T Nation

Olympic Lifting?, Coach Thibadeau, anyone

Started lifting again a few weeks ago, and have been using light weights, excellent form, etc etc. I don’t plan on getting hurt because of excessive enthusiasm because I am really out of shape.
OK, so one of my fav exercises has been the power clean. I have never had olympic lift coaching, other than what I’ve read, so I am esp careful on this exercise. I have been doing 5x5, starting with just the bar and then, last workout, my top sets were with 65 lbs.
And yet, my left wrist is really bothering me. I started typing the other day and gasped in pain. WTF? AM i that fragile? Am I too weak structurally to begin an olympic assistance lift?
What are my options? SHould I just focus on regular exercises until I am in better shape? Should I focus on stretching the wrists?
Its not a question of overall strength, the weight is really light.
THe power cleans have been preceded by Romanian deadlifts, 5x5, also very light, and Waiter’s bows, 2x20, very easy.
Someone with Olympic lifting experience pls advise. Thanks

Hey,
My first thought would be that you wrists are inflexible. Try to video tape youself doing the cleans, your left arm may not be racking as fast as the right, causing the bar to come down on your hand at an awkward angle.
Another suggestion would be to do your cleans before your RDL and Waiter’s bows. I realize that you only using the bar, but eventually you will use weight. Doing RDL’s and WB’s you are fatigueing your hams, glutes, spinal erectors. I wouldn’t reccomend doing the clean after doing all that other work for your prost. chain.

Grazie Il Cazzo.

I don’t have a video camera, but I will have someone watch me from diff’t angles to see what is going on. Even though I don’t like to stretch before working out, I may just stretch the wrists pre and post power cleaning.
If that doesn’t help…well, I’ll just have to get stronger in my wrists, hands and fingers.
Or not do it anymore

You have to work on stretching the extensor and flexor muscles of the forearms. When I first started olys I went through this as well. It sucks, but it will eventually go away but don’t push it. You must give it some rest between sessions so the wrists will recover, just focus on the accessory lifts. Another point, and I find this to be a big problem with most people. Are you using an olympic bar? Most gyms are not equipped with proper olympic bars. An olympic bar has much more resilience and flexibility in it to give it more “bounce”. It also spins much more fluidly in your grip, so the flicking of the wrists when you “catch” the bar is not as hard on the wrists. This is a big problem with the regular bars. They look very similar in that they are the same size and weight, but the dynamics are completely different. This is why some Eleiko bars are over $1000. I guarantee this is the root of your problem.

Thanks fo the advice, I will definitely stretch before during and after the lift.
When you wrote “You must give it some rest between sessions so the wrists will recover, just focus on the accessory lifts”

…what exactly do you mean? Only do accessory lifts on my other training days? Because that’s the only Oly lift I do, and i do it 2x a week, M and thur.

Pls clarify that

And yes, I am not using a real Olympic bar. My college may have the shittiest weight room out of every 4yr college in the United States. Hell, most COmmunity Colleges or Tech schools have better weight rooms. One flimsy rusty power rack, shitty rusty bars, only 3 5lb plates, broken aerobic machines in a corner…but they have new treadmills! Lord knows you gotta have treadmills instead of actually going outside.

Maybe I can get Jerry Seinfeld to pony up some dough…he’s filthy rich and my school’s most famous alumnus.


You have to work on stretching the extensor and flexor muscles of the forearms. When I first started olys I went through this as well. It sucks, but it will eventually go away but don’t push it. You must give it some rest between sessions so the wrists will recover, just focus on the accessory lifts. Another point, and I find this to be a big problem with most people. Are you using an olympic bar? Most gyms are not equipped with proper olympic bars. An olympic bar has much more resilience and flexibility in it to give it more “bounce”. It also spins much more fluidly in your grip, so the flicking of the wrists when you “catch” the bar is not as hard on the wrists. This is a big problem with the regular bars. They look very similar in that they are the same size and weight, but the dynamics are completely different. This is why some Eleiko bars are over $1000. I guarantee this is the root of your problem

you’ve already gotten some good advicethat i totally agree with considering i’ve had the same problems. finding a gym with real olympic bars will be nearly impossible. i know you are a college kid but go join a gym since your is inadequate. there is one that i workout at by northern and main on prince street. it’s currently at $150 a year. laters pk

Sorta OT… but what makes an OLY bar OLY? is it just the double collar for rotation? or is there more than that? Better quality different flexibility in certain areas?

.back to original topic. is your lifting technique right? the bar goes straight up and down and not reverse curling? try using a 35 bar and putting on 10lb’ers for stability maybe? It sounds like it would feel weird without weight. How low do you start the clean since theres no weights? … are you saying you did some 65lb cleans, or bar + 65 , or bar + 65 per side?

also, when i was doing cleans, my teammates were telling me i was using too much arm and not enough leg drive. almost reverse curling. So what i did was have a real loose grip, just having the bar hooked with my fingers no firm grasp on the bar. That way i couldnt grip it and reverse curl it. I would pull the weight and dip under. This was only with light weight though, otherwise my fingers would fall off.

im not sure if thats good, but thats what i did. anyone else want to jump in?

By assistance lifts I meant: snatch pulls from hang, snatch pulls from box, snatch pulls from floor, clean pulls from floor, clean pulls from hang, clean pulls from box, snatch cuban press, push jerk, military press, split jerk, drop snatch, overhead squat, back squat, front squat, deadlift. You can do these until your wrist heals. The only exercises here that might put strain on your wrists are the snatch version of the lifts, especially if you have long arms because of the awkward angle of holding the bar with such a wide grip.

Pkraqdgreek: thanks for the info. You figured out it was Queens COllege huh? Yeah that weightroom is pretty famo…oh. It was the Jerry Seinfeld thing wasn’t it? :slight_smile:
I’m not driving right now, so on-campus lifting is where its at for now. I have a LONG commute, coming in from Staten Island.

vvsonikvv- I meant the toal weight was 65 lbs. I’m pretty sure iw asn’t reverse curling but like I said above, I’ll have someone check my form. Maybe its a combination of factors

Loopfitt, if the power clean continues to hurt, then I’ll switch to another assistance lift.