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Old 01-08-2011, 11:38 AM   #1
Cain Morano
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Default 12 Week Technique Development Program from Greg Everett's book

Hello to everyone on the forum! I recently started Greg Everett’s 12 Week Technique Development Program out of the second edition of “Olympic Weightlifting”. I wanted a post specifically about this program. After this program I will get through the two strength and power programs, also in the book. I think it's cool that there is the recipe for the next 36 weeks.
Here’s my background – I have been CrossFitting for over eight months. I reached a point where I was strong enough to do the WODs at full weight – but my times are still long. In conjunction with the technique program done at a separate time of day, I have scaled the WODs to 50% weights and far less than 100% intensity of effort. I workout at an intensity which does not tax me to the point that I can’t recover from lifting, it’s like heavy cardio now. This was also to help get my times within smaller limits, but that is no longer the priority. My priority now is to add volume so I can get accustomed to more training and the later heavier training more regularly and also to work on technique. I am 35 and untrained until this year, so I need this.
I finished week one of the technique program. I performed all of the lifts with between 40% and 50% of 1RMs, which are real 1RMs tested within the last two months. I feel good and a little tired. I am excited to start week two, I’ve never completed a program this long before.

What are your thoughts and experiences with this program? It would be great to hear about your progress with this or any advice. Maybe Greg Everett has had some feedback on his program?

My first solid question to Greg is : What’s up with the rep schemes?
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cain Morano View Post
What’s up with the rep schemes?
You'll have to be more specific.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
Cain Morano
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Default The rep schemes...

Over the course of a four day week, the reps and sets change. For example, week 1 back squats go 10x3, 3x8, 4x6, then 3x8. Why do the reps and sets change from day to day?

(I was hoping an open ended question like 'what's up with that' would just release any thought or two off the top of your head, but specifically that was my question about the rep schemes.)

But aside from question about the day to day variation, what was the rationale to the numbers you chose for reps and sets?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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12 weeks of lightweight technique work is pretty boring - any kind of variation from day to day is usually very welcome. As far as why those actual numbers, basically I like lower reps, e.g. 3s, when introducing a lift, then when "training" it, bump up the reps a bit - this is intended really for younger trainees who will not be using much weight, especially at this stage, so more reps are needed for some kind of training effect. Ultimately, there's nothing magical about any of those prescriptions.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
Cain Morano
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Default Week 2 complete

I have finished week two. It feels good. I have been out of work so I get to work out twice a day many hours apart... workouts separated by meals and naps. Very nice. I have the gym to myself, I drink my coffee, stretch and warm up, listen to my own tunes, and work in the zone.

This week brought order to the program. Week 1 was a little disorganized as far as load and schedule. I completed the workouts on the days prescribed, M, T, Th, F. I decided that the loading will increase over the week... 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%. On day 1, 40% day, I pause at the tops and bottoms of some of the reps, for stability and flexibility assessment. Day 3, 50% day, I treat as dynamic effort day. Not all lifts get the speed treatment, it's not a formal thing. Also, if a set has 5 reps, that isn't the best for speed day. I do the first two or three reps fast and finish off at a slower tempo. I competed in a PL meet, so I have been through cycles of DE before.

I think the load increase is a good idea because I don't want to go from light weights to heavy weights in the strength cycle and not be able to handle the work and recovery. I am using this cycle as an opportunity to increase my flexibility and adaptation to work volume.

In conjunction with the lifting program, I am doing CF WODs. Our gym programs heavy days frequently - twice a week usually, 5,3, or 1 RM days. Today was an unusual max reps for 5 rounds of BW bench press and strict pull ups. I do the heavy days, but I scale the met cons or the weighted met cons. So there is the randomness in my lifting - plus my timing is different over the week. I make sure I don't get bored with things. Also, I recorded the first and last sets of some lifts to watch my form. The camera doesn't lie.

I love the snatch balance drills (press, heave, snatch balance). Those are cool, I feel like I'm doing some challenging, useful work when I do these. I'd like to try these at higher weights in the future but 55% 1RM of OHS was a great weight. It wasn't hard but it was taxing - especially today's final set of snatch balance of 8 sets of 3.

Finally, my shoulders are getting stronger - the one shoulder with pain and clicking is no longer painful or clicking. I feel good. I gained a couple (10) of pounds as I started this cycle (intentionally, lean mass).

That's it. Week 2.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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Default Halfway through Week 3

This is a great program. I recommend it for preconditioning for strength training of any kind just because of the wide range of motion and different skills. My shoulders feel awesome. That 10 pounds of weight gain turned into 5 pounds and holding. It looks like any lean mass gain is accompanied by water and a little fat. I'm happy with that though, that puts me over 200 pounds.

I dropped the pause and DE days, that wasn't going to work. I just throw in a random pause or fast rep instead. This program isn't structured to accommodate a systematic program like that. I am getting bored though, but I left the program as written. I did add a one heavy lift at the end of each day. I chose Wendler's 5/3/1, so I will finish two 5/3/1 cycles by the end of the program. I like it because of the simplicity, the progression, and the low volume.

Here is my 5/3/1: using 90% of 1RM as 5/3/1 max...
week 1 = 65%x5 / 75%x5 / 85%x5 plus max reps
week 2 = 70%x3 / 80%x3 / 90%x3 plus max reps
week 3 = 75%x5 / 85%x3 / 95%x1 plus max reps
week 4 = 40%x5 / 50%x5 / 60%x5...deload week.

My lifting program is concrete now... Rep scheme and lifts as prescribed in book, weights and 5/3/1 described below. Percentages are for Oly technique program.

40% 1RM weights Monday, 5/3/1 Press
45% 1RM weights Tuesday, 5/3/1 Snatch balance (so much fun, and scary)
REST Wednesday
50% 1RM weights Thursday, 5/3/1 Power clean
55% 1RM weights Friday, 5/3/1 Back squat
CrossFit WODs on same schedule (plus one on Saturday) but at way scaled back weights and intensity - CF is for GPP, not for daily suicide attempts.

I feel awesome - flexibility, strength, and technique are improving. I am seeing a change in technique compared to before I did any of these assistance exercises. For example, today I did mid hang snatch pull. Fortunately, there were ten sets of three so I had plenty of opportunities to work on hip extension and shoulder retraction. I thought I was more coordinated and had better form until I worked on this one segment of a classic lift!
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
Cain Morano
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Default Week 3 complete

Roughly the first half of this program is devoted to mostly snatch associated movements.

By now, a beginner's crappy snatch has been dissected and is ready to be put back together properly. This week consisted of what I found to be somewhat difficult to perfect technique work. Difficult to perfect, but not impossible, the bar becomes very light and the movement fluid when the technical assistance lift is done correctly.

Doing CrossFit, the snatch is just a snatch. Doing this program, the snatch has become many different separate movements, right down to details of wrist, elbow, and shoulder position, as well as pulls, presses, squats, and all combinations of the above.

This program works well as a warm up for the 5/3/1 lift at the end. So I am concurrently building strength, correcting technique on oly lifts, and adding volume to my CF routines. This allows me to build my recovery capacity and shorten my warm up time, which is great since the next cycle looks harder.

Just to recap, my schedule is technique program olympic lifting/531 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I have a rest day on Wednesday and Sunday for sure (one of those is a total rest day), and I participate in four CF WODs a week, using scaled weights in met cons, and nothing longer than 15 minutes... I usually take 10-15 minutes to do the WODs - and absolutely NO chippers.

I have to make choices sometimes, like today, which was a max effort. Since I was a bit sore and didn't have enough time to warm up for a max I worked on technique instead (press doubles speed day, pressing/heaving/full snatch balance sequence singles).
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:36 PM   #8
Cain Morano
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Default Halfway through week 4

Still at it! This week we did a CF Total, so I had to move my lifting days up a day to rest after that. I PRd on all three lifts. My heavy lift today was snatch balance! I got 5 reps at 135# on my last set. It wasn't to failure, just to where my form started falling apart.

What do I mean by my technique starts falling apart? I start to get tired, so instead of catching the snatch balance at the bottom of the squat, the catch starts to creep up higher and higher. Also, I use very little movement to unload the bar. I nudge it upward with my traps at the same time I press and drop. For the purpose of sharpening techique, I don't consider the snatch balance as beginning with a jerk. I try to keep the technique as a simple unloading of about two to three inches of bar movement upward and a fast transition into the bottom of the squat. Also, my shoulders begin to creep away from total retraction and my hips start to rise faster than my shoulders.

I did today's technique work and one heavy lift, but we had some snow so my evening WOD was cancelled. Instead I did a strongman WOD... 3 rounds (not for time), 5 minute rest between rounds.
110# (in each hand) farmer's carry ~100 ft
135# power clean
3 - 145# log presses
3 chin ups
3 dips
1 tire flip (~600# tire)
This was awesome! Also, Friday night we did one round of:
405# yoke carry 40 ft
5 chin ups
5 - 105# log press
5 chin ups
405# yoke carry 40 ft back to start.
These are great WODs. Each round takes about a minute and a half to complete. Then we go eat 70sbig at Mongolian Grill.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #9
Cain Morano
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Default End of Week 4

I am toast. I did a lot of strength work this week. I completed 3 light technique days, three 5/3/1 lifts, a CF Total, 2 strongman WODs, and 2 weighted Met Cons. I am tired today, Week 4 is done. I forfeit the last day. I did one of the met cons this morning, nice and short. 5:23, 5 or 6 rounds of 115# front squat and 45 single unders. I think it was the ridiculous strongman WODs. Last night was awesome...
3 rounds, not for time, 5 minute rests in between:
10 x 70# KB swings
105# farmer's carry 100' (first round we did 155#)
315# yoke walk 70'
3 x 155# log power cleans
3 x 155# log get it overhead anyway you can (push press and jerks)
1 x 315# DL
Rest is good. Lots of food is good. Back to lifting on Monday.

Technique! I mean that's why this post is here so let's talk about it. This week there were a lot of mid hang snatch pulls, muscle snatches, new moves like the tall snatch and scarecrow snatch. The pulls and snatches are a lot easier than when I started. I am more relaxed doing them, position is more accurate and precise to standards. The tall muscle snatches and scarecrow snatches were hard to get used to because there was no weight involved and also they are lifts with relatively short ranges of motion. I like the mid hang snatches the best! They are fast and excellent at correcting early pulling.

The progression of this program is great, the snatch deadlifts and snatch pulls set up an efficient bar path so when the snatch is performed it is a lot closer to correct than before breaking it down. This goes for all of the lifts in the progression. This program was very well thought out for amateurs like me. It's already been a month, I've done so many pieces of classic lifts it's silly. Minus the snatch deadlift, I think not pulling from the floor is a saving grace.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:21 PM   #10
Cain Morano
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Default End of Week 5

I am fried, again. It was a great week though! I did not complete the last day of week 5. I did the first exercise, snatches, but 10x2 and not 10x3. The snatch work is paying off. I am a lot more comfortable getting under a bar - and faster too. Also, I got a new 5RM overhead squat, 155#. The 5/3/1 cycle ended at 95% this week, but I didn't get to finish back squats. Maybe tomorrow I'll go in just to get that done. Next week is deloading week and I am on vacation the following week. So the week 6 active rest is now week 7 and vice versa.

I reached a snatch 1RM PR last night, that was the WOD. I put up 155#, it took me six attempts. I moved the weight, it wasn't too heavy, I just couldn't stabilize it. I caught it in the bottom pretty easily but I couldn't settle for more than three seconds, and then I dropped it. The last few attempts I was able to settle and start coming up out of the squat, but dropped out again. Finally, it was the end of the session so I tossed it and won me a 155# sloppy power snatch.

Clearly I have more to work on... I am getting better at not sliding backwards. I set up on creases in the lanes so I can see how much I move. My landing position is more consistent than before the program and I am sliding backwards a lot less thanks to assistance from friends.

So that's week 5, one more WOD left in the morning, "Jackie" - I think I'll go, I need a little cardio: 1000m row, 50 thrusters 45#, 30 pull ups. That's not too silly.
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