View Full Version : Squat Strength Limiting Olympic Lifts

Stephen Flamm
06-13-2010, 02:37 PM
This afternoon I finished Week 4 of the 10-week Catalyst cycle that began on March 8th, 2010, and I have reached a rather embarrassing point. Essentially, any new PRs set on the clean are simultaneously front squat PRs, as well. My snatches are getting close to overhead squat PRs, as well, but there is still a buffer. On days like today (max days for both lifts, plus front squat max), I build up to the heaviest clean and jerk possible, which is now limited by my ability to get out of the hole.

I intentionally selected this cycle because of the mix of technical work in addition to the frequent squatting, which I knew I needed. My pulls have always been far stronger than my squats, which subsequently led to my power Oly lifts being higher than my full lifts. Only now, after four weeks, have they caught up, but I'm still pulling so well that I receive the bar 2-4" above parallel and ride it down through the squat. Current numbers look like this:

snatch: 180
overhead squat: 190
clean: 235
front squat: 235
clean & jerk: 235
jerk: 255
back squat: 275
deadlift: 425 (haven't tested this in a while, and I'm confident that it's closer to 455)

These are all lifetime PRs, and they have all improved over the past 4 weeks, but how should I proceed? Complete the cycle, see where things go, and then re-evaluate? Adjust now to emphasize the squat more? I'm used to higher volume, so I think I could add additional assistance work/extra squatting at least once/week. Ditch Oly, work pure strength, and then return?

As a background, I followed CF.com for about 18 months before switching over to OPT's programming last November. After Regionals, I decided to focus on the Oly lifts and squat strength for 10 weeks, at which point I will likely switch back to OPT's stuff. I am not a competitive weightlifter, at least not yet, but I greatly enjoy the lifts. I still enjoy and participate in CF competitions, so my vague, short-term goal is to no longer have the full lifts negatively hinder my performance. Long-term, I would like to total 225 in an Oly competition.

Greg Everett
06-13-2010, 07:40 PM
finish the cycle before you freak out too much. if you're cleaning more than your previous FS maxes, we can pretty confidently say you can FS more than you previously could. RE OHS, who cares - if you can snatch it, why would you want to do anything else with it? stick with the cycle until the end and then re-evaluate.