T Nation

Olympic Exercise Staples for a Bodybuilder-Powerlifter-Olympic Lifter Kind of a Person


Greetings CT,

Thanks for the several answers you already helped me with.

Here's another one please:

For a mixture of a bodybuilder-powerlifter-Olympic lifter kind of a person (as Frank Zappa would describe us), what movements would you consider as staples in our exercise repertoire from the Olympic lifts for hypertrophy at various muscles groups?

Like 3 or 5 if you could pick.

I know it's hard to pick a few "staples" and it is good to try different Olympic movements from time to time, but with this question I am looking to the equivalent for what would be the Squat, Deadlift and Arm Pressing exercises in our routines.

Thanks again,



It depends...

Are you using the olympic lifts mainly/only to stimulate growth, power and have fun?

or ...

Are you planning on becoming very skilled in the actual competition lifts or even considering competing one day?

Because in both cases my answer will vary.

With the powerlifts (squat, bench, dead) we don't have the same problematic because these are easier to master and are the best muscle/strength builders in their category whereas if you want to perform well in the competition olympic lifts you need to practice them often BUT they are not the best overall builders of all the variations.

Assuming that your goal is simply to build a powerful looking physique with no intent on becoming a competitive olympic lifters, I would concentrate on the olympic lift variations that require the greatest power output and that are technically easier to master.

  • The power clean from blocks or from the hang
  • The power snatch from blocks or from the hang
  • The push jerk (like a push press but with a powerful leg drive)

Eventually as you skills improve you can include the power clean from the floor and power snatch from the floor (alternating between lifts from the floor, from the hang and from blocks every 2-3 sessions).

IMHO a great powerbuilder/old school bodybuilder program should revolve around these lifts:

  • Overhead press (standing military press)
  • Bench press
  • Deadlift
  • Back or front squat
  • Power clean variation
  • Power snatch variation


Coach I also started off working out in a olympic lifting gym, I can perform all of the variations of the olympic lifts. I love to work them, but in your program I don't know were to work them other then activation exercises. Where is the best place too add these in too the program?

My clean and jerk are right now around 250 (hit a wall with getting into the rack position on anything higher with clean, but for some odd reason i can jerk well over what i can clean.)

My snatch is just around 200(same problem locking out)