Learning Methods

When anybody first starts doing olympic lifting with a coach, what are some of the first things that they would get them to do.

Example, what if a 16 year old wanted to start but he couldnt even bodyweight squat. Had terrible ankle mobility and hip mobility. What would most coaches actually do?? Would they go ahead trying to teach him? Or do they start off with learning the snatch and clean with a broomstick first

it is a bit hard to snatch and clean if you can’t squat. and it is a bit hard to squat weight if you can’t squat without weight. sort out the squat. you need the mobility to get into the required positions. then you need the mobility to transition between the positions correctly. then when you can do that you get to add weight.

IMO, anyway.

though often people get upset about that and give up the sport…

so i’ve seen people grit their teeth a bit and let people throw around heavier weights that their ego is happier with and just focus on whatever is worst-est.

i had a coach to start with. i had all those problems, too. first thing i learned… started out with the plate loaded front squat. maintain lumbar arch and sit your butt straight down. then i started working powercleans (which is odd, i know).

learn about recovery
learn technique in the lifts
gain some overall strength
gain squat strength

Once the technique is kind of decent, start to add weight. Once one can get to lifting close to their true max and they do it for a few times that will help them stop being afraid and they will have experience in what a max snatch or c&j is like.

In the case you mentioned I’d have them do 1 hour of stretching and foam rolling a day and some power snatch and power cleans from the hip with just the ba and once they have the flexibility do the full lifts from the hip.

there is always the diet that one can sort out and learn about in the meantime

oh okay thats cool. I was just curious about these teaching methods.

Cause a lot of my friends come up to me and try and learn to squat. But the only thing I teach them are mobility stuff because I know they wont be able to do it properly.

Also I’v seen juniors from the professional sporting teams (you would know the raiders alexus) half squatting. Of course I know it is hard to teach a large group to squat but I was just curious.

Also do you work on ankle mobility a lot there, or do the shoes help enough for them??

Regarding the half squatting or above, I’ve seen athletics athletes did that…

Dynamic stretches
Bar work
Learning to lift
General strength work (bent over rows, pull ups, dips, military press, deadlifts, inclines it ups, hyper extensions, do 2 a session)

Once their mobility is better we can start to increase teh amount of OLift work.

You can do Jerks/ Rack Jerks with the lifter and at least get that strong if they can’t squat properly. It will take time but it can be done. It’s taken this guy with literally the worst genetics I’ve ever seen in 12yrs of competiting/ coaching about 18months to squat properly. He can squat properly but he isn’t entirely stable over head in the Sn yet. He’s done about 3 comps and he’s done about 55 or 60 and 80. He has a really really good work ethic in the gym though.


working the jerk in the meantime does make sense. I think it takes quite a long time to get used to it and be able to balance yourself in that position.