Doing the Movements

An answer to a forum post about the O lifts

Just by doing the lifts…even just the squat variations…you are miles ahead of most people who just talk about them.

As a beginner, do the two O lifts very light multiple times a day. I would recommend a little more than a broomstick, but honestly not much more. Do 3 or 4 sessions a day of maybe 8 sets of two in the snatch or just 4 sets of 2, and 8 sets of singles (or 4 X 1) as many sessions as you can a day. This will get the nervous system and the flexibilty issues taken care of in a hurry.

Most men can learn the O lifts well doing this little “trick” in about three weeks. Never miss, don’t go too hard, gently coax yourself into doing it right. Women pick it up in about a day or so.

That last line has some insights…women tend to naturally NOT try to “arm” it…saves weeks of work. They use their butts and legs.

Big butt=big lift.

If you can snatch 155 with a sandbag, you are pretty damn impressive. Lane Cannon’s “Judy,” his 150 pound sandbag is a nightmare to clean and press.

I would recommend, in order of ‘ease of learning,’ the following progression for snatches:

1. One arm dumbbell/kettlebell snatches (Five seconds of learning)
2. One arm dumbbell/kettlebell swings (don’t worry if you have never heard of it…think Highland Games Weight over Bar without the release)
3. Barbell Cleans
4. Clean Grip Snatches (first from hips, then below knees, then floor)
5. Regular Snatches…buy the World Class Coaching Video

I snatched, in a competition, 187 pounds…weighing 184, three weeks after seeing the snatch for the first time. What helped me the most was snatching three days a week for three weeks. Now, I would recommend five snatch sessions a week to learn the movement.

You may want to “cluster” your sets. Testing, now, would be a different concept and plan, but for a general workout, you might consider a “set” of fifteen like this:

3 reps
2 reps
1 rep
1 rep
2 reps
3 reps
2 reps
1 rep

Put the bar down completely between the set/reps…those reps of 3, 2, or 1…and shake your arms out, catch your breath…but don’t leave the platform. Stand tall, a couple of good breaths, and do the next reps.

This is how I learned to Power Clean before I met Dick Notmeyer. This Stanford football player told us (a group of SSF football players) that we had to be able to handle 135 for 15 straight power cleans to really be game ready. I don’t know whether or not this was BS or not, but it sure worked for me to get into shape.

Don’t go up in reps, rather, try to limit the amount of time between the “clusters.” This is actually a good idea for all O lifting.

Mike Stone taught me a similar concept at the USOC where you do something like five sets of five, but rest ten to twenty seconds between each rep. (Hard to do on Bench and Squats, but great for the O lifts) You get volume, but with more intensity that one usually expects.

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