T Nation

Oly Lifts Useless Without Strength?

I have a quick question. Lately I have been doing Waterbury-style workouts and though I got good results, it is about time to switch it up. Since I have been training for hypertrophy lately, I have decided to focus more on explosiveness and hopefully get bigger traps as a side effect. I have started doing power cleans and snatches for the first time in over a year and it’s alot of fun.

I was talking to my buddy, who is competitive at the national level for collegiate powerlifting, and he told me something I am skeptical of. He said you have to have high absolute strength before attempting the oly lifts, otherwise you don’t get any real benefits to explosiveness. So I asked him what exactly would be an effective weight for me to use. I’m 5’8, 180 and I have been doing 5x4 with 185 on the cleans and 5x4 with 110 on the snatches. Yeah I know I suck at snatches. He told me it was useless unless I was using at least, say 300 pounds on the clean. At this point my eyes bugged out and I decided to make this post. I wouldn’t usually ask a “noob” question like this, but this guy usually has all his facts straight.

So I suppose the question is: is it necessary to have high absolute strength (apparently perceived as being able to rep out nearly double bodyweight on cleans) to gain the benefits of increased explosion when using the oly lifts?

Thanks.

Absolutley not. I can power clean about 275 at a bodyweight of around 255. Not strong by any means, but my traps benefit in size, and I get more powerful and explosive as time goes on. Try upping the weight and doing singles.

Absolute horse shit.

I think your friend wants you to join him in powerlifting.

He obviously hasn’t heard that lifting lighter weights explosively can actually build muscle and power.

Everything that you do in weightlifting is relative to your own abilities.
There is a reason that coaches tell you to use a percentage of your 1RM instead of an absolute weight. You shouldn’t throw anything out unless you have a high disposition to injury with a particular movement.

[quote]Nick H wrote:
Massif wrote:
Absolute horse shit.

I think your friend wants you to join him in powerlifting.

He obviously hasn’t heard that lifting lighter weights explosively can actually build muscle and power.

Everything that you do in weightlifting is relative to your own abilities.
There is a reason that coaches tell you to use a percentage of your 1RM instead of an absolute weight. You shouldn’t throw anything out unless you have a high disposition to injury with a particular movement.[/quote]

Is there a particular reason that you quoted me, or was that a mistake?

I think the example your friend gave was a little off. However, there has to be a strength base for expression of power. An example…when a high school athlete starts weight training they need to build a solid strength foundation prior to doing movements like cleans and snatches. You can’t be powerful without first being strong. Read some of Joe DeFranco’s work on here and on his own site for more info.

[quote]Boss14 wrote:
I think the example your friend gave was a little off. However, there has to be a strength base for expression of power. An example…when a high school athlete starts weight training they need to build a solid strength foundation prior to doing movements like cleans and snatches. You can’t be powerful without first being strong. Read some of Joe DeFranco’s work on here and on his own site for more info.[/quote]

You are correct. Power is a combination of strength and speed, so if your strength isn’t decent you can’t get explosive. A 185 PC is strong enough.

competitive at the national level for collegiate powerlifting


There’s collegiate powerlifting???

Yes,

there is collegiate powerlifting. Go to

http://www.usapowerlifting.com

USA Powerlifting has a Collegiate Nationals and has qualiftying totals for that contest. I got into powerlifting lifting on the Texas A&M team and since my collegiate years have competed at the open level.

Beef.

Here’s another powerlifter’s (me) advice. Training the olympic lifts will benefit anyone, the experienced and the beginer. What your friend said is not true. However, I would begin by training portions of the OLY lifts. I.e. start with: front squats, high pulls (snatch and clean grip), overhead squats, hang power clean, hang power snatch, etc. Train with triples with good form. DON’T go to failure. SPEED is the name of the game.

beef