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Thread: Programming Advice for Olympic Weightlifting

  1. #1

    Default Programming Advice for Olympic Weightlifting

    Rip,

    Quick background: I've been training SS and TM for the last couple of years and am an intermediate lifter by your standards.

    I have recently decided to compete in an Olympic Weightlifting meet this Fall. I've looked at a couple of training programs, but they all seem a little too complicated. So I decided to see if I could put a program together for myself and thought I'd let you take a look and ad your $0.02.

    I'm coming off about a two month period where I haven't been able to train as regularly as I'd like (moving, new baby, etc) but have been able to maintain my strength levels by trying to get into the gym 1-2 times a week. Because of this break, I think I can probably make some progress on a linear novice program for a month or so. Here's what I've come up with:

    Workout A:
    Snatch Practice (with technique plates)
    C&J: 5x3
    Bench: 3x5
    Back Squat: 3x5
    Pullups/Core

    Workout B:
    C&J Practice (with technique plates)
    Snatch: 8x2
    Press: 3x5
    Front Squat: 3x5
    Dips/Core

    Does this sounds reasonable? Any tweaks or changes? Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    I like the program Justin is using better. He'll post it for you. I don't like wasting time with weights that are light enough to do without respect to the mechanics of barbell training (PVC, training plates). I don't think the "core" gets left out if you do the other work. And I don't think you get to leave out the deadlift until you're cleaning 500.


  3. #3
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    The inclusion of the front squat may be a bit premature, but this depends on your skill level. If you deem yourself to require a technique workout with training plates, then it is likely you don't need to worry about the front squat. But, this depends on a whole bunch of shit, and you neglected to give us any information about yourself.


    If you had intended to alternate workout A and B in a way like the SS model, then your program would peter out pretty quickly.

    I'll show you the program below, but if you have had some time off, you should take a few weeks to linearly progress your strength back up, get your muscles acclimated to lifting again (at a local level), and get your hormones adapted to going through the disruption, recovery, and supercompensation processes. This would be ideal, and if you want to be a lifter, then you need to be smart about training.

    Furthermore, I would gradually introduce the lifts, as in do each lift once a week as part of that linear progression. Don't even worry about going heavy, just get some work in. Even if a lifter doesn't have any pre-existing conditions that may limit them, it is a good idea to be gradual with things. I've seen a comically hairy gym owner pull a muscle trying out new activities, and I had a situation where a my AC ligament (in shoulder) would have benefited from a gradual increase in work load in the Olympic lifts. It's just a good idea to be gradual just in case since all structures need a chance to adapt to new shit.

    Anyway, here is the program. I previously posted it on my website here in a series I called "Getting Into Weightlifting". The program assumes you have properly learned the lifts, which is a relative term dependent on your coach.
    _________________________________________

    Monday
    Clean and Jerk heavy
    Snatch for sets across


    Tuesday
    Squat
    Press
    Chin-ups


    Wednesday
    Off


    Thursday
    Snatch heavy
    Clean and jerk singles across


    Friday
    Squat
    Bench
    Deadlift

    An excerpt from the post this is from:
    The lifter will be fresh on Monday to clean and jerk heavy after the two days of rest. A novice will be able to squat the day after doing the Olympic lifting, and deadlifting is done at the end of the week because if it was done any earlier, it may interfere with the other pulling. The sets across for snatch or C&J should/could be timed — on the minute for a snatch (between 10 and 15) and every two minutes for C&J (for 10 reps). Doing it in this manner accomplishes a few things (not in any particular order); A) it uses medium weights so that completed reps build confidence, B) the higher reps are technique practice, and C) it gets the lifter used to lifting on a clock, which will be important in competition. The heavy snatch or C&J days can be five singles across, or just working up to a heavy single (ideally increasing that single week to week). Remember that any increase is still an increase, so it may be 2.5 or 1 kg per week in the later stages — the point is to drive the weight up and PR.


    This program can be followed for quite some time — it is what quite a few of the lifters here in the gym did, and got pretty strong. One of my lifters named Bryan, who was mentioned in Rip’s article, The Novice Effect, squatted over 500 for three sets of five and clean and jerked 155 kg in the gym using this program. A novice can recover from this work load because they are a novice. In fact, I used a variation of it at one time while I added 5 kg on my clean and jerk every week all the way up to 165 kg in the gym (I was an intermediate though, and it didn’t last long). The point is that it still includes two strength days while working on the lifts twice a week. More strength will improve your total — remember that.
    And the strength lifts above are done for the same set/rep scheme as the SS model. There is a lot of variability with that program depending on a lot of different variables, so if you have any questions, let me know here.

  4. #4

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    I am having a similar problem - i like justin's beginner programme and your intermediate programme for o-lifting, but both require 4 days a week in the gym.

    Is it possible to have a routine for o-lifting that is based on a 3 times a week gym visit?

  5. #5

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    Thanks...I'll be awaiting Justin's response.

    Just for clarification...by "core" I mean weighted assistance work like back extensions, weighted situps, etc. No swiss ball or anything else like that.

    I love deadlifts...it's by far my best lift. I just didn't know where to program them. Thanks again.

  6. #6

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    For a 3 days a week approach, would you keep the squat and bench/press the same and just do maybe:

    Monday
    Cleans x3x5

    Tuesday
    Snatch x2x5

    Friday
    Deadlift x5

    I figure that the weekend would give good time to recover from the deadlift, and the snatch in the middle would be a little bit of a break due to the lighter loads being used. Does this make sense? If your goal was more to compete in o lifting, would you move the Sn and C&J to the front of the workout?

  7. #7

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    Update - On doing a search of the forums I found these helpful threads. Both are intermediate. Especially the first one.

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...ediate+olympic

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...ediate+olympic

    I understand front squatting needs to be done as an intermediate - but how much?

    I am in an odd situation where my front squat exceeds my max clean by well over 25%. I am not sure if there is any point spending more time than the bare minimum, especially since my pull is the weak point.

    So maybe I only need to FS once a week, perhaps 5 sets heavy triples?

  8. #8

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    Thanks Justin...that's what I was looking for. Sorry if I didn't give you enough background info. I am proficient at the lifts (my football coach in high school had been a competitive weightlifter and pushed the full oly-style lifts on us) and have a solid background in strength training from doing SS and TM afterwards for 2+ years now.

    I personally like "practicing" with technique plates because it warms up my shoulders and helps me focus on my form rather than how heavy the bar is. To each his own. Thanks for the responses.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randle McMurphy View Post
    I am having a similar problem - i like justin's beginner programme and your intermediate programme for o-lifting, but both require 4 days a week in the gym.

    Is it possible to have a routine for o-lifting that is based on a 3 times a week gym visit?

    Couldn't you just still follow Justin's program, but only lift 3 days a week? So, it would take more days to get through the 4 workouts. The workouts will not always fall on the same days and the rest in between the days will sometimes be different, but perhaps this is compensated for by more rest overall?

    It would be like this:
    Monday:
    C&J heavy
    snatch across

    Wed.
    Squat
    Press
    Chin-ups/Pull-ups

    Friday
    Snatch heavy
    C&J across

    Monday
    Squat
    Bench
    Deadlift

    Wed
    C&J heavy
    snatch across

    Friday
    squat
    press
    chin-ups/pull-ups

    Monday
    snatch heavy
    C&J across

    Wed
    squat
    bench
    deadlift

    Friday
    C&J heavy
    snatch across

    Monday
    squat
    press
    chin-ups/pull-ups

    wed

    etc...

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Location
    Wichita Falls, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeHeck View Post
    For a 3 days a week approach, would you keep the squat and bench/press the same and just do maybe:

    Monday
    Cleans x3x5

    Tuesday
    Snatch x2x5

    Friday
    Deadlift x5
    Sorry dudes, this won't work. I've done it. If you only want three training sessions a week, it has to be more delicate than this. You'd do your Oly lifts first, but the rep scheme would change. Maybe between 1 and 3 reps if you're going heavy, but going heavy on C&J and snatch in the same week may not work, but this ALWAYS depends on where the trainee is in their state of adaptation. It would be better to undertrain than overtrain, especially since getting stronger will make the lifts go up anyway.

    It's pretty specific to the point where you can't just make a general "novice program" for them. For example, we don't know how well you know the Oly lifts, if you still need practice in them, how far along the novice process you are, how strong you are, height/bodyweight, how well you perform the squat, press, deadlift, etc., and all KINDS of shit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randle McMurphy View Post
    Update - On doing a search of the forums I found these helpful threads. Both are intermediate. Especially the first one.

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...ediate+olympic

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...ediate+olympic
    Well, as stated, both are no novice programs. The second is a 4 day/week deal, and the first has a lot of Oly volume in it. You still need to gradually approach this kind of volume so that you don't have problems later (just take my word for it). This is why I'd still do a program like what I have written anyway, because it can be a good tool to introduce the lifts. The strength days can be tweaked a little bit if that person is approaching intermediate status.

    Also, keep in mind that if you are new to the lifts, the Oly lifts will progress in a novice-like trend for a while (if you do it intelligently). If you can put 5 kilos on your clean and jerk every week for 6 weeks with only doing it heavy once a week, then why do more?

    Quote Originally Posted by zepled37 View Post
    Couldn't you just still follow Justin's program, but only lift 3 days a week? So, it would take more days to get through the 4 workouts. The workouts will not always fall on the same days and the rest in between the days will sometimes be different, but perhaps this is compensated for by more rest overall?

    It would be like this:
    Monday:
    C&J heavy
    snatch across

    Wed.
    Squat
    Press
    Chin-ups/Pull-ups

    Friday
    Snatch heavy
    C&J across

    Monday
    Squat
    Bench
    Deadlift

    Wed
    C&J heavy
    snatch across

    Friday
    squat
    press
    chin-ups/pull-ups

    Monday
    snatch heavy
    C&J across

    Wed
    squat
    bench
    deadlift

    Friday
    C&J heavy
    snatch across

    Monday
    squat
    press
    chin-ups/pull-ups

    wed

    etc...
    Looks like a four day rotation that just repeats itself as you train 3 days a week. I don't see a problem with it. It even gives you a week and a half of rest for the deadlift, which a stronger novice will need.
    Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 03-29-2010 at 10:50 PM.

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