T Nation

Monday...Prime Time

From a dorm room in Ohio…I am listening!

Good morning Mr. John,

I guess it’s pretty early in the USA, but since I’m on European time I can take advantage of the fact you’re an early riser.

I was hoping you could give me some tips on the best ways to teach myself the olympic lifts, or at least the power versions. I’m getting bored with my regular bodybuilding/strength training, and the O-lifts seem like a lot of fun and a great way to stay strong.
Following your advice to always set goals, I am aiming to get bodyweight in the clean, snatch and jerk as soon as possible. Could you tell me the best way to go about this (and if it’s even realistic). Here are (what I consider to be) my minus and plus points:
minus:
35 yrs old, never o-lifted
terrible shoulder flexibility
can’t squat deep, because of a torn meniscus and cruciate ligament.

plus:
good explosiveness
decent pulling strength (over double bodyweight deadlift)

I would be grateful for any advice you could give. And, I know you hear this a lot, I love your articles, please keep them coming. They are fun to read and your advice is always directly applicable. I also like the fact that they don’t make me feel like an idiot, like some of the other T-Nation articles.

For something completely different, I read somewhere that you were a Fulbright scholar. Is that correct?

My question concerns MMA fighters.
When listening to them they all swear by high repetitions (>100) bodyweight exercises such as hindu squats, push ups.

Are these more helpful for fighters then say high rep kettlebell swings/snatches etc or a heavy weight westside workout?
How would you fit in such high repitition work with lifting weights?

Currently I follow a Matt Furey type routine (hindu squats, hindu press ups and neck bridging + hand stand push ups) in the morning and then lift weights 4 times a week with 4 compound exercises per workout. For me this is enough and any more means over training.

Hey Dan,
I am pushing 42 and I am finding it harder and harder to get a good routine in due to family responsibilities, work, coaching baseball, renovating my house, etc. Any ideas on the best way to approach this issue, aside from the obvious just get off my butt and do it thing.
Maybe a certain schedule that works well for you when things get crazy, busy.

Thanks

You mean, like me? I’m doing a whole workshop on this at the Charles Staley bootcamp…but basically here:

  1. Have a home gym. Buy a bar. Or, buy a kettlebell. Or, buy something. Train as part of your life.

  2. Start thinking about time management. I use a number of things, but the best thing I ever did was to stop “thinking” about things and make it natural. For example, I roll a single die (dice) to make a workout combination. It makes me “not think” about training…I just do what the combination of numbers tells me. I have no mental effort, I just do snatches for whatever then carry rocks. Cuz the dice said so! No mental stress: workout done!

[quote]strglkbull wrote:
Hey Dan,
I am pushing 42 and I am finding it harder and harder to get a good routine in due to family responsibilities, work, coaching baseball, renovating my house, etc. Any ideas on the best way to approach this issue, aside from the obvious just get off my butt and do it thing.
Maybe a certain schedule that works well for you when things get crazy, busy.

Thanks[/quote]

First, yes I was a Fulbright: one of the youngest ever (at the time, I guess). I used to be quite smart…then I had kids.

Here is the best I can do: go to my website and get my free 97 page book: http://danjohn.org/coach

It is the section called “The Book.” It has all the details you need. Read. Enjoy. Donate, if you wish, or don’t. Learn.

[quote]Hoffa wrote:
Good morning Mr. John,

I guess it’s pretty early in the USA, but since I’m on European time I can take advantage of the fact you’re an early riser.

I was hoping you could give me some tips on the best ways to teach myself the olympic lifts, or at least the power versions. I’m getting bored with my regular bodybuilding/strength training, and the O-lifts seem like a lot of fun and a great way to stay strong.
Following your advice to always set goals, I am aiming to get bodyweight in the clean, snatch and jerk as soon as possible. Could you tell me the best way to go about this (and if it’s even realistic). Here are (what I consider to be) my minus and plus points:
minus:
35 yrs old, never o-lifted
terrible shoulder flexibility
can’t squat deep, because of a torn meniscus and cruciate ligament.

plus:
good explosiveness
decent pulling strength (over double bodyweight deadlift)

I would be grateful for any advice you could give. And, I know you hear this a lot, I love your articles, please keep them coming. They are fun to read and your advice is always directly applicable. I also like the fact that they don’t make me feel like an idiot, like some of the other T-Nation articles.

For something completely different, I read somewhere that you were a Fulbright scholar. Is that correct?[/quote]

Indra…a timeless name.

Okay, I don’t know anything here. I would guess, and this is an uninformed guess, that all that bodyweight stuff looks hard and makes people breath hard and is impressive, but simply doing deadlifts and swings and pullups…it’s my uninformed opinion…would be just as good.

I know that if you did the O lifts, like the old Soviet Judo guys, you could get really strong and explosive. You might want to look at Ken Shamrock’s book as I would agree more with his approach…simple stuff, with some big lifts…rather than pure bodyweight. Again, I know nothing…

[quote]indra wrote:
My question concerns MMA fighters.
When listening to them they all swear by high repetitions (>100) bodyweight exercises such as hindu squats, push ups.

Are these more helpful for fighters then say high rep kettlebell swings/snatches etc or a heavy weight westside workout?
How would you fit in such high repitition work with lifting weights?

Currently I follow a Matt Furey type routine (hindu squats, hindu press ups and neck bridging + hand stand push ups) in the morning and then lift weights 4 times a week with 4 compound exercises per workout. For me this is enough and any more means over training.
[/quote]

Thanks.
Another question is when fighting you use alot of all body rotational strength such as in a throw. All the typical weight exercises such as squat, deadlift, olympic lifting are in one plane.
Watching discus throwing it is obvious that rotational strength is a key asset, what movements did you use to develop the rotational strength?

Dan,

I hope your discuss camp was fun.

  1. Is it possible or realistic to have a goal of increasing your max deadlift and max dumbell clean and press at the same time or is that asking too much of your body? If it’s feasible, then how many days per week would you dedicate towards deadlifting and how many days would you dedicate to db clean and pressing?

  2. What new discoveries have you figured out or new revelations have you excited lately?

  3. As a thrower, is throwing a weighted ball absolutely necessary since you already incorporate olifts heavily in your training or just a nice cherry on top?

Hey Dan, how’s my precious sweet darling little daughter doing out there? Was the 10-lb powerball I sent her with too light?

[quote]Danny John wrote:
From a dorm room in Ohio…I am listening![/quote]

Charles, Session One and Two went well…off to lunch. She needs to not let the implement get ahead of her and work the left arm.

Life is good, but I am tired.

[quote]CharlesStaley wrote:
Hey Dan, how’s my precious sweet darling little daughter doing out there? Was the 10-lb powerball I sent her with too light?

Danny John wrote:
From a dorm room in Ohio…I am listening!

[/quote]

Suitcase carries. Suitcase deadlifts, Farmers Bars…forget the Rotational Stuff unless you really know what you are doing…

[quote]indra wrote:
Thanks.
Another question is when fighting you use alot of all body rotational strength such as in a throw. All the typical weight exercises such as squat, deadlift, olympic lifting are in one plane.
Watching discus throwing it is obvious that rotational strength is a key asset, what movements did you use to develop the rotational strength?[/quote]

[quote]BPC wrote:
Dan,

I hope your discuss camp was fun.

  1. Is it possible or realistic to have a goal of increasing your max deadlift and max dumbell clean and press at the same time or is that asking too much of your body? If it’s feasible, then how many days per week would you dedicate towards deadlifting and how many days would you dedicate to db clean and pressing? [/quote]

DJ: Five days a week until you get your goal. Of course, you can do this…

Yes. One: 1. Fiber 2. Protein 3. Fish oil for both muscle gain and fat loss.

DJ: It is a technical teaching tool.

Hello DJ:

This weekend I’ve been playing around with the Big55, it works great for lifts like press and power curls…not so great with squat snatch and DL, by lower back got fried fast.

Lately, I’ve been playing with the power curl and this exercise is so fun that’s getting in my blood. In your site, you talked about throwers using these.

My question is…for a OLifter(potential thrower) guy what does this lift offer?

From what I’m feeling today…lots of soreness in biceps, lats, traps…the most complete upper body move I’ve done! Definitely a keeper.

Other question…this may kinda subjective. My home PRs in power snatch and power clean & jerk are 210 and 250 respectively. Obviously the c&j should be bigger. Any particular program to get both of these numbers up?

I’d like to sn at least 225 and c&j at least 300…I think it’s quite possible. Someday, I’d like to get all 300 prs like you. How did you get these numbers?

Thanks in advance.

Almost forgot…another question for DJ:

How do I use the spider chart pdf?

Thanks in advance.

[quote]Danny John wrote:
BPC wrote:
Dan,

I hope your discuss camp was fun.

  1. Is it possible or realistic to have a goal of increasing your max deadlift and max dumbell clean and press at the same time or is that asking too much of your body? If it’s feasible, then how many days per week would you dedicate towards deadlifting and how many days would you dedicate to db clean and pressing?

DJ: Five days a week until you get your goal. Of course, you can do this…

  1. What new discoveries have you figured out or new revelations have you excited lately?

Yes. One: 1. Fiber 2. Protein 3. Fish oil for both muscle gain and fat loss.

  1. As a thrower, is throwing a weighted ball absolutely necessary since you already incorporate olifts heavily in your training or just a nice cherry on top?

DJ: It is a technical teaching tool.

[/quote]

Thanks Dan.

Any special kind of fiber or fish oil? I know the omega 3’s are really important right? What about flaxseed oil?

Re the ball-makes sense.

I know you aren’t fond of static stretching for injury prevention but what about recovery from workouts? Do you feel that adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and off days when appropriate are enough?

Dan, my grip on my left hand is limiting factor for my deads due to a wrist injury. What are some of your favorite exercises for direct grip work?

I was also interested in what you like to do for GPP since you want to be in shape and still keep your power for throwing.

I could bore you with the details…so I will. I had Clean and Jerked 264 in a meet (18 years and 198 pounds) and Dick went away to the Montreal Olympics. So, my dad and I went to the Sports Palace to work out. Well, after having been training five days a week for ten months, I only trained twice a week for a change and when I started Clean and jerking, I got right up to 270, 281, and 292. I looked at my dad and we were both a little amazed. So, I took 303 and Dan Cantore asked if I was doing deadlifts. So, I clean and jerked it. It ended up being a bit of a one day jump. I got 308 at the JO nationals soon after, then 319 and I never really looked back.

All your ideas are reasonable. I guess the best thing about Power Curls is that they don’t really hurt and have about a one minute learning mastery curve. There are times when simple is good, too.

[quote]skullcowboy wrote:
Hello DJ:

This weekend I’ve been playing around with the Big55, it works great for lifts like press and power curls…not so great with squat snatch and DL, by lower back got fried fast.

Lately, I’ve been playing with the power curl and this exercise is so fun that’s getting in my blood. In your site, you talked about throwers using these.

My question is…for a OLifter(potential thrower) guy what does this lift offer?

From what I’m feeling today…lots of soreness in biceps, lats, traps…the most complete upper body move I’ve done! Definitely a keeper.

Other question…this may kinda subjective. My home PRs in power snatch and power clean & jerk are 210 and 250 respectively. Obviously the c&j should be bigger. Any particular program to get both of these numbers up?

I’d like to sn at least 225 and c&j at least 300…I think it’s quite possible. Someday, I’d like to get all 300 prs like you. How did you get these numbers?

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

Put in your best lifts and look at it. It should look like a “bit of” a pattern. If you have an enormous squat and a snatch that a little girl would laugh at…well, that is an issue…[quote]skullcowboy wrote:
Almost forgot…another question for DJ:

How do I use the spider chart pdf?

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

DJ, whats your thoughts on high/hang pulls instead of power snatchs for trap hypertrohpy? The high and the hang pull are alot eaiser for me to get the form down but I really want to blow up my traps and it’s hard to get the power snatch down. I did db snatchs but they didn’t feel right