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Jon Pechette 12-05-2011 10:29 AM

Power development without Olympic lifts
So for a while now I have been doing 5/3/1 with power cleans or power snatches before my deadlifts and squats (a lot like Gant's EZ program) and running 2-3 times per week for conditioning. The problem is that my university just got new barbells, replacing the old and rusty, but effective, ones with POS Hampton barbells. They're 30mm, the knurling isn't very good, and they don't spin well. As a person with average-sized hands, I can't hook-grip the new barbells, which really throws a wrench in the Oly lifting. I was wondering what I might substitute for Oly lifting to develop power. The only things I could really think of were box jumps or clean/snatch pulls with straps. Or should I just not worry about it and stick with basic 5/3/1? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Greg Everett 12-05-2011 02:31 PM

Pulls are decent, any jump variations, you can try DB power cleans and the like, and you can do weighted squat jumps - this last one will probably give you the most similar results to actually doing the lifts, but it's also the one the university is most likely to frown upon.

Steffen Hentze 12-05-2011 04:09 PM

That's unfortunate, are you sure that they've disposed of the old barbells then? If so, you may find some use from heavy dumbbell, kettlebell or even sandbag variants. Otherwise, I'm thinking different kinds of jumps, sprints, car pushing and band high pulls may offer some use.

Derek Weaver 12-05-2011 06:56 PM

Don't discount the use of medicine ball. Sprint starts, jumps, throws.

Jon Pechette 12-06-2011 04:33 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll see if I can get away with the weighted squat jumps. Usually there are only a couple other people in the gym when I work out at 6AM, so I might be alright. If not, jump variants will probably be what I'll go to (no kettlebells or sandbags here, and I'm not really a fan of DB power cleans).
Would it be best to do these before my main lifts like I had been doing for the power cleans and snatches?

Joe Birch 12-26-2011 04:00 AM

I had to stop o lifts because of a bad shoulder problems (rugby inj), I ended up with a program that consisted of some front squats (not too much cos of shoulder) and a lot of RDL's and some deadlifts (not too many for obvious reasons).

I did the RDL's pretty heavy with a slow eccentric and very explosive concentric... I actually ended up getting better results doing this than when i was o lifting (in terms of VJ and rugby performance). This was prob because my technique was avg at best on the o lifts and with the RDL's I was getting really good full hip extension, also its much easier to focus on not getting too much anterior pelvic tilt and also getting a really solid belly breath (ive got tight quads/hip flexors so quite bad ant pelvic tilt and prob also why my t-spine/shoulder injuries arose.... like almost everyone else in the western world!).

I did some safety bar squat jumps with but felt like focusing on the hip hinging movement rather than squating movement was helping my rugby more. (plus doing any jumps with a ant pelvic tilt is a pretty horrific idea!)

Hope this helps

Blair Lowe 12-26-2011 07:24 PM

One of my friends loves having the girls he coaches do barbell squat jumps up to a panel mat.

You can also do Jump Switching Lunges. Jump and switch legs in mid air while holding to a set of DB. I've also done box jumps this way with the DB and it's alright as well.

Matt Edwards 03-19-2012 09:22 AM

I know I'm chiming in late, but trapbar jumps would also be a good idea if you have access to one. I saw some recent research where they found dynamic-effort trapbar deadlifts with 40% produced the same, if not more, peak power outputs that the olympic lifts did.

Dave Van Skike 03-27-2012 08:25 PM


Originally Posted by Matt Edwards (Post 95796)
I know I'm chiming in late, but trapbar jumps would also be a good idea if you have access to one. I saw some recent research where they found dynamic-effort trapbar deadlifts with 40% produced the same, if not more, peak power outputs that the olympic lifts did.

Would love a link to that if you could lay your hands on it.

Allen Yeh 03-28-2012 04:33 AM

I think it was from a this Tmag article:


comparison of the values found here:
Swinton PA, Stewart A, Agouris I, Keough JWL, and Lloyd R. A biomechanical analysis of straight and hexagonal barbell deadlifts using submaximal loads. J Strength Cond Res. 2011b. J Strength Cond Res. 25(7) 2000-9.

and found here:
Cormie, P, McCaulley, GO, Triplett, TN, and McBride, JM. Optimal loading for maximal power output during lower-body resistance exercises. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 39: 340–349, 2007.

Winchester, JB, Erickson, TM, Blaak, JB, and McBride, JM. Changes in bar-path kinematics and kinetics after power-clean training. J Strength Cond Res. 19: 177–183, 2005.

Garhammer, J. Power production by Olympic weightlifters. 1980. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 12(1):54-60.

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