Its not Rhode Island, but if you are willing to make the trek right across the border to New London, Ct I will work with you. I am the Strength Coach at the Coast Guard Academy and a USAW Certified Coach. So long as it is at a convenient time for me (while I am at the gym anyway, and during a fairly slow time) I don’t mind giving you some tips for free.
Beyond that, I would definitely avoid lifting with regular plates. If you have to hang on tight (for fear of dropping and breaking them) I think that will cause you to probably use your arms a bit more than you should and not learn the explosiveness you are really looking for. For a location to train at in the long run, I hate to mention them but crossfits CAN be ok. Just be real clear about what you are there for (not to do “metcons” and start wearing vibrams and board shorts).
And as far as just using the bar, or a pvc pipe or something… yea, you probably should. Admittedly I didn’t, and was trying to max probably WAY earlier than I should have, but learn from my mistakes. Beyond that, there are great resources here at T-Nation, then Catalyst Athletics Website would probably be your next stop for Weightlifting. They have some great books on the topic.
I would really like to get into Olympic Lifting once and for all, I am sick of doing these bodybuilding routines. In the past I learned how to clean/power clean but it was for sports. I live in Rhode Island and I don’t know of anywhere I could slam some bars. I am currently working out at a commercial gym where I get a free membership.
Where could i lift in Rhode Island?
Should I try to lift at my gym now with regular plates and no bumpers?
Would it be a good idea to get the Snatch and Clean n Jerk down with just the bar for now?