T Nation

Olympic Lifting Progression


Hey Christian,

I saw in a recent post that you said you do the strength program that is on your new site, however, you start each session off with an olympic lift variation. I’ve been playing around with that idea too as a way to train the supertotal and was just wondering how you set these lifts up and how you progress them. I train 4 days per week and was planning on alternating the olympic lift at the start of each session allowing me to hit each o-lift twice a week. I know the answer could probably depend on weakness and technique issues with the o-lifts but just wondering in a general sense how to structure this.

Thank you.


For most people looking to benefit from OL but not compete, I don’t think you want to use progressive overloads like you would for BP, DL, squat, etc… I don’t know your form, but let’s assume it’s pretty good but not great. I’d use a moderate weight and focus on explosion for 2-4 reps, and not try to figure out a 1RM or anything like that to base percentages off of and progress. If you feel like you can get 4-5 explosive reps, move up in weight over time.

I’d stick 1-2 OL’s at the beginning of a workout. If you use them for conditioning or a finisher, you can do EMOM-type of training, BUT, if your form isn’t great I’ve found DB variations (like 1 arm DB snatches or KB clean and jerks) work better as a conditioning finisher for many people.


That is correct… heck even if you plan on competing, the progressive overload method doesn’t work that well on the olympic lifts because of their high technical component.

I would recommend 1 olympic lift per day for sets of 3 reps, changing the variaiton (hang power, block power, floor power or even full lifts if you can). Work on speed and skill and on days you feel particularly sharp you can go heavier. It doesn’t have to be complicated


Thank you. This goes along with what I was thinking - to mostly use auto-regulation to determine progression. But it helps that you mention triples, because that’s partly where I was confused was the rep range. Sounds like a good plan, thanks to both of you!