T Nation

Learning Olympic Lifts while Powerlifting


I actually got into powerlifting from doing Olympic lifting. I like both, but I preferred the autonomy I got from powerlifting, since my experience with olympic lifting needed a coach or a team setting to train with. When I did olympic lifting in the past, I wasn’t very strong and don’t think I was lifting heavy enough to get any real stimulus. After 8 weeks I was able to clean 225 and push jerk (from the rack) 205, and snatch 135 - around this time my maxes for other lifts were 305 on Squat, 215 for Bench, and 335 on Deadlift.

I’d like to do powerlifting 3-4x a week because it’s near my house. I was considering doing once a week training with a coach in my area to learn and mostly go instructional pace - would you recommend dialing back on any others lifts (probably deadlift) around this time?

My friends who have done both say to do cleans before squats and snatches before bench, but my PL gym doesnt have bumper plates. There IS a Barbell club in the same office park, but I’m not sure if it would be economical to do both.


I am also strugling to harmonize these two sports.

Googling some stuff, I found some training programs which included the five lifts, but I didn´t like them.

I am trying to bro-develop by trial and error a training program for me. Probably the result will need a 10-day training program, i.e., I will need two weeks to close a round. But, at my age (50 yo), I don´t have hurry for nothing more and rather prefer to do both exercises because I like them. One of the aspects that my bro-tests are emerging is that it is necessary to elect to be emphasized PL or OL during a, let´s say, two-month macrocycle.

This thought you wrote about training olys before the heavy lifts is the same thing Jim Wendler recommends (on 5/3/1, one of the FAQs was about this).

I am in a very similar condition as you regarding PRs. My snatch/clean & jerk are 70/91 kg. On the other hand my PL numbers are 163/132/200 kg on squat/bp/deadlift.

If you find some books that cover people like us, please leave a tip.


One of the training programs I found is by Chad Smith


Funny you say this hah, my PL numbers are kinda similar to yours too at 380/285/405


For beginners, there is nothing wrong with doing both. As a general rule, train/practice the skill movements first with the slower lifts last. At is thought that 10 days are needed to recover from a heavy pulling (dead lift) workout. Bench pressing should only be once a week.

A powerlifting squat is very different from a weightlifting squat and that presents a challenge. Recovery from powerlifting squats, due to the increased power back stress, is an issue and must be considered when determining where to put them into the program, which should also be no more than once a week.


You could try the supertotal program by CT