T Nation

O-lifting Base Building

Rather than hijack that thread adressed to Christian, which seems to have already undergone a bit of a hijaking, I thought I would post a question that thread raised on a new thread

“olympiclifter” indicated that he was gooing to be doing a program of power versions of the lifts, squats, and some auillary work, and then return to olympic lifting competetion years later and presumably much stronger. I am wondering how effective a program this would be. I ask because I currently have no access to an olympic weightlifting coach, but I really like both the idea of one day competeing on some level in o-lifting and I really enjoy the high frequency and explosiveness of o-lift training. Thus, I thought a program based on simplified forms of the lifts and squats might be perfect for me now. What do you guys think, and do you have any precise suggestions for structuring the workout?

I really don’t have much to add to this thread as I am in the same boat as you. Any info will be super to add here T-people!

[quote]floobadoo wrote:

“olympiclifter” indicated that he was gooing to be doing a program of power versions of the lifts, squats, and some auillary work, and then return to olympic lifting competetion years later and presumably much stronger. I am wondering how effective a program this would be. I ask because I currently have no access to an olympic weightlifting coach, but I really like both the idea of one day competeing on some level in o-lifting and I really enjoy the high frequency and explosiveness of o-lift training. Thus, I thought a program based on simplified forms of the lifts and squats might be perfect for me now. What do you guys think, and do you have any precise suggestions for structuring the workout?[/quote]

I wouldn’t recommend doing just the power versions of the lifts for years, then converting over to the full lifts for competing. They may seem very similar but there is a distinct different feeling between the two. The full lifts are a skill unto themselves, and like any skill need to be practised to be honed correctly. Doing only the power versions without any full lift work would likely lead to a frustrating attempt to convert over, ask any shot-putter or hammer thrower who has tried to compete or just perform the classic full lifts. Its not impossible, and if one is athletic enough might not pose a problem at all, but that would be the exception not the rule. If your training without a coach, get yourself a video camera and tape your every set and review each one after your done. That’s what I’d do. Don’t forget to move the camera aroung every so often to see yourself from different angles.

I think taking a page from Dan John and start by doing Overhead Squats would be a great way to begin conditioning for O-lifting. In his newsletter, Get Up, he constantly talks about how it makes you “one piece.” I started doing them once a week and he is right. Also, the movement is integral to the Snatch.

Starting with the power movements would a good way to start; powercleans, high pulls from the deck, front squats along with narrow stance back squats.

Try searching under Dan John and checking out his lifting and throwing page for his newsletter. Also, John Cisseck has a really good book on O-lifting.

F,
I am a certified Olympic Club Coach, which doesn’t make me an expert but I have at least a working knowledge of the O-lifts. To answer your question: any powerlifting program, Westside for example, will drive up your c+j’s and snatch (provided you already have a technical foundation). The best thing that you can do to train multiple motor qualities at once is to train for maximal strength. So, just get stronger! CT’s Pendulum Training for Powerlifters would do the trick or anything by Dave Tate, King or Poliquin on the site.
This will work well if you just want to mess around with o-lifts or compete at a club level. For anything more, you’d need to focus on technique more than anything. If you’d like more detail than that let me know.

getting completely away from the competitive lifts is a mistake if you want to eventually become a better lifter. the power versions are a good training aid, but if done excluxively without at least some weekly practice in the full versions, form will deteriorate on the power versions and they will become less and less like what you need to do when doing the full versions.

i have a couple of periods each year where my better lifters dont go much over 80% on the competitive lifts, doing that three times per week on the snatch, twice per week on the clean and jerk, and one extra jerk session by itself. the majority of the training is squats, done 5 sets of 5 twice a week, and front squats, done once a week, romanian deadlifts done twice a week, and other exercises like push press, bench press, pulls, powersnatches, powercleans, overhead squats, etc all done once or twice a week for sets of from 3 to 5 reps. getting stronger and building muscle is important in OLing just like everything else, and especially for beginners and intermediates you need to do things designed to build muscle, i t hink that holds true even if you are predisposed to follow a “bulgarian” program or are working toward a pure bulgarian program as you get better and better as a lifter. but if you want to be a good OLer, you have to continue doing the lifts, and pick assistance exercises that largely mimic some part of the lift as the bulk of your training.

Take a look at:
http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/sportivny/library/farticles.html

These are some great articles on the cons of power moves and pull movements there.

Thanks for the responses so far–it seems like we have more Olympic lifting support on this forum than I had been aware of.

I believe I understand the cons of the power movements: I tired to learn proper o-lifting several times before, and each time my timing was off, and I could do more in the power version of the lift than the squat version. To further complicate matters, it was psychologicaly difficult to force myself to work with the lighter weights.

On the other hand, I do not now have a coach, and I do not have video equipment (and it also seems like a large pain in the ass, for someone who as a beginner is not even clearly that commited, to have to film my training sessions). Furthermore, my technique in the full lifts is practically non-existent at this time, and I imagine just improving my front squat would seriously aid my lifting. So it is not like I will loose any technique in the olympic lifts,and then, when I eventualy move to a place with a good olympic gym and start making enough money to pay to be on a team or have a coach, I would be much more ready than someone who had been doing powerlifting or bodybuilding.

I’d still like to hear if you do not think the carry over from the power versions would be much better than just doing totally diffferent strength exercises. Also, while many have told me that one really needs a good coach to learn the olympic lifts, and my brief eperience seemed to confirm this, if any of you think it would be worthwhile to try to teach myself (and I did have some coaching in the past), I’d like to hear that and why aswell.

Floo,
Even Michael Jordan had a coach. When I went for my USAW certificate, one of the things we were taught was the Federation does not support beginners lifting in the home or alone. The reason being, they will not get quality/any coaching and eventual become discouraged or worse injured.

go to www.usaweightlifting.org

There may be a school listed in the directory near you.

Regarding your question about power movements: Yes, there is a carry over from power movements to the full squat variations IF it is the first, second third pull or catch that is your techical weakness. The power movements will aid in correction of those technical breakdowns. Other than that, the carry over is marginal. I would definately seek the help of a coach, the price should not be cost prohibitive as I understand and perhaps invest in Art Drechlser’s or Ian Kings O-lift video.