O-Lift Programming Roundtable

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by Taylor Chiu

Behind great performance, there is always a plan. For Olympic Weightlifting, that plan is called “programming”. Here are thoughts from three top athletes/coaches on the topic of programming:


Colin Burns –

Avoid programming for yourself, because you’ll end up doing too much of what you want and too little of what you need. If that’s not possible, break your long-term training into the following segments:

– Volume: Football players are familiar with the seemingly-endless number of sprints at the start of the season, all to build up conditioning for the rest of the year. Same principle here. High reps and complexes are welcome.

– Strength: Now’s the time to focus on squats and pulls, which will increase your potential on the technical lifts.

– Performance: Focus on the snatch and clean & jerk, with low reps and high intensity.

Read Colin’s full piece here:


Greg Everett –

Don’t sweat the small stuff when it comes to ratios. As Greg Everett says, “If a lifter back squats 250 and cleans 140, it’s not hard to understand that he doesn’t need to be doing a lot of squatting”, but if the ratio is only a few percentage points off, it’s probably not worth worrying about.

Don’t individualize your first program. Greg doesn’t say this directly, but I learned that if you’ve never followed a program before, choose a basic program and stick with it. Once you finish, then you can individualize your next program, based on what you learned from the first one.

Read the rest of the article here:


Glenn Pendlay –

Beginners should lift 3 times a week, and each workout should include a snatch, clean, jerk, and squat element.

Once again for beginners, finish the workout with complexes to build “future athletic ability”.

Glenn goes into much more detail here:

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