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Old 10-30-2009, 07:07 PM   #1
Emily Mattes
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Posts: 727
Default "Normal" rate of progress

After one too many "are you on the juice" jokes, I'm wondering what is considered to be a normal rate of progress for beginning Oly lifters with virtually no prior sports experience.

I don't consider myself to be genetically gifted, I don't have any significant sports experience to speak of prior to weightlifting (I would say the most useful experience was the three months of Crossfit I did spread across a year prior to starting). In the past year, these are my lift increases at a bodyweight of about 175-180lbs, lifting 4-5 times a week:

BS: 77 --> 107x2
FS: 65x2 --> 97
Snatch: 36 --> 60
Jerk: 55 --> 77
Clean: 48 --> 80
Meet total: 82 --> 137

I see guys making progress in their lifts like mine in a couple of months, not a year, so this seems like a pretty slow rate for me. They're male, but still.

Is this an OK rate of progress? How much better could I be if I dialed every aspect of my program in (sleep, nutrition, etc)? I'm trying all that on my own right now, but it's hard to stay motivated when I'm not sure what's a good expectation for growth.

EDIT: D'oh, it's over a year.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:03 PM
Gavin Harrison
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:16 AM   #2
Martin Bonn
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the thing with oly is that it s so technique and athlete dependent!
for example: i started with an oly coach about 10 weeks ago, i improved my snatch from 60 to 85 in 6 weeks: sounds good but really my technique was terrible before and i was capable (strengthwise) to do this weight form the start....so whilst my numbers have gone up, i think i have mainly improved in technique and not so much in strength (my BS went form about 105 to 110).
My training partner on the other hand who is 5 years younger than me, has made good strength gains, imporving his BS from 130 to 150 and his jerk from 100 to 120 within a few weeks. he responds really well to strengtrh training, but he is really limited by his technique atm, he muscles the weight up (which is impressive) but his technique has only improved a little bit.

i guess what i m trying to say is that, don t get too caught up in how other people progress! as long as your weights go up (however slow) that s an improvement!
Also, if you have no previous sporting experience then it will take a while for you to get good technique!
It s probably easier to predict how people do on a pure strength programme with the slow lifts (like rippetoe's SS).
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:17 AM   #3
Brian DeGennaro
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That sounds pretty reasonable for 4-5x a week. How focused on weightlifting are you? Mental strength and toughness play a role in PRs and progress. What exactly is your programming like? Are you going for heavy weights routinely or more "periodization" type training? In fact, your clean ought to be almost 10kg higher than where it is now with that FS.
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:19 AM   #4
jake oleander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Mattes
I don't consider myself to be genetically gifted....at a bodyweight of about 175-180lbs, lifting 4-5 times a week:

BS: 77 --> 107x2
FS: 65x2 --> 97
Snatch: 36 --> 60
Jerk: 55 --> 77
Clean: 48 --> 80
Meet total: 82 --> 137
perhaps you ought to reconsider what it means to be genetically gifted. you seem pretty gifted to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily Mattes
I see guys making progress in their lifts like mine in a couple of months, not a year, so this seems like a pretty slow rate for me. They're male, but still.
Your total increased by like 70%! I don't see too many men making progress like that, but maybe I'm not training with the right people...
All compliments aside, stay hungry and keep improving. Not being satisfied with yourself is a good thing.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:19 AM   #5
Emily Mattes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian DeGennaro View Post
That sounds pretty reasonable for 4-5x a week. How focused on weightlifting are you? Mental strength and toughness play a role in PRs and progress. What exactly is your programming like? Are you going for heavy weights routinely or more "periodization" type training? In fact, your clean ought to be almost 10kg higher than where it is now with that FS.
I'm not sure how my programming is, as my coach does his own thing. I've tried to find a pattern and it seems he's really doing it by feel. But under him I've made as much progress in the past couple months than I did in the nine months prior to that.

As for focus, I actually moved to my current location solely to train with this coach, so weightlifting is pretty much my life right now.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Emily,
You are doing extremely well. You have a lot more by the way of genetic gifts than you are giving yourself credit. Keep up the great work.

All the best,
Arden
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