Oly lifts logistics

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by Sean M, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Sean M

    Sean M Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    If I wanted to begin learning/practicing the Olympic lifts, but have following space/equipment constraints, what can I do? The goal being to just learn/get proficient at the lifts, and also just for fitness reasons (in particular the power snatch, but also the front squat), not competition or performance.

    • Standard size/weight Olympic barbell (cheap, have only used it for deadlifting up to 300lb so far). Bushing sleeves (the plates do spin on them).
    • 300lbs. iron plates - pairs of 45, 35, 25, 10, 2.5 and 2 pairs of 5 = 255lb of plates + 45lb bar. So they are not bumper plates/the kind that can be thrown down from the top of the snatch or jerk.
    • 3/4" particle board "platform" with a 3x3 "jigsaw" exercise mat (cut in half) on each side.
    • No overhead clearance. I can get a kettlebell overhead fine because I have ~4" of clearance from my fist to the joist, but that is not enough for the plates sticking up beyond the hands/bar...at least not fast. I could position myself such that I can overhead press with the plates going between the joists, but that wouldn't be safe to do quickly like in a jerk or snatch.
    • No squat rack: I'm limited to front squatting only what I can power clean/clean (the latter only as I get more proficient at the full clean).
    So other than deadlifting (which I already do), I believe I am limited to clean pull, power clean/clean, snatch pull, and front squat. No full snatch and no jerk/clean and jerk. Is jerking and snatching only possible with bumper plates (so it can be thrown down), or can one safely lower the bar from the overhead position? I could conceivably move my barbell and platform (such as it is) outside occasionally to practice without the overhead restriction...

    What are the loading, volume, and frequency parameters starting out? I'm thinking either Geoff Neupert's Top Set approach, or Mark Rifkind's Triple Progression, are most appropriate? The Olympic lifts practice would be one of the variety days of RoP.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Start doing the Bergner Warmup and Skills Transfer Exercises everyday, multiple times a day with an empty Barbell and/or dowel rod, and get a pair of Weightlifting shoes.
    Sean M likes this.
  3. Tony Gracia

    Tony Gracia Double-Digit Post Count Team Leader Certified Instructor

    To be honest your current situation does not sound like something that is a recipe for success. My initial thought would be to suggest waiting until you have better circumstances before trying to dive deeper. As you already mentioned, a few challenges you are facing include:

    - Trying to learn the most technically complex movements in the weight room, and doing so with no coaching and no prior experience

    - Trying to learn the lifts without any of the proper equipment. Bumper plates are great to have, but you could probably live without them. What worries me more is that your barbell probably has no spin to it at all, and that is a major problem. Trying to clean / power clean a barbell with no spin is very high risk for a multitude of things, such as wrist/elbow/shoulder injuries and also generally poor technique (i.e. compensating on your technique to make up for the fact that your bar doesn't spin).

    Probably not the advice you wanted to hear, but I hope it is helpful nonetheless.
  4. Sean M

    Sean M Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Thank you. My barbell does spin, at least for the few unloaded and 95lb power cleans I have attempted so far.

    Without overhead clearance and without instruction, I'll stick to that Bergener Warm-up for it's own benefit (looks like a good warm-up for kettlebell work too), and then just power cleans and front squats for fitness. So not really Oly lifting after all :rolleyes: !

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