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Detailed report on my first Olympic weight training workout.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


The trial Olympic-style workout that I did yesterday went extremely well. As I said to Mastover when I finished my workout, I feel like an entire new world of weight lifting has just been opened up to me! Some of the lifts are relatively technical, but I felt like I got the hang of them fairly quickly. I used very light weight – just 95 pounds – on all the exercises except the leaning DB shrugs, which is not an Olympic lift. Using light weight allowed me to put 100% of my focus on form. Next week I’ll increase the amount of weight, but I still want to focus on getting my form and timing down before I go too heavy.

Here’s the workout I did:

4 x 12 Hang jump shrugs
4 x 10 Hang power cleans
3 x 8 Power cleans
3 x 8 Hang pulls

3 x 12 Chest-braced leaning DB shrugs

The Hang jump shrugs were not too technically demanding, and I felt like I got the timing down pretty quickly.

For the next exercise I tried Hang power cleans. The video I linked to shows an example of a traditional Hang clean. The “power” version of this exercise does away with the full front squat portion of the lift. Because I’ll be working my legs separately and I want to focus on building my traps and shoulders with these exercises, the power family of cleans are the right exercises for my particular application. This exercise came surprisingly easy to me. I had very little problem getting the jump and elbow rotation feeling smooth and coordinated. I’m sure my form is far from perfect, and I will continue to work on that next week.

The next exercise was the Power clean. Again, the video I linked to shows an example of a traditional Clean. As I mentioned above, the “power” version of this exercise does away with the front squat at the end of the lift. I felt like this exercise was the most technically demanding of the bunch, but I really liked it. By the time I finished my last set of these, my traps and delts had massive pumps, and I was quite winded (I kept my rest intervals between sets to less than 1 minute).

For my final Olympic lift, I did Hang pulls. This looks harder than it is, and I felt like it really hit my traps and shoulders hard.

After all that, I decided to completely toast my traps with another new exercise that Mastover recommended I try. The exercise is like regular shrugs, only the shrugs are performed leaning forward with the chest braced against a high incline bench. I used two 105-pound dumbbells (which are the heaviest DBs that I own). Now 2×105 pounds is not a lot of weight for shrugs, but after the workout I had just completed it was not exactly easy, either. I think I can set up my Titan in such a way that will allow me to do the same lift with a barbell. That will let me really pile on the weight!

So this morning my traps are absolutely destroyed. I woke up thinking I’d slept on my neck wrong, but quickly realized what was really going on. My arms, legs and glutes are also starting to get sore. These Olympic lifts truly emphasize functional strength and will enhance overall athleticism. After just one workout I can see while so many athletes train using these lifts.

I’m definitely hooked. Of course I’ll continue to do traditional weight training exercises, but I’m going to makes sure that Olympic lifts are part of my training program from here on out!

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