The importance of Olympic weightlifting for the “Sport of Fitness”
4) Loading – Part 1 (intro & MDUSA recap):
One of the biggest misconceptions about The Outlaw Way program is that we have taken a full Weightlifting template, meant to develop both national and world champion level lifters, and inexplicably laid it over a “sport of fitness” full metabolic conditioning template. This notion is both laughable, and glaringly illustrates how little understanding many people have about what “real” Weightlifters actually do. After Elisabeth’s recent trip to train with Team MDUSA, and Coach Pendlay, I asked her what she felt was the biggest difference between the lifting we do, and the lifting that the team was doing. Here’s what she said…
I’m in awe of the volume of heavy, HEAVY work. Their ability to maintain focus and intensity over multiple long training sessions six days a week is almost more than I can imagine. They must start to feel like the BB is an extension of their arms. No lie, after just two days I got on the plane exhausted and immediately fell asleep and started dreaming about lifting. It’s a completely different kind of intensity.
At their AM session on Monday, the team took roughly 8-10 attempts to work to a max Snatch, then another 8-10 attempts to a max Clean & Jerk. After that they did 20 or 30 reps of accessories, then they worked up to a 5RM Back Squat.
Then, in the PM session, they worked up to another near, or in some cases full max Snatch and Clean & Jerk, then did at least five doubles of a Snatch deadlift plus a floor level hang Snatch (far more grueling than a full Snatch IMO), and then repeated the same sequence for the Clean & Jerk. I’ll try to list as close to accurate numbers as I can figure out for the team’s total reps of each movement and overall total:
>5 to 10 Max Snatches
>5 to 10 Max Clean & Jerks
>15 to 20 Sub-Maximal Snatches
>15 to 20 Sub-Maximal Clean & Jerks
>20 to 30 Various Accessories
>10 to 15 Snatch Deadlifts
>10 to 15 Clean Deadlifts
>10 to 15 Partial Snatches (hang to 2″ from the floor)
>10 to 15 Partial Clean & Jerks (hang to 2″ from the floor)
And to top it all off…
>15 to 20 Near Maximal Back Squats (working to a 5RM)
>5 to 10 Max Back Squats (attempting or performing a 5RM)
*Total Lifts (using median numbers)
>40 Snatches – between 80% and a training 100%
>40 Clean & Jerks – between 80% and a training 100%
>50 Accessories – all as heavy as technique allowed (including SN & CL Deadlifts)
>25 Back Squats – all roughly between 85% and 105% of 5RM
I know, you want the grand total so you can get down on your knees and thank the Bearded Baby Lord Jesus that you just get to dabble in Weightlifting, and don’t have to fully commit like the crazies down at MDUSA. Here you go…
150 reps at 80% or above.
Lemme reiterate. On Monday, which was a completely normal training day, Team MDUSA (and Elisabeth) performed somewhere close to ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY REPS of a combination of Snatches, Clean & Jerks, back squats, and accessory lifts–almost ALL above 80% of max, and many at max.
On Monday we did less than 40 total lifts, and none were above 85%.
Saturday – 4) Loading – Part 2 (how heavy, how much)
People still do crossfit?
There is Good, there is Great, and there is Exceptional. Glenn’s crew is the latter. Watching them lift at one of their oly certs from the Cal Strength days was the first time I’ve seen real weightlifters lift. Jon, Donny, Spencer and the rest are a damned spectacle. Rip the head off that Lion.
Holy shit, never will I bitch about the daily lifting ever again. With all respect to them though, wouldn’t you think these Olympic athletes have to be on some crazy ass “supplements” to be able to support that kind of insanity?
You can drop that thought in a hole right now and bury it; Glenn’s lifters are subject to year round random drug testing, to the point that their basic supplements like creatine need to be lab tested to make sure they have no contaminants that might show up on a drug test. When these guys aren’t lifting, their life is totally focused on recovery.
Out of curiousity, any idea of what this team’s diet looks like? Or the caloric intake necessary to sustain that volume of training?
Ashley, Tom Sroka (the biggest lifter on the team) runs a website here with recipes, recovery, supplement and training advice. All the recipes are what he’s eats on a daily basis. It’s fairly clean and paleo-ISH. http://www.thestrengthagenda.com
The link I posted below has some very indepth discussion of how John’s nutrition is managed. I think somewhere in there Pendlay says he eats aroudn 8K calories a day.
And about 5 full-sugar Rockstars a day. I should have gotten a pic.
Here is Travis Cooper’s training and food log… doesn’t seem to eat that much at all! http://pendlayforum.com/showthread.php?t=9108
Wow I had no idea, it was just curiosity bro not trying to undermine their accomplishments. More props to em!!
Coach Pendlay talks about his daily routine here: http://muscledog.com/forum/COMPETITION_PREPARATION_MEN/794/PREPARING_TO_BREAK_AN_AMERICAN_RECORD.html#
Hey Guys & Gals, I can’t make it to the camp next week in San Rafael, CA (TJ’s). Please let me know if you would like to take my spot.
Renato- why can’t it be years of adaptation and hard work rather than assuming steroids?
You’re most def right brother, these guys train their asses off day in and day out. By supplements I meant pre/post workouts, creatine etc. My bad for not clarifying Matt, didnt plan for it to come out that way.
Steroids are part of all strength sports, period. One of the major arguments why the US is not competitive on an international stage is because of the stringent testing protocols here. So, I do not think anyone is out of line to bring that up, but it is a topic that has been beaten to death. In a sport where the goal is to lift the most weight, steroids always factor in to the equation, especially if group A uses and group B does not.
Also, you definitely meant steroids when you said “supplements”, no need to backtrack.
Because he has trained 3 days/week for 1 hour/day and doesn’t see the same results :P.
Haha how long did it take your clown ass to come up with that witty comment? Of course I’m not even close to being anywhere near these elite athletes, that’s why I asked the question dick wad. 🙂
Roberto Nunez (17 Years Old) 200lb Snatch off Blocks.
Previous PR from 2 weeks ago was 185lb and jumped straight to 200lb today.
nice lift, but did you really just hashtag in the comments section of a blog?
lmao good point. Not me Btw
this is when you just nod and say nothing to not provoke the coach to start dishing out more reps!
i have a few things on my mind.
1/ i don’t find the volume/intensity of outlawway bbg/strength that tough. but when you do the conditioning as well, it does become tough (for me anyway) but that is why i do it.
2/ while us crossfitters are amazed at the elite weightlifters, it seems from listening to part of the radio show with elisabeth akinwale, they are just as amazed at what elite crossfitters are capable of. (ps i am not elite, i will be battling to make regionals)
3/ i know calculators are a bit inaccurate. but if jon north squats 230kg x5, he could most likely squat 270kg+. his c&j is 188kg (google research may not be 100% accurate) so his c&j is less than 70% his squat. my c&j is 130kg and my back squat is 160kg. so my c&j is over 80% my squat. morale to this story i need to get fucking stronger in my squat and i will most likely find the loading easier and actually be able to put some more intensity into the conditioning.
that is all
His max training CJ is 195, snatch 166. Doesn’t really change your point, just clarifying. He’s actually considered, by his own admission, a pretty weak squatter, they joke about it all the time on the show. I don’t know his max 1RM but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not 270.
Jon’s best current single is 240kg. He made 250kg once with some powerlifting style knee wraps, but I don’t count that. He will hopefully end this training cycle with a 235kg for 5 rep PR, and a true 250kg for a single PR.
wow i did not expect a reply from someone of your standing. thanks for the info. much appreciated. you have just motivated me to go out and get to work increasing my squat!
If you listen to the podcast, you’ll find no animosity. Mutual respect all around. I wish everybody could respect each sport for what it is. Those in the know understand this better. Also, it is so deceiving to watch the daily youtube feeds that show 5-10 minutes of a MDUSA workout. Watching the live feed, you realize the real volume of their workload. Very amazing.
where can you watch the live feed
Really enjoying the “Importance of Olympic weightlifting .” series. Cool to see a glimpse into the workout of a pro as well.
Totally unrelated, but if you would ever make a pro case for an iPhone, I would buy it. =p The sticker is getting the job done for now I suppose!
Rudy, did Jon offer comments about his narrow foot placement in the 5RM? Do you know if he always FS or HBBS like that?
This comes up frequently in the comments on the MDUSA youtube channel. As I recall, Pendlay says he is strong in that position. I tried to find the link for you, but no luck.
Hmm. Thanks man. I’ll dig around there.
Great article! In regard to Jon’s foot placement during back squats, he mentioned on a recent episode of his internet radio show “Weightlifting Talk” that he is trying to approximate the position he puts his feet in during the pull. His opinion is that it may improve carry over to the lifts more-so than taking a more traditional width squat stance.
Jon squats the way he does because that is his strongest and most comfortable position.
Brett, he didn’t and I didn’t really ask. I would trust Coach with my life, so I trusted that if he didn’t cue Jon to have a wider stance that it was probably a normal, thought out occurrence.
That being said, just like all you guys who’ve commented, it did look weird as hell to me.
I was just listening to the Weightlifting Talk podcast from Jan 22nd and Jon mentions that right at the beginning, that a lot of people comment on his feet being close together like that. He says it’s because that’s where he feels the strongest, and because that’s where his feet are on the pull. I would think you’d want to train squat with your feet how they are on the catch, not the pull, but what do I know, I can’t snatch anywhere close to his 166.
Actually now that I look at some of his old as well as recent videos, his starting foot position is generally narrower than a lot of lifters. Heels are kind of stacked under the hips.
Coach Pendlay has commented on video that he has told him to go wider, but that’s just where Jon feels comfortable.
I have tried to get him to go wider in the past, and might again in the future. if you look all the way back 18-24 months ago, i was having him squat wider. But, he continually comes back to narrow, because he has always seemed stronger narrow. The thing I am most concerned with his getting the squat weight up, and getting stronger. That seems to be happening right now, so I won’t worry much about the stance till he gets stuck again. If or when that happens, we might mess with his stance again. But, getting stronger is the main goal, and I hate to mess with things when that is happening.
You gotta love Coach Pendlay…best in the game and refuses to over coach.
Cool. thanks for taking the time to post over here Glenn
Slam bars and kill PR’s!!! Tyson hips Ali feet!
Somebody get that guy a trenta! Starbucks should sponsor Jon.
Jon North 2016