View Full Version : Oly novice training for first comp Feb 21st! Advice welcome!

Alex Bond
02-03-2009, 06:39 PM
I'm a novice Olympic lifter who decided to enter a competition coming up in 18 days and this is a short log of my preparation.

First, a brief background of me. I used to do LSD running, then about two years ago switched to BB-style isolation lifting. About 9 months ago, I started doing training the right way - basically SS without the cleans, which ended up turning into the Texas method. I'm having a blast and having some good results, but I was always pissed that I never got to more than a super basic level in the Oly lifts - they are cool and I want to jump higher. So, my New Year's resolution was to learn the lifts well, and it lasted about 2 weeks before I slowed down on them and they appeared less and less in my workouts. So, I was surfing the net yesterday and ended up looking into Oly lifting competitions - turns out there is one in my area coming up!

I plan on competing in the 94kg class. My PR lifts before today were 60kg for the snatch and 80kg for the C&J. I plan on doing the power versions for both - maybe not snatch, but definitely clean. (Just for posterity, other notable PRs: back squat = 132kg for a double, press = 67kg, DL = 180g, 2000m row = 7:01)

This is my planned prep schedule:
2/3: Focus on snatch
2/5: Assistance exercises, maybe some snatches
2/7: Simulated competition (do warmup, 3 attempts at both)
2/10: Focus on C&J
2/12: Assistance exercise, some snatches or C&Js
2/14: Simulated competion
2/17: Practice with opening weights a couple of times
2/21: COMPETE!

I would greatly appreciate any help or advice others could give. Thanks for reading!

Alex Bond
02-03-2009, 06:48 PM
2/3: Snatch focus

Weight: 90.7kg

That is kind of low for me right now - I was 93kg last week. Either I was just unusually light when I hopped on the scale, or else I somehow lost weight over Superbowl weekend. For the record, I'm 6'2" tall.

Started out with bar - did OH squats, snatch balances, some snatches from hang and floor

Moved up to 40kg: I did, spaced out over time as a bunch singles, 10 OH squats, 5 snatch balances (failed 2 of those), 2 hang power snatches, 2 hang snatches, 2 power snatches, 4 snatches (failed 2 of them)

50kg: 3 OH squats, 3 snatch balances (failed 2 of those), 3 hang power snatches, 2 power snatches, 3 snatches (failed 2 of them)

60kg: 2 OH squats, 1 snatch balance (failed it), 2 hang power snatches, 2 power snatches

65kg: 2 power snatches (pressed them both out a little)

At this point, my hands were ground beef, so I did

High Bar Back Squat: 110kg x5,5,4 (would have been 3x5, collapsed in hole on last rep)

Thought about a 500m row or something, but called it a day at this point.

Did quite a few snatches total - my hands were totally fried. I am used to being able to power snatch more than I can snatch balance or snatch, but not by this much. I have snatch balanced 60kg before, and a 60kg OH squat isn't too hard. I don't know what happened today. I'll try more snatch balances on Thursday - hopefully, they will go better, or I will just say f*** it and concentrate on power snatches for the event.

Allen Yeh
02-04-2009, 02:06 AM
Best of luck, let us know how the comp goes!

Alex Bond
02-05-2009, 05:05 PM
2/5: Snatch and C&J

Weight: 89.9kg
Not worrying too much about making weight at 94.

Felt good and rested going into gym - slept pretty well last night. After a brief warmup including some snatches and OH squats with the bar, I started out snatching. I didn't want to do too many because I remembered how rough my hands had it last time.

40kg: 4 OH squats, 4 power snatches

60kg: 5 power snatches
Pressed out last two a little - not too bad except last one.

Then started power clean and pressing and moved onto jerking.

60kg: 2 PC&(pressx1), 2 PC&(pressx4)

70kg: 2 PC&J

80kg: 1 PC&J

88kg: 1 PC&J(failed), 1PC&J
Pressed out the complete rep, but at least it went overhead. This is a PR if you count it. The failed rep was failed on the jerk. I wasn't focused and aggressive enough.

60kg: 2 PC&(jerkx4)

Bar was slowing down a bit, so I decided to call it a day on the Olys.

Low bar back squat:
135#x3, 225#x3, 275#x3
Ashamed to say it, but depth was iffy on two of the 275 reps

As I was on my way out, I passed a friend who talked me into

Bench Press:

Don't feel too tired - looking forward to doing a practice competition on Saturday.

Alex Bond
02-07-2009, 03:33 PM
2/7/09: Practice competition

Weight: 90.9kg
Not likely that I'll gain 3 kilos in two weeks.

Warmed up with bar, 40kg power snatches 2 from hang, 2 from floor, 50kg power snatch from floor. Then attempts:

60kg: easy
70kg: maybe a scootch of pressout
75kg: 6 inches away - fail because of pressout, but it went overhead


warmup: 3 60kg PC&Js

75kg: easy
82kg: not bad
88kg: bit of pressout

Didn't sleep much last night so I was quite happy. Looking forward to doing more. I limited myself to 90 to 120 seconds between attempts, so I think I will be ready to follow myself lifting if need be.

Then later in the day, played flag football with friends for about 90 minutes. Didn't feel slow then - played decent, especially offensive line, but I can feel fatigue in my hamstrings kicking in already. Looking forward to two rest days.

Alex Bond
02-10-2009, 04:46 PM
2/10/07: PC&J

Weight: 90kg

After a warmup with the bar and 5 40kg OH squats, starting working the PC&J. I tried to work from the hang because I sometimes pull a little with the arms and working from the hang helps prevent that in my full lifts:

60kg: 1 PC&J from hang, 1 PC&J from floor
70kg: 1 PC&J from hang
82kg: 1 PC&J (ugly clean, bit of pressout - disappointing), 1 PC&J (good lift)
92kg: 1 PC&J (decent clean, bit of pressout), 1 PC&J (iffy clean, tons of pressout - can't believe I got it overhead at all)
70kg: 2 PC&(jerk x2) from hang (worked on avoiding pressout)

Then did a short metcon:

For time: 5-4-3-2-1 of:
60kg Push jerk (clean set from floor)
275lb deadlift

Happy with the time - got pretty gassed. Not 2000m row gassed, but had fun. Form wasn't as good as in singles, but that's metcons for you.

Closed out with:

Full ROM GHD situps: 3 sets of 10

Dancing with the devil here - full ROM GHD situps have given me minor rhabdo before, but I love them enough to risk it once in a while, so I just can't go nuts.

Good workout, didn't spend too long in the gym. I can't wait to lift in the competition - confidence is high. I haven't been oly lifting long, but I am very happy with my progress. I think after this, I will probably do the Greg Everett book beginner program for 4 to 8 weeks.

Don Stevenson
02-10-2009, 05:03 PM
With such a short amount of time to prepare I wouldn't worry about your bodyweight or the weights you are lifting too much.

Focus on good technique and practice your warm up routine. If it's a small comp you may be surprised at how soon you are up to lift and you want to make sure that you know how long it takes to go from empty bar to your starting attempt.

Make sure you understand the rules of an olympic weightlifting comp. Some things to watch out for

Clothing - a lifting suit is best but if you don't have one make sure you let the referees know before the comp. Suits/ short can't cover your knees and there must be visible gaps between socks and knee sleeves, sleeves and shorts/tights. T-shirts must not cover your elbows.

Down signals - first time lifters are often not used to waiting for a down signal before dropping the weight and it's a common way to #$%^ up an otherwise great lift. Make sure also that you maintain contact with the bar on the way down until it passes your hips.

Opening attempts - be conservative an open below your best. Some coaches will get a beginner to take their opener in the warm up room before lifting.

Second attempt - aim for a couple of kilos either side of your PR depending on how you feel.

Third attempt - go nuts

If you've got a coach helping you out then listen to them and let them choose the weights.

Have fun!

Alex Bond
02-12-2009, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the advice, Don! I'm familiar with the lifting rules, and that was the plan I was thinking for my 3 attempts.

2/12/09: Don't kill yourself

I was feeling sore this morning, hence the plan. Practice comp on Saturday. After a warmup:

50kg: x1 hang, x1 hang, x1, x1
60kg: x1, x1
62kg: x1 failed (it was bad, not much elevation on bar)

Not inspiring

60kg: x1 hang, x1, x1 hang, x1
70kg: x1 hang
80kg: x1 (ehh on quality)
82kg: x1, x1 (nailed them both)

Front Squat all triples:
175lbx3, 195lbx3, 215lbx3 (PR)

60kgx5, x4, x3

Didn't kill myself, had some good PC&Js, will have to do better on snatches. I'll be fine with a missed lift if it is really too heavy for me - if I miss a lift because I pressed out something I should have handled fine (60kg snatch), I will be mad at myself.

Aimee Anaya Everett
02-12-2009, 04:33 PM
Good luck in your very first comp!

Question, why is it you are doing power movements instead of full snatch and cleans?

Alex Bond
02-12-2009, 05:58 PM
I'm doing the power versions because that's what I feel more comfortable with right now. I decided to this on pretty short notice and I wasn't sure I could learn the more technical full movement. But after the competition, I plan on doing the Olympic Lifting book beginner program with the full movements. Thanks for the attention!

Alex Bond
02-14-2009, 04:18 PM
2/14/09: Practice comp

Last hard training day before the competition next week!

Snatch warmup:
(40kg hang snatch, OH squat x5)x2
50kg snatch

Took about 8 minutes

Snatch attempts:
70kg (not even close)

PC&J warmup:
(60kg HPC, PC&J)x2
70kg PC&J

Also took about 8 minutes

PC&J attempts:
92kg (may have been a touch of elbow flexion just after receipt of jerk, so didn't count)
92kg (failed - definitely pressed out jerk)

This was disappointing - just to be sure, I did another attempt at 88kg and got it. That may be a more appropriate 2nd attempt.

Then I did
(60kg HPC, PC&J)x2
again to try to do good form

Front Squats:
60kgx3, 80kgx3, 90kgx3, 100kgx1 (PR)

A short metcon:
For time: 5 rounds of:
5 70lb DB swing
3 60kg press
5 squats
3 pull-ups

5:21 (last 4 presses had a push)
Disappointing. Was hoping for under 5. If all the presses were push, definitely would have made 5 minutes.

GHD Situps
3 sets of 10

Last hard day, so I really wanted to work. I did a lot, but am smarting over the missed jerks. Felt strong in front squats, metcon was tough, but the unpleasant kind of tough, not the fun kind.

Alex Bond
02-21-2009, 08:00 PM
Competion was a success! 5 for 6 and PR in snatch (and PR in strictly judged PC&J)

60, 63, 66 (PR)

75, 88 (failed), 90 (Gotten more than this overhead before, but not without a pressout or something, so I'll call it a PR)

Wish I'd hit the 88 so I could I tried for 92 or 93, and I should have gone 60,65,68 in snatch, but that's what first competitions are for. I totaled 156kg, and going in I was considering anything over 150 a success, so I am super happy. Got a busy week ahead of me next week, but the week after that I'll be starting the Oly Lifting Book beginner program, getting ready for the next meet in the area on May 2!

Don Stevenson
02-22-2009, 03:38 PM
Good work Alex!

First comp most people just crap themselves and perform pretty poorly so getting PRs is excellent work