T Nation

NewWorldMan's Learning Olympic Lifting Log


Well, it's was decision time. I was three weeks out from finishing 2 cycles of Sheiko and testing my maxes on squat/bench/deadlift and then a great opportunity to train with Regis Becker at the PGH Barbell club came up.
I was wanting to wait until I finished Sheiko but Regis had a former National school-age champ back on spring break from MIT (http://www.youtube.com/watch_videos?mor ... autoplay=1). So my son and I went down to watch them work out and I was hooked - my son is too - but needs to finish track season before he starts learning the O lifts.

I've done a lot of reading (Dan John) and watched a bunch of Hatch videos and found this as well - http://www.youtube.com/user/mhbuitrago.

Well, it's quite humbling to learn the snatch - and it's a little tricky when you come over from powerlifting. As well, I'm learning to think in kgs and not lbs!
I lift at the club Tuesday/Thursday and still do Saturdays on my own at the high school.

I will spare you the boring details of my daily logs ( I have them in the log book).

Here are some highlights:
3/25 first session w/Coach Regis - work up to 30kg on the snatch - working on keeping my head up - good flexibility on the full squat.
power cleaned up to 85, missed 90 (fell flat on my back) - maybe tired, maybe too heavy. Bending my arms too early on the clean.
Finished w/160 on the deadlift and 5x60 on the push press
3/30 snatch up to 50; working on hip drive.
clean and jerk - 50-->80 (more hip explosion on the jerk - long arms catching the jerk a little late - suggested to reach my front foot out a little further for better timing.)
Finished up w/145x3 squat; 2(215x3) bench.



warm ups and mobility work (DeFranco's Agile 8 and broom work - over head squat, etc.)
Snatch from 30 up to 55. Missed 55 twice and finally got it!
Clean and jerk from 55 up to 82.5- working on keeping the bar close to my thighs on the second pull.
Front squat 100x3 at the end of my workout.

Saturday 4/3 did some less than Max reps on snatch and c & j (95lbs snatch, 135 c&j); some push presses, 135x5,145x5,155x5 (tired) and then some benching/dips/pullups/abs.



snatch: 30-->57.5 (missed 57.5 once then got it) still working on keeping the bar close - I have a tendency to let the bar fly away from my body when I explode my hips (they claim it's common when you have some strength carryover from prior lifting but that you need to correct it or you will get pinned under heavier weights)
clean and jerk: 55-->80 (really tired on the last one). Someone noted that I seemed to do 100 sets of snatches first :slight_smile:
front squat: 85x3;100x3;110x2(PR)
bench: quickly worked up to 225x5


This is exciting. I'll track your log with great interest. lots of good info over in the Oly lifting forum too.


Yes! Another olympic lifter.

The bar not staying close is a problem with many lifters, not just those with strength carryover. Position and speed during the first pull, and timing of the initiation of the second pull are in my opinion, the most important points when trying to keep the bar close.

The "boring details" of the log are one of the more interesting things. If you don't want to post it here, could you give the link to where you do keep the log?

Anyway, I look forward to future installments.


Thanks! I've been perusing those pages. I like the stuff about the Joe Mills 20/20, but I still want to do some squatting/pulling/pressing. So, while I want the reps to learn the lifts, trying squat after 40 lifts takes some effort.


Hey Carl - thanks for stopping by my log! The best thing I ever did was get with Regis Becker at Pgh Barbell! He's a senior USA Weighlifting coach and is very good with both old dogs like me (39) and a young 12 year old! All the guys there are VERY supportive.

I will begin to detail my logs here for you (and for me!) - what I meant by boring details are things like notes I put in my journal like "bending arms too soon" "head up" etc.

I would detail more but in the midst of learning I don't keep exact logs - just "snatch:30-->55 - missed 55 once, got it second time"

Do you keep a log here?



Sweet. Make sure you post some vids. I would sure like to learn how to O-lift. I looks like a ton-o-fun.


I'll try to post some vids - maybe of the guys in the gym who know what they're doing!
Actually, I try to capture my lifts occasionally to study, but all I have is the crappy BlackBerry video camera and I hate to bug people film me.

Though the gym does have a camera/monitor for immediate feedback - I may bug the coach tonight to see if it's too much hassle to use.



Video would be good. Besides helping you, everyone else here that is interested in these lifts will benefit, especially if you are able to tell us what technique points you and your coach are working on in the videos.


April 8th workout -

Snatches up to 55:

Clean & Jerk:

195x1 PR

The Deadlift is a PR up from 405 last November.
Finished with some GHRs, and two supersets of chins/dips.

No real coaching tips from this workout - Coach was busy with a few others - just some general hints and a good cheer for my deadlifts!

Feel free to offer comments/corrections on the videos (on the lifts not the camera work!)


Thanks for the videos. They look pretty good, especially considering how short a time you have been working on the lifts. For any useful analysis, I will need to look at them in slow motion, I'll be working on that during spare moments of time today. First impression though is that you have a slight premature bending of the elbows on the pulls, which among other things makes the lift look less quick and explosive at the top.

Edit to add: With the reps you will be getting over the next couple of months, your lifts are going to increase rapidly for a while. I predict a minimum of 80 and 100 by sometime this summer.


Thanks Carl! I appreciate your interest in my progress. I'm not sure how good the quality will be when you slow down = when I viewed these in QuickTime they weren't very clear.
Indeed bending the arm too soon on the cleans was a focus of coaching last week - more focus this week on keeping the bar path close in the second pull.

Not sure if/when I'll plan on a meet but I was thinking along the same lines - that a 75/80 & 100/105 might be acceptable for a 105kg class novice.
For now I'm content to work with weights that will allow me good practice w/few if any misses and continue to try and drive my squat numbers up.


Saturday 4/10/10

mobility work
warm-up w/bar - RDLs, pulls, muscle snatch, overhead squats
power snatch+ overhead squat - did some reps at 95lbs, 105, and 110
back squat - 185x3, 225x3, 265x2, 305x1, 320x1,330x1,340x1
push presses - 135x3, 150x3, 165x3
clean pulls - 3x3@185
clean and jerk - 2@155 with 8 partial presses at the top.
Superset: underhand pullups/box jump/dips/ab pulldowns
300m run - :54.32
2x 1/2 gassers - :20 with 1:00 rest

Noticed I've been tired the last two Saturdays and have no energy in the gym.


Looks like a fun workout and some nice poundages.
No energy in the gym is telling you to either eat, rest, or both.
For me, Saturdays in the gym are telling me too much debauchery on Friday night.


I finally had a chance to look at the videos closely, here's what I see.

On the cleans:
Good back position and bar path. You are keeping the bar very close.Your heels stay down until the end of your second pull. Good bottom position.

Your butt does have a slight tendency to rise faster than your shoulders. You start to shrug and pull with your arms before your legs and hips are done. This makes the top of the lift look slow. Also you should get your elbows higher by the time you catch it.

On the jerks:
+ Good body position on the dip and drive.
- It seems you are pushing with your arms too soon, which in part causes the split not being wide enough.

Snatches: Almost exactly the same comments as for the cleans, although I'm not certain that you pull with arms and shrug too soon, the frames showing this were too fuzzy. I also noticed what seemed like a slight rounding of your back in the setup, but again, that might just be the video quality.

You and your coach are doing a very good job so far.


Tuesday 4/13/10
Snatch; Clean and Jerks; Push Press:3x5(50,60,70); Front squats 3x5 (80,90,90); 2 sets of chins/reverse hypers.
Another night of learning and making small adjustments; head coach didn't come in time to see any snatching but another good/experienced lifter was kind enough to help me - suggested more of a power snatch to learn to get 'violent' with the second pull.
A few snatch vids for your viewing/analysis (if you so desire):

Dave (fellow who helped me Tuesday) was going to do snatch and cleans from a boxes (lower thigh high) and suggested I give them a try - to keep learning the second pull. He feels I am more than strong enough pulling off the floor ( for what I'll be able to handle) and flexible enough to pull under when the weight gets heavy enough.

So, we ended up doing about 8 sets of triples (he went heavier than I did):
57.5x2 or 3

and cleans from box as well:
I think I did 77.5 for to singles as well (no videos)
starting to get the hang of the second pull - I think.

Stand Jerks:
worked up to 2 singles at 80

Well, on to back squats (I was planning on doing deadlifts but Dave, my partner, was going to do 5/4/3/2/1 squats).
So here's what I did:
165x1 for a PR:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oX0XOkuR_Q (Dave's the guy in the goatee, Rege is my other spotter/coach. Young Nick (12 y/o and learning the lifts as well worked the camera - thanks guys!)


Saturday 4/17/10

warm up/mobility stuff, then
Snatch: 4x3 (95,100,100,100)
Clean and Jerk 4x2(135)
Bench Press:
Back Squat:
(I did 3x5 neutral grip pullups & 2x5 underhand chins in between bench and squat sets.)
Super set: dips and seated machine curls (these unlike dumbbells don't hurt my left elbow):


Training from 4/20 -->24
Tuesday 4/20:
Snatch:40x3;50x2;60,62.5,62.5 miss, 62.5, 62.5
Clean & Jerk: 60,60,70,70,75,77.5,80,80
Front Squat: 90x3,100x3,110x3
8 chins, good mornings: 50x5,4(55x5)

Thursday 4/22:
Snatch: 40,40,50,50,55,60x4,62.5 miss, 62.5 miss,63.5 (really ugly)
Power Clean: 60,60,67.5,75x2, 82.5, 87.5
Jerk from Stands: 60x3;70x3;80,80,85,90,90
Bench Press: 185x5,210x3,230x4
Bent Rows: 80x5,90x5,90x5

Saturday 4/24:
Snatch:warm up w/45, hang snatch - 85x3,100x3,110x3
Power Clean from stand: 110x3,125x3,140x3,155x1+3 clean pulls
Squat: 185x4,245x2,275x2,5(295x2)
Push Press - 125x3,145x3,165x3,3,3
Clean Pull and Shrug: 3(225x3)

Did some Tabata intervals w/jump rope and foam rolling Friday.
Did 8 hill sprints and 30 minutes walking Sunday.


not too many updates - basically 3/week warming up, snatching, clean and jerks, then either front or back squats (depending on time I do dips/chins/glute ham raise/abs.)

It's very humbling to be able to deadlift 429/squat 365 and only get 60-63.5 on a snatch and 87.5 on a clean and jerk.

At this point I am looking to hone the technique and keep my strength conditioning up.There's the possibility of a meet July 24th.

Last Saturday I warmed wit the bar - RDLs; muscle snatches, snatch drops. OHS then worked reps w/95 lbs. Did some clean and presses w/135; clean pulls =225x3x3; dips/chins.

Tuesday: similar warmup, snatched 110x1x10 one lift 'on the minute' (OTM); then the same with clean & jerks w/155 (after a few warm ups w/115/135). Finished with back squats: 235x5;275x3;305x3; 3 supersets of chins/dips/hyper extensions/ab; then 4x100m runs.

The plan for now is:
Snatch = 10 or more singles on the minute with 80-85%
Clean and Jerk = same as above
Back squat = try and cycle 5/3/1
dips/pullups/abs/lower back (by feel)

Snatch = work up to a max single; then 1/2 sets of doubles with 85/90% (goals this week 62.5 and 90 (hit 87.5 last week)
Clean/Jerk = Same as above
Clean Pulls = 3x3
Press = 5/3/1 cycle?

Snatch/C &J same as Tuesday
Front Squat = cycle up to max 3/2/1s
dips/chins/abs/lower back

This is a basic plan plan that Glenn Pendlay suggest for older (<35) lifters. The goal is to get good reps (plenty) on the ''lifts' and monitor your recovery ability. I added the dips/chins on Tue/Sat.