T Nation

Why Not Use Olympic Lifts for Main Exercises?


Thibs, you had responded to a post of mine once that it was stupid to use olympic lifts for main excercises unless you're an olympic lifter. I always thought that they would increase general power output and CNS efficiency? I was considering doing just cleans instead of overhead presses for my next phase. Any thoughts?


What makes you think you could compare the two?

If you said you were going to perform cleans instead of high pulls, that I could understand because the exercises have some simularity in movement pattern. Or instead of overhead press, you said you was going to try a variation like push press, push jerk, etc.....

why take out one exercise and replace it with another that works completley different muscles in a completley different plane of motion. why compare the two?


Okay, well that part I don't really care about. I'm just wanting to use an O lift as one of the main strength lifts for upper body day and I figured cleans would best fit for overhead pressing. (I'm already push pressing) It's probably more similar to an overhead press than a bench press as far as muscles activated. Obviously it's a different exercise with a different movement pattern, but what other exercise would it replace in Thibs program? Unless you added them in addition to the other strength exercises, which seems like would be overkill.


Seriously, are you trying to piss Thibs off???!

If he already said NO once, why would you simply find another way of asking the SAME question?! I used to do that shit to my parents when I was a toddler. Grow up!!

As for your question, you should do as Thibs has been recommending for ages and use powercleans/powersnatch etc for stimulating the nervous system, not as the main lift.


Relax handsome. I just want to know WHY we shouldn't use them. Cause Thibs said so isn't really the in depth answer I'm looking for.


Why do you want to use olympic lifts as a main exercise would be a better question?

CT uses OHP during the program for a specific reason.

CT has repeatedly recommended cleans as part of a continuous ramp on deadlift days. I personally do power cleans almost every session, ramping up to the heaviest weight I can dominate for 3 reps, and do that for 1-3 sets. Then I move on to my usual workout. I have worked my way up to heavier loads without focusing too hard on it and I feel it works well for activation.

I generally save snatches for neural charge workouts or a change of pace as cleans transfer well to strongman for me.


I WANT to use them because I've always made better progress with snatches and cleans than I have overhead pressing generally, but if for some reason they don't fit with the wave loading protocol or anything else in the program, then I wouldn't use them. Just want to understand why.


Hmm. Ok.


So no one has an ACTUAL answer on why one shouldn't use O lifts as a main strength movement?


Its a mass program, doing a clean even with the jerk wouldn't be nearly as good a mass builder for pressing muscles IMO as overhead pressing. Also why would you want to substitute it for the overhead press when it would fit much better on a lower body session?


An actual answer as to why you wouldn't want a olympic lift as a strength movement? They are highly technical lifts best suited for power and less grinding and such. In the scheme of things I think they can be fine as a general main exercise but I don't think you will progress well on them if constantly going towards a top end set. Although for power purposes I think CT's waving sets would do fine.