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Training for Olympic Weightlifting

I’ve recently decided that it’s time for me to change direction with my training approach to Olympic weightlifting. I began weightlifting about six months ago utilizing a
combined OL/PL approach. My template was as follows:

Monday: ME Snatch/Lower
ME Snatch
ME Squat/Deadlift
Single Leg
Posterior Chain

Wednesday: ME Clean and Jerk/Upper
ME Clean and Jerk
ME Bench
Overhead Press

Thursday: DE Snatch/Lower
DE Snatch
DE Squat
Single Leg
Posterior Chain

Saturday: DE Clean and Jerk/Upper
DE Clean and Jerk
DE Bench
Dumbbell Bench
Dumbbell Rows

Basically, I just did what I had already been doing before learning the Olympic lifts, except I would snatch or clean and jerk before squatting or benching. This served it’s purpose but, I see now that in order to truly excel in the sport of weightlifting, I’m going to have to train specifically for that.

So, to cut to the chase, I need to design a template around weightlifting. This is where I could use some input. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

ME Snatch
Snatch Pulls

ME Clean and Jerk
Clean Pulls

DE Snatch
Snatch Pulls

DE Clean and Jerk
Clean Pulls

Yeah, so basically I know I need to do pulls and squat but, beyond that, I’m not really sure what assistance/accessory lifts I should be doing, sets, reps, etc.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Honestly, though, I’m just looking forward to a discussion about weightlifting that isn’t concerned with whether or not lifters bench, curl, or juice.


For an example of ‘olympic lifting using westside’ take a look @ travis mash’s training log over @ eliteFTS.

But in the end, the supplemental exercises are what works BEST FOR YOU based on your own strengths and weaknesses, especially since you did not offer information or lifts to analyze.


Hopefully Koing can chime in…

Sorry to hijack your thread bro but what’s ME/DE?

[quote]Shoebolt wrote:
Sorry to hijack your thread bro but what’s ME/DE?[/quote]

Max effort - use heavy ass weights
Dynamic Effort - move weights as fast as possible.

Oly Coach Mike Burgener has some great information on his site. There are templates, there are archives of what he does with his lifters right now…etc A ton of information.


His son Casey is a beast of a lifter, at the Arnold he snatched 180kg and I think C+J was around 220kg.

[quote]Backlash79 wrote:
Max effort - use heavy ass weights
Dynamic Effort - move weights as fast as possible.[/quote]

The thing with OL training is that no matter what weight you are using to have to continue to move the weight as fast as possible.

Christian Thibadeau’s “The Black Book of Training Secrets” has a great Olympic lifting chapter that goes into detail about training the olympic lifts and includes a 12-week program.

In regards to the snatch and clean and jerk being inherently dynamic movements, I whole-heartedly agree. That being said, I have found using a dynamic protocal to be very helpful in improving my technique. Basically, what I’ve been doing on DE days is 8 sets of triples @ 60-70%. The load is a bit heavier than is suggested for traditional dynamic work, but this seems to work for me.

I agree with kroll on this. Westside templates were designed from Olympic lifting templates formulated from Russian texts and experts like Medveyev. These original training templates were vastly different from the westside split because powerlifting and olympic lifting are different.

The powerlifting template is adjusted for powerlifters. I think the westside powerlifting template is great for powerlifters but the same westside template does not work for Olympic lifters because the sport is so different. Ferrugia goes into terrific detail on why dynamic effort days in powerlifting and olympic lifting are so different. I’m a big fan of westside though.

Hows this?

Day 1: Max Effort Snatch/Lower
ME Snatch, 3-6 lifts above 90%
Snatch Pulls, 5 x 3
Squat, 5 x 3-5
Posterior Chain, 3 x 6-8
Abs 3 x 10

Day 2: Max Effort Clean and Jerk/Upper
ME Clean and Jerk, 3-6 lifts above 90%
Clean Pulls, 5 x 3
Press, 5 x 3-5
Pull-Up, 3 x 6-8
Prehab, 2-3 x 10-15

Day 3: Dynamic Snatch/Lower
DE Snatch, 8 x 3 @ 60-70%
Snatch High Pulls, 5 x 3
Squat, 5 x 3-5
Posterior Chain, 3 x 6-8
Abs, 3 x 10

Day 4: Dynamic Clean and Jerk/Upper
DE Clean and Jerk, 8 x 3 @ 60-70%
Clean High Pulls, 5 x 3
Bench, 5 x 3-5
Row, 3 x 6-8
Prehab, 2-3 x 10-15

Go ahead, rip it apart. Also, I’d like to read Feruggia’s thoughts on O-lifting and powerlifting. Where could I find that.

Actually, I think this template might work well for me. The only things I’m still not too sure about is the set/reps and how often I should rotate the lifts. It seems to me that the best lifters go heavy often with the full lifts and don’t do much cycling.

You don’t seem to be doing that many reps at 80% and that imo should be your bread and butter.

How is your form? You have 6months of training and you should be doing more training at 80% imo. the 60-70% lifts on the DE are too light for training form. Well they are donig form work, but they are not testing you enough to stimulate you to get stronger imo.

The more reps you do overall in a week and months at 80% the faster you will improve your techique. There really is no need to go to 90% after 6months so frequently imo. You will pick up bad habits and this will limit the amount you can lift.

Test yourself once every 4-6 weeks. Then go heavy if you must.

The supplmentary work will focus on your weaknesses:

Bent forward rows Oly style: helps to make your back stronger for a rock solid 2nd pull. A MUST FOR EVERY beginner imo and always a good exercise

Snatch Balance: Speed and strength under the catching of the Snatch. A very good exercise

Jerk from behind your head: Jerk help, you can lift more from behind your head, helps to teach you to learn to dip and drive straight

Power Jeks: Helps produce power output and driving the bar

Jerks from racks : self explanatory

Jerk drives : over loads the Dip and drive of the Jerk, and teaches you to dip and drive straight with a lot of weight

Cleans from hang: speed under the bar

Cleans from blocks : same as above

Snatch from hang: same as above

Snatch from blocks : samve as above

Pulls from mid thigh : Helps 2nd pull

etc etc

So many assistance execise to do.

Depending on what your weaknesses are work to them. Strong Clean? Don’t dot he ones that make your Clean uber strong then. Weak Jerk? Do more Jerk exercises.


Wow great references and examples guys… this thread should be stickied somewhere…

Backlash suggested Coach Mike Burgener’s site, and I second that. He has a workout of the day, which is the workout he has his lifters performing. Right now he has them doing a lot of foundational training, to prepare for a later, pre-meet peaking cycle.

Check it out.

Thanks for chiming in. A couple questions regarding the exercises you listed:

  1. What’s the difference between a bent row and an olmpic style bent row?
  2. What’s a jerk drive?

With regards to the max effort training, this is what my coach and I have found to work best for me. Before I started going max effort with the olympic lifts, I would find that whenever I tested my lifts there was little to no improvement. Since I’ve incorporated ME o-lifts, my lifts have been steadily increasing.

As suggested, I’ve been looking through mikesgym.org and have found it to be a great source of info. Anybody who’s interested in the sport of weightlifting should give it a look.

Could you please elaborate on:
"Bent forward rows Oly style: helps to make your back stronger for a rock solid 2nd pull. A MUST FOR EVERY beginner imo and always a good exercise "

Should i visualize a row while jerking the body towards the bar, much as the Chinese OLs do their pulls?


bump 4 this question.

At the risk of stating the obvious:

In oly lifting in particular, what routine you do tends to matter much less than having direct access to a coach with experience and a lot of strong lifters in the gym.

I’m definitely not saying that the info in this thread isn’t valuable, just that an experienced coach is probably in a much better position to evaluate what you need with regard to your program, correct technique, and so on.

google “USA Weightlifing clubs” to get to a list of clubs+coaches.