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Pre-Olympic Lifting Strength Routine

Hey guys, I really want to learn the Olympic Lifts. However, I do not believe I am strong enough to learn them yet. I am female, and have done cut after cut, and never worked on strength. I started my 2 a day strength routine 5 weeks ago, and went from barely being able to do an eccentric-only chin-up, to being able to do a couple full ones with only a Jumpstretch mini band (25 lb) for support. I will finish this routine in another 5 weeks.

After I finish the strength routine I am currently on, I want to start a strength routine where I will prime my body to be able to learn the Olympic lifts. I really don’t know much about the sport, aside its based on the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch. But I was thinking first working on just clean, overhead squats, support work, etc. This will also give me some time to sort out my life enough to be able to find, and work with, a coach.

In fact, this whole idea may just be a cop out to not start learning the lifts right now. Both my parents are terminally sick, and I spend a fair share of my time with them, and also at school. If someone thinks this whole idea is a bad idea, I’d be open to suggestions on what to do instead.

I would say you could teach yourself to front squat and back squat. Make the squat as strong as possible.

You should probably press, too, as overhead strength/stability will be important.

Work on mobility (get to the point where a PVC overhead squat to rock bottom is easy).

Save the actual lifts for when you have a coach.

Start learning the oly lifts now. Preferably with a coach, but if one isn’t available in your area, you can teach yourself (it’s slower, but many people act like the lifts are some trade secret passed from father to son or something, and they’re not).

I say start learning the lifts when you’re weak, so that you aren’t strong enough to hurt yourself.

Life hurts- do what you gotta do, and include squats in there somewhere and you’ll be alright. But my vote is to start learning now.

You might also look into a Crossfit school/club that could be in your area. They do certification classes in Olympic lifting all the time and at the very least they can teach you the basics. Just go on the Crossfit website and look under affiliates for your state.

I taught myself and I think I have fairly decent technique. Watch everything from Dan John…5 times…seriously.

[quote]EG wrote:
I taught myself and I think I have fairly decent technique. Watch everything from Dan John…5 times…seriously.[/quote]

X2 also read his Get Up book which is free on his website danjohn.org

Yes, I would start learning the Olympic lift mechanics now. Olympic lifting is much like any other action in sport, from throwing a ball to swinging a left hook to rolling a bowling ball. If you want to get good, you need to perform the motion and endless number of times.

I’m not an Olympic lifter, but I don’t think you need a pre-Olympic strength program. Do n Olympic lift program and then only after you learn your weaknesses should you start developing a specialized program based around boosting those cracks in the armor and then building overall force development.

I agree with Fiction. Start your Olympic lifts now and find what your weaknesses may be. Then work on them. Most likely you just need to continue developing a strong base.

That doesn’t mean you can’t start performing the O-lifts with light weight, even if it is just the bar. I coach young kids and start them out with a broom stick sometimes. If that is the case than you can practice the movements at your home.

If you can’t find a coach I suggest watching videos of the past Olympics on YouTube or some other video hub. Fortunately for you, Florida is one of the “biggest” weightlifting states. They have many clubs.

Try going to the USA weightlifting website and look up the listed clubs to find one near you.

btw, CT’s Black has a complete Olympic Lifting training regimen.

I agree with everyone. Start with power cleans and squats for sure.

[quote]ultimatethor wrote:
You might also look into a Crossfit school/club that could be in your area. They do certification classes in Olympic lifting all the time and at the very least they can teach you the basics. Just go on the Crossfit website and look under affiliates for your state.[/quote]

The Crossfit website has a ton of demonstration videos too!!!

Thanks for all the replies, guys.

Okay, so my original idea is bad.

I can’t find a Crossfit affiliate near my area. I live in Miami Beach. Is there anywhere else I can look?

I’d be up for teaching myself. Atleast until I can find someone to help me. When time comes down to it, I can buy any book or supplies that will be necessary. So I am up for any recommendations in that area too.

One more question now…How would I go about learning the lifts? Like, what should I include? I’m sure there are beginer’s programs out there. Is there one that you guys think is better than the others?

[quote]LetMeFly wrote:
Thanks for all the replies, guys.

Okay, so my original idea is bad.

I can’t find a Crossfit affiliate near my area. I live in Miami Beach. Is there anywhere else I can look?

I’d be up for teaching myself. Atleast until I can find someone to help me. When time comes down to it, I can buy any book or supplies that will be necessary. So I am up for any recommendations in that area too.

One more question now…How would I go about learning the lifts? Like, what should I include? I’m sure there are beginer’s programs out there. Is there one that you guys think is better than the others? [/quote]

You original idea wasn’t bad, but I think it is important to really ingrain the motor skills necessary for the Olympic lifts. They are very technical.

As I mentioned Christian Thibaudeau has an entire chapter devoted to learning the Olympic Lifts (he was originally a competitive Olympic Lifter) in his Black Book of Training Secrets.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/product/the_black_book_of_training_secrets

Check out performancemenu.com:
http://www.performancemenu.com/

Greg Everett does the site and he is also the guy who does the crossfit olympic lifting certifications. Theres a bunch of free stuff on there, and there is a crossfit oly lifting seminar dvd in the store. I purchased it and it is a pretty good intro to the lifts. A coach would be better, but it is better than nothing.

He also just did a pretty big book on teaching and learning the oly lifts as well that just came out, but I haven’t checked it out yet.

It’s a pretty good resource as far as websites go.

[Edit: The crossfit journal has some good videos too of coach burgener teaching the lifts. Its like $25/year which is pretty cheap considering the amount of stuff in there.

coach burgener’s website:
http://www.mikesgym.org/

crossfit journal:


]

Thanks again guys. I am at school right now but am going to check out all that stuff when I get home and have some time.

Would I be able to find a structured program I can follow in one of those sources? I am usually pretty good at programming for myself but I have absolutely no idea where to start in this area.

[quote]EG wrote:
I taught myself and I think I have fairly decent technique.[/quote]

Hehe start seeing a coach and he’ll tell you otherwise :wink:

Broom Stick + Olympic Lifts = Start
Getting a Coach = Next Step

Coaching is super important in O Lifting. There are so many technical nuances that only a coach can pick up after watching you perform certain lifts over hundreds of time. They can also tailor workouts based on your individual strengths and weakness, thus allowing you to progress at a much more rapid rate, as opposed to just learning on your own.

Also, if you find a coach like mine, you will always have a competition on the horizon to train for. A competitive environment encourages progression. As someone mentioned above, where you live has a big O lifting community. The faster you find a coach, the better. Good luck.

Crossfit is your friend.

If you can Power Snatch a Broomstick, you’re ready.

Yes, you still need to bring up your chinning power, but Squats, Good-Mornings, and Pulling a Barbell off the floor will be more important.

You can do overhead med-ball throws, Good-Mornings with Bands, Pull-Throughs with bands, Push-ups, Clap Push-ups, and of course Jump Training to progress your training faster if you can’t handle a lot of training volume with a Barbell.

Lifting Twice a day at this point sounds like it might be too much.

The Olympic lifts are about flexibility and coordination too. Whatever you can do to develop those will most likley help you out.

[quote]Invictica wrote:
Broom Stick + Olympic Lifts = Start
Getting a Coach = Next Step

Coaching is super important in O Lifting. There are so many technical nuances that only a coach can pick up after watching you perform certain lifts over hundreds of time. They can also tailor workouts based on your individual strengths and weakness, thus allowing you to progress at a much more rapid rate, as opposed to just learning on your own.

Also, if you find a coach like mine, you will always have a competition on the horizon to train for. A competitive environment encourages progression. As someone mentioned above, where you live has a big O lifting community. The faster you find a coach, the better. Good luck.[/quote]

Great advice! Having a coach cannot be replaced in any way. Even if you know what you’re doing and can feel what you are doing wrong, having a coach give you cues before each attempt helps 100 times more. I coach weightlifting, as I’ve said before, and I feel I am a much better lifter when I am training with my coach.

There is a beginner/intermediate book by Jim Schmitz (two time olympic coach) that is good. Also you can search engine his name to a web site in San Fran.
The site has a demo video by Tommy Kono on technique that you will like–it avoids some bad habits for beginners. Also there is a training plan by the Dube Brothers that I like as well, and much more info.

Good luck in lifting