assuming the first one I need a rack with settable pins, and I set them at a different angle and each rep I stop at pins then explode the weight back up? And for the decline I dont stop them at the pins but do full ROM reps?

Sorry for all the questions, new guy here looking to make some progress!


The sticking point is individual. If you have to grind a rep out the sticking point is where the grind starts (or if you fail the rep it's the point you reached). So you would set the safety pin just above that in this setup.

I think you're assumption is correct. It looks like the decline is full ROM.


Your a legend - Thanks for the quick reply mate. Am doing day 2 today!


I think this will simply become too much of a complicated program and limit progress in all three. Combining any of the two would work ok, maybe not as great combining witg weightkifting as tge otger two will rely on grinding kimit weights and increase muscle tightness. Bodybuilding with weightlifting works well for the Chinese though, and some people gave done well combining weightlifting and powerlifting to chase a "super total".

Ypu have to ask yourself what the point ks though. How much time can you dedicate to each discipline? Weightlifting techniue requires a lot of time inout, as does powerlifting progression and cycling.


Programming is the least of your problems. Anyone interested in starting Olympic Weightlifting should find a decent coach ASAP and follow his advice. Anyone saying otherwise is doing you a disservice.