Prerequisites for the Olympic lifts Prerequisites for the Olympic lifts

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Thread: Prerequisites for the Olympic lifts

  1. #1
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    Default Prerequisites for the Olympic lifts

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    Mr. Rippetoe,

    I know you advocate mastering the basic squat, press, and deadlift before advancing to more complex lifts such as the snatch and the clean. If a beginner to intermediate-level trainee wants to perform the Olympic lifts, at what point would it be prudent to begin loading those lifts? Technique proficiency aside, do you believe that there are certain numbers one must reach in the squat/front squat, press, deadlift before training the Olympic lifts?

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    I think that if a guy wants to compete in the lifts, he should start practicing them 2x/week towards the end of his novice progression, and then switch to a more weightlifting emphasis as he begins his intermediate-level programming. Any numbers I give for the strength lifts would be bodyweight-based, and would therefore resemble the Sinclair curve. The most important thing to keep in mind -- and the biggest bone of contention between us and American Olympic weightlifting coaches -- is that power is derived from strength. The 2 lifts are PRACTICED and the strength lifts are TRAINED. If your training ever changes so much in the direction of the 2 lifts that PRs on the squat, presses, and heavy pulls cease to be a feature of your programming, well then, you've just joined the Status Quo.

  3. #3
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    Look at page 136-7 in PPST3.

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    The most important thing to keep in mind -- and the biggest bone of contention between us and American Olympic weightlifting coaches -- is that power is derived from strength. The 2 lifts are PRACTICED and the strength lifts are TRAINED. If your training ever changes so much in the direction of the 2 lifts that PRs on the squat, presses, and heavy pulls cease to be a feature of your programming, well then, you've just joined the Status Quo.
    this is the most succinct way I've seen you put this and I agree it's the most important distinction. They clearly agree that strength is important but they believe that they will gain their strength from practicing the 3 lifts ( snatch, clean and jerk ) and that squats should be an assistance exercise and not the main driver of strength.

    This is stated clearly in Greg Everett's book though I don't have the text in front of me so can't cite the page number.

  5. #5
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    Why would submaximal effort drive the acquisition of maximum force production? Dunno.

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    Hey Rip. I'm evidence of your theory. I thought about trying out cleans to see what i could do out of interest. I was told it would take a while of technique practice before i would get anything. We all decided on 225lbs as it was conservative and low enough to give me a chance apparently. I hit it in a week.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Any numbers I give for the strength lifts would be bodyweight-based, and would therefore resemble the Sinclair curve. The most important thing to keep in mind -- and the biggest bone of contention between us and American Olympic weightlifting coaches -- is that power is derived from strength. The 2 lifts are PRACTICED and the strength lifts are TRAINED. If your training ever changes so much in the direction of the 2 lifts that PRs on the squat, presses, and heavy pulls cease to be a feature of your programming, well then, you've just joined the Status Quo.
    From the the people I have trained with, granted it is not a huge sample size, I have come to the conclusion that if you are a 17+ male you need to squat at least 400lbs before you can seriously attempt the olympic lifts. This is regardless of your bodyweight. The guys who have reached this threshold have the strength to snatch, clean, and jerk a weight that is at least 100kg. Obviously you have to keep getting substantially stronger but until you reach this point the ONLY priority in your training should be to squat and deadlift more.

    On the very first day I walked into my gym, my coach told me that the key to success in weightlifting was to get your technique very good and then get extremely strong. He and many others have reiterated this point to me many times.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Why would submaximal effort drive the acquisition of maximum force production? Dunno.
    Wait, what? You're either being sarcastic or I missed something. Are you referring to the fact that quick lift effort is so far submaximal with respect to slow lift strength that it can't be effectively used to drive those numbers?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I think that if a guy wants to compete in the lifts, he should start practicing them 2x/week towards the end of his novice progression, and then switch to a more weightlifting emphasis as he begins his intermediate-level programming. Any numbers I give for the strength lifts would be bodyweight-based, and would therefore resemble the Sinclair curve. The most important thing to keep in mind -- and the biggest bone of contention between us and American Olympic weightlifting coaches -- is that power is derived from strength. The 2 lifts are PRACTICED and the strength lifts are TRAINED. If your training ever changes so much in the direction of the 2 lifts that PRs on the squat, presses, and heavy pulls cease to be a feature of your programming, well then, you've just joined the Status Quo.
    People are obessed about "squat heavy Ol big numbers". However this is seldom true. A lot of people should stop thinking about just squating and focusing on their pulls instead that would generate more kg to their ol-lifts.

    Several Russian studies confirmes that any extra quad strength gained from squats does not generate any additonal value to the olympic-lifts if the PC is weak. Am I saying dont squat, nope ! I am saying work on your weakness, for some this is quad strength, for others its PC strength, for some upper body strength etc.

    And just as Mr.Rippetoe stated, you work on your weaknesses with other lifts and you display your power with full snatch and C&J.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Why would submaximal effort drive the acquisition of maximum force production? Dunno.
    beats me... but the argument of specificity is what's used in the book.

    Thing is, this isn't what the international community is doing. They're using heavy deads, heavy squats and heavy presses. Go figure...

    When I get home I'll reply with the argument from their text, if you'll let me of course...

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