T Nation

Strength Training + Olympic Lifting


#1

CT -

I’m in need of some advice. I’m moving to Denver and can only afford to use a gym like 24HR Fitness. For the time being (6 months-1 year) I can’t afford to use a Olympic lifting gym and I won’t have my garage gym anymore.

I want to get competitive at a national level with Olympic lifting eventually. I had a coach for a bit and got my C&J technique to the point I can push the weight myself for the foreseeable future. For the snatch, I still am working on mobility overhead and technique. I probably won’t add any weight (besides Snatch Pulls) until I can get some coaching.

But I am also needing to build TONS of strength overall and in my squat. I can’t even squat 225 yet. I know squatting is the lifeblood of the sport.

I’ve done 5x5, but even with my lighter weights squatting 3x a week with that volume/intensity was taking a toll on my body.

If you were me, what would you do if you were in my shoes? I was thinking of doing 5/3/1 to get my overall strength and squat strength up.

In the program I was thinking of doing but doing C&J instead of Power Cleans.

Should I just focus on getting strong for one whole year before even thinking about Oly lifting? I’m a bit lost right now.

I’m just looking for some insight/input since my head is spinning in circles right now. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


#2

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
CT -

I’m in need of some advice. I’m moving to Denver and can only afford to use a gym like 24HR Fitness. For the time being (6 months-1 year) I can’t afford to use a Olympic lifting gym and I won’t have my garage gym anymore.

I want to get competitive at a national level with Olympic lifting eventually. I had a coach for a bit and got my C&J technique to the point I can push the weight myself for the foreseeable future. For the snatch, I still am working on mobility overhead and technique. I probably won’t add any weight (besides Snatch Pulls) until I can get some coaching.

But I am also needing to build TONS of strength overall and in my squat. I can’t even squat 225 yet. I know squatting is the lifeblood of the sport.

I’ve done 5x5, but even with my lighter weights squatting 3x a week with that volume/intensity was taking a toll on my body.

If you were me, what would you do if you were in my shoes? I was thinking of doing 5/3/1 to get my overall strength and squat strength up.

In the program I was thinking of doing but doing C&J instead of Power Cleans.

Should I just focus on getting strong for one whole year before even thinking about Oly lifting? I’m a bit lost right now.

I’m just looking for some insight/input since my head is spinning in circles right now. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
[/quote]

  1. 5/3/1 for cleans, especially clean & jerk is a bad idea. It’s a good scheme for basic strength lifts that you can grind and on which you can gain strength more linearly (because less limited by technique and timing).

  2. When you aren’t strong yet is the best time to learn technique. People who are already strong tend to be able to compensate for their lack of technique by using their strength and they learn a lot of bad habits, especially if they are not coached.

  3. I recommend getting coached even if it’s only once a week. Having a coach look at you and give you drills to do during the week is better then trying to learn by yourself. Videos don’t teach everything and investing about 25$ a week on a weekly session will be worth it in the long run. The Colorado weightlifting club offers a “once a week” lifting class for 50$ a month…that is about 12$ a session. A sound investment. And there are a few gyms in Denver and I’m sure most of them can offer private or group classes. If you are serious about being a good lifter your chance of success are much greater if you get coached first.

  4. For building strength for Olympic lifting I prefer higher frequency work on the big basic lifts. Squats, pulls and overhead lifts should be done more than once a week each.


#3

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
CT -

I’m in need of some advice. I’m moving to Denver and can only afford to use a gym like 24HR Fitness. For the time being (6 months-1 year) I can’t afford to use a Olympic lifting gym and I won’t have my garage gym anymore.

I want to get competitive at a national level with Olympic lifting eventually. I had a coach for a bit and got my C&J technique to the point I can push the weight myself for the foreseeable future. For the snatch, I still am working on mobility overhead and technique. I probably won’t add any weight (besides Snatch Pulls) until I can get some coaching.

But I am also needing to build TONS of strength overall and in my squat. I can’t even squat 225 yet. I know squatting is the lifeblood of the sport.

I’ve done 5x5, but even with my lighter weights squatting 3x a week with that volume/intensity was taking a toll on my body.

If you were me, what would you do if you were in my shoes? I was thinking of doing 5/3/1 to get my overall strength and squat strength up.

In the program I was thinking of doing but doing C&J instead of Power Cleans.

Should I just focus on getting strong for one whole year before even thinking about Oly lifting? I’m a bit lost right now.

I’m just looking for some insight/input since my head is spinning in circles right now. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
[/quote]

  1. 5/3/1 for cleans, especially clean & jerk is a bad idea. It’s a good scheme for basic strength lifts that you can grind and on which you can gain strength more linearly (because less limited by technique and timing).

  2. When you aren’t strong yet is the best time to learn technique. People who are already strong tend to be able to compensate for their lack of technique by using their strength and they learn a lot of bad habits, especially if they are not coached.

  3. I recommend getting coached even if it’s only once a week. Having a coach look at you and give you drills to do during the week is better then trying to learn by yourself. Videos don’t teach everything and investing about 25$ a week on a weekly session will be worth it in the long run. The Colorado weightlifting club offers a “once a week” lifting class for 50$ a month…that is about 12$ a session. A sound investment. And there are a few gyms in Denver and I’m sure most of them can offer private or group classes. If you are serious about being a good lifter your chance of success are much greater if you get coached first.

  4. For building strength for Olympic lifting I prefer higher frequency work on the big basic lifts. Squats, pulls and overhead lifts should be done more than once a week each.[/quote]

CT Thank you so much for your insight! I truly do appreciate it! I’ll take all of this advice into account and will make it happen!