Realistic Expectations?

I’ve been lifting for a few years now… Started in my early teens to get big, along the way played some sports, and now I just lift for the love of it

I consider myself a moderately strong guy… Not STRONG by strength athlete standards, but decently strong. I have an Elite Raw PL total (at least by these standards: http://www.rawpowerlifting.com/classifications.htm they do vary alot)

The thing is… I am PISS weak at Olympic Lifting. Even if I went down 3 or 4 weight categories (which I probably even’t physically can’t), I wouldn’t even be competitive at a REGIONAL level

I can’t understand this world apart in strength. Should I just give up hope on being particularly strong at the weightlifts? Is it even possible without an early start, lifelong dedication, proper coaching and strong drug use?

You are piss weak at Olympic lifting…at the moment. That has no bearing on how you will be in 2,3 or 10-years time.

Chances are you aren’t squatting like an oly lifter, aren’t as flexible as an oly lifter and simply aren’t as explosive as an oly lifter. The lifts are very technical (especially the snatch) and take a very long time to master, although the basic can be learned in a matter of a few weeks.

I suppose it depends on what your goals are but I certainly don’t think you should give up before you’ve really started.

Coaching is invaluable but I know at least 1 guy who isn’t a natural strength athlete who got to the standard of a 110kg snatch and 140kg c&j within 2-years with little to no coaching so it can be done.

Just how weak as piss are you?

Strength in the powerlifts generally doesn’t transfer well into the olympic lifts. You have to practice the lifts and their variations to get powerful and fast in the positions necessary for a good snatch/clean/jerk. You’ve gotta be able to put your ego aside, or you’re just going to be continually frustrated that you’re shifting so much less weight.

As far as “giving up” I think that’s a piss poor attitude. You probably won’t be going to the olympics but you can get pretty good at the o-lifts even with far from optimal conditions if you work hard and are consistent. And focus a helluva lot on your technique.

Weightlifting will take some time…strength is very handy. It is definately a strength sport.

What numbers do you post in the OLifts and in the FS and BS Oly style? Not PL squat…how is your mobility?

If you fix your mobility, FS at least 160 then you should be able to do at least 85/110 with fairly poor and slow form…if you get better form that will creep up to at least 100/125.

I think with fairly good form you should be able to CJ your 5rep max front squat as a rough guideline, if you have crazy technique you can do about your 3RM.

There is a reason why Lu Xiaojun can FS 230 for an easy double a few days out of a competition…Klokov FS 250 WITH A 2-3second PAUSE. You have to be brutally strong to lift big weights once your technique is good. Your technique will limit you but after putting down a few hundred hrs with a coach your technique will improve a lot.

I think people should be able to Sn at least bw with within 2yrs. Seek a coach and get on training and don’t be so negative about things. You don’t need drugs to hit at least 100/120. Granted only about 3/4 people at most on here can Sn more then 120 in comp…it’s not huge but it’s not chump change from 100 to 120 on the Sn. Everyone that can Sn 120 can FS at least 155-160+.

GET ON IT! I want to see someone else lift big!

Koing

Thanks for the advice everyone

Regarding questions, I’ll try to awnser them all in one post

Numbers: I’m actually about where you predicted, Koing. My only measured FS is a recent triple with 155kg, though it could probably go up to 160kg in a week or two seeing as it was an untrained movement

I have ‘jerked’ 110kg… jerked in quotation marks because it would never pass. it was more of a push split press with a very long and grunty lockout. I have no idea on the snatch… None of my snatches would ever pass. I have trouble getting proper arm extension and getting under the bar.

I can’t BS oly style… I squat with a wide stance to my fed’s (WPC) legal depth. When I squat oly style, I completely lose my back arch, bend over and get bad back pain. My mobility is definitely terrible

But even in movements that don’t require so much mobility (a jerk out of the rack for example), I am terribly weak. I struggled with a terrible, ugly, 110kg ‘jerk’. For comparison, I bench 180kg raw. But it’s like it has no transfer whatsoever

[quote]want2getlean wrote:
But even in movements that don’t require so much mobility (a jerk out of the rack for example), I am terribly weak. I struggled with a terrible, ugly, 110kg ‘jerk’. For comparison, I bench 180kg raw. But it’s like it has no transfer whatsoever
[/quote]
It DOESN’T have any transfer at all!

Jerks still require good shoulder mobility and even small technical errors can waste a lot of the power you generate. You may, for example, be shifting the weight from your heels to your toes as you drive up. You may be dipping too far and so making it a long slow drive upwards. You might not be keeping your torso tight enough and so lose a lot of power as it moves through your body from your hips to your spine.

I’ve known guys who can bench 200kg who can only do an ugly ass 100kg jerk and then it still wouldn’t pass. DO NOT get caught up in what you can do in PL and DO NOT get too caught in what you can do OL style. Just work the basics, improve technique, flexibility, strength in the correct movements and you quickly progress.

I have started hammering Front Squats and doing some Hang Power Cleans

I can’t do full cleans yet… I’m too slow/uncoordinated and I have trouble front squatting after the catch (tight inner hips and lower back rolls foward), so I just started with HPCs to get used to cleaning things

Really excited about getting started with OLY lifting… Even if I will never ammount to much in the sport, I want to become at least strong enough to win some local competitions some day… I’ve fetishized with this sport ever since I used to catch the broadcasts on cable TV as a kid

Thanks guys, your advice and words really meant alot. Now I haven’t given up before even starting and can at least experience a tiny bit of this sport

Make sure you’re stretching 2x a day and doing the bar work so you get more flexible so you can do proper cleans.

Do the lifts from the floor, don’t do them from the hang. you need to learn how to lift from the floor.

Koing

[quote]Koing wrote:
Make sure you’re stretching 2x a day and doing the bar work so you get more flexible so you can do proper cleans.

Do the lifts from the floor, don’t do them from the hang. you need to learn how to lift from the floor.

Koing[/quote]

Will start pulling from the floor right away.

Thanks for the continued advice guys!

Hey Koing, I have a few more questions

Do you do any strict pressing? If so, how often?
How important is pure pressing strength to the jerk?

I am a terrible overhead presser

Jerks are all leg drive and unless you’re really weak that you can’t hold the bar overhead you don’t need to press IMO

[quote]want2getlean wrote:
Hey Koing, I have a few more questions

Do you do any strict pressing? If so, how often?
How important is pure pressing strength to the jerk?

I am a terrible overhead presser[/quote]

Not Koing, but . . .

I don’t do any strict pressing and I’ve never seen any noticable increase in my jerks from strict pressing or push press work. I find my jerks get better along with my squats. For me, jerks have always been about position, speed and leg drive. Though to be fair I did transition into olympic lifting from wrestling and so had a solid strength base from that. Regardless, I’ve never had issues holding a weight overhead.

That being said, without seeing any video it’s impossible to know for certain what’s holding you back. I know Glenn Pendlay has some of his guys doing push presses and whatnot, which I think is dependent on how and why they miss their jerks. There are also some people who argue vehemently that strength work has a positive correlation to the quick lifts, though I tend to disagree with that viewpoint. Mark Rippetoe comes to mind. Wrah (who posts here infrequently) seems to strongly believe in the carryover of strength from presses and such to jerks, and I believe I’ve argued that point with him in the past at least once.

[quote]want2getlean wrote:
Hey Koing, I have a few more questions

Do you do any strict pressing? If so, how often?
How important is pure pressing strength to the jerk?

I am a terrible overhead presser[/quote]

I don’t.

It is not important to press as long as you can hold weight overhead. If your a total beginner I’d do some pressing to cover a general strength base so you can lift heavy later on.

Jerk is all power from the leg and position.

How is your training going?

Koing

Thanks for the responses, Debra, Jonty and Koing!

Regarding my training; I’ve pretty much substituted all my back squat and deadlifting work for front squats. Right now I can keep the frequency high and still make progress because it’s an untrained movement, I’m sure in a month it will start going up at a slower, normal rate

I’ve started pulling from the floor… The movement still feels very ‘long’ (like there’s alot for me to focus and remember) and awkward. My main problem is still getting under the bar, but I’m working on it

I’m going to start working on jerks now. I know my jerk is terrible because it’s just a few kilos higher than my push press… I haven’t gotten the ‘feel’ for it yet, and I’m basically doing a push press with a jump and a split. I can’t get the feeling of actually getting under the bar, I’m just used to pushing it up

Cool man.

Keep at it. The pull from the floor will feel automatic but it will take some time and a lot of drilling to make it so. But stick with it and it will be less thicking and more auto pilot.

The Jerk is a very coordinated movement and even after 13yrs it is not automatic for me…but it’s getting better.

Think heels and dip and drive on them. Knees go out so your trunk stays vertical in the dip and drive phase. DO NOT LEAN FORWARDS this will cripple your power output and it will drive the bar forwards! Doh!

Koing

I read about the power jerking being an easier and more natural transition for those come from a powerlifting background and it’s true, it feels much more natural and i’m finally feeling the difference between a push and a jerk

on the downside… i hit my chin really bad while practising them today. teeth clashed really hard, surprise i didn’t break them. a bit of a traumatizing experience, feel a bit wary now

[quote]Koing wrote:
What numbers do you post in the OLifts and in the FS and BS Oly style? Not PL squat…how is your mobility?

If you fix your mobility, FS at least 160 then you should be able to do at least 85/110 with fairly poor and slow form…if you get better form that will creep up to at least 100/125.

I think with fairly good form you should be able to CJ your 5rep max front squat as a rough guideline, if you have crazy technique you can do about your 3RM.

There is a reason why Lu Xiaojun can FS 230 for an easy double a few days out of a competition…Klokov FS 250 WITH A 2-3second PAUSE. You have to be brutally strong to lift big weights once your technique is good. Your technique will limit you but after putting down a few hundred hrs with a coach your technique will improve a lot.

I think people should be able to Sn at least bw with within 2yrs. Seek a coach and get on training and don’t be so negative about things. You don’t need drugs to hit at least 100/120. Granted only about 3/4 people at most on here can Sn more then 120 in comp…it’s not huge but it’s not chump change from 100 to 120 on the Sn. Everyone that can Sn 120 can FS at least 155-160+.

GET ON IT! I want to see someone else lift big!

Koing[/quote]

I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but I have seen Koing talk a lot about pushing the FS.

I recently started weightlifting a couple months ago and I am really fucking weak (max FS 125, BS 145), average speed, but I am very flexible and have good balance. My PRs so far are 90/110. I start my workouts with main lifts (both, or just one), and then squat and do accessory work after. Since my squat is so weak, should I be doing front squats BEFORE main lifts?

[quote]want2getlean wrote:
I read about the power jerking being an easier and more natural transition for those come from a powerlifting background and it’s true, it feels much more natural and i’m finally feeling the difference between a push and a jerk

on the downside… i hit my chin really bad while practising them today. teeth clashed really hard, surprise i didn’t break them. a bit of a traumatizing experience, feel a bit wary now[/quote]

Ha I did that, er twice I’m embarrased to say, didn’t learn my lesson the first time. I found it just meant I didn’t rack the bar properly.

Just another story to illustrate how technical the snatch can be, when I first started wtih a coach, he scooted me about half an inch closer to & over the the bar, all of a sudden I got an extra 10kg on my lift, just from that little nudge.

[quote]DaTruth1 wrote:
I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but I have seen Koing talk a lot about pushing the FS.

I recently started weightlifting a couple months ago and I am really fucking weak (max FS 125, BS 145), average speed, but I am very flexible and have good balance. My PRs so far are 90/110. I start my workouts with main lifts (both, or just one), and then squat and do accessory work after. Since my squat is so weak, should I be doing front squats BEFORE main lifts? [/quote]

Koing will tell you that that is exactly what you should be doing. Personally, I’m more hesitant to make that recommendation, because I look at front/back squats as assistance lifts, and so I like to have them after the oly lifts in my programs (though to be fair the guy writing my programs right now has squats on their own day by themselves). Basically I think working the snatch/clean and jerk should be primary, and driving up your squats should come second; Koing (and others) will tell you driving up your front squat should be priority.

Aaaaaand I’m not really answering your question. Guess I’d probably want to know more about what you’ve been doing before I would prescribe changes. Also of note (and this is perhaps related to my/Koing’s differing views on squats) is that I think I tend to clean and jerk a higher percentage of my front squat than others on here, so that will colour my opinions accordingly. Food for thought.