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Old 09-27-2011, 02:04 PM   #11
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I would not start right into doing snatches, and certainly not Olympic snatches right off, power snatches maybe, but even then your form has to be tight or you'll cheat and arm muscle the bar up, and will have pretty much wasted your time because you will hit a wall and not be able to progress past a certain strength point because your technique sucks. So, then you'd have to start all over again with proper form anyway, so better to start off right to begin with.

I'd start by breaking down the motions and getting good with the form on each of those, then work towards putting it all together. Do Snatch deadlifts and Snatch push presses to get used to the sort of weird wide grip. Then do snatch pulls and OH squats too, then when you're ready, start putting it all together.

If OH squats are too hard and are the only thing holding you back, work on flexibilty until you can do them, and progress to doing Power Snatches instead, while you're working on flexibility. That's what I did and it took me about 6 months to get to where I could begin doing snatches for real.

Then again, I was focussing on powerlifting and doing the o-lifts really for warmup and for fun. If you're young and reasonably flexible (which sadly I am not), shouldn't take you that long to get ready to start.

Same with cleans by the way. If you cut corners and don't do them properly, like catching the bar instead of racking it on your shoulders or pulling it with your arms instead of shrugging it up, etc., you will only progress to a certain point and worse you are risking injury.

Start with High Pulls and Jump shrugs, then put it all together.

As for working them into a power routine. I think it's easy. They are technical and require speed and explosion, so do them first as even with just the bar, they are a great warmup! And when you get stronger, they are still a great way to get all the fast twitch muscles firing before doing the "slow" lifts.

Depending on how you do your routines, I'd do cleans on squat and bench type days, then do snatches on deadlift and OH type days.

Just my .02 Hope it helps! (I know, I'm a rambler!)
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Agree with the others... start with the foundations of olympic lifting - the snatch and the clean.

You can choose between the full version (catch bar in bottom of squat position) or you can do the the power version in which you catch the bar anywhere above parallel in relation to a squat. It truly doesn't matter which you choose because if your doing the lifts correctly, technique between the two variations will be same with the only difference being where your body is when you catch the bar.

Aside from full/power variations, I also suggest you spent most of your practice/oly-training doing hang variations... at least for now. Many may disagree but the snatch or clean from the hang is excellent in teaching correct technique and hip drive. With those new to the o-lifts, people will rely on the first pull -- the pull off the ground -- to really get the bar moving up, this isn't bad in the context of moving weight, BUT when weight gets heavy, that speed off the ground will slow and the lift won't be made.

Cleans and snatches from the hang will really teach your how to get your hips involved in the lift and set in stone the second pull which is often the most difficult.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:01 PM   #13
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Going along with what the others have said, yes they are fun to perform and can do quite a bit in the strength/physique departments. It will take a long time to learn and perfect the lifts, so I'd suggest you just spent 10-15 minutes before or after your lifting and practice technique with an empty bar. It would also be great if you could get your hands on a camera so that you can review the lifts. This allow you to still focus on the "slow" lifts but also get technique work in for the oly lifts. When you feel that technique is good, you can start adding the lifts to your programming.

The slow lifts (squat,bench, dead, press) can and should be used along with the Olympic lifts. As for over training... training in weightlifting is all about adaptation.

The importance of the o-lifts in your program will depend on goals. If you want to focus on the snatch/c&j than all work will focus around them. If you simply want to add these lifts AS assistance, then it doesn't matter as much since the o-lift is the assistance and not the main lift.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:07 PM   #14
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I work with power snatches using very light weight. I also use hang cleans and power cleans.

I also do high pulls.

The key when approaching these lifts is to not rush into heavy weight.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:54 PM   #15
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I think this guy posts on another board as I saw his videos somewhere else. He shows what a strict clean and press looks like in his Youtube account, just search for "Manly Curls" in Youtube (edited as I cannot post Youtube links)

He has a bunch of videos posted if you check his account plus has written about oly lifting and strength training in his blog Manly Curls (google it)

IME, I use the clean and press, that is as far as I will take it in terms of playing around with oly lifts.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #16
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Given the technical nature of these lifts can they provide good results with both size and strength to justify the extra effort required to learn the lifts ?
Certainly yes. The Oly lifts are among the very best for growth in the traps and back in particular.

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and can the olympic lifts still be used in a routine with lifts such as squats,deadlifts,benches ,presses without over training ?
A huge yes. In fact, all of those lifts are and were used as integral parts of most Oly lifters development. The Overhead Press actually was an Olympic lift until 1972. In fact, I initially "discovered" full body training myself as a consequence of my earlier foray into Olympic Lifting. It's practically impossible to sensibly include the Oly lifts as part of a split routine because they stress so much of the body. I couldn't separate the stress of the Oly lifts from any other major muscle groups so the only real option was to do them as part of full body training ...as practically every decent Oly training program ever constructed does. So not only would I say that the Oly lifts can be used in a full body routine, I would be reluctant to say that you can work them efficiently any other way.

You'll find that proper form on Oly style pulls overlaps less than you might expect with Squats and Deadlifts because the lifts are so quick and there's very little negative. Likewise, the overhead motions (jerks, power jerks, etc) are so quick that there's really not a great recovery burden placed on the shoulder girdle. Because of that you'll find Oly work typically doesn't take nearly as long to recover from as slower lifts like Squats, Deads and Bench Presses, and you can perform them more often without too much worry about conflicting with other exercises. On an Oly program it's more of a balancing act to ensure than Squats, Deads and Presses don't conflict with themselves and cut into your speed on the Oly lifts.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:22 AM   #17
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when adding olympic lifts to a routine do they need to go first ?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:01 AM   #18
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when adding olympic lifts to a routine do they need to go first ?
The general advice I have digested is that when using an explosive pull, it should come first. I believe this came from Starr, or Kono, or possibly both.

When I use an explosive Olympic lift my structure is:

Pull
Squat
Press

When my pull is not an explosive lift I often use:

Squat
Press
Pull

If you are squatting and deadlifting in the same workout the call is yours, though I personally believe deadlifting first is a better choice.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:04 AM   #19
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when adding olympic lifts to a routine do they need to go first ?
Absolutely. The Olympic lifts and their variations always go at the beginning because they require the most speed and skill. If you do them towards the end, when you're more tired, you won't be able to nail the technique properly, or lift fast enough, because of fatigue ...and your performance will suffer.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:23 PM   #20
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Here is my 2cents about applying olympic lifts into routines. I've been doing olympic lifts for sometime but like everyone has mentioned it takes a lot of time and effort to get them down.

Being a strength coach at a university, most coaches believe that olympic lifts are a must for athletic performance. I agree to some level. But rather than spending all my effort on teaching how to perform the oly lifts, i believe recreational lifters can take variations of the oly lifts such as clean pulls, snatch pulls, etc. I've found that you still get the same benefits as you would, especially if you have squats and deadlifts in the routine already.

If it's something you really want to learn then by all means take the time to learn them. But if you are looking to get similar benefits and dont want to spend all your efforts into learning how to do them, then focus on the pull variations. It'll save you the headaches and trials.
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