T Nation

OL Training/Coaching Question

hi guys, i am trying(emphasis on trying) to coach a young guy with no previous weightlifting experience in the olympic lifts, with the intention on eventually entering a competition.

he has NO previous iron game experience, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 190lbs, previous athletic background was baseball(left handed pitcher) in HS and college, and recently a triathlon competitor.

after 5 weeks of training, he has clean pulled (dead lift) 140kg, snatch 60kg, and clean and jerked 70kg. he can full clean 80kg.

back squat i have not tested for a max, but he has done 5x3 with 80kg, and front squatted 80kg for a single.

question, i notice a severe lack of leg strength, that is , when he does clean pulls, he can stiff leg more weight that he can with proper form.

would pounding front squats give a better short term carryover to improving leg strength, or should more back squats be in order. note that when he back squats, he also has the tendency to lean forward and use a lot of back.

thanks.

Have him front squat at least twice a week. Don’t worry about poundages at first, just flexibilty (butt to heels) and form. Wrist flexibility may be an issue so work on stretches for that, too. It seems like he has some nice potential once his leg strength approaches his back strength.

I’d be inclined to really hammer the back squat, working in the 8-10 rep range for one session, 5-7 reps for another, and 3-5 for another. I’d probably just have him work up to a top set, maybe two, each session. Might be worth starting at least one session with some squats rather than the lifts. Obviously you need to make sure he’s staying upright.

Also:

  • Snatch deadlifts, focusing on keeping the hips down and shoulders over the bar. I’ve found working in a pause below the knee and another at mid thigh (you could actually have him finish the lift here) helps to drill the positions too. I prefer to reset between reps for better consistency.

  • Pulls to mid thigh with both clean and snatch grips. Start him very light and slowly build up the weight. Speed isn’t important, just that he maintains the correct positions.

[quote]ninearms wrote:
I’d be inclined to really hammer the back squat, working in the 8-10 rep range for one session, 5-7 reps for another, and 3-5 for another. I’d probably just have him work up to a top set, maybe two, each session. Might be worth starting at least one session with some squats rather than the lifts. Obviously you need to make sure he’s staying upright.

Also:

  • Snatch deadlifts, focusing on keeping the hips down and shoulders over the bar. I’ve found working in a pause below the knee and another at mid thigh (you could actually have him finish the lift here) helps to drill the positions too. I prefer to reset between reps for better consistency.

  • Pulls to mid thigh with both clean and snatch grips. Start him very light and slowly build up the weight. Speed isn’t important, just that he maintains the correct positions.[/quote]

x2

My coach put me on a squat program that i had drastic results with. 10% strength increase in 6 weeks i couldn’t believe it. It will also train front squat with heavy poundages as well. It is likly he is uncomfortable with really heavy front squats and or inflexable. Have him try this if he squats 3 times a week.

Test max before he starts.
Back squats @ 80% max unless otherwise noted.

Week 1
Monday 6 sets of 2
wednesday 6 sets of 3
Friday 6 sets of 2

Next week (2)
Monday 6 sets of 4
wednesday 6 sets of 2
Friday 6 sets of 5

Next week (3)
Monday 6 sets of 2
wednesday 6 sets of 6
Friday 6 sets of 2 Front squats same weight as back squat

Week (4)
Monday 6 sets of 5 (5% weight increase)
wednesday 6 sets of 2 (front squat at week 3 weight)
Friday 6 sets of 4 (same weight as monday)

Week (5)
Monday 6 sets of 2 (front squat at previous weight)
wednesday 6 sets of 3 (same weight as last week)
Friday 6 sets of 2 (front squat at privious weight)

Week 6 Test Max again.

BTW this is a very difficult program. 6x6 at 80% of max doesn’t seem possible but the way the volume builds up you will be able. You will puke!

6’ 1" is really tall for an OL lifter. Time will tell. You cannot rush Olympic Lifting.
He needs lots of hands on experience and so does his coach.

TNT

thanks for all the responses.

well, tnt, you are very right. his “coach”(me), never had formal training in the OL, but as a highschool and college thrower, i did quite a bit of the power variations of the OL’s. as a young buck i managed to pc 300-350, jerk from the rack about the same, and my best power snatch was around 100-110kg.

i have him start ALL of his workouts with technique work on the main lifts, with very light stuff, then one or two big things for the meat of the workout.

my buddy rob wolfe over here at norcal strength and conditioning, he and his wife are certified OL caoches, maybe i can get him over there for a session or two of intense technique work, and i can build his base strength with me.

this was his last two workouts.

wed-complex warmup, full clean + frontsquatx2 +jerk 3 sets
clean pulls 5/3/1/1/1 top set 285lbs
back squat 5x10 1 minute rest between sets 145lbs.
abds and low back

friday- copmplex warmup, snatch balance + overhead squat x 2
jerks from rack, 5/3/1/1/1 last three singles were at 65kg
dumbbell rows 60lbs x 35 reps
abds and low back

update, Jordan recently cleaned 90kg, jerked 90kg from the rack, and snatched 70kg. he also has back squatted 100kg with plenty left in the tank and front squatted 90kg for a double.

body weight is still 195lbs.

Looks good.

Nice.

Robb would be the logical choice in my mind. I don’t know how often Greg E. makes his way over to Chico anymore so that would be the optimal choice.

As far as front squat strength in relation to clean, I’ve heard the number thrown around was that you want to be able to front squat for a triple what you max clean is.

What type of back squats have you guys been doing? Earlier it sounded like he was doing low-bar? I know Rip and Greg had a LOT of back and forth about if low-bar squat was applicable to Oly.

Is he treating his clean pulls like a deadlift?

http://www.cathletics.com/events/olyClinicChicoOct18-19.php

backlash, sorry i have not gotten back to you.

greg is coming down this coming weekend to do a 2 day seminar, but the cost is unreasonable IMHO. i would have loved to attend though.

he treats his deadlifts like clean pulls, that is, deep starting position and upright back postion, comes up on the toes and shrugs at the end.

we are backsquating with a high bar posisiton, 1-2 times a week.

update, jordan clean pulled 140kgx2 recently.

maxed on cleans today, missed his pr twice, then hit an easy 80kg. found out after the workout that he ran 2 miles the day before. fucker… got to break him of this cardio additction.

i will post videos for you guys to critique tomorrow.

80kg…

That must be hard to do with his feet stuck to the wall and still handle that much weight. I could barely stick my feet on the wall long enough to watch the video. Kidding.
Lift looked decent. Good work - both of you.

TNT

That clean was painful to watch. He’s not setting up his second pull at all, his lower back is still rounded, and he’s catching it way high.

And he’s sideways.

One thing that helped me when I had this problem was to intentionally go slow during the first pull untill I got the weight into position (back at same angle to the floor as starting, legs almost entirely extended, bar close to thighs) and THEN pull as fast and hard as I can. This helped me seperate first from second pull, which led to a stronger and more accurate second pull.

yeah, he has a problem understanding thet ther is a first and second pull. also he does catch pretty high. we will give your suggestions a try next session.

Starting position:
Dynamic starts can be ok later on in the game but at this point static starts would be what I would recommend. It is all over the place, he’s not only not setting his hips he is rolling the bar all across the floor as he moves his hips up and down.

1st pull:
It looks like he is rushing the 1st pull, I like halting deadlifts for that. I still do it on occasion and will throw some halting DL’s before cleans.

2nd pull:
Full extension! Make him go from below the knee to full extension without the 3rd pull, muscle cleans are good for this aspect.

3rd pull:
Does he always keep his feet from the pulling stance to the squat the same every time? Or was it just this video? I noticed he doesn’t have any noticeable shift here at all.

Agreed on the start. He needs to get that right or everything else will fall apart. Pulls to mid thigh will help.

He needs to pull the bar in after it passes the knees, using the lats. At the moment he’s leaving it way out front.

If he’s having a hard time with the idea of first, second and third pulls then I’d be inclined to not teach him that. I don’t think it’s a very accurate description of the movement anyway. Teach him that it’s one movement that gets faster and faster: squeeeeezecrankfasterBAMdowntight! And get him used to the idea that the bar path isn’t straight up, but a flattened S - the bar comes back off the floor, forwards a touch as it meets the thighs, then back in again.