T Nation

Fitting in Olympic Lifts

Does anyone have any advice for how and where to fit Olympic lifts into my routine?

I’m currently doing Joe De Franco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards with only one day devoted to lower body because I play rugby on the weekends.

So basically what I’m asking is - can I do cleans on the same day as heavy squats / deadlifts? If so, should they go before or after?

I hear that Olympic lifts are easier to recover from because they have no eccentric portion - is that true? If so I assume I should just do cleans one or two days before my lower body day?

Can I perform Olympic lifts effectively whilst still fatiuged from my lower body day because I’ll be using a sub-optimal load? Or would that lead to overtraining?

Miley, how old are you?

I ask this because a young man can recover from just about anything he throws at his body. You would be amazed at how easily your body can adapt given that you are sleeping and eating enough, as well as keeping your stress levels as low as possible.

Do not be too concerned about fitting in Olympic lifting to your “leg day”. Olympic weightlifters often work out every day, and they do some sort of squatting variation on top of cleaning and snatching about every other day.

If you are really concerned about it, do the Olympic lifts a few days out from your leg day.


I’m 18 and I’ve been lifting weights since I was about 16, BUT for some reason I have always had a problem with recovery (especially with my legs) - I do a legs workout on Tuesday and I’m still not 100% recovered on Saturday when I have a match. I know this is weird cos everyone says young guys should recover quickly! I know I eat enough - I’m bordering on eating too much!

The only thing that’s missing is a decent amount of sleep - I get up early to go to work so I get about 7 hours a night, but 7 hours a night should be enough to recover before Saturday shouldn’t it??? Hopefully it’ll get better when I’ve been doing WS4SB for a while cos up until 2 weeks ago my entire leg workout consisted of 5 sets of 5 squats and now I’m really blasting my legs with squats plus some assistance exercises.

I’m gonna be honest - my main reason for wanting to do a bit of Olympic lifting is just for the trap development - I’ve been told that’s a more efficient way of training them than with a huge volume of shrugs (which doesn’t sound particularly appealing and I don’t really have the time). With that in mind, if leg recovery continues to be a problem, would it be worth doing something like a hanging clean high pull? Basically, something that removes the bottom element of the lift to minimize leg involvement but keeps the shrugging movement and (as a bonus) the power element of the lift?

And if so, would you recommend doing them as part of my upper body day, which is the day before my legs day?

Sorry to throw all this at you - I promise I’m not trying to get you to plan my routine for me! I just want to make the most of someone on this forum who actually knows what he’s talking about!

Take of for what it is worth but recently on my Squat and Dead days I have been throwing in DB Snatches and Power Cleans working up to a damn near ME effort. I feel it really gets my blood flowing, loosens me up, helps me get my body moving all at once, and really gets me some extra pop espeacially out of the hole in Squats. I also follow the conjugate method not so much Westside as I Train primarily for Strongman but, I follow 90% of westsides system… atleast to the best of my knowledge of the system.

I don’t see a problem at all with adding them in before Squats as said they seem to help me get everything firing on all cylinders and also your much more burnt out after ME Sqautting and Pulling than Oly Lifts. so working up to heavy 80-90% or so for some singles and doubles would not hurt your Squats half as much LR atleast don’t mine.

Last note if trap development is your main goal Heavy Strapped in Clean High Pulls and Snatch High Pulls are all you’ll ever need nothing obliterates my traps and upper back like high pulls… oh and Pendley Rows basically a a explosive Bar Row.

Thanks for the help guys.

I’ve decided to do (“hang”) clean high pulls, normal and snatch grip, like you suggested to hit the traps. What does a snatch grip offer other than a lower starting position if I lift from the floor? Ben Bruno did an article about snatch grip being better for the whole back which is never a bad thing!

One last question (and sorry for digressing so far from the topic) - how can I be sure how heavy to go? With a proper clean I guess you’d know because you just wouldn’t catch the bar properly, but with a high pull it’s a bit unclear.

What does a snatch grip offer [/quote]

Only thing i can tell you is, since i started doing a bunch of stuff with a snatch grip like (klokovs, muscle snatches, hang muscle snatches, power snatches , behind the neck push presses)

my shoulders, upper back and traps have gotten noticably more jacked looking , and stuff with a normal grip is easier than it was.

I feel like i am doing them properly when the bar gets to my chin and im able to do a slight “face pull” type action with it at the top. (slightly pulling it towards yourself at the top.)

When its too heavy you feel like your using your lumbar too much , and you dont feel those rear delts getting pumped up like they should .