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Old 03-30-2007, 10:07 AM   #1
Elliot Royce
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Default Starting Strength vs. O Lifts

When in the gym, I've been doing a hybrid program of O lifts and their assistance lifts (trap pulls, pulls from the floor) plus Starting Strength when I need to fill in. I've been making progress over the past 3 months with my front squat getting up to 80kg from basically nothing. Similarly, my back squat has gone from something like 120lbs to 205lbs for 5 reps. On the power clean, it's gone from 50kg to 90kg.

However, I feel like my life is overcomplicated. My training log is filled with multiple lifts and variants (front squat, back squat, trap bar deadlift, RDLs, squat cleans, cleans & jerks, shoulder press, push press, rack jerks, hang clean, bench press).

I'm wondering whether to just do the Starting Strength rotation and sub in the full O lift as appropriate. So, sub front squat for back squat one day. Sub squat clean for power clean or sub clean & jerk for both power clean and shoulder press. Or sub push press or jerk for shoulder press.

There is something about the simplicity of the SS program that appeals. I think progress is much more measurable. Since I am not a pro O lifter, I would think that this should lay the foundation pretty well. I would still do 2 hours per week with a coach to train the O lifts.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:26 AM   #2
Derek Simonds
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For the last year I have been doing basically the same thing.

I started the mass gain plan outlined in the PM and have been trying diligently to follow the lifting template. It is an O lift program and the only modification I have done so far is include bench 1 day and incline 1 day. I still am not 100% on the lifting template but I like it and it has simplified my life substantially.

My biggest problem is that I get into an overtrained state by doing too much. I like the weights, reps and exercises outlined and I don't feel like I am over reaching.

I look forward to reading additional responses
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
John Alston
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Originally Posted by Elliot Royce View Post
I'm wondering whether to just do the Starting Strength rotation and sub in the full O lift as appropriate. So, sub front squat for back squat one day. Sub squat clean for power clean or sub clean & jerk for both power clean and shoulder press. Or sub push press or jerk for shoulder press.

Thoughts?
It sounds like you are trying to do a couple things at once.
Some of your substitutions I find questionable.

The squat clean is significantly more taxing than a power clean.

Subbing the full C&J for power clean and press isn't a great fit b/c the jerk is as much a leg exercise while the press is essentially no leg.

I dunno about SS much, and I am wondering about your plan. Have you just tried a structured OLY program with assists for your goals? Not really sure what your goals are. Is strength in general the goal with oly as one element or is it more oly focused? Sounds like a mix. Mixing can be tricky, esp when there is a plan so structured as SS.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
Elliot Royce
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Derek:

I checked out the template. I didn't realize the second tab had O lifts (the first tab is pretty basic). I'm going to look into it more. Something consistent and progressive would work well.

John:

Thanks for your comments. I'm not sure I agree that a squat clean is more taxing than a power clean. Are you arguing that it's possible to power clean more than a squat clean? I do find a squat clean harder to learn but I've assumed that's just me. In any event, can't I just adjust for difficulty by varying the weight?

Again, on your point about subbing the C&J, I'm not looking to exactly replicate the motion but rather to achieve the same effect of Starting Strength (building mass/strength) while working on the technical side of the O lifts.

As for goals, good question! Build strength/mass, improve athletic performance, learn the O lifts as a sport (in no particular order).
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:09 PM   #5
John Seiler
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Elliot,

Your power clean is 10kg higher than your front squat?
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:01 PM   #6
Elliot Royce
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I know, weird. But I do have two artificial hips and have been rebuilding since then. My coach has me working the front squat to get more comfortable jumping down. I figure I should be able to get up to 120-130kg on a squat clean if I can only learn to squat that much.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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Ah. That would explain it. I like to idea of simplification. Unless you have a LOT of time to spend (like an Olympic-caliber athlete), it's pretty hard to work at all those things. It seems wiser to focus real-life limited resources on improving a few basic lifts.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:49 AM   #8
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John:

Thanks for your comments. I'm not sure I agree that a squat clean is more taxing than a power clean. Are you arguing that it's possible to power clean more than a squat clean?
With good technique and no phsyical issues, your full clean should of course be more weight. BUt if you mean "more often" than I think one can do more power cleans than squat cleans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Royce View Post
Again, on your point about subbing the C&J, I'm not looking to exactly replicate the motion but rather to achieve the same effect of Starting Strength (building mass/strength) while working on the technical side of the O lifts.

As for goals, good question! Build strength/mass, improve athletic performance, learn the O lifts as a sport (in no particular order).
Right, a little different from my goals, where right now I am trying to develop my strength and general traits through focusing on the olympic lifts.
Sounds like you are getting good training if you are working with Gary Valentine. I'd listen to him!
Are you going to come on down to the meet at LBH in two weeks?
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:09 PM   #9
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Gary is great. I wish more people could come to his gym in the foothills of Wilton. He does actually have a guy who travels down from Vermont.

I will have to miss the meet due to travels but I hope to be there in August. I'm afraid that work life prevents me from maximizing my O lifting potential (but does pay the bills). I'm waiting to make my move for the 80 year old Masters' title -- I've got another 35 years to train.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:57 AM   #10
Peter Haas
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I ran into this sort of question when I decided to switch from metcons to primarily focusing on strength/O-lifting. I really wanted to increase my strength and proficiency at O-lifts. I decided that primarily focusing on strength while developing my technique couldn't hurt.

I decided to go ahead with Rippeotoe's advanced beginner program as outlined in Practical Programming. I lifted with that Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and did Snatches and assistance exercises on Saturday. I've been making steady progress on that for the last 2 months, going up about 5-10lbs on my back squat per week.

Since I have been making steady progress, I've decided to mainly focus on this strength program until I reach the Advanced lifting levels that Rippetoe outlines. I still do a little O-lifting on Saturdays if I have the time, but my main focus is on strength right now. I like it because it is a simple program and I am seeing week to week improvements. Part of me can't believe I'm still making progress with simple linear periodization at the weights I am lifting, so I want to keep riding it out. When I hit advanced, I am going to switch to emphasis on O-lifting and metcons.

When I do O-lifting now, I feel like my limiting factor is skill and technique, not that I am weak. I'm happy with that for right now.
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