T Nation

How Quickly can I Progress on the Snatch and C&J?

I’m interested in Olympic lifting and would like to get decently good at it.

I have about 3-4 years lifting experience. One as a HS freshman, a year off, then one as a junior. Then, another year off and then probably 1.5-2 years of experience on and off (missed a few weeks here and there, and just came off of a 8 month layoff 6 weeks ago). Since I started back I’ve just been doing the Starting Strength program and progressing linearly (adding 5 lbs. to sets every squat day, 3 lbs every bench and OH press day and 10 pounds for the deadlift 5RM on Fridays). I think it would be a good idea to at least exhaust my gains on this program before moving to anything else.

I’m 5’4", 21 yrs, 145 lbs. 10% BF.
Here are my best lifts currently:
1x5x270 squat (3-4 inches below parallel) hang power clean 187 (caught in half squat)
1rm no straps, mixed grip 365 deadlift 1x270 lbs. deadlift double overhand, no straps
1x5x330 deadlift w/ straps Overhead squat max is probably like 115,
~130 Overhead press maybe higher though, I don’t know.

I had an Olympic lifting class at the university last Fall and got a 125 full snatch after 2-3 months. We didn’t really do anything very heavy in the class very often and I was weaker than I am now in everything else. This was the first time I practiced the snatch, and outside of 3-4 months of power cleans in high school, the only time I’ve really trained the clean or any derivation for any significant period of time.

I think if I got my form good when the weights are heavier I could still do 125, at best 135. Here is me doing 95 lbs. and trying to drop under the bar (this is power snatch/little lighter than power snatch weight): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCs9pkL4WoE

Right now, I’m guessing I can snatch anywhere between 120 worst case to 130-135 best case, and 175 worst case to 200 best case in the C&J.

I’d like to add 30-40 lbs. to the snatch and to the clean and jerk within 1-2 years. How realistic is this?

depending on just how committed you are to getting better, adding 30-40 lbs is the lifts for a relative beginner is very attainable.

Just train hard and hopefully get a coach and you should do fine, you look pretty flexible and look like a good athlete.

Ok. What is the least amount of time you think I could meet those goals, and what would you think it would probably take? I don’t know if I’d be able to get a coach around here, I live in a small town and there is only one serious gym around here where I go and I don’t think there are too many coaches around. I learned some in the class I had and I’ve been reading a little about them and watching videos of people that are good at it (Markov, Boevski, Dimas, Huster, etc.) I’m probably going to be getting some Olympic lifting shoes soon.

I’ve also got a few other goals I’d like to get within 1-2 years, but I don’t know if these would interfere with the other:
400 squat
450 deadlift
300 bench
180 OH press
1x5xBW+50lbs pullups

  1. Yes, get Olympic lifting shoes.

  2. Don’t worry about numbers, or especially in the deadlift/bench/etc. Worry about focusing on technique in the snatch and c&j (keep watching videos, evaluate yourself, look for a coach), and squat heavy and often. Your technique is already pretty damn good, so once you keep practicing the lifts and their power variations, and as you get stronger, you will become a good lifter.

My full squat clean technique isn’t as good though. Once its any lower than a quarter squat depth power clean my back angle is like that of high bar squat, maybe even more bent over. Couple things I can think of is knee/quad flexibility and ankle mobility and that I may not know the right cues for the front squat. I feel like I should push my knees out in front of my toes instead of “sitting back” but its difficult to get below a half squat using that cue. If I try to drop real far under it I end up on my toes.Same thing with my back squat (a medium stance, medium bar) but as soon as I “sit back” I can get 3-4 inches below parallel with admittedly pretty good form (not losing my back arch, etc.) even with work set weight.

I suppose these issues will get better with raised heel shoes, but I don’t think they’ll completely disappear. I can’t even get past a half squat depth with squat (overhead, back, front, high bar) unless I’ve got at least 30% of my max in that type squat (if I keep my chest up and arch in my back). I’ve always just disregarded this since I’ve been able to do it right with work set weight, but I was watching a video of an Olympic silver medalist’s coach (Ho I think) and he was doing full snatch and c&j form perfectly with just a bar and tennis shoes. I’d assume he could do a perfect squat with just the bar and tennis shoes too. I also heard Shane Hamman say when he switched from powerlifting he practiced with just a broomstick for a month and just the bar for another before training the Olympic lifts. Anything that light I couldn’t do good form at all, at least as far as depth on the catching portions go.

Also with heavy snatch weight I’m still kind of timid dropping under it. Yesterday I was doing hang snatches (although I shouldn’t have I did a 5rm and 1rm deadlift the day before) and could pull 137 to about upper chest or chin height but “couldn’t” drop under it. I pressed it up to try to front squat with it and I couldn’t do even one with it.

Forget the numbers and just LIFT…

Do you really want someone to say you can lift XXX in a year? It makes no sense…

A guy I@m coaching snatched 57kg in March or so. He did 80kg a few weeks ago, thats 23kg in about 5months. He’s very strong and worked on his mobility A LOT. When I mean A LOT I mean A LOT. Most people DO NOT WORK HARD ENOUGH ON MOBILITY/ or DO NOT LISTEN PROPERLY. He only trains with me once a week (DeepSquat aka Regieski)

You WILL NEED A COACH to stack on 40lbs on to your Snatch.

Your strong but thats only half the battle. Once you have done at least 500 Snatch’s your technique will be A LOT BETTER.

30-40lbs in your first year is well obtainable if you train 2-3x a week, work your mobility so you can do the FULL LIFTS.

I’m aiming for my DeepSquat to put on at least 10kg on to his Snatch before the year is over. OxMan at least 12kg.

Koing

[quote]wookieeassassin wrote:
Also with heavy snatch weight I’m still kind of timid dropping under it. Yesterday I was doing hang snatches (although I shouldn’t have I did a 5rm and 1rm deadlift the day before) and could pull 137 to about upper chest or chin height but “couldn’t” drop under it. I pressed it up to try to front squat with it and I couldn’t do even one with it.[/quote]

This is because you lack the technique mate. Your pulling WITH YOUR ARMS, which counts for jack sh!t when your OLifting. You pull the bar with your hips driving up, going on to your toes and shrugging.

YOUR ARMS ONLY BEND TO PULL YOURSELF UNDER THE BAR. If your bars are loaded (pulling the bar up) you can’t get under the bar!

Get a coach and start to f0cking smash it and lift big.

HOW COMMITTED ARE YOU TO LIFTING BIG WEIGHTS? Regieski drives at least 70-80mins to come train 1-2x a week.

Your strong, but do you have what it takes to find a club, be humble and train and take a few step backwards to reach your goals of 30-40lbs in a year?

I see it all to often with strong people not committed enough to take a step backwards, to work HARD on their mobility issues EVERY DAY, take instruction from a coach…

Koing

I can only do so much man. I certainly don’t have the money for a coach, my gym membership is already sometimes hard for me to pay, and I don’t have 3-4 hour blocks of time during the day to drive to a club. I can do a couple hours max

[quote]wookieeassassin wrote:
I can only do so much man. I certainly don’t have the money for a coach, my gym membership is already sometimes hard for me to pay, and I don’t have 3-4 hour blocks of time during the day to drive to a club. I can do a couple hours max[/quote]

Find a coach that doesn’t charge…my coach never charged me any £££.

What about weekends? Fit in a coach/ contact a lifter coach to see if you could train with him. This sport is going to be very tough without a coach.

Good luck and smash it up! OR post videos of your lifts like another dude on his Snatch. His Snatch has improved quite a bit from the feedback he has gotten. Thats the next best thing imo.

Koing

There’s a former (maybe current, what do I know) Olympic lifter who was/is pretty good at the gym I go to. She’s the one that taught the Olympic class last fall. I was thinking about talking to her about it but I’m pretty sure she’s going to want some money for her time, she trains a lot of people. Also, I don’t know if I really want to ask her about it just yet, I don’t feel I’m generally strong enough to be focusing on a specific training method just yet, at least to the point of paying someone to help me out. Like I said I’m still getting stronger every workout doing simple linear progression with the Starting Strength program and think I can continue doing that for probably a month at least.

I’m also on the fence about the bench, squat, deadlift and OH press. I’ll obviously train the overhead press and the high bar variation of the squat doing Olympic stuff, but I’d think I’d maybe like to go to a raw powerlifting meet in a year or two and do OK at that. There aren’t any meets for overhead press as far as I know, but I’d like to get strong at that too. Maybe I’m trying to be too good at everything (bench, squat, deadlift, press, snatch, clean and jerk) and should really focus on one set of goals (bench, squat, deadlift or snatch and clean and jerk), at least for a while.

In the long run though I would like to be pretty strong at all 6 of those. I want all my lifts to be what I’d consider strong and then I think I’d be comfortable just being ok with that. I’d like to go to a meet or two for both lifting sports, but I don’t know if I’d be interested in being a serious competitor in the long run. I’ve got career stuff to be concerned with and all.

[quote]wookieeassassin wrote:
There’s a former (maybe current, what do I know) Olympic lifter who was/is pretty good at the gym I go to. She’s the one that taught the Olympic class last fall. I was thinking about talking to her about it but I’m pretty sure she’s going to want some money for her time, she trains a lot of people. Also, I don’t know if I really want to ask her about it just yet, I don’t feel I’m generally strong enough to be focusing on a specific training method just yet, at least to the point of paying someone to help me out. Like I said I’m still getting stronger every workout doing simple linear progression with the Starting Strength program and think I can continue doing that for probably a month at least.

I’m also on the fence about the bench, squat, deadlift and OH press. I’ll obviously train the overhead press and the high bar variation of the squat doing Olympic stuff, but I’d think I’d maybe like to go to a raw powerlifting meet in a year or two and do OK at that. There aren’t any meets for overhead press as far as I know, but I’d like to get strong at that too. Maybe I’m trying to be too good at everything (bench, squat, deadlift, press, snatch, clean and jerk) and should really focus on one set of goals (bench, squat, deadlift or snatch and clean and jerk), at least for a while.

In the long run though I would like to be pretty strong at all 6 of those. I want all my lifts to be what I’d consider strong and then I think I’d be comfortable just being ok with that. I’d like to go to a meet or two for both lifting sports, but I don’t know if I’d be interested in being a serious competitor in the long run. I’ve got career stuff to be concerned with and all.

[/quote]

Do you wnat to Olympic lift or not? THAT ist he question mate. If you do, find a club/ lifter and train OLYLMPIC LIFTING. You are already plenty strong, you just do not have COACHING FOR THE OLYMPIC LIFTS. YOU WILL NOT SNATCH 100KG EVER WITHOUT COACHING.

The SOONER YOU GET THE COACHING THE SOONER YOU CAN F0CKING SNATCH 100KG.

It really is as simple as that.

DeepSquat drives 70-80minutes ONE WAY to come train. Find a lifter that is willing to help. You can spend 90minutes to on a Saturday.

Koing

I have to agree. dont wait. the longer you go lifting in your particular manner, the harder a time it will be to teach you the lifts, and the more challenge it will be to get good and strong at them.

My dream is a kid 12 to 15 who has never lifted before in his life. My nightmare is an 18 year old who has been lifting on his own for 3 years. Thats speaking as a coach. There are fewer things that are harder to overcome than the kid who has decided he had to say, deadlift 300lbs, or 400lbs, before starting OL and seeking a bit of coaching.

I dont know where the myth that you have to have a certain amount of general strength before you start OL came from. Personally, I believe the less strength you have when you start the better, the less strength you have at the start the easier it will be to get you to the point where you get, say, 300lbs over your head.

glenn

[quote]glenn pendlay wrote:
I have to agree. dont wait. the longer you go lifting in your particular manner, the harder a time it will be to teach you the lifts, and the more challenge it will be to get good and strong at them.

My dream is a kid 12 to 15 who has never lifted before in his life. My nightmare is an 18 year old who has been lifting on his own for 3 years. Thats speaking as a coach. There are fewer things that are harder to overcome than the kid who has decided he had to say, deadlift 300lbs, or 400lbs, before starting OL and seeking a bit of coaching.

I dont know where the myth that you have to have a certain amount of general strength before you start OL came from. Personally, I believe the less strength you have when you start the better, the less strength you have at the start the easier it will be to get you to the point where you get, say, 300lbs over your head.

glenn[/quote]

OxMan ‘wanted’ to wait until September to train and this was back in March!!! I convinced him to come down and to train and now he’s done 71/87 @ 75. You ask him if it’s the best decision he’s made in a while?

The sooner you get training the sooner you can make in roads on shifting big weights!

MAKE THE COMMITMENT.

Koing

The real Glenn Pendlay?

Like I said, I think my problem is that I want to be good at too many things. I’m hesitant to start a full Olympic training program because I’m concerned that my strength on the bench press, deadlift, pullups (or maybe even squat) may stay the same or even get worse.

As of right now my raw powerlifting total is ~895; I think it’d be cool to eventually get the ADAU’s ‘elite’ total of 1185 (290 lbs. away). My hesitation to start a dedicated Olympic training program is also probably greater due to the fact that I’m still making workout to workout progress on Starting Strength.

However, I’m also not satisfied with my Olympic lifts and know they aren’t really going to improve drastically unless I train them. My first inclination is to start the Texas Method and train the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk as one of the three main lifts during the week:
mon: 10x2 snatches, wed: light clean and jerk, fri: 5x1 snatches
alt. w/
mon: 8x3 C&J, wed: light snatches, fri: 5x1 C&J

but I don’t know very much about Olympic lifting at all and I don’t know how well that would turn out (assuming that my form of the lifts was good, which I guess is unlikely).

The only other concern of mine has to do with weight classes. Being a former high school wrestler (only freshman year), the whole aspect of cutting weight is not something I’m interested in. The reason I quit was the seemingly constant periods of being hungry, thirsty, feeling awful, etc. while still having multi-hour practices every day.

I assume that if I got a coach or asked a lifter to help me on what to do, they would probably feel it was a waste of their time if I wasn’t willing to cut weight to be more competitive. I’d also kind of feel like I was wasting their time as they could probably be helping other people at it who are interested in being competitors.

In fact, it probably wouldn’t make sense to a coach or a lifter that I’m not extremely interested in competing to be “the best”, I’d just like to meet goals I’ve set for myself, numbers that I would consider strong. To make it even stranger, telling that person that I’d like to qualify for the collegiate nationals before I graduate in 2 years.

I could probably qualify for the 62kg class already, or be within 5kg of the total, but the qualifying total for the last two years for 69kg is 25-30 kg more than what I’m guessing mine is now. Like I said, I’m not terribly concerned with winning or being in the top 3 or so, but since I feel I have a decent chance at qualifying I think it’d be something interesting to do before I finish with college.

After all, the next couple of years will be my only chance to do Collegiate and I seriously doubt that I’d even have a chance to qualify for anything else (American open, Nationals) after college without years and years of very dedicated training, which I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up once I have a career to worry about.

I hover around 144.5 lbs right now, and about the highest I ever go is a little under 146. If I lost about 4 lbs. I’d probably be around 7% body fat (what the state of NC wouldn’t allow us to be under in high school wrestling), which would leave around 4 more pounds of weight to cut in order to do the 62kg/136.6lb. class. On the other hand, I’d be a pretty small 69kg/152lb. lifter, weighing only 145 lbs. (if I don’t lose a little extra body fat).

But then again, I’m not so much interesting in being one of the best/winning/whatever, as I am of just getting my lifts to what I consider to be strong, for my own personal benefit. The Collegiate thing is really just something I think I’d like to do while I have a chance, but like I said, I would kind of feel like I was wasting the person who would help me’s time with that attitude.

??? I guess I’m really indecisive… ??? What are your recommendations?

I recommend you GROW A PAIR AND F0CKING LIFT

You have a lot of ambition = f0cking great BUT you lack ANY DIRECTION TO GET ANYWHERE, your talking way way ahead of yourself.

What do you need as a 62kg or 69kg to qualify? You haven’t even done a comp yet.

ANY REASONABLE coach would forget making you cut until they can see WHAT YOU CAN LIFT AND HOW YOUR PROGRESS IS AFTER 3-6MONTHS. Then they can gauge what the plan is. Is it realistic for you to qualify and as a 62kg when dropping 7-9lbs? OR would it be easier for you to put on some lbs and qualify as a 69kg lifter?

You need to MAKE YOUR F0CKING MIND UP.

OLift : OLifts go up, your squat goes up, your DL will marginally increase, just do it once a week or so and it’ll improve, your DL will change to be more of an OLift ty pe where your shoulders are over the bar = lift less outright DL weight, if you want the BP to go up, do it once a week…mine went up 22kg in 6 weeks when I BP once a week, I rarely BP as I can’t be f0cked but did 100kg for 16reps the other day off the cuff, I’m sure if you trained it once a week yours would go up also.

DL : pl squat, bench press, dl goes up, OLifts do not unless you train them

I was doing a lot of sports but I decided to focus on my OLifts. You can’t do Gymnastics, mma, hurdling and OLift man…as well as the other stuff I do for fun. So I sacked it all off and only OLift.

JACK OF ALL TRADES AND MASTER OF NONE

It doesn’t matter what routine your on, you need a coach if you plan on qualifying for Nationals. There will be very few lifters at the Nationals that do not have a coach AT ALL. OLifting is a sport where you at least need a coach to get the fundamentals down.

If you came to my club I would tell you to STFU, get you doing lots of bar work and introducing more lifts from the floor as well as hammering your squats, overall strength exercises (dips, pull ups, bent over rows, abs, back). If you didn’t listen I would tell you to GTFO and stop wasting my time. COUPLED with the fact that your not paying me so I only want guys that WANT TO COMPETE, LISTEN AND HAVE BALLS. Your level of strength means jack sh!t to me. I can work on that but I can’t work on the 3 qualities I listed above. You need them within yourself.

Listen to the solid advice here and GO FIND A COACH/ LIFTER/ CLUB and TRAIN. I want to see you Snatch 100kg, not talk about qualifying and getting NO WHERE.

Koing

^^^Well said!! You have to pick a sport (or two) and just get after it!!

I rarely laying presses as I can’t be f0cked but did 100kg for 16reps the other day off the cuff, I’m sure if you trained it once a week yours would go up also.

corrected it for you koing :wink:

[quote]Koing wrote:

YOU WILL NOT SNATCH 100KG EVER WITHOUT COACHING.

Koing[/quote]

Koing, I challenge that assertion.

Wookie, are you in NC? That looks exactly like Stratiform, the gym of champions to me. If so send me a message as I train there as well. In the meantime - going off the assumption you’re at strat - ask Naomi to watch you she is also at least a club coach and an accomplished competitor.

[quote]ape288 wrote:

[quote]Koing wrote:

YOU WILL NOT SNATCH 100KG EVER WITHOUT COACHING.

Koing[/quote]

Koing, I challenge that assertion.
[/quote]

Lets see it then…what are your PB’s at the moment? I think your are a chunk higher then the other dudes though?

Koing