ATTN: Heang

Hi Bro,

First, I'd like to thank you for posting that video of you doing cleans the other day--I had hit a ceiling and I was having a lot of trouble figuring out where I was going wrong until I watched that video (about 20 times).

Anyway, I was wondering if you could give me a few pointers on designing a good basic program for the OLs.

Right now I am doing something like this:

General warm up:
10-15min w/up with cardio

Day 1

Squat or Front Squat


Jump squats

Reverse Hyperextension on Swiss Ball

Day 2



Chins or BB Rows

OH press (usually push presses)

I do everything for 5 x 5 right now, but I'd really like to focus more on the Olympic lifts and getting those lifts better. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Hi Iceberg Slim,

Thanks.  I've watched many videos of other lifters many times also lol.  Good to analyse them.  One thing I notice is that they are very fast VERY FAST.  THAT is the difference.  It is speed so that is what I am concentrating on from now.

Warms ups:  Are to be done 'dynamically'.  So no static holds.  All dynamic stuff.  Just swing of the arms backwards and forwards.  Leg swings in forewards and backwards.  Then side to side cutting across your body.  Start slow then build to a pace when your joints are loser and your muscles can take it.

Clean days: Back squat only.
Snatch days: Frotn squat only. 

Never the other way around.  Too much stress to do cleans and front squats for reps and sets.  Okay if you are peaking for a comp but not for training.

Day 1: Cleans

Clean pulls: 3rep x 5sets (Same as clean but don't go under the bar at all.  Just get the motion right and off the legs and drive up as hard and as fast as you can.  Drive on to toes and keep your arms straight for longer and SHRUG like no tomorrow.  Your arms will bend naturally.  Helps in the clean to do this

Back Squat: 6reps x 5 sets (I prefer 6reps and 5 sets then to 5x5.  The last set is important to me but it is really hard to do this mentally)

SLD or Romanian deads if you want.  I did this after my back squats Romanian deads for a while.

Jump squats would be alright here.

Hypers are always good to finish on OR any other hard ab exercise (incline sit ups with weights great for back strength)


Day 2 Snatch

Snatch Pulls (same as clean pulls but with Snatch width grip note: are your wrists taking the strain before you lift?  Are your elbows TURNED IN?  These will help the bar run up your body and stay close = more efficient = easier lift)

Front Squats


Chins both good

Or you could do bent forward rows.  Make sure you are like at the top of the Clean phase before you go down.  Bum sticking out, your shoulders bent forwards over your body.  STRAIGHT back.  Everything solid and tight.  If you let your arms hang they are vertical.  But you have to push them back with your lats and deltiods so they do not GO VERTICAL.  But they create an angle towards your thighs.  Now do bent forward rows like this.  This will help your clean and snatch phases's when you do this in them.

If you want to focus on the OL's more I'd do that.  Maybe get rid of Jump squats or OH Press.  Move them to another day if you can?  If not do them but I wouldn't do:

dips, chins or bb rows, and OH press one after another.  I'd pick 2 at most and do that.  Move one to another day.

I'd also do incline sit ups on this day also as you have not done an ab exercise. 

I always end on a ab or back exercise at the end of each session.

Incline sit ups with weights are a killer exercise imo.



Cool, thanks!

Couple quick questions though--

How should I work in the actual OLs? You don't say anything about working the snatch and C&J in and of themselves--should that be done prior to the assitance work?

And is it OK to work some smaller assistance exercises on off days when I don't do much OL training--as in do my overhead presses, chins, jump squats as "Day 3"?

Work them in as in learning to do them you mean?  I thought you knew how to do them already?

Well if you do not know how to do them I'd do the following:

Clean and Jerk: Work Clean in:
Start at Chest: Drop under and catch it:  Repeat for 4 sessions in a row:

Drop from Wait: Same as Start at chest but from wait with BENT ARMS:

Drop from Hips: Same as the last two but from the *different height* which is in the name of the exercise BUT WITH STRAIGHT
ARMS this one:

Bar movement pratice: One of the most important things in OL is learning to bring the bar from the ground in a nice straight line from the ground where the bar is stationary to your thighs for the 2nd knee bend.  Work this so your angle of hips and shoulders move *together* as much as possible.

Then Work from the ground up to a FULL CLEAN.  Always catch from the bottom.  You will learn to extend up propery on to the toes as you et use to it.  And as you do more Clean and Snatch Pulls.

Thats how I'd work the Clean.  EXACT SAME FOR THE SNACTH learning stuff to do it but with Snatch length grip.  Just get under it all the time from the various heights. 

You can also Snatch balances.  This is where you have the bar behind your neck in like a push behind neck but with Snatch grip.  NOW you DROP UNDER THE BAR and PUNCH with your arms out to lock.  Sit in a nice deep squat then come back up.  Repeat for 4 reps and 4 sets if not 5.  Start on light weights so your joints get use to it and more strengthen over time.  Then you can go at it.

Jerk: Work on driving off your toes.  Front foot goes forward about *your actual* shoe distant in front your toe when you are standing.  Back leg goes back but it sent at the ankle and heel.  HIPS ARE SQUARE.

Just dip down a bit then EXPLODE UP as fast as possible.  Chest big and elbows n ice and high.  Punch UP AND OUT BACKWARDS.  have everything straight and inline.

Feel the weight GO THROUGH YOUR HEELS.  BUM does not  STICK out during the drip.

"And is it OK to work some smaller assistance exercises on off days when I don't do much OL training--as in do my overhead presses, chins, jump squats as "Day 3"

Yeah it is alright to do in most cases.  But it depends on your flexiblity.  DO NOT BENCH PRESS a day before you Snatch, unless you have the flexibility.  That is probably the single worst exercise to do before Snatch!  Doing curls is not also good on the day you OL also as it gets your arms pumped and it is harder to do the Clean with pumped arms!  So do them after if you want or on a different day.



Wow, thanks for the info...

But I actually just meant in terms of the workout--as in, should I do 5X3 in the clean and jerk or 5X3 in the snatch prior to my assitance work for those lift on days 1 and 2?

Thanks again, this really helpful!

ttt for later


OH!  Depends on the weight you use for the reps and sets.  But if your working at say 65-70% you can do them at 3clean and jerks for 5-6 and 4 reps for Snatch's.

But it really depends on how your technique and strength is to how well it will scale.

I usually do 2 Clean and Jerks for 5 or 6 sets.
3 Snatch's for 5 or 6 sets.

DO NOT INCLUDE warm up sets that get you on your *training* %. 

If you can do a 1RM at your place then I would do that.  Don't include the Jerk unless you get it quick with arms locking fast and NOT A PRESS OUT.  If you press out -5kg from it.

Now train at 75-80% of that.  You can train at 80% for 2 Clean and Jerks and 3 reps of Snatch's for 6 sets.  It seems a lot and it is but you can cope and do it.  Work on this until yout technique and your lifts are steady and consistent.  Then once you are at that stage.

Have a week where you peak up to a 1RM for 3 sessions and same with your back squat and front squat.

NOW work OFF your biggest 1RM at 80%.  Repeat.  This should do you very well for the best part of 12months.  That is basically what I did when I first started.

In the post where I teach you to Clean and Snatch and drop under.  KEEP THE BAR CLOSE TO YOUR BODY AT ALL TIMES.  I can not stress this enough.  If the bar comes away from you it makes the lift MUCH harder.  Good practice to keep the bar close from the get go.

SPEED SPEED SPEED.  Drop under FAST as you can.  You will notice after a year or so you will have crazy vertical jumps :D. 


Cool, thanks again...

so my routine, as I understand it, should look like this:

Day 1:

Clean and Jerk

Clean Pull


SLD/Romanian DL


and hypers or ab work

Day 2:


Snatch Pull

Front Squat


Ab work

Day 3:

Assistance work:

Jump Squats, Chins, Dips, plyos, etc.

Sound about right?

Heang needs to set up a paypal account........

Well almost but it should look like this:


Day 1:

Clean and Jerk

Snatch Pulls


SLD/Romanian DL


and hypers or ab work

Day 2:


Clean Pulls

Front Squat


Ab work

Day 3:

Assistance work:

Jump Squats, Chins, Dips, plyos, etc.


Don't do the same pulls as your OL for that day.  Do the other pull instead.  Thats how I have always done it by my coach.

Work out looks mighty fine to me if I say so myself.  Basically the same one I do, but I work off 80% min as I have a different need and no need for endurance :P

lol @ LoudenSwain yeah I have a paypal account:


you got good stuff to say! You better make some loot of your knowledge! Not here of course, just a suggestion.

Heang, can you post your video again?

How old are you HK?

Check out my thread again when you get a chance.

lol make loot.  Well you are free to donate of course :)

Mule I posted in your other thread.  I was at a mates house doing some assignment.  I'll reply to threads if you reply to them.

I'll post videos:

Snatch 90kg:

Clean and Jerk 110kg:

Power clean demo 90kg:

110kg front Squat demo:

See how low I end up in my Snatch position?  Well that is how low you need to go.  When the weights start to get heavy you CAN'T catch it mid squat.  You just can't.  You either go all the way down or not.  And if you don't go all the way down you won't be Snatching a lot unless your a freak!




Thanks man.

Hmm I can't get the files to work.

All I get is sound.

You need wmp and the codecs with wmp to get them to work.

Forgot to answer your other question.

I turned 20 about 6 weeks ago.  So 21 at the end of this year.  I been lifting since I was 16 and a half.  But I took 9 months off for my 1st year at Uni so no lifting in that period.  But I played ball twice a week.  So I've been OL for about 27 months now. 

Before that I trained about 15months doing machines and some free weights.  No squats, OL, deadlifts not even bench press lol.  I did fly's on that machine, curls, lying down fly's and focked around leg machines but I managed to max them all but I've always had strong legs so didn't really train.  Training wasn't structured and I went 1x a weekly mostly but some periods 2x a week.

Looking back it was not that great but hey I was new and didn't know bugger all!  Hell didn't even have the net back then.

Then met my OL coach by accident and trained with him ever since.


Good times.

I finally got it to work.

Glad the videos work now.