Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Grimek On Transitioning From B-Building to Oly Lifting

Here's some great stuff from J.C.G. It's taken from the monthly letters column he wrote for Strength & Health magazine . . . "Your Training Problems" (written from the beginning of 1948 to the end of '63)   . . . and was provided by Joe Roark on his forum Iron History. If you're here by mistake and looking for the History of Irony Forums . . . 

Seriously, if you're interested, by all means do check out Joe's forum for more.
The amount of information there is staggering! 

 Note: I've noticed in the last week or so that there's a lot of good info in the letters sections of the mags, information I've never really had much of a close look at. This is good! Most of the mags had these Question and Answer "letters from readers" columns. Some real tightly written, concise training stuff there. 

So . . . here's John Grimek's answer to a guy wondering what he should do to transition from physique training to work-playing on the Olympic lifts. 

My suggestion is to  spend some time on the York Courses No. 3 and No. 4 preparing yourself. These exercises would teach the muscles better coordination, improve your lifting technique, and impart greater speed to your muscles, the true secret of becoming a good lifter. These exercises will also improve your muscular contour, and will definitely reveal whatever ability you possess to becoming a good lifter. 

Note: here's what those courses include: 

York Course Number 3 - 

One Arm Jerk with Barbell
One Arm Snatch with Barbell
Two Arm Press
Deep Knee Bend
One Hand Barbell Overhead Squat
High Pull to Belt Height
Standing Press Behind Neck
Two Arm Dead Hang Snatch
Two Hand Jerk
Two Hand Dead Hang Clean  

York Course Number Four 

Two Hand Barbell Clean & Military Press
Two Hand Barbell Snatch
Two Hand Barbell Clean & Jerk

Number Four Alternate 

One Hand Snatch
One Hand Clean & Jerk
Two Hand Barbell Clean & Military Press 
Two Hand Barbell Snatch
Two Hand Barbell Clean & Jerk
Bent Press or Side Press

These exercises should be followed exactly in the same manner other bodybuilding exercises are done in regards to repetitions, weight, etc. 

After a few months preparation of this kind you will then be ready to specialize on the three lifts; Press, Snatch, and the Clean & Jerk. 

Begin with a weight you can press at least 5 times. Then increase the weight on the bar 10 pounds and do 3 presses. Add more weight to the bar and press it for 3 more reps. When you find it difficult to press for 3 reps, go to 2 reps. Then make about 3 single attempts. When this is done, reduce the weight of the bar by 20-25 pounds and conclude the pressing part of your program by pressing this weight for as many reps as you can. 

Then go to the Snatch. Follow the same procedure given for the Press. Repetition snatches are best done in what is known as "dead hang snatching." You must determine first whether you prefer to "dive" for the weight of follow the "get-set" style. Some lifters find they can do better in the "get-set" style, while others prefer the "dive.' 

The Clean & Jerk should be practiced along similar lines, starting out with a weight that will permit you to do at least 5 dead hang cleans, and if your Jerk isn't up to par, execute the jerk on the last clean. Keep increasing the weight and do 3 dead hangs, then 2, then about 3-5 single attempts. The weight increases in the jerk can be 10-15 pounds, but as you near your limit go with 5-pound jumps only. Occasionally practice some heavy jerks from boxes to perfect your balance and form and accustom the muscles to handling heavy weights. About once a week, or once every two weeks you should attempt to approach your limits on all lifts, or surpass them. 

Other exercises which can be included with your lifting program are the high pull-up, dead lift, squatting, and supporting feats. These latter exercises should not be done with high repetitions but confined to 10 or 12 at the most. For more details I suggest Hoffman's book "Weight Lifting." 

it's worth noting that, during this era of lifting, the Oly lifts weren't considered as something taking enormous amounts of preparation, thought, coaching, etc., etc. It was quite normal and considered a natural part of any lifter's training to include Olympic-style lifts in a program. Now, we seem to have some misguided notion that everyone's on the track to elite level performance, and should treat their lifting as such. How messed up is that, and who's to blame for all this faux "seriousness" in the gym. Ah well, it's up to each of us to decide, on our own, just what it really is we want from this hobby. Working out . . . right . . . how's that line go . . . all work and no . . . dull . . . Dull . . . DULL! The first few months on the York Courses 3 and 4 . . . there's one arm barbell lifts in there. For bodybuilding style reps! If that ain't playful I don't know what is. You gotta walk that razor's edge between elation and determination with that type of lift/exercises.

Or not.

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