Getting Into Weightlifting — Part 3

But I am a lady, I do not have testiclÈs!

Note: It is PR Friday — post weights gained, lifted, consumed, etc.

A novice can train heavy on a regular basis because they are not lifting a significant percentage of their genetic potential to disrupt homeostasis more than a couple days. Read that sentence again, because there is a lot of shit going on. A novice, defined as someone who adapts to stress on a daily basis (as opposed to a weekly (intermediate) or monthly (advanced) basis), will program things differently than an intermediate. Once intermediate status is achieved, things will get individualized…i.e. more complicated.

An intermediate will have particular recovery limitations that others may not have, and this must be accounted for. As of right now, I do not think there is any good way to efficiently increase strength while getting adequate practice in the Olympic lifts. Increasing the back squat, press, bench press, and deadlift are going to help the Olympic lifts go up, but those “slower lifts” will not increase as fast if the Olympic lifts are practiced adequately during the week (adequate probably means at least twice a week). In comparison, when the focus is to increase those “slower lifts”, you cannot adequately put enough time into getting that “adequate practice” in the snatch and clean & jerk since recovery is a finite thing. This means that you either have to cycle the emphasis on a regular basis or strength train until x weeks out from the meet.

Tommy Suggs used to do the latter, according to an old article written by Bill Starr. He would get strong in training, and then six weeks out from a competition he would get back into doing the lifts and refining his technique. The method seemed to have been useful for him.

Not everyone is an intermediate though, and very few people get there legitimately. Lets say you are a novice, or you train novices. Well, I may have an outline you can try. It has worked for us at the WFAC. It is assumed that the lifts have already been taught.

Clean and Jerk heavy
Snatch for sets across



Snatch heavy
Clean and jerk singles across


The lifter will be fresh on Monday to clean and jerk heavy after the two days of rest. A novice will be able to squat the day after doing the Olympic lifting, and deadlifting is done at the end of the week because if it was done any earlier, it may interfere with the other pulling. The sets across for snatch or C&J should/could be timed — on the minute for a snatch (between 10 and 15) and every two minutes for C&J (for 10 reps). Doing it in this manner accomplishes a few things (not in any particular order); A) it uses medium weights so that completed reps build confidence, B) the higher reps are technique practice, and C) it gets the lifter used to lifting on a clock, which will be important in competition. The heavy snatch or C&J days can be five singles across, or just working up to a heavy single (ideally increasing that single week to week). Remember that any increase is still an increase, so it may be 2.5 or 1 kg per week in the later stages — the point is to drive the weight up and PR.

This program can be followed for quite some time — it is what quite a few of the lifters here in the gym did, and got pretty strong. One of my lifters named Bryan, who was mentioned in Rip’s article, The Novice Effect, squatted over 500 for three sets of five and clean and jerked 155 kg in the gym using this program. A novice can recover from this work load because they are a novice. In fact, I used a variation of it at one time while I added 5 kg on my clean and jerk every week all the way up to 165 kg in the gym (I was an intermediate though, and it didn’t last long). The point is that it still includes two strength days while working on the lifts twice a week. More strength will improve your total — remember that.

From Brent:
This is Dmitry Klokov, born in 1983, was the 2005 World Champion and 2008 Silver Medalist in the Beijing Olympics. His best competition total is 423, and in this video he snatches 193 and clean and jerks 230:

74 thoughts on “Getting Into Weightlifting — Part 3

  1. Klokov is a beast for sure (and that beard/heandband pic is straight out of Project Badass), but I feel someone”s gotta make mention of the dude who won gold in the 105 class – Andrei Aramnau from Belarus:

    Dude set three world records, moves insanely fast under the bar, is 20(!) years old, and is allegedly also moving to the +105kg class.

    Thanks for this post, Justin. Got my first-ever meet in Jersey this May and I”ll be using this program.


    gained another half a kilo, and now standing on 84.5kg, only 5.5kg away from adolescent.

    clothes PR:
    ripped a t-shirt while training, right in my armpits.

    deadlift 170kg&175kg for singles. going to get 4 plates per side this upcoming week!

  3. PRs this week:
    PL Total: 737.5
    DL: 320
    Powerlifting Watch Article: 1

    One thing I””d add for the intermediate/advanced lifter is that they should know how their body recovers and thus should be able to push themselves as much as they can. Some intermediate/advanced lifters might be able to deadlift on Friday and C&J heavy again on Monday (I””m 100% sure I could), but its obviously a very individualized thing as recovery is not the same for everybody.

    Could you explain your PR’s (with the exception of the snatch)?

    Another example is that I could not press within two or three days of clean and jerking heavy a few months ago. This may be different now (if the shoulders adapt to the work load), but I have some weird limitations. I would rather clean and jerk fresh on Monday than do it heavy later in the week.


  4. Anybody who squats 3 sets of 500 at the end of novice linear progression and C+J””s 155kg clearly has some superior genetic abilities. Bastard. (not hating, just jealous)

    True, but genetics are not super powers. You still have to train hard and intelligently. He was doing much less before I started coaching him.


  5. PR Friday! O-lift meet at Vision Fitness last weekend.

    Snatch 40 kg (5 kg meet PR!)
    Clean & Jerk 58 kg (4 kg all time PR!)

    Also, a weight PR this week, up 4.5 pounds since beginning SS.

  6. PR!
    Numbers still aren”t that big but I”m progressing nicely

    Squat 250# 5×3(more than last time I did a crossfit total)
    Bench 190# 5×3
    Dead 330# 5×1
    P clean 175 3×5 (felt much better after resetting and working back up to it)
    Press…we won”t talk about my press

    Bodyweight 173 (up 30 pounds from Thanksgiving time)

  7. male 34 yr old, 6”0″
    New to lifting (ex-endurance athlete and workaholic)

    Modified novice program

    Front squat 130 5×3
    Press 115 5×3
    Deadlift 255 5×1
    power snatch 105 3×5
    power clean 130 3×5
    bench press 135 5×3

    body weight PR 201. Up from 189 one month ago.

    Thanks 70”s big…

  8. PRs:
    BW – Should be right around 84kg. 20.5kg increase since I started linear progression.
    Press – 57.5kg 3×5
    Deadlift – 125kg 1×5

    Back to settings PRs on the squat next week after a small deload.

  9. I know we frown upon this kind of talk around here but holy shit Klokov has a ridiculous figure. 6”0″ 232 with what looks like a BF% below zero. As a 6”0″ tall guy myself, I now have a new ultimate bodyweight goal!

    Only 55 lbs to go….

  10. Started an Olympic lifting program so everything is a little screwy this week. One PR:

    DL: 300x1x5

    That is read as five singles at 300 pounds — is that what you meant?


  11. Squatted 340 for 3 sets of 5
    BW 182

    By bodyweight has gone up 35 pounds, and my squat likely over 100 pounds, in the last 3-4 months.

    First PL meet coming up March 14. It consumes my thoughts!

  12. Bodyweight PR – hovering around 190
    Bench – 210, 3 x5, attempting 215 later today
    Press – 145, 3 x 5
    Deadlift 5RM – 360, attempting 370 later today

  13. Squat – 225 x 20!

    Squatting 225 x 20 has been a long-time goal of mine. So, I”m extremely excited to have accomplished this.

    FYI, when I attended the BB cert in November, I was squatting 185×5. Go to a cert if you haven”t already done so.

  14. Snatch PR: 69 kg
    Weight PR: 72 kg (I”m 5”6″) en route to 77 kg.

    First weightlifting competition will probably be late April. Started learning the lifts properly on February 9.

  15. God I love Russian Screaming, It”s screaming in another language and it just sounds badass!
    The only thing that could have improved it is if he would have went somewhat Ivan Drago on the weight and just punched it making the weight instantaneously explode. RUSSIA.

    I”m doing wendler”s 531 right now as Rugby the last couple of weeks made it hard to do a WFAC style conditioning routine. Our practices times are all over the place and I”m just looking to make some gains for the rest of the season and then do Linear work in the summer.

    Squat 205×13
    Bench 155×13
    Deadlift 235×13

    Everything came up thirteen as this is the first week of me trying this out, and I started stuff kinda light.

  16. Justin:

    My PR”s explained, although only 1 was really anything obscure.

    I had a powerlifting meet, PR”d total and deadlift at it (737.5 broken down to 252.5/165/320), and the deadlift got a writeup on since its the #3 ranked raw deadlift.

  17. My PRs for this week:

    I accidentally hit a bodyweight PR of 215. I had planned on making a “Race to 215” in order to get there before spring break. I was going to bloat myself up with pop tarts, gatorade, and whatever I needed to fill up to 215. Then I bought a scale and found out I was already there 2 weeks early.

    Military Press: 185 X 6
    Close-Grip Bench: 265 X 6

  18. Because it”s my first post, I want to say that the gentlemen who run the site (Justin et. al.) have a fantastic operation and are doing God”s work. Your writing about food in particular warms my heart.

    My lifting crew–all present or former NCAA Division III football players–just finished Week 3 of our first go-round of 5-3-1 (we have mostly utilized a Westside/Conjugate training method for the last three years). During Week 3, I hit three new 5 rep maxes:

    Bench: 315 1×5
    Squat: 400 1×5
    Dead: 475 1×5

    Because I”m the (relatively) big guy of the group–average group bodyweight is 236, with a 180 lbs. QB pulling us down–I”m working on slimming my bodyweight down to something slightly more reasonable for my 6”1″ offensive lineman frame (no less than 265). I”m sure I”ll be branded an apostate for doing this in my first post, but this is four-year bodyweight low:


    Don”t get me wrong–I love being friggin” huge and eating big. The bodyweight loss is more of a coincidence, really: I gave up alcohol 6 weeks ago to focus on my training, and in doing so, lost at least 15 lbs. The negative externalities of drinking are impressive in magnitude…

  19. Front Squat: 275×1
    Press: 150×1
    Power Clean: 220×1 (same weight as I hang power cleaned last cycle though….bizarre.

    weight gained: jeans are tight in legs and butt. All shirts are small, and I have to restock my wardrobe almost entirely. Not sure about this past weight, but I”ve definitely been gaining some weight.

    Also, I can confirm that my girlfriend loves my brand new back, ass, and legs.

  20. PR:
    Squat 225 for 3 sets of 5.
    Daily comments about my huge ass from male friends and random girls at bars.

    Finally got a belt and I”ve progressed four workouts in a row without a hitch, on squats. I only use it on squats.

    The belt is the soft “athlete belt” from Best Belts. Very sturdy, very good customer service. The only snafu was that the owner said he”d get in 10mm thickness and it came in 12.75mm, but I”ve adjusted. The owner said they make or did make belts sold under other brands, but are now selling direct to customer for cheap, $54 shipping included, for a 4″ wide 12.75mm single/double prong belt, plus coasters made from the suede.

  21. random question, anyone lift in the new Rip shoes from Rogue Fitness? i really want to get some lifting shoes but can”t decide to get the Rips or the Rogues…

  22. Klokov is one of my favorite Oly lifters, in any weight class. His intensity is outstanding.

    Only noteworthy PR today: 365 squat for 5 singles. Felt good, but I”m finding a sticking point.

  23. 5”9″ 239

    SQ: 500×2
    OHP: 190×5, 190×4.5, 190×2+3PP
    C&J: 245×1

    After the first rep at 500 I noticed one of the resident BB”s at my globo watching me with this look of awe on his face so I did another rep just to fuck with his mind. Afterwards, I asked him how my form was and all he could say is, “I don”t even go that low with two plates per side (225lb).”

  24. @ B-Reck,

    Nolan answered the NJ meet question. I”d love to go to the CT meet (as I”m from there originally), but I work weekends and I”ll already be using leave for the East Coast Classic. Hopefully see you and Nolan in Jersey.

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