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-   -   Definative guide to OLY Programming (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1047)

Bill Ripley 05-21-2007 05:07 AM

Definative guide to OLY Programming
I think I have a decent handle on programming for major lifts like squat, press, etc. After several years of exposure to the likes of Pavel, DJ, Louie, Rippatoe, etc. But programming for OLY still baffles me. There are plenty of programs on the web - Mike B's, DJ's, WFW, etc, but knowing how to apply to my own situation is a mystery. Is there a definitive guide somewhere?

Rick Deckart 05-21-2007 05:37 AM

Well I am certainly the least qualified to state anything about these kind of matters, but actually there are a couple of workout templates around which can be used for Oly programming:

Tommy Kono explains a simple workout template in his book:

If you are interested I can write a couple of words how this template looks like...

There is the BIG21 a la Dan John which can be used for two or three runs


There is of course the famous Joe Mills 20/20 routine


And if you are hardcore inclined, you could try a six week cycle from Kilgore, Pendlay and Ripptoe


But in my opinion no matter how great a definite guide would be, it can not cope with one 'minor' factor: weaknesses, every one has different weaknesses and how to cope with that is IMO the job of a competent Coach, he will identify what needs extra practice and can offer the right exercises.

Reading your post again I see you already know most of these programs, sorry.

Well personally I simply started at a comfortable level and decided to only move on once I finish a workout with at least decent technique and without miss. Progress is certainly slow but steady in my case. I like the Joe Mills 20/20 template, it is wonderfull self-correcting. You can only move on if you did all the lifts without a miss...

Don Stevenson 05-21-2007 10:10 PM

[QUOTE=Peter Puetz;12276]

But in my opinion no matter how great a definite guide would be, it can not cope with one 'minor' factor: weaknesses, every one has different weaknesses and how to cope with that is IMO the job of a competent Coach, he will identify what needs extra practice and can offer the right exercises.


This really sums it up.

Writing a definitive anything in fitness is like juggling a bunch of greased snakes. You're going to take your eye of one for a second and it's going to bite you in the ass.

I've read lots of stuff about O lifting, been coached by some very good coaches and now do a fair bit of coaching and I wouldn't even know where to start with writing a definitive guide to O lifting. Different coaches have different philosophies, different athletes have different strengths, weaknesses, resources, genetics etc and a lot of it comes down to the coaches experience.

But if in doubt, lift heavy stuff overhead and do squats, they're always good:D

Greg Everett 05-22-2007 09:33 AM

programming for o-lifting can be extremely mysterious or very simple depending on your perspective. the main problem is that people like to work with it like every other strength-related sport, and that doesn't always work.

so i would say:

1) there will be a definitive-ish guide available sometime in the unspecified near future

2) there is a basic continuum of programming: the more novice the lifter, the more generalized and simple the programming and the more lattitude you have and the more advanced, the more complex and precise it becomes

3) with any program, the goal should be taking advantage of the athlete's strengths and improving his/her weaknesses.

4) what the lifts are being used for must be consiidered. is it for power development for another sport? or is it for compettive weightlifting? very different goals with very different programming

5) you are special. no program works perfectly for everyone and no program works perfectly at all times for the same person. you will most likely have to spend a lot of time experimenting with what you/your athlere responds best to, and you/your athlete will need to run through various cycles throughout the year to accomplish various goals.

6) always return to and rely on the fundamentals. olifting in principle is a remarkably simple sport: snatch and clean & jerk as much as possible. so the goal of all programs must to make the athlete snatch and clean & jerk as much as possible (expecting athletic training situations). the squat is not a contested lift, nor is any other--they are performed ONLY to make that athlete sn and cj more. this is often ignored and the connection is not made adequately. there's no point in back squatting 250 kg if you can only snatch 100 kg.

7) a lifter lifts a single rep and rests a minimmum of 1 min between efforts in competition. training serves to improve competition. don't forget that when programming reps, sets, rest, etc.

8) opinions among coaches do vary widely, but so does the quality of coaching. and of course there are few if any facts in the training realm, only evidence and faith. have the nads to experiment, but do so based on logic and reason, not whim or a desire to re-invent the wheel for glory.

9) technique vs strength is a common argument, which in my opinion is stupid. technique is the medium through which strength is expressed. the better the techhnique, the more of the available strength can be used. so with remarkable technique and mediocre strength, you get a mediocre athlete. with remarkable strength and mediocre technique, you get a mediocre athlete. only a balance betweeen remarkable technique and remarkable strength produces a remarkable athlete. so in practical terms, don't neglect one to chase the other.

10) ultimately, athletes can snatch and clean and jerk heavy all the time. it may take years of conditioning to reach that point, but that should be a goal. olifting is far more neurologically-dependent than any other strength sport--the more frequently the body lifts heavy things, the more it wiil be able to lift heavy things. rest days become 80% or so. but the volume must be controlled. we're talking 1-5 singles at the working weight or so.

11) forget planned periodiization. not one person can tell me how his/her body will feel in 12 wks or how it will lift. stop trying. rely on more intuitive training. learn to pay attention to your body. program exercises, not weights or % or even volume too precisely. your body knows when it needs rest or when it can make a record. as mike burgener says, "when the frying pan is hot, you do the cooking." plan to snatch, cj, squat and whatever assistance work you need to shore up yuour individual weaknesses, eg. ohs, sn balance, push press, etc., and let your body tell you how much annd how many. this isn;'t easy because most of us want to lift limit weights all dayy long every day. if you think you can sn 100 for 3 singles and you start looking like shit at 70, stop there or even drop back to 60 and do a few doubles or even only singles. let yourself recover but keep the neuromuscular memory in tune. maybe you come in the next dy and snatch 110. all my big prs have come following a day or two of horrible training.

12) that's enough for now.

Pierre Auge 05-22-2007 10:30 AM

Greg dude - nice post!

Derek Simonds 05-22-2007 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by Greg Everett (Post 12367)
12) that's enough for now.

Wow that is the understatement of the century.

The one take-away I got here is that I need to not be afraid to lift heavier more often.

I am excitedly waiting for PM definitive guide to O-lifting that was hinted about in another post and here.

Chuck Kechter 05-22-2007 11:46 AM


Originally Posted by Pierre Auge (Post 12372)
Greg dude - nice post!


Great post!

Greg Everett 05-22-2007 12:29 PM


Originally Posted by Derek Simonds (Post 12376)
The one take-away I got here is that I need to not be afraid to lift heavier more often.

yes, but according to what you can manage at present. if you're only lifting 80% + 1x/week now, don't jump into 80% + 5x/week suddenly. take some time to build up to it or you'll eiither burn yourself out, kill your joints, or an enjoyable combo of both. and with that, don''t be afraid to keep the volume very low.

Bill Ripley 05-22-2007 01:12 PM

No joke - thanks Greg (and the others as well).

Derek Simonds 05-22-2007 05:12 PM

Got It!

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