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Olympic Weightlifting

Hey guys,

i’ve justed started doing some olympic weightlifting, switching over from powerlifting. I’m properly coached, and progressing well, i’m just wondering if anyone has any hot tips or good advice they wish they had when they started.

Other than of course, take it slow and light, learn the technique, which i’ve heard one million times, because i always want to go heavier…

if it matters, i’m 21, can dead 240kg, squat 220kg, (both without suit). I c&j 100kg the other day, after two weeks of training, coach was annoyed, but i had to see how i was going.

any advice is greatly appreciated, aswell as any books, sites or articles you feel a very important


work on technique and speed. i’ve cleaned over 100kg and i could NEVER deadlift anywhere near what you can.

Big Roland,
If you are doing well and feeling good as an olympic lifter, God bless you! However, if, at some point down the road, you feel like every tendon you own has been through a train wreck, come back to powerlifting!
Many powerlifters hit their peak strength in their early 40’s and continue to lift well for many more years. (Louie Simmons peaked in his early 50’s!) By age 30, most olympic lifters have had enough fun…

Don’t get me wrong, i still rate powerlifting highly, i’m just sick of jumping in and out of suits, or worse, placing behind a guy i’m stronger than, that has better gear.

has anyone got a tips for the shoulder and hip flexor / ankle flexibility to get comfortably into the bottom of the snatch, i cant keep my ankles down, with my arms pressed out, and produce any power. i’m just doing dynamic stretching now to try and open up the area

Type ‘Dan John’ in the google websearch. An entire site devoted to the O lifts. His “Get UP” news letter is killer.

This is the reply I sent to another powerlifter turned olympic lifter… maybe it will help you also. BTW, this lifter pretty much has the same dead and squats as you do (250-260kg).

With your deadlift and squat you do have the strength to clean and jerk around 170-180kg and snatch around 130-135kg… I am designing the program of Canadian champ Parm Phangura who squats and deadlifts about the same weights as you and has a 190kg clean and 155kg snatch.

So right now your priority should be to master perfect technique and develop explosiveness.

The toughest thing to do for a very strong guy such as you, is to start a new sport while you have too much strength for the bars you are nbow technically able to do. Basically the fact that you have so much strength makes it harder to develop perfect technique.

So my advice is to split your training into maximal and technical sessions. In the maximal sessions, go very heavy on variations of the lifts (e.g. power snatch, power clean, clean from blocks, snatch from blocks, clean from hang, snatch from hang, push jerks, push presses) and on the technical sessions stay within the 70-85% range on the classic lifts and focus on crispness, pulling speed and speed under the bar.

A good technique session can use a variation of the old Joe Mills template called “20”…

Start with a weight that is 35kg below your max…

Set 1: 5 reps with 35kg less than your max
Set 2: 5 reps with 30kg less than your max
Set 3: 5 reps with 25kg less than your max
Set 4: 1 rep with 20kg less than your max
Set 5: 1 rep with 17.5kg less than you max
Set 6: 1 rep with 15kg less than your max
Set 7: 1 rep with 12.5kg less than your max
Set 8: 1 rep with 10kg less than your max

For a total of 20 reps. If you are successful for the whole 20 reps (successful meaning technically correct and good lift) you can increase the starting load by 5kg at the next session. If you miss even one lift, you stay with the same scheme at the next session. Take only one minute betweem sets.

Depending on the time you have to train you can use one of the following schedules:


Monday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Tuesday: Strength session (snatch/clean pull, squat, push press)
Wednesday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Thursday: Strength session (snatch from blocks, clean from blocks, push jerk)
Friday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Saturday: Strength session (front squat, deadlift, incline bench press)
Sunday: OFF


Monday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Tuesday: Strength session (snatch/clean pull, squat, push press)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Friday: Strength session (snatch from blocks, clean from blocks, push jerk, front squat)
Saturday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Sunday: OFF


Monday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Tuesday: Strength session (snatch/clean pull, squat, push press)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Technique session (snatch, clean & jerk)
Friday: Strength session (snatch from blocks, clean from blocks, push jerk, front squat)
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: OFF

During the strength session I would suggest a 3/2/1 wave scheme … one wave = 1 x 3, 1 x 2 , 1 x 1 … if you complete all 6 lifts in a wave, you start a new one with 2,5-5kg more than the preceding wave on all sets. Continue until you miss a lift. When you miss a lift you can attempt it one more time, if you miss, the exercise is over.

Take around 2 minutes between sets.

Hope this helps!

thats gotta make you feel special, the beast answering my post…

another point, what are the opinions of intergrating plyometrics into O lifting programs. i’ve noticed alot of programs have them, put my coach thinks there rubbish??

are they usefull, and how are they implemented.

Olympic lifters should not do a lot of high intensity plyo work. The competitive lifts are already plyometric in nature, and doing a lot of intense plyo work would be overkill. In a general physical preparation phase, where the volume of lifting is reduced it might be good to use them, but other than that, don’t do to much.

One thing that all Olympic lifters use and all aspiring Olympic lifters should learn to use is a hook grip. It is indispensable. Especially due to the strength that you already posess. When you start getting up in weight(bar weight) and try to excelerate that bar it will pop right out of your hands without a hook grip. This ain’t no “slow” deadlift. In fact, now that I have used the hook grip for so long I use it when I deadlift and drive a car…and eat. Well, you get the picture. Make it a habit.
As far a ankle flexibility is concerned, there are plenty of stretches and exercises you can do but to list them would take to long. A quick fix, and well worth the investment, is a good pair of Olympic lifting shoes. I have the Adidas Ironwork shoes. They work great!
Just some thoughts.

roland, the best advice anyone can possibly give you is to listen to the coach that is in the gym with you everyday.

writing a program is about 10% of the equation… the part that really requires brains and expertise is the other 90% which is done in the gym while you are training with adjustments, technique cues, etc.

since you say you hve a proper coach, make use of him, he sees you everyday and his advice is therefore about 100 times as valuable as anything you will get on ;the internet.

ive coached a lot of guys like you, strong to start with but not yet good lifters… the ones who succeeded were the ones who listened and were patient. the ones who wont listen or are always seeking better, or different advice generally did not succeed or at least took much longer.

good luck with your lifting, its a great sport and one you can certainly enjoy for many, many years!

I am also a powerlifting convert to Olifting. And in three years I became 23 and under champ and nationally ranked with much weaker powerlifts than you. The advice I can give is be patient, slowly increase your gpp and increase the volume and intensity. Eventually to be competitive you will have to do 9 or more workouts a week. In O lifting the higher you go the more work you have to do.

Glen is absolutely right. The lifts are technical and you need someone there to make corrections as they happen. Anyone can follow a program, but if you are making technical mistaks (which as a beginer, you are.) it doesn’t matter what the program says. If you are making progress, then stick with this coach. If other athletes make good progress with this coach than that’s another good sign.