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Do Competitive BB's Use O-Lifts?


Do any competitve bodybuilders use olympic lifts frequently?

Just curious. I have been reading that they can improve the amount of muscle fibers activated resulting in the posterior chain. Natually leading to more strength and mass gains, trying to figure out if they are worth incorporating a couple times per week.

EDIT: On a completely unrelated note, has anyone seen Skip La Cour's 'Packing On Muscle! Max-OT Style' and recommend purchasing it?


Generally, no.

The most you'll see are a few clean and presses, certainly not with oly lifter form.

One or two do power cleans as well... Hoornstra for example (competes in both bb and pl, but then again, he's quite the alien).

You can be explosive (and should be?) on just about every lift, anyway... Imo your time would be better spent concentrating on getting stronger on a few key exercises per bodypart rather than messing with fancy stuff like this, but it's ultimately your call.

Oly lifting sure is fun... Would help if you got yourself some old Oly lifting vet or some such to teach you the basic technique though.


cleans are great for the middle back area


Oly lifters using BBing :wink:

(ok i know front squating isn't only a bodybuilding movement, but damn that video is cool)




would i be wrong to assume that they may not do it also because the aim for BB isnt always to lift a lot and lifting high weights has a greater chance of injury, just like i know many people avoid even checking maxes for this same reason?


That makes sense, I haven't checked any maxes in well over a year now for that reason.

Moreover, I've always stuck with five day splits. Would you say using a 5x5 program is subpar for bulking as far as bodybuilding is concerned?


they dont do it because they dont produce mass as well as other lifts.

same reason they dont squat wide or bench with a super high arch


Exactly. The goal is to gain muscle mass. Doing a heavy weight for one single rep does not help much in adding more mass so doing maxes is avoided because all it could possibly do is increase the risk of injury. This does not mean heavy weights are avoided. You don't get that big without lifting heavy weights FOR REPS.

Olympic lifts are avoided because they are not as effective for building overall size. They are simply what most of these personal trainers are pushing so they can call their training "functional" especially since most of these people are NOT athletes and most don't even play sports in a professional manner.


Just a thought, but wouldn't CT be the right guy to ask about this? I mean if one for some reason absolutely wanted to incorporate a few O-lifts into a bodybuilding routine, he has a lot of experience with both. I think he likes a few simplified versions of O-lifts for bodybuilding, please don't quote me on it though.


C'mon, don't make the personal trainers wrong, you nasty cunt :wink:


Anyway, relevant to the OP, doing heavy reps Olympic style is just too hard. PLUS the relative load for each individual muscle group just isn't high enough to elicit the mass gains you're after.

FOR EXAMPLE a good friend of mine who is in an Olympic sport has to do a competitive power clean (to shoulders) as an entry measure. His 1RM PB of that is around 135-140kg, whereas he does reps of deadlifts with 160-170kg (3-5 reps, so about a 85% 1RM load).

There is no way he could do multiple reps with his power clean load (try multiple heavy olympic lifts sometime), and if you consider it for the leg muscles (which provide a hell of alot of the drive and power to get the load up) as a strength training stimulus, even that isn't really at a high enough level. Do do reps of his power clean it ends up only being about 50% of his deadlift 1RM.

So, the argument of what about the upper body? Well, considering the segmental summation of motion from the leg muscles up, as much as the upper body has to work they aren't exactly having to do as much of the lifting as it seems. Sure, holding the weight at the shoulders is hard, but if you want to do that just do front squats. What if you did the press/jerk???

Well, this should make sense now...The load would have to drop even more to be able to do that as well, so relative demand for the legs reduces EVEN MORE, and then the jerk movement involves considerable leg drive as well as upper body.

Another argument is that cause you're generating so much overall force, you must be recruiting more type II fibers to do the movement. That's all well and good, but consider the overall distribution of load and relative force requirements throughout the body, and as a stimulus for hypertrophy it just doesn't make sense.

Some people are advocating power movements during the rebound/optimization phase following an acute overreaching program, but I fail to see the benefits of that compared to simply reducing volume for a period of time while maintaining high relative training intensities.


i find things like cleans useful at the moment to develop the strength needed to put the bar in place when i do military presses.

O lifts (as you call them) are also a good way to shock your body into growing.

apart from that id say no stick to slower more controlled movements.


Funny you mention it, a mod edited my subject to make it more appealing I suppose. I find cleans useful also, I'll probably just stick with those on my shoulder days.

Thanks for all the input. I'm going to find an experienced power/oly lifter to speak with before I decide to incorporate any other Olympic lifts in my routine.


if anything, i'd argue that olympic lifts are more efficient at adding "overall size" than typical bodybuilding movements... in the muscles involved in the lifts, that is. performing a snatch or a clean and jerk uses considerably more muscle mass than performing say, a curl. this being said, it's only logical that such large complex moves would be superior for said goal.

now, using my same example, would performing a curl be more beneficial, for your biceps, than a snatch or clean and jerk? absolutely. but, performing a curl won't do much for your "overall size" either... while it's most certainly true that modern bodybuilders probably don't do much, if any, olympic lifting, it's also important to understand that this definitely wasn't always the case. and if you've ever actually watched weightlifting during the olympics, the involved athletes usually tend to have impressive leg, shoulder, and arm development... despite their tendency to avoid typical bodybuilding movements for these areas.
not to play devil's advocate here... it's just an observation.


Bodybuilders today surpass any development of people 60 years ago so why would we follow what people from the 50's did?

If olympic lifts led to more size, not one bodybuilder alive would avoid doing them. You seem confused about that.

Do you even follow bodybuilding lately?


Maybe it's meaningless but after I quit fast,jerky lifting (namely oly variations), I could not ever really get my traps properly sore again. The rhomboid area not too much either. Oly is just far more 'traumatic'. I imagine it is the best upper back builder there is, except it does not do anything for lats.


Where's all these top bodybuilding physiques that I can view that were a result of O Lifts?


i'm not confused about anything, sir. i follow modern bodybuilding, sure. and, i completely agree with you that the physiques displayed by modern bodybuilders far, far surpass those of bodybuilders from the golden era. i mean, even arnold himself, at his prime, would get laughed off the stage if he tried to compete in 2009. but the plain and simple fact of the matter is that exercise science has not changed much, if any, since the 50's.

there are clearly other factors at work here. and, considering the number of folks i've witnessed doing "dexter jackson's new and improved fantabulous arm workout" at my gym, you'd think, by your own rationale, that there would be alot more dudes walking around with bigger arms. and this, also, is clearly not the case. look, i know you're an advanced bodybuilder... and also an intelligent guy. but you don't really believe that the modern bodybuilding physique can be attributed to new scientific advances in how to perform 100 year old exercises do you?


Curls may not do much for your overall size, but deadlifts, bent rows and squats certainly will. Most pros use those exercises.