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Chris H Laing
11-20-2008, 02:54 PM
I've recently become obsessed with oly lifting and was wondering when is a good time to start? Right now I am relatively weak (read: extremely) and am wondering when would be the best time to start weightlifting.

Would it be better to start early, even without a coach or a lot of strength? Or would it be better to get strong first with the conventional lifts and then take up weightlifting?

On one hand you get started on technique work sooner so you have more time to perfect it, but you wont be as strong in the lifts. On the other hand, it would be farther away in the future before the form was good, but you'd probably have the brute strength to muscle most of the lifts until your form was perfect?

Any thoughts anyone?

Blair Lowe
11-20-2008, 03:48 PM
If you are weak, you can't try to muscle everything. Considering there is a tendency for males to do this in many sporting endeavors, you should have started at 2:50PM or 2:55.

It can be simply doing the Burgener warmup with a PVC pipe and maybe doing it with a light bar ( 10 or 20 pounds ) or unloaded Oly bar at 20kg.

Besides, just have some fun and it will stop your obsession.

Ya might want to practice med ball cleaning something or cleaning something similar. Basically light and slow to work on form. I don't have a medball so I use my bowling ball. It's weird with DB, however. I'm saying this because I played with medball cleans last night after workout.

Brian DeGennaro
11-20-2008, 04:07 PM
Get stronger and get technique down. Hit the squats, presses, chins, dips, RDLs/SLDLs/GMs hard and work the crap out of your technique with light weights. You're best bet is to work strength with movements that assist your Oly lifting rather than trying to improve your Oly strength through the lifts if you're not very comfortable with your form.

George Mounce
11-20-2008, 07:36 PM
Start now.

Arien Malec
11-20-2008, 08:55 PM
I've recently become obsessed with oly lifting and was wondering when is a good time to start? Right now I am relatively weak (read: extremely) and am wondering when would be the best time to start weightlifting.

Would it be better to start early, even without a coach or a lot of strength? Or would it be better to get strong first with the conventional lifts and then take up weightlifting?

On one hand you get started on technique work sooner so you have more time to perfect it, but you wont be as strong in the lifts. On the other hand, it would be farther away in the future before the form was good, but you'd probably have the brute strength to muscle most of the lifts until your form was perfect?

Any thoughts anyone?


As other folks said, start now. Find a coach if you can. Post your location here and at GoHeavy to find one.

Read Greg's book, and focus on the progressions he lays out (ohs -> snatch balance -> tall snatch and variants -> hang snatch and variants -> full snatch; front squat -> tall clean and variants -> hang clean and variants -> clean). Have no pride -- stay light until you have the form down, and add weight only as the technique holds up.

Recording and posting videos is a good way to get feedback if you don't have a coach or a lifting partner.

Get strong with linear progression (starting light, adding weight every workout, using 3x5, or 5x3) while you are learning the technique, using lots of front squats, olympic back squats for variation, presses/push presses, and clean/snatch deadlifts.

Greg Everett
11-20-2008, 09:09 PM
Start now. Even if your best snatch is an empty 15 lb bar, that's experience and time to develop technical proficiency. At that level, you can develop strength very quickly alongside technique, so there's no point in holding off on one for the other.

Read, watch, share video of yourself - there are plenty of ways to do it without a coach, although of course you want a coach as soon as possible (but no coach is better than a shitty coach).

Chris H Laing
11-21-2008, 03:11 AM
Thanks for all the quick responses. I've been doing the B. warmup for a while now, but what other kinds of technique work should I do?

Are there any set technique sequences or "workouts" (used loosely) or should I just go in and do the actual lifts with PVC and throw in some other technique work like snatch balances and 2/3 pos cleans?

If anyone has read the supplemental oly program for cf'ers...would those workouts be enough to drill technique?

Steven Low
11-21-2008, 09:43 AM
Go through the burgener warmup... in your warmup.

Then add technique work into your skill work (that you do now) + possibly some other stuff but I dunno I'll defer to someone elses experience.

Arien Malec
11-21-2008, 12:23 PM
Thanks for all the quick responses. I've been doing the B. warmup for a while now, but what other kinds of technique work should I do?


Short answer:
http://www.performancemenu.com/zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=155&zenid=5da0088fc3a78acd17055d53d7c57b09

Long answer (as provided above):

For the snatch: OHS, snatch balance, tall snatch, hang snatch, halting snatch deadlifts, muscle snatch

For the clean: FS, Frankenstein front squat, tall clean, halting clean deadlifts

For the jerk: push press, push jerk,unweighted practice moving to the split position, jerk balances, rack jerks.

Yuen Sohn
11-21-2008, 01:12 PM
Not sure of your location, but if you're in the US, find a USAW club here:
http://weightlifting.usoc.org/content/index/1808

I spent a good several months thinking of visting the local weightlifting club, but procrastinated for one reason or another (apprehension, laziness, etc). I really regret not starting right away.

Flexibility assessment is one of the first (if not the first) things you'll go through when you get coaching, so if you can squat to full depth (front, back, overhead) and are comfortable in the bottom position, you'll be in really good shape.

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-21-2008, 05:26 PM
Go through the burgener warmup... in your warmup.

Then add technique work into your skill work (that you do now) + possibly some other stuff but I dunno I'll defer to someone elses experience.

Can someone point me to an explanation or a video of he Burgenger warm up?

Thanks in advance,
Arden

Allen Yeh
11-21-2008, 06:07 PM
Burgener Warmup with Sage B.:
http://www.mikesgym.org/gallery/video/burgWarmupSage.swf

Chris H Laing
11-21-2008, 07:34 PM
Arien - thanks for the link and the lists of exercises, but my question was more about any specific sequences of those exercises that are good for working the lifts...something like a skill based workout..if that makes sense.

Yuen - I am in the US so that works perfect, but my parents aren't willing to pay for oly coaching at the moment, and I dont make enough at my job to pay for it right now so I'll just teach myself. Maybe some day I'll have enough for a couple months of coaching.

Arden - I'm pretty sure the B. warmup has changed from that video. I dont think there is a snatch drop in the video, but there is in the article about the b warmup in CFJ.
It goes like this:down and up
elbows high and outside
muscle snatch
snatch land
snatch drop
hang power snatch

Arien Malec
11-21-2008, 09:54 PM
Arien - thanks for the link and the lists of exercises, but my question was more about any specific sequences of those exercises that are good for working the lifts...something like a skill based workout..if that makes sense.

It's a progression. To learn to snatch well, first get a solid OHS, then a solid snatch balance, then a solid tall snatch, then a solid hang snatch. While doing that, work on snatch deadlifts to work on positioning for the first pull. Then put it all together, working on the progressions when you note technique limitations.

Complexes help as well:

ohs + snatch balance, tall snatch + ohs, muscle snatch + tall snatch + snatch balance, halting snatch dl + hang snatch (to work on positioning for the first pull plus transition to the explosive second pull), 3 position snatch (hang, knees, full snatch)

Look at Greg's skill based WODs (especially Tuesday and Thursday workouts during the strength cycles) for ideas as well:

* Muscle snatch - heavy single
* Tall clean + mid-hang clean + 2 jerk - 55% (of clean) x 3 sets


# Muscle snatch + snatch balance + 2 OHS - challenging weight x 3 sets
# Rack jerk - heavy single

# Overhead squat - heavy single
# 2 Tall clean + push press + jerk - find a challenging but fast weight x 5 sets


2 Front squat + push jerk + jerk - 75% (of jerk) x 4 sets

* Muscle snatch - heavy single
* 2-position snatch (floor, mid-thigh) - 70% x 2 sets
* 2-position clean + 2 jerks - 70% x 2 sets

Blair Lowe
11-21-2008, 11:55 PM
And it was stated that Sage does her hang from knee instead of Coach B preferring just down the hip crease.

Chris H Laing
11-22-2008, 09:25 AM
Arien thats exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks a lot.

What about the power versions of the lifts? Should those only be done with light weight to work on form, or is it beneficial to work on them with heavy weight too?

Arien Malec
11-22-2008, 11:51 AM
Different coaches have different styles on this. My personal belief is that it is best to stay away from the power movements until you have the squat movements down. Once you have the squat movements down, power variations are easy to pick up, but until you have them down, the movement patterns can interefere with the full lifts.

Of course, many coaches teach the power movements first as simpler to learn. For me, at least, I didn't learn the squat movements until I gave up the power version.

Chris H Laing
11-22-2008, 03:18 PM
That sounds like me also. I can power clean 165, but i cant full clean or front squat more than 135. I'll be staying away from the power lifts for a while. Thanks for all the help.

Also i just started a log here to follow my oly program, so if you wanna check it out here (http://www.cathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?p=43867#post43867) and take a look at some of the technique workouts and stuff i'm doing that'd be cool but I won't have any technique stuff up til monday.

John Alston
11-25-2008, 03:12 PM
Every so often on these forums, someone asks ‘how long does it take to learn the O lifts?’ I lifted in a meet THREE WEEKS after I first saw someone do a snatch in real life.

From Dan John.
For me it was about 6 weeks. Learn more in one afternoon at a meet than you'd imagine...