Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Experiencing Olympic Lifting

Weight: 180 lbs

A solid ten hours of sleep were necessary to recover from the heavy volume of Sunday.

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Deadlift (lbs)

210 x 1 x 5 Conventional + 38 lbs of chains
190 x 1 x 5 Sumo + 38 lbs of chains

I reversed my alternating grip between the two sets.

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 6 C&P


Double 24kg x 1 x 6 MP (PR)
Double 24kg x 1 x 6 C&P
Double 24kg x 4 x 5 Bent over rows

Double 24kg Chain: 1 chain
A1: 1 x 1 C&P
A2: 1 x 1 Snatch
A3: 1 x 1 Front Squat

Double 24kg Complex: 1 complex
A1: 1 x 2 C&P
A2: 1 x 2 Snatch
A3: 1 x 2 Front Squat


Olympic Lifts (Barbell):

30kg x 2 x 5

Clean and Jerk
40kg x 3 x 3

In my pursuit of improving my deadlift I came across an on-line article, here, recommending Olympic pulls as key assistance lifts for this purpose. The author, Kenny Croxdale, a master category powerlifter competitor with a 600+ 1RM deadlift, goes further and recommends only training the actual deadlift as little only once a month or less as this lift is just too hard on the lower back. Summarizing he recommends a large dose of :
  • Olympic pulls for overall speed and power to blow through DL sticking points
  • Goodmornings for developing lower back strength without over training it.
So armed with this information, I went to the US Weighlifting organization's website and was pleased to discover a Olympic Weightlifting club only 40 minutes from my home. Tonight I showed up and Ben Fuller, the trainer I contacted, spent an hour with me going over the power snatch, power clean and power clean and jerk. Of course he had me use very low weight which in fact was plenty for me. Not surprisingly, the movements were similar enough to kettlebell lifts, that I was able to pick things up quickly. The best part was using a real platform with bumper plates and a true rotating Olympic bar. It was really cool to drop the barbell to the ground from the lockout after the jerk.

After my session, I stayed and watch five lifters including "Big Ben" alternate training on the two platforms. Ben, a burly 330 lb monster of a man, on his "light day" performed sets of single and double squat cleans with 370+ lbs. Another young man just under 170 lbs, was clean and jerking 260+ lbs. Then there was an ex college wrestler, who was the leanest 220 lbs I've ever seen, was power snatching 280+ lbs.

I was quite awed by all of this and will be going back three times a week to learn this style of lifting. Whether my deadlift improves or not, this appears to be a fantastic way to train and I look forward to this new adventure.

Last but not least the training facility was hardcore .. glute-ham raise and reverse hyper benches, multiple power racks with heavy chains and bands. Huge truck tires, weighted sleds, heavy bags and more. I was surprised that no kettlebells were to be found .. perhaps that will change.


Aaron Friday said...

Awesome. That's hardcore.

Howie Brewer said...

Sweet!! I'm going to check that website out now as well.

Franklin said...


Indeed! Those dudes are real strong and work their butts off. Again its all your fault! Hah hah, just kidding but if you hadn't planted the idea of participating in a TSC I would have never checked this out.


I'm sure there are clubs in your area as well.

Aaron Friday said...

Franklin, I'll be glad to take the blame, but it's really your enthusiasm that's at fault. I only recommended the TSC because I saw that you were motivated. You're the one who made it happen.

OL is on my list as well. My brother's good friend is an OL and a powerlifter ~ it's a really rare combination for some reason. I've known him for many years, saw him compete in both events, and have an open invitation to learn from him.

I haven't gotten around to it yet, and that's my fault.