T Nation

Getting to The Next Level?

i’m 19 years old, weigh around 97 kg. Squat around 385 lbs, snatch about 85 kg, clean 112, jerk 102, and i’ve only been training for OL for about 3 months.

My question is, how do I get to the next level? Did i get into the sport too late in life? How do I become like John North, Kendrick Farris, and Illyin?

Is it just years and years of perfect training? How does one get invited to train in Colorado? I know some of the best of all time were taken in to train at a young age, how did they achieve this? afford it?

[quote]chazz19 wrote:
i’m 19 years old, weigh around 97 kg. Squat around 385 lbs, snatch about 85 kg, clean 112, jerk 102, and i’ve only been training for OL for about 3 months.

My question is, how do I get to the next level? Did i get into the sport too late in life? How do I become like John North, Kendrick Farris, and Illyin?

Is it just years and years of perfect training? How does one get invited to train in Colorado? I know some of the best of all time were taken in to train at a young age, how did they achieve this? afford it?[/quote]

Well, Jon didn’t start training the lifts until he was in his early 20s. But he seems to have had a natural talent for them. Kendrick and Ilin (and just about every other olympian in the sport) began training for it before they hit puberty.

When you say the next level, you need to realize that you are still a beginner when it comes to lifting. It will take you years of practice and patience to get anywhere near where even the top US guys are. If you want to get invited to train at the OTC in Colorado Springs, you’ll need to show exceptional promise in your weight class, placing at national events with decent technique.

Thanks for the reply. I guess what I’m asking is how can I minimize the time it takes to (if ever) become elite? How will I ever find the time to train twice a day (once it becomes necessary down the road) while still having a job, etc? Is it just about strength?

Many of the top lifters don’t train 2x a day. The MDUSA guys train 9 times a week. How to minimize the time to become elite? Find a good coach.

What do you mean “is it just about strength?” If you mean success in the sport, no it’s not. There are many powerlifters who are much stronger than olympic lifters. But they aren’t winning olympic medals.

[quote]chazz19 wrote:
My question is, how do I get to the next level? Did i get into the sport too late in life? How do I become like John North, Kendrick Farris, and Illyin?[/quote]

I find it amusing how you ordered those lifters, as Jon North is a good lifter, but Kendrick Farris is on another level in my opinion as a two-time Olympian and the top American lifter for the last however many years, and Ilyin is on another level entirely as a two-time Olympic champion and senior world record holder.

You certainly didn’t start too late to go to national competitions, maybe even make national teams and compete internationally if you have a talent for the sport, but that’s looking pretty far ahead when you have yet to snatch your bodyweight, I think.

[quote]chazz19 wrote:
Is it just years and years of perfect training? How does one get invited to train in Colorado? I know some of the best of all time were taken in to train at a young age, how did they achieve this? afford it?[/quote]

Years of monotony, drudgery, pain, failure, frustration, and the occasional triumph. This sport can be intensely frustrating, but that is part of what makes it so immensely rewarding when you put the time in.

I’m Canadian so I don’t know shit about the OTC in Colorado.

[quote]chazz19 wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I guess what I’m asking is how can I minimize the time it takes to (if ever) become elite? How will I ever find the time to train twice a day (once it becomes necessary down the road) while still having a job, etc? Is it just about strength?[/quote]

Like nkkllll said, find a good coach, and do what he tells you. The LSUS program, which Kendrick Farris has been on his entire career, is only 5 days a week and focuses more on getting you stronger, at the expense of less time doing the competition lifts. However, at some point, you are probably going to have to find a way to train around school/work, or do school/work around training. Pretty hard to have your cake and eat it too if you want to compete at an elite level.

Just about strength? Well, you can’t count out flexibility, mobility, speed, power, technique, dedication, durability . . .

Yeah, the three lifters he listed are basically 3 classes of lifters. Maybe very good for Jon, elite for Kendrick, and world class for Ilyin. Jon is at least looking to make moves though. Looks like he’s getting at least a little stronger under Mash.

Also, I wonder if the structure of the LSUS program is the reason why Kendrick seems to have such trouble with his snatch. His C&J seems to at least match up with the other people in the A sessions, but consistently snatches less than people 2, sometimes even 3 weight classes below him. Maybe he doesn’t get quite enough practice with the snatch.

To be honest it will take years of progress before you’d even need to approach twice daily training. And eveb fter years, unless you are at ttthe top of the pool, it’s doubtful you’d eveb need to train twice dsily most of tge week. Basically it takes time, oractice and a heap of learning. Don’t fret about time scales or fous on a decade ahead when you might need to train 10+ sessions per week focus on getting a solid base of technique in.

As a lifter of 2 years the most important factors that I think would have meant a faster progression for me are finding a good coach and learning solid technique. Don’t be swayed by the likes of Mark Rippletoe who suggest strength is everything. Technique is key and needs to be prioritised above everything else. Your own lifts indicate this; your squat is OK yet your OLs are still no where near.