T Nation

Fitting Bodybuidling Training in with Olympic Lifting


I just started taking an olympic lifting class that I'll be going to 2-3 days a week. Usually on tuesdays and fridays and/or saturdays. The coach has me doing hang snatch, hang clean, a slow and controlled deadlift where at the end I rise on to my toes and do a shrug, push-press, front squat and overhead squat. I just started so the list of exercises might get longer eventually.

My question is, how should I go about training for strength/size on the days I'm not olympic lifting? What type of split and what days should I lift to have the two types of training interfere as little as possible with each other while getting adequate recovery? Should I practice the olympic lifts on my own or just stick to more of a BB approach while im not in the class?

I realize this might be hard to answer but I was just wondering what some of you guys who do olympic lifting while also lifting for mass and strength do and how you structure your training?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


I would say its not a problem. If I was in that situation, my approach would be to just take squats and deads out of my bb routine....since youre hitting them in your oly class...treat the rest of the week like normal


Olympic lifting sessions shouldn't get a longer list of exercises, if anything it should reduce and increase in volume. Doesn't sound like a proper Oly coach, more like some kind of gym class or trainer who likes this stuff??

If so, I fundamentally disagree with this style of prescription you are pursuing and you will find it extremely hard to train that way and adding in conventional bodybuilding style training on the off days.

However, if anything, I would suggest on the alternate days you go for moderate weight, highish rep (12-20RM) ranges on isolation style exercises rather than anymore big compound movements. This might help spare your joints. Make sure your nutrition and rest is dialled in, and good luck.


Thanks for the replies guys.

@Ct. Rockulla - I was thinking or something similar.

Something like:
Mon - pull
tues - oly lift
wed - push
thurs - off/Neural charge
fri - oly lift or legs (at about 80% of max training intensity) if not oly lifting
sat - oly lift
sun - off/NC workout

@Gluteus - I really have no idea if the exercise list would increase, I was just guessing cause I figured the volume would increase with my training capacity. But your suggestion now sounds more likely. The coach has been the usa coach at the olympics three seperate times so he must know his stuff. So is the problem you see, that I'm mixing BB training with olympic lifting?
What would you do on your days off from oly lifting if you were in my shoes?


Just don't forget to eat


Why do you want to train in olympic lifting?

If it is to compete eventually then I would cut out all the bodybuilding stuff for at least the first few months. If you just want to "try something new" then it doesn't really matter what you do as long as you can perform the olympic lifts safely and not injure your self.


For right now I just want to train in olympic lifting because it's fun and I want to learn how to perform the lifts with as good as form as I can. I also think the Oly lifts will help with my mobility (I also stretch and do a lot of mobility stuff) and I think it might have some carry over with my normal training. I just love the way they look and the combination of power and technique it takes to perform them with good form. I've always wanted to learn them.

I'm just trying to find a good balance between training for the oly lifts and training to get stronger/bigger while not negatively affecting either aspect of the two.


Got you!

Well it comes down to what you want the most. I can tell you that the olympic lifts aren't that great for size. Yes your legs, lower back and traps will grow BUT don't expect your physique to look better than if you were doing a bodybuilding split.

And again if you want to learn the lifts correctly the last thing you want is for your biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders and forearms to be sore.


As suggested, isolation work, machine based preferably, on the main areas they won't specifically work in Oly training,
-rear delt

Depending on how much deadlifting you are doing you may need to add in some shrugs for upper traps too,

Keep the rep ranges as suggested (moderate load - moderate/high reps) apart from exercises such as biceps, where there isn't much crossover to the Oly lifting you will be doing.
Good luck.