This is an Olympic weightlifting program outline for beginners. It was originally published by Glenn Pendlay in 2010 on his blog, which is now defunct. The article and program template have been reproduced here for archival purposes.
I also have created an accompanying spreadsheet that can be used to follow along with the program.
- This program is for beginner Olympic weightlifters only.
- The progression will be too rapid for more developed lifters to continually make progress.
- The program consists of week A and week B training cycles, which can be repeated as long as the lifter is making progress.
- Each training week is comprised of three training sessions.
- These training sessions can be organized however you’d like, as long as recovery is adequate. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is one logical sequence.
- Other variations would likely work too. The most important question is if you feel recovered heading into each training session and are able to continually add weight on the bar. The answer to both should be “yes.” If not, sleep and nutrition should be assessed. Else, if the athlete has been running the program for several months, they may have exhausted this rapid linear progression and should move to another program with slower progression.
- Each training session consists of a snatching exercise, a clean & jerk exercise, a squatting movement, and at least one “complex.”
- A complex is several exercises performed sequentially, in a circuit, with minimal rest in between exercises.
- Complexes can include plyometric exercises like box jumps or long jumps, ab exercises, lower back exercises (e.g. reverse hyperextensions, back extensions, planks), and conditioning work like high rep kettlebell snatches or swings. Prehab work like shoulder dislocations or band pull-aparts can work too.