T Nation

Learning Olympic Lifts


Is it possible to effectively learn the various Oly lifts by yourself or do you really need someone to teach them to you?

If you can learn them by yourself can someone point me to a good resource (internet, books, DVD, whatever) thanks.



Just ask some beast at your gym whos deadlifting 8 plates on each side about proper form.

Otherwise practice on your own with light weights and learn proper techniques online. Its a little more dangerous(if yorue stupid and add too much weight with bad form youll problably get hurt) but practicing low weight I dont see the harm. You eventually work yourself into go form. Maybe have someone critique your form later as well.


I am in the process of teaching myself the lifts. You will hear it over and over again but its true, you have to practice the lifts 1000's of times to get good form. I like the video section of www.chidlovski.net for some information and to watch the greatest do what they do best. Work the overhead squat in every workout, it will help you develop flexibility all over and get you comfortable in the bottom position of a squat snatch. Read as much as you can online and if possible find someone who competes or coaches to help you out, it will probably save you months of frustration.


You can do it yourself, but it will take a long time and you'll have to be very careful.

I tried... but never really got it down until I get some coaching.


If you intend on seriously competing, get a coach. If you just want to incorporate the oly lifts into your program for what they offer check out Jim Schmitz's book and video (I have the VHS) from Ironmind:


Regardless, like others have said, Practice your ass off. The overhead squat is a great place to start.


What about the power variations? Going on CT's advice in recent articles, it seems that hang power cleans and snatches, or power cleans/snatches from blocks are more beneficial for athletes and have more carryover? I have no access whatsoever to a coach, so instead I'ved read every articles I could find on the subject, as well as looking and multiple videos and even downloading that 20 minute video tutorial that was posted up here. I'm sticking to relatively light weights with each (around 130 for hang power clean, I front squat atg 250), with 5-8 sets of 1-3 reps, and I overhead squat atg (finally!) almost every workout. Would it be allright for me to continue progressing in this manner, or should I drop them completely until i can get a coach?