T Nation

Olympic Lifting and Aesthetics?


Hello all,

I recently was shown a picture of Ivan Stoitsov, and I was very inspired by what he has done. I'm 6'0, 165, and am currently on Madcows. I squat 260, bench 170 and deadlift 300.

Recently, I've become really interested in olympic lifts, and I was wondering if there was some olympic lift routine that is designed for strength as well as hypertrophy. I see that virtually all muscles get worked in olympic lifts, but it seems like all the pulling muscles get neglected (but again, I really don't know anything about oly lifting)

Any suggestions?


P.S: for the record, this is Stoitsov - http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1106/1410872951_27bc2c3002.jpg


It depends on what your goals are. If you are new to the olympic lifts I'd start with doing light technique work every day, every time that you can. Doing them as much as you can is beneficial to learning them as quick as possible and since its going to be very light, it shouldn't really interfere much with recovery. You can continue bodybuilding at the same time, I don't see why not. It's going to be a bit tougher, so you'll have to be a bit more strict with diet, sleep, recovery.

After that I would simply play it by ear. You'll have to include bench press and maybe some extra bicep work. It really depends. Build your physique with simply oly lifts and see what you are lacking. Depending on technique and their bodies everyone builds a different physique from this sport.

Program-wise it depends on how much you value each and how many days you can train. if you can train 4 days and its 50-50 you'll probably do oly lifts 2-3 times per week, squat 2-3 times and do bodybuilding(mostly upper body work) 2-3 times per week IMO. If you want to get good with the lifts you'll squat at least twice per week and do them preferably 3 times per week. If you want to build leg strength you'll squat 3 times per week, if not and your legs are big proportionally, you'll squat 2 times per week and do upper body stuff 3 times per week.


Oly lifters that I've seen don't have chest, so maybe you want to include some chest exercises like lordstorm said.

Actually oly lifters have decent back. One the most developed muscle is the traps from what I've seen.

But perhaps you shouldn't expect much from oly lifting aesthetic wise because after training for 2 years and having 100kg snatch and 120kg c&j at 60kg BW, my friend doesn't look that "hot". People probably can't even tell if he lifts weight. Then again each person might be different.


on a side note I think its kind of "funny" that back with the soviet union there are so many lifters who looked almost exactly the same: zakharevitch, kuznietsov, krahpaty, taranenko.


Sorry I havent read the other replies in this thread, but feel that I have sufficient knowledge of this stuff to comment.

OK, I have a bodybuilding and powerlifting background, so have ammassed a decent level of hypertophy onto my frame. I get comments that i look a lot bigger than I weigh and appear to be somewhat muscular.

Now I am no genetic freak, but I eat very, very well and train hard most days. Been weightlifting for 7 months or so, but in that time have noticed a few things:

  1. Alteration in muscle density - this training makes you look different; thicker, grainier, etc
  2. Thicker back (extensors), legs, forearms
  3. A general increased ability to hypertophy elsewhere.

The last point is interesting. I still perform some movements for maintenance - some pressing, chins, curls, etc. But certainly not a larg amount whatsoever. However, I've noticed that it easier for me to get more musclular (and stronger) since I started OLing. My suspicion is that this is neural somehow.

Perhaps with an overall increased ability to generate force rapidly, the neural adaptations have allowed me to recruit more high threshold motor units, which could mean a greater ability to recruit those MUs when performing hypertrophy work.

For instance, I am going on Holiday in a few weeks and have added a couple more BBing movements into my training,and thse few weeks, have clearly gotten more muscular.

So, perhaps adding in a few targetted movements for those neglected areas, like chest, arms, lats, etc, could be beneficial if seeing changes to your physique is your goal. You only have to look at some Chinese lifters to see that they carry a lot of muscle at their respective body weights.


working big muscle groups to full ROM = body increases testerone = jacks you up

The Chinese do a fair amount of overall bb exercises. I read somewhere that the coaches believe chinese people don't have the upperbody development/ strength as other lifters so this is why they do it. Sorry I can't remember the source.

All good lifters will have well developed back, legs, traps, lats and eventually shoulders. If you add in bench press, chins, dips and curls you will be well rounded.

It isn't that hard to pack on muscle if your already hammering your OLifts properly and eating lots.

You will definitely lack chest if you never BP/ push ups as thats the one area that the OLift does not hit. Biceps as well but your arms will get thickness from general size gains but your chest won't.



I met Glenn Pendlay and Jon North when they came to Scotland earlier on in the year and was really surprised by how muscular Jon was. The videos and pictures you see didnt really do him justice. Either way, he did very, very little (if any) bodybuilding stuff but was pretty thick and dense everywhere.

I suppose if you can snatch 160 and clean + Jerk nearly 200kg at 95kg then you will have a pretty decent level of mass to move and support that much weight :slightly_smiling:


Im pretty sure Jon was a bodybuilder before he got into OL.


yeah he did say that he did bodybuild and had a decent level of strength training experience before taking up weightlifting, I did speak with him about his level of development, he also swims every day and attributes some of his muscle to that, but I suppose my point was that he maintained an impressive amount of musculature without really doing much specific work for it.

In a way, I have seen this myself. Dont get me wrong, I lift pathetic weights at the moment, but maintained most of what I had before.


It's far easier to maintain then to build imo especially in the chest and biceps where there is very little work done in the OLifts.

Jon is just a thick ass mofo! He is deceptively thick built. I met him in the US.

Anyone will have a decent enough build when you can C&J 2x bw.



Anyone will have a decent enough build when you can C&J 2x bw.


Not so :slightly_smiling:


I tried to upload a picture of Sagir to show that a few top WLs actually do have very slight physiques. I just realized that Asen Zlatev can be added to that list.


He has legs, back and lats. What more do you want?



Funny that Sagir has a BMI score of 26.6 (170cm, 77kg) but looks thinner that Hui (BMI 24.4, 168cm, 69kg).


very interesting post. Incline, pullups, olympic lifts will develop a physique that will turns heads on the beach (including the ones you don't want turning) provided your DIET is in place. DIET. I said it again. In fact, let's clear this up--diet isn't short term. Diet is what you eat. Ever watch the discovery channel after a rough night? "Though the brown bear's diet consists mostly of salmon and...."


[quote]Koing wrote:

I agree that some lifters have slight builds but I bet if you were to stand next to them it would be a different.

No, not really. I have a picture of myself standing next to every single member of the Turkish national team, and some of them were/are definitely of slight build.

I have to dig up my pics with Sagir, but here's one of me with Mutlu. Mutlu was very dense, but Reyhan Arabicoglu and Taner Sagir were not. They had average physiques, which of course doesn't matter to weightlifters. Still, it's worth pointing out that neither Reyhan nor Taner 'had' legs or any muscle group, any more than an average gym-goer who puts some effort into training. I think it's a bit of WL propaganda to suggest that 'we' have the best aesthetics. No, we don't, and oftentimes WLs are of demonstrably slight build. Again, not that it matters.


Oh, and huge props to anyone who can tell me the name of that Turkish lifter visible squatting just behind me in the picture with Halil Mutlu!


i don't think that many 135lb guys or girls are considered hot. maybe some taller girls. I'll amend this statement for some gymnasts. I'm impressed by the lifts though


On a tangential note, Taner Sagir's career ended after a positive doping test and, from what I remember from the Turkish media, a bizarre and public death threat against the tester. I can't think of another WL who flamed out that quickly--from Olympic gold to whacked-out oblivion in short order.

All the Turkish national coaches were replaced at around the same time; I don't know the current coaches. Apparently the entire Turkish Weightlifting Federation came under sanctions in 2006. A lot of prospects on the national team also flamed out at around the same time and were not heard from again.

I've always felt bad that Mutlu couldn't get it together for another gold medal in 2008.


Is it Hakan Yilmaz (spelling?) 94kg lifter?