Olympic Lifting Phase

Regarding our Olympic lifting phase, there are some key things I want to address. As per usual, I'll go into list form...

1) The Olympic lifts, while fast/explosive/awesome, are highly technical and will wreak havoc on your muscles and joints if you do not make optimal recovery a priority. This includes getting more sleep, eating better food (more leafy greens, less breads and grains, LOTS of protein - preferably from something that had a face and soul), as well as keeping stress low. At times, you may need to take an ice bath. Yes, these are miserable and obscenity-inducing, but you will feel amazing afterwards.

2) Ease into it. This cycle will have a lot of volume so don't go full bore on the first day. We'll have a solid month of this stuff, so there's plenty of time to improve and get strong.

3) Before lifting, make mobility drills, foam rolling, and lacrosse ball work a top priority. These things prime the joints and muscles for movement, improve range-of-motion, and most importantly, help prevent injury. Refer back to the videos I posted here for additional mobility drills you're probably not doing.

4) Constantly throughout this cycle, you will be asked to "work up to a heavy single." This does not mean a 1-rep max attempt. A heavy single is simply the heaviest weight you feel you can manage with good form on that particular day. Some days, a successful heavy single will result in a PR; other days you may fall 20# short of your PR. That's fine, you can't set a PR everyday. Regardless, do not get frustrated and do what you can. Again, WITH GOOD FORM.

5) Warming up to heavy singles, Part 2. To get your max single on a given day, it's paramount to ramp up safely and efficiently. Below, I've outlined a quick way to ramp-up that I use when Olympic lifting...

PVC Warm-up: focusing on hip extension and turnover
Hang Power Snatch 5x3 @ 45#; rest 30 seconds between sets
Hang Power Snatch + 2 OHS 4x1 @ 45#; rest 30 seconds
Power Snatch + 2 Snatch Balance 3x1 @ 45#; rest 45 seconds
Snatch 3x3 @ 45#; rest 1 minute
Snatch 3x2 @ 65#; rest 1 minute
Snatch 3x2 @ 85#; rest 90 seconds
Snatch ?X1 working up to heavy singles with at least 2 minutes rest between each

As you can see, this ends up being a LOT of lightweight reps, which is good. It warms-up the movement, allows me to work out any kinks or flaws in technique, gets the blood flowing, and does it all rather quickly. You don't have to warm-up exactly like this by any means, but if I see you put 95# on the barbell before you even attempt one rep with just the bar, I seriously might ask you to leave the gym. Or make you run long laps for the whole class. Not ramping up intelligently, especially for the Olympic lifts, is unacceptable.

Alright... get excited.

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