T Nation

First Self-Made Olympic Program


hey guys, i just put together and started my first olympic lift style setup. before i had used premade templates used by others and fell in love with the lifts. let me know what you guys think and throw some comments this way if you would be so kind!

Monday (80% 1RM)
Power Clean Into Full Front Squat 3x3-5
Back Squat (debating throwing these out as my legs are jello by the time i finish the power cleans)- 3x3-5
Seated Rows - 3x3-6
Weighted Dip - 4x3-6
Chins/Pull ups - 4x3-6
Curl Variations - 2x20
Tricep Work Variations - 2x20

Wednesday (90% 1RM)
Snatch Into Overhead Full Squat - 3x3-5
Deadlifts or Glute Raises - 3x10
Chins/Pull Ups - 3xFail
Face Pulls - 3x10
Shrugs - 3x15
Farmer Walks - 2 Sets

Friday (75% 1RM)
Clean and Press - 4x4-6
Front Squat - 4x4-6
Chins/Pull ups - 4x4-6
Bench Press Variation - 4x4-6
Bent Over Rows - 4x4-6
Calf Raises - 4x25


Your volume seems really high. Make sure you keep an eye on your progress.

I'd add some light technique work if I were you. Like 10x3 hang snatches using 50% of max. It's a good way to warm up too.

Train hard.


yeah that was actually the first thing i realized when i finished writing this out. ive never been the greatest with determining what kind of volumes to work with and setting up rep/set schemes.

should i drop the compound lifts all to 3 sets? or maybe lower the weight used?

love your avatar btw


Try what you have and if you start losing intensity in the gym and gains stop, drop a few unessential exercises.

Eat a horse everyday and get 9 hours of sleep every night to make sure you can handle as much as possible.


sounds good mate, thanks for the advice. im probably going to have to drop the intensity next week when classes start back up, but i got the eating thing down!


Your volume does seem a little high IMO. Mine's kind of similar, but less iso's. Everything is ramped except chins and the press variations:

Warmup on heavy bag, jumping jacks, b.w. squats, jump rope, barbell complex (pick and choose among these), then:

C&J 5-7x 1-4 %varies
Back squat w.u. then 5/3/1 routine
Supported Row 3-4x5-15
OHS or snatch balance 3-4x whatever (lightish, technique focus)


Snatch 5-7x1-4 %varies
Bench w.u. then 5/3/1 routine
Snatch Pulls 3-4x 1-4 up to 107%
Vertical press variant 50-60% 3-4x10ish
Core/Ab 3-4x whatever


C&J 5-7x1-4 %varies
Front Squat w.u. then 5/3/1 routine
Chin 3-4x 8-15
OHS or snatch balance 3-4x whatever (lightish, technique focus)


Snatch 5-7x1-4 %varies
Push Press w.u. then 5/3/1 routine
Clean Pulls 3-4x 1-4 Up to 107%
Horizontal press variant 50-60% 3-4x10ish
Core/Ab 3-4x whatever


Rotate back to first day

Cardio (running) on some days off.



I just started the www.performancemenu.com programming. Its a lot less volume, but 3 days on 1 off 2 on 1 off. I'm liking it so far. Its alternated in 4 week olympic and strength blocks. In the olympic blocks you pretty much do the oly lifts heavy, then in the strength blocks you drill technique with basic strength lifts. A description of the programming is here:

Mikesgym.org had this template, which looked interesting to me:

The other thing I liked about both templates is the competition day, where you work up to maxes for the day once a week in the snatch, clean and jerk, and maybe front/back squat.

I'm just throwing some more ideas out there, good luck w/ your training.


Is your program supposed to help your OL or help you look good naked...??

has as much to do with OLs as joggers have to do with running a good 800m, ..actually less...

seriously you need to work out what you want to do..


a bit of both to be honest. because of back problems i really cant push myself too hard with some of these lifts, but i really enjoy doing them. my goal right now is to put on size and strength, im less concerned about how i look until it gets warmer out, which is why i want to do this for a few months, then switch to something that tones me up more, i e superhero program.

biggest thing is i am trying to switch up my routines a bit. got tired of doing the same lifts for several years.


You gonna learn the O Lifts on your own? cause if you are its probably not going to help your back problems. Also, if you're looking to put on size, O Lifts are probably not the best option. O Lifting is like 80% speed and technique and maybe 20% muscular size/strength. Note Taner Sagir, that skinny bastard can snatch 175kilos and he's like under 170lbs at 5'7

Not to rain on your parade, but the program you have is focusing on too many different things. If you want to develop the explosiveness, speed, coordination, and flexibility associated with O Lifting, you're probably gonna wanna focus on JUST O Lifting. Forget iso work, forget benching, forget curls. Otherwise there are better options avalible.


From people I have seen who were very good at Ol they / we did around 4 exercises per workout, 3-4 times per week, took slightly longer rests and lifted always with maximun / or near max speed.

More work than that equalled less speed, less speed = poorer technique and less power.

Heavy pulling will take care of your back for a while so the big bber spread of exercies is kind of superfulous, if you have the energy to do them you have left too much on the platform.

What you have will give you some Ol and general muscle strength.

To separate you from others and make your Ol stand out, you would need to work more just on OL.

What ever you want, you are doing it for you, so good luck with your training..


Doing the olympic lifts to get huge is a bad idea. You will get strong, but you won't get jacked. The accessory work--heavy pulls, heavy squats every work out--is what makes olympic lifters strong. If you are wanting a beach body stick to BB.


Heavy squats and presses won't make you big?


Not at -5 reps.


Not at the rep ranges most oly lifters use; 1-3 sometimes 5.


Its not that his volume 'seems really high,' it simply is.

In fact, to be quite honest, your routine lacks substance, it almost looks like you put it together without any knowledge of how to properly train.

Let me give it to you straight, read. read. read.

in the meantime, cut the volume by at least 50%, finish your workouts under 60 minutes, look into some translated russian material, and repeat.

Also, may I add that proper rest periods are the most important part of training, in fact, all that writing you have is basically useless without the mention of how long you will rest between the next set/rep.

also, you might want to include cluster/drop sets in your programming, you know...so it just makes sense; oh...and so it works.


wow ha... i really thought when i wrote my program out i was like alright, this looks good, surely i will get positive feedback on this! the sad thing is i spent almost a whole week during christmas reading almost nonstop on olympic training and the program i wrote was similar to many of the samples of guys that i read about, but apparently i didnt learn jack shit from what you guys are telling me. as i mentioned before, right now all i want to work on is my strength, explosive strength more specifically, because of all of the strength i lost from breaking my back years ago.

i am probably doing it all wrong, but when i am in the gym, i really dont take very long breaks at all between lifts, i hate standing around or sitting there. generally when i finish a set, i go do another set of something else, then come back to the other. i guess an A1/A2 sort of thing. im usually not in the gym more than 30-40 minutes unless im tired or slacking that day.

anyway, i will do more research and try to turn this thing around. thanks for the info everyone, all i can do from this is improve.


Try theuofh's recommendation--follow the performancemenu.com's cycles for 2 months. They just finished up a strength cycle and started a new "bulgarian" cycle, so I'd recommend following a cycle behind: do the strength cycle first, then the current one. That will give you a much better flavor for this style of training than anything you can come up with on your own.


did you factor in your level of preparedness? remember, its not about routines, its about the full monte; diet, nutrition, recovery, and THEN training all coexisting as secondary to correctly applying that to your genetics.

also, you cant stand sitting around? well you cant stand being brutally strong can you? as one guy said, what are you trying to do here?
do you understand the impact that heavy training, be it cleans, overhead presses, or squats have on your cns? the way it taxes your system and inhibits you from doing it over, and over at the same level of intensity.
each set is supposed to setup the next set, in regards to not only how much weight is lifted, but injury prevention, my friend if you want to succeed, first make a choice, stick to that choice, and if you believe you can, you already have.

the residual training effect of a well thought out program can catapult you to whatever you desire, but just winging it will slingshot you down into obscurity.
dont be like most people; dont be an average gym rat reluctant to get a compliment; happy to be among the norm.

listen to your body, and this is huge....REST.

and if you think im taking this serious, i take everything serious, dont hold it against me.


no absolutely not, i appreciate the bluntness. like i said it can do nothing but help me at this point and i can always use as much help as i can. im not worried about the nutrition aspect as ive been working on that for years. i actually took your advice on resting between sets today and im not nearly as taxed after as i usually am. my buddy who i used to lift with was a fucking psycho when it came to lifting, and it just rubbed off on me.

when he would train in the off season and was going through his cycles, he would just blow through lifts non stop, one after the other, and seeing how much the bastard grew i just followed in his footsteps. perhaps this is why after a few weeks im so goddamn tired and taxed, walkin around campus seems like a hell of a task! haha. but i will definitely give the performance menu site a shot and see how that goes! once again, thanks everyone for the help!