The Logical Sequence of Exercises
Correct lifting technique requires the use of your legs to initiate the pull from the floor. If you perform the squat exercise as the first exercise of your workout, chances are you've weakened or fatigued the legs, so you may start your pull by employing your back too soon in all the lifts and for the auxiliary exercises for the pulls.
Therefore, in planning the sequence of the exercises in your workout, save the leg exercises for the last. Relating this idea to bodybuilding, I would perform my arm arm exercises the last because if I fatigued the biceps and triceps first by performing numerous, taxing curls and triceps extension exercises, it would severely affect my pushing and pulling ability for such exercises as the bench presses, rowing motions and pressing.
If I worked my arms first, they would be so fatigued that I wouldn't be able to tax the chest, back and shoulder muscles later on in the workout. In other words, I was limiting my ability to tax the other muscles because the appendages (the arms in this case) had been weakened, depriving the other muscles from being taxed to the max.
For the lower extremities, the appendages are the legs. And if you exhaust the leg muscles, you can't expect to concentrate on the technique of the lifts (or pulls) because you've tired the legs first.
Until such time the competition lifts changes or the basic rules for the performance of the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk change, you'll find that training for the two Olympic lifts is quite easy.
You don't have to perform a myriad of different exercises to improve on the Olympic lifts. In the past some of the most outstanding lifters practiced only the competition lifts plus the Deep Knee Bend (Squats) and they improved and kept up with the best in the world. Isaac Berger did just that and he won World and Olympic titles and broke world records. Pete George, during his college years, had hardly any time to train, so all he did was the Olympic lifts plus Squats (when he could squeeze in time to train) and he won Olympic and world titles.
Some of today's most prominent and successful coaches are saying the Snatch, the Clean & Jerk and Squats can make up the complete training program. When you think about it, it is very logical for the contest is in the Total of these two lifts and you must have strong legs for the Clean & Jerk. That's it!
In summing up the logic behind planning a training program you have certain guidelines to go by:
1) Warm up
2) Technical Lift (Snatch and/or Clean & Jerk
3) Auxiliary Exercise(s)
4) Squats (or Front Squats)
5) Hang Loose (stretch)
The workout from warm up time to hanging loose would be approximately 90 minutes or 120 minutes at the most. Additional time for Quality Training
is difficult because fatigue sets in and the "return" for the time and energy spent is almost negligible. In fact, it may be detrimental.
Intense concentration on the correct performance of the lifts and their auxiliary movements, with the correct amount of weight over a short period, followed by plenty of rest for recovery is more result producing than performing set after set just to develop the "tonnage" per session or per week.
Training three times a week is sufficient to make good progress. A fourth workout may be performed but only because one of the three workouts is split over two days.
There are three factors you want to avoid if you want to continue making progress in your lifts. All of them could stem from training too hard and too often. The three to avoid are:
2) Illness because of low resistance
3) Over training
1) Injuries will set you back in your progress. Faulty technique or excessive stress from trying to handle too much too fast, or a combination of both, is sure to cause you problems that could set you back, one, two, three months or more.
2) Becoming sick could be the result of insufficient rest or sleep and because your resistance is down. You have to remain healthy if you want to "build" on strength. Fatigue could initiate the start of an illness.
3) By training more than your body can take and recover from, you will suffer stiffness and soreness, which means you have not given yourself sufficient to regenerate the muscles and energy that you've used.
Having any of the above problems means you must taper down your workouts and give your body a chance to heal itself through more rest and relaxation.
This is similar to a person who trained before but has neglected his exercising for a period of time and wants to start anew. If he plunges in and performs many reps and sets, he is sure to have stiffness and soreness in these muscles for the next two or three workouts. He suffers through and finally on his third or fourth workout, he begins to train well.
If he trained intelligently, he would have started with a minimum of exercise in his first workout and over the next two or three workouts built up his capacity to use heavier weights and perform more reps and sets, without the discomfort he would experience if he plunged back in.
Work out smart and get in the habit of getting Quality Training. Let the others slave away while you make equal or faster progress than they do, and you will enjoy your workouts more.
You should be looking forward to your workouts and not dreading them. Workouts should be challenging, enjoyable . . . and productive. You should be able to leave the gym with knowledge of the fact that you learned something about yourself and achieved the best possible workout for that day.
Enjoy Your Lifting!