My Oly Lifting Intro.

Awesome site. Been a lurker for awhile. I think I posted a bit off-topic but dammit, I am here for a reason! To get strong!

Thought a nice intro would be my brief introduction to olympic lifting.

Me - 5’8", 190 lbs (a bit pudgy!). A long ways from 140lbs from 5 yrs ago though (thank you, squats).
Lifts - Yeah, I’m weak. I’ve got my excuses, but no need to share them. Still, can do 190lb squats for reps (to parallel!), 8 BW chinups, 8-10 dips with 15lbs, BW deadlift for reps. Military press 100lbs for reps. Training history - off and on for 5 yrs.

My gym recently got a power rack/oly platform combo, and a GHR. They’ve had a platform, but the key thing is that a couple trainers there are trying to garner interest in the olympic lifts. I have to say, had it not been for this site I probably would not have been “primed” to give them a shot. When your only experience with lifts is seeing them done in the olympics, that’s a high bar for your average amateur. But I knew from my reading here, that you don’t have to go heavy to get some benefits, and that they are a lot of fun!

One of the guys offered me a free half hour intro. He just showed me one lift (or part of one), hang cleans. Started with the bar, moved up to bar plus 15kg. He recommended maybe going to up to 40kg as I got comfortable with the technique over the next month. Whether or not he was just being nice, he said I got the gist of it pretty quick. He was quite nice and professional, and seemed like the type of trainer who would read this site (frustrated at the typical gym things). It helps that he calls himself a “Strength and Conditioning Coach”. Awesome dude.

He emphasized technique, an remaining fresh for the lifts. I also believe he was partly responsibly for getting a GHR machine in there! It looks like a true GHR, and he demonstrated the use of it. Of course, I can’t even do one rep. But he inspired some faith that eventually I would be able to do one, and showed me a rough progession for it. We’ll see!


I believe I’ve read here that the olympic lifts can be performed by just about anyone. After this bit of exposure to 'em, my thoughts are:

  • Olympic lifting is fun!
  • Having a complex movement, when compared to other types of lifts, makes my mind happy. I get bored with a lot of weightlifting movements. This one is more like a sport technique (surprise, it’s a sport!). No, you have to focus, otherwise, something bad will happen.
  • You get to make a cool stomping sound and pretend you are really strong
  • Most people probably need instruction to do it. Hip drive, while natural in some, won’t be for many.

I’ll echo what I’ve read here. If you have a chance to learn these, don’t be intimidated. Take advantage of it.