Barbell Shrugged

Olympic Lifting and Building Strength

Doug Larson

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  • Always been interested in trying weightlifting, I do the conventional squat/deadlift/bench and accessory workouts for a few years now, throwing in clean and jerk variations as well. The only problem I run into is that I tore my labrum in my left shoulder and had it repaired 3 years ago. Stability isn’t bad in it but full ROM on the snatch in particular is the most difficult part of the lift to overcome, and advice on exercises/stretches and on top of that added precautions I should take to avoid future injuries.

    • You will need to be very careful in the full snatch. It’s impossible to say just what you should do, or if you’re OK to full snatch. Have you had a pro get their hands on you and assess? …Someone performance focused?

  • I swear you guys on Barbell Shrugged are mind readers. I have been thinking about the challenge posed in this article constantly of late. I am starting with the Olympic lifts for the first time this week and want to build a proper training program for them. Many of the questions I have been pondering were addressed in this article (pause work, strength/conditioning balance, position specific training, supplemental work, etc.). Thanks for the timely article and keep up the amazing work. Nothing but mad respect for you guys and the show.

  • Always great content, I will love to implement this into my routine however I am confused and I am sure others are as well.

    How do we implement this? When? Whether we follow a program or just work out for fun.

    I guess what I am saying is how do we program for ourselves? How do we implement this into our weeks and planning?

    • The overall idea is to raise your awareness around a few key ideas. Not to provide detailed programming advice. So, in this case, are you currently training for strength? Is a goal to raise your performance on the snatch, clean & jerk. If it is, then you should be worried primarily with focusing your efforts around key positions. As an example of something you could easily apply now…Squats. You could do them regularly, which is fine. Or, for more focused effect, you could do high-bar squats with a pause in the very bottom. That would help you build leg and back strength, but it would also help you to get out of the bottom of your snatches and cleans easily as well. Hope that makes sense. Assess what you’re currently doing in the gym, and ask yourself if you have a focus on working the right positions, and with pause work. Finally, make sure that your conditioning is complimentary to your barbell work. Hope that helps some.

  • Great read. I’ve never been a fan of pause work. I just like to get down and grip it and rip it. However, after reading this I might revisit. You made a lot of sense Chris. Thanks.

  • Slow gains are gains. Also, whatever you believe is what’s true. Loads of tall lifters grow into great lifters.

  • I really enjoyed the example for the specific position for building the snatch. How about for the Ckean and Jerk? Can you do the same exercises with a clean grip?

  • I’d love to see Barbell Shrugged cover something other than the cult of CrossFit and Oly weightlifting. To my mind there are four modalities of training with weights; bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman. You have four presenters and four quarters in the year.. why doesn’t each presenter take on training in a modality that they haven’t in before for a quarter. Just think of all the interesting progress reports, the delving into the differences between the modalities and the demands they place on you, and the different histories…

    Or sure, carry on making much the same CrossFit & Oly film… again & again…

  • James,

    Thanks for you comment. We discuss mostly CrossFit and Olympic lifting a lot. In my opinion the categories you listed are all strength training outlets. We’ve discussed some but you’re right, not to extent. We plan to cover these more in the future. But I think it’ll be just as important to go into different styles of training such as endurance training, gymnastics, triathlon, etc. Which is totally different than any strength sport obviously.

  • […] Olympic lifting and building strength – Olympic lifting has gained tremendous … to start adding in some speed to your primary lifts, while you also keep balance by working your strength still. I like to program speed lifts early in my training sessions, when fatigue is minimal. […]

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