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Olympic Lifting & Powerlifting Training


When in conjunction with the 4 main movements - bench squat dead lift and OH press for powerlifting, should the Olympic variations be kept at a Dynamic Effort for fast, explosive reps? Should I be working up to heavy triples - singles?

comments and responses greatly appreciated

  • Chase


There are only 3 lifts in PL. The overhead press is not a contested powerlift; ironically, it used to be an Olympic lift.

The Olympic lifts are not variations on anything.

The 'Dynamic Effort' terminology does not belong to weightlifting. All weightlifting consists of dynamic efforts.

The Olympic lifts cannot be optimally (if at all) trained by someone who is also simultaneously training the four lifts you mentioned.

I'm not sure how it happened, but there's been an increase in the number of people who think that the Olympic lifts can be trained on the side, as adjuncts to other kinds of training. Technically, it is possible, but it is also possible to train for the 400 meters and the 100 meters at the same time. It's a recipe for lack of progression in either style of lifting, injury, frustration, and horrendous form.

When did it happen that weightlifting assumed the status of an item in a salad bar of training? Weightlifting is the most challenging form of training (if you add in variables such as balance and skill) with weights that exists. The Olympic lifts cannot be accessories, because you will fail to master them unless you devote yourself to them, and doing them in a haphazard way is pointless anyway.

The ADHD of modern training philosophies continues, with people running Westside hybrid 5/3/1 neural drive mechanical drop set nonlinear ballistic periodization. If you look at Andy Bolton's program, it's maniacally simple. So is the Bulgarian style of weightlifting (which, for some reason I cannot quite fathom, has now been branded the 'John Broz method').

In your post I see capitalism plus the Internet plus an interest in strength training gone awry. Training has become like an iPod playlist jammed with 15 irreconcilable styles. Please just do one thing and get it right, and follow the existing templates. This may sound harsh to you, but it's the best possible way to get good at a strength discipline.


If you are just going for powerlifting, it is possible to use o-lifts, or there variations, as accessory movements. If that's what you are doing, I wouldn't go too heavy. But you aren't going to get good at o-lifting that way.


yes the general idea is to be doing 1-3 reps with snatch and clean and jerk unless its warm ups(and even then usually 1-3 still). I don't get why doing powerlifting would change whether you should be doing 2 or 10 reps.


That's the thing, if you don't get good with the oly lifts then they aren't very useful. If you plan to be doing american high school football power cleans then you might as well ... NOT.

If someone wants to try to add them slowly and without a coach it will take ~3 years before they can really be of benefit to their powerlifting training.


You can using them just for active recovery/speed work/neural activation without being great at them. Have you seen the training videos of thibs getting some of the BBers doing power cleans and such?


If you are doing them properly, sure. If you are doing a fast deadlift followed by an upright row, it's not going to help much. Might as well just do fast deadlifts and fast rows seperately.

I haven't seen the videos.


lol. This is exactly why I don't do them.


I'm talking about using Olympic lifts as an accessory to power lifting. I'm talking about prioritizing my training around bench squat dead lift and OHP. Power Cleans, Split Jerks, Squat Cleans, Snatch Variations.. etc. for neural charge and using them for speed and explosive strength development.

I like Thibs idea of complex training. I'd like to make my own complexes using say a clean or snatch variation, a plyo or isometric, a strength movement (bench squat press and dead lift) and a strong man activity to call it day.

Is there anything wrong with that?

Strength discipline? Taking care of your body is simple, and everyone has their own preferred way of doing so - I don't need to follow some scientific bull shit or branded method to get strong and maintain myself. I'm not looking to compete right now, therefore I could careless what the competition movements are.

I didn't ask for you to knock my post, I was looking for constructive criticism and some guidance ; not a metaphorical description of the misconceptions in strength training lol.
I appreciate the response but you really didn't offer any help.


Exactly, I'm not trying to be an olympic lifter or body builder or powerlifting, I simply like lifting heavy shit though and would am interested in using the olympic lifts like Thibs does


Have you tried thibs programing for them?


In my opinion jerks is about "driving" your body down and deploying your legs/feet quickly. In fact when I did it correctly I didn't feel my arms driving the weight up at all (if that what your intention is). Not sure if this would be the same at heavier weights.

Still relevant to this topic, I think power clean/snatch is fairly easy to learn. Just make sure that you do them correctly.


Speed and explosive strength are developed, in the classical lifts, with a combination of good technique and high-intensity (80%+) training zones. If you can deadlift 500 pounds but are slow reverse-curling 185, you're short-changing yourself in the ability to build speed-strength. The weight will not be heavy enough to challenge you, and heavy weight will be beyond your technique to lift. That's the essence of the dilemma faced by people who try to combine weightlifting with other disciplines.

As for constructive criticism, my comments may have devolved into a rant, but what I wanted to emphasize was that the goal of using weightlifting to develop speed-strength while training 4 other strenuous, demanding lifts is going to be prohibitively difficult to attain.

But if you have extremely idiosyncratic reasons for combining several forms of training based entirely on how they feel and without care for optimizing any of them, then there's nothing wrong with that. Do us a favor and report back on how your hybrid training goes. Best of luck.


It might be worth checking out CT's forum and asking him what he thinks about a hybrid program built around your 4 core lifts and weightlifting. I'd be interested in his response, one way or the other.


DoubleDuce I have been reading and looking into Thibs stuff for a while. I think the guy is brilliant.
Delikurt - I feel like you're basically saying the someone can't be decently strong in all areas. Like olympic lifters don't have a strong back squat. Or powerlifters can't power clean.

Is there a law of some sort I'm not aware of that prohibits athletes from doing multiple sorts of training? It's no hybrid bull shit. Why is it that I see professional football players who I had the opportunity to be in the same training facility with this past week doing power snatches and jerks, along with dead lifts and squats?

I'm a football player if you haven't read any of my previous threads. I probably should have mentioned that in my original post. Let me re phrase my question to this thread, because I'm really interested in what's more beneficial to a football player/all around athlete. At 18 years old, should I be doing more of olympic based training, or focus on the core lifts... bench squat press and deads? I'm a mike backer and running back going to college and looking to keep continually bulking. So from an olympic lifters stand point... what should my weight training be based on from your opinions?

  • Chase


If I post in CTs forum, what should I title it to grab his attention?


CT is religious about responding to all posts addressed to him (but in his training thread). Ask his advice for setting up a program that combines WL and PL or just check out his generic recommendations for football players.


No, I think decent strength can be developed in all the 5 lifts (check out the supertotals site, for example, for more on this). This is how a lot of people used to lift in the golden age.

I just don't think OPTIMAL strength can be expressed in all areas. There's a difference between 'decent' and 'optimal.' A lot of us are trying to optimize; others are happy with what you call decent strength spread across the big 5. Preferences can't be dictated, as you've reminded me.

If I were in your position, I'd stick to just the power snatch. It'll give you extension, the learning curve beats that of a full snatch, and you'll build explosive follow-through. Of course, you might already be having to power clean. How is your training set up right now?





to be honest chase44 I've no idea what would be best for football.

In my opinion you could just do olympic lifting the normal way and add in bench press. You'll be doing plenty of pulling instead of deadlifts(although I guess you could still deadlift once per week but not a lot of volume) and you'll be doing plenty of squats. I definitely think full high bar back squats and full front squats would be better for football rather than low bar parallel/half squats.

The big problem is that without a good coach and doing the actual lifts 3 times per week it will take a very long time before they can really be beneficial. It definitely is doable, just hard.