T Nation

Stuck on Difficult Lifts


OK so a quick background, I am 5'10" 180 lbs 26 y/o probably still a newbie lifter have been lifting steady for a year have done much of Waterbury's HFT programs on a ketogenic diet, and Rippetoe's SS including GOMAD as a bulking phase during the winter. I hit a wall about a month back with gains on SS with lifts that are still low. 275 squat, 275 deadlift, 175 bench, 130 press, power clean 125 with less than desirable form to say the least.

I'm back on a ketogenic diet trying to lose as much of the fat as I can from bulking, and have decided to try to focus on learning new lifts, improving form, endurance, speed, balance etc as I also do BJJitsu 3-4x a week and feel I need more endurance/explosiveness.

I have been working a program where I try to do hang cleans, overhead squats, turkish get-ups, among others and I am pathetic at these lifts, OH squat alone has probably been my most embarrassing lift in the gym with wobbly form that doesn't approach parallel on less weight then I can press. I was do drained after attempting a workout with these lifts and just being so utterly sub-par with them that it has put me in a lifting depression as if I have wasted a year.

QUESTION: I want to know what are some other difficult balance lifts I can incorporate into a work out, and if there is any advice for these particular types of lifts, I plan on doing an extra work out 1-2x a week with nothing but these lifts to try and improve my athleticism and lifting ability, the end goal being a carry over into grappling and hopefully increased strength on the more basic lifts I got stuck at the end of SS with.


just because you stalled for a little bit doesn't mean you have to switch your program 180 degrees (if that is the primary reason you are doing this change). If your end goal is to further improve your basic powerlifts, the best way to do that is NOT to just stop doing them for months and hope that they will somehow end up higher after doing a lot of unrelated technical lifts with half the poundage.


i have to agree with thogue. your lifts are still pretty light and i have a feeling its due to your nutrition. the best advice that people get on this forum is to pick one goal and work towards it. from what i can tell in your post you have several competing goals:

-get stronger
-cut weight
-do ju jitsu
-learn wonky lifts

if you cut weight, its unlikely you will get stronger
if you learn wonky lifts, you wont get stronger on the main ones
if your focus is on jujitsu, you likely wont excel in the gym
etc etc

yes there are some people that can do more than one of these at a time but not everyone can. i say stick to the basics.


stick with the basics and maybe work in one of those lifts at a time

hang cleans will probably be the easiest to get, and will at least help you build a nice yoke