T Nation

Weightlifting + Powerlifting + Strongman + Running


This is sorta where I’m at as far as training goes. I want to learn and become proficient at the Clean and Snatch (don’t care so much about the Jerk), increase my base strength in the Deadlift, OHP, Front Squat, and Bench, build some beach muscles…, and Strongman has always peeked my interest as well.

This is my current plan:

  1. The Oly lifts are purposefully kept light and at a low volume at CTs suggestion. I use them more as a means to learn and practice the technique and to warm-up. At some point I plan to find an Oly coach to learn the proper movements. Hopefully, soon rather than later.

  2. 5/3/1 is used for strength and volume on the 4 main lifts.

  3. Then I use a specific tool to work on a weakness related to the main lift. For example, I am slow off the floor deadlifting so I added dynamic work as described by Jim in Beyond 5/3/1.

  4. Next, in most cases, I use 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps to work on other weaknesses related to the main lift and to get in additional volume at heavier weights. For example, I use DB Shoulder Press to improve the bottom half of OHP at CTs suggestions.

*On Bench day I use antagonist training to increase overall volume on back work and to increase the pace of the training session.

  1. Finally, I use BW or light bodybuilding work to finish out the session. I use a lot of bands here and concentrate on the pump & MMC.

I have not yet figured out how to incorporate more strongman work, but that is my goal at some point…

Feel free to steal all or part of the plan (I’ll even email you the template if you’d like). Also, not to steal your thunder, but if anyone has any suggestions feel free to drop me a note in my log.

*Not sure why Thursday cuts off. You’ll have to click the image to see it all.


@tsantos I would very much like to compete, at least recreationally, ain’t planning on winning much with a plan like this. I was thinking I’ll run something like this in the ‘off season’, basically whenever I don’t have an upcoming meet/show, and transition into something more traditional if I have something coming up.

@usmccds423 thanks for the feedback, I’ll look into it when I resume training which will be at least another month from now.


Cool. Whenever I see a plan to attack goals like this they are always centered around competitions.

The competition events will get the focus while everything else goes on the backburner. Often you’ll see a 12 week comp prep where the last 4 weeks focus entirely on the competition at hand.

Outside of the 12 weeks is more generalised training.

Your biggest issue will be weightlifting and strongman IMO. Just keep in mind that even the best plate spinner breaks some plates trying to keep them all going.


As someone that has surpassed your goals, I’d suggest the following to a relative neophyte with a reasonable amount of time to train and average genetics:

Squat 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
Bench (pause all reps) 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
3-6 sets 10-20 reps Chest-Supported Row (light weight)
Run 1-2 miles outside

Snatch 10-20 singles RPE 5-6
C/J 10-20 singles RPE 5-6
20 minutes BW exercises

Squat 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
Bench (paused) 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
3-6 sets 10-20 reps Chest-supported rows (light weight)
Run 1-2 miles outside

10-20 singles Snatch RPE 5-6
10-20 singles C/J RPE 5-6
20 minutes BW exercise

Squat 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
Bench (paused) 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
Deadlift 1-3 sets of 3-8 reps RPE 8
Run 1-2 miles outside

Strong Man medley if available
If Strong Man equipment is not available, do 20 minutes BW exercises and a 1-2 mile run outside or rest.

Rest, avoid physically activity and pack away the calories.

I’ll post my reasoning, diet, and peaking ideas with some links you might find interesting. I don’t have the time right now.


I started to write up a big long explanation, but honestly, I’m not certain it will be helpful. Just take a couple weeks to get acclimated, learn what weights you will use, and stick to the program as it’s written. Eat lots of healthy food, sleep enough, and avoid stress.


If I had the time for 6 days a week I might actually try that.


You could probably use the above volume and intensity to squat, bench, and do light olympic lifts M W F with deadlifts thrown in on Fridays. Save the running, calisthenics, and strongman events for home or whenever you have time.


I thought this might be useful. I’m testing my maxes over the next few weeks so I have a little more information about where weak spots are, or where my lifts “should be” in relation to other lifts/ overall athleticism. Hopefully I’ll begin to see where a weakness is more technique vs. “you just need to get stronger.” I like Christian’s suggestion of looking more at 3RM or 5RM rather than just a single PR or 1RM.

Coming from a mostly BBing emphasis, I’m just trying to see where I’m at now so I have a better idea of where my lifts don’t “make sense” in terms of strength in relation to other lifts. I already know some of them are pretty OFF.

Christian Thibaudeau - Know Your Ratios, Destroy Weaknesses

Also, this one about how training Squats figures in to the Oly lifts. It’s a really short article but it relates strength ratios and lays out a program for alternating training Front and Back Squats three times per week.

I talked to my coach a little bit about programming last night. He’d like to see me train Oly technique a little bit 5-6 days per week, but not every session would be all out Oly. He told me I could keep my body part split and he’d shorten it up and pull back accessories, but ideally I think he’d move me to an upper/lower split where I train Oly technique a bit before each session on 3 or 4 days per week, but then maybe spend two days per week just focused on Snatch or Clean + Jerk. At least I think that’s what he meant. Haha!

I know you guys are also considering Stongman and Running in there so this may or may not be helpful. I’ve pulled back on all cardio for now because my Oly technique work IS CARDIO.


@Benanything - Sorry to threadjack this but your thread has me thinking.

@Chris_Colucci Your post was really helpful. And I feel a little bit vindicated to see that my lifts are all moving in relationship to each other like they should, except my Squat which needs to come up. Not a surprise since I haven’t trained heavy squats in about 5 years. Haha.

It was nice to compare my lifts in relationship to the others in terms of percentages/ ratios.

For example, my Bench Press is 87% of my current Back Squat, when it should be more like 75% of my BS squat IF I’m a well rounded athlete AND if my BS was were where it should be. BUT my Front Squat and Back Squat are moving together like they should be so you know it’s not a matter of, “Hey, your FS technique is just no good” or something like that. My ATG FS is currently 140 lbs which is 90% of my ATG Back Squat (lagging my other lifts at155 lbs). So, that’s probably just a matter of - You need to focus on your squat. Period.

I was really happy to see that my strict Military Press/ OHP is 63% of my Bench (Christian’s article predicts it should be 60% of your BP, so that’s right on target), even though I haven’t trained heavy BB OHP for awhile. On that one, other things seem to have carried over.

It’s nice to have a goal. For example, I can see where my Clean or C+J should be once I learn technique. Since the OLY lifts are new, you’d expect them to all be LOW and they are.

FWIW, my lifts all followed the expected strength levels for my BW too. These are just broad categories but still kinda nice to see that your lifts are lining up. Not looking at age-adjusted standards here, just Female in my BW. My DL, BP, Bent Over BB Row are all advanced with OHP borderline Intermediate to Advanced for some reason, where both FS and BS are Intermediate. C+Jerk Novice.

Anyway, I might be stronger if I’d have been strictly following a strength program, but obviously my BBing style Bro Split hasn’t taken me too far off track in terms of athletic imbalances. Pretty happy about that!


I’ll be curious how your PLing carries over for you.

I know both the Oly and Strongman things are WAY technique specific. That will be fun to see how things translate over for you. [quote=“Benanything, post:1, topic:220773”]
(I’d think it’s inevitable my numbers will go up at least a little if both my powerlifting/weightlifting numbers increase)

I’d guess this too. The ROM needed to get down and get under an Atlas Stone is pretty similar to being at the bottom of a Clean. If you have flexibility issues at all, they’ll show up!

And PLing doesn’t require the just Explosive speed that Oly lifting needs. I wish I was just more explosive. Other than squats, that’s probably where I should focus. Things like box jumps.


Powerlifting is my main focus and so I may be bias. My experience with this type of training is squatting high bar and doing deadlifts help more than anything. Strongman adds a lot of hip and core strength at first, but burns you out fast. OLY really doesn’t help the other lifts. Running is detrimental. BW helps add a lot of conditioning but doesn’t seem to hurt or help anything.


This makes a lot of sense to me, where the inverse is true - A strong Squat will help your Oly lifts - so long as you have the Oly technique - which is a challenge in itself. I’m pretty sure I can work on these for years. Benanything, I wish I’d started learning them at your age.

For me, leg strength in the squat is going to be a sticking point, and I wish I were just more explosive/ fast. I haven’t focused much on training explosive movements like jumps or sprints and I was not an athletic kid, but I don’t think I really have any fast twitch fibers. Ha!

I don’t think my ballet has harmed me at all since the flexibility in my lower body isn’t a deal. Maybe the hyperflexibility in my low back. I have to be careful to keep my spine neutral. Just basing this on my beginning Oly class but half of the men can’t get into all the positions yet, because they are just too tight. They wouldn’t be able to squat low to get under an atlas stone either.


Lifting and ballet? Why I never heard of such tomfoolery. Wait, yes I have.

In all seriousness though, I bet it helps with ROM, conditioning, and probably more importantly, is fun. Have you noticed ballet helping or hurting your lifting in any way?


Haha! I’ve seen some footage of Arnold doing ballet. Awesome! Thanks for putting that up. I need to put that on my log.

To answer your question, I took up ballet again in my 40’s. I hadn’t taken dance lessons since high school, and not seriously since I was younger. I was never super good, but I LOVE IT. Yes, great for ROM and conditioning, posture, balance, knowing where your body is in space. I’ve had people compliment me on my posture, or on the way I move, tell me I’m graceful. That’s really nice.

No, I don’t think it’s hurt my lifting at all. Some of the movements are different. When you think about a plie, it’s more of open up the hip with the “pelvis and torso moving straight down” movement than a “sit back into a squat” movement. Everything in ballet is done with an externally rotated hip. Some women with a dance background want to plie down into a squat. I do have some hyperflexibility in my low back so I need to really focus on keeping my back neutral. I wish I’d kept up my ballet over the years, and had taken up the Oly lifts when I was younger. I would LOVE to be good at both of them.

Ballet and the Oly lifts go together really well. Technically really hard. Mentally super challenging. I’m hoping these will be my version of sudoku and crossword puzzles.


So hows the training going?


Not really training with much of a goal/focus in mind, just doing things for the sake of doing things. Wrist got better and then I messed it up a little by practising on the jerks so I guess that sucks. Trying to put more effort in studying/prepping for my military fitness test thing so more running and such. Thanks for asking though, really appreciate it.