If you’re looking for a quick release sport that can improve your core strength as well as your mobility, then you should be looking at Olympic Weightlifting.
You might think that this type of training is only for athletes at the top of their game, or even hard core gym buffs, but in reality, the name “Olympic” is referring to a style. An adult of any age or strength level can start Olympic weight training, they just need to know where to start.
Olympic style weightlifting is unlike any other sport. It doesn’t test the limit of your strength or how far you can continuously push yourself. No. Instead, Olympic style weightlifting tests your ballistic limits. This is the explosive strength that you have within.
Because of this, elite athletes in other sports train with this type of weightlifting, along with their more specific training programs, so they can gain a more powerful and explosive momentum!
If you are someone who is often rushing around with their busy life schedules, so you don’t have time to go to the gym, then don’t worry we have a program for you. If you are someone that wants to start off easy, then don’t we have a program for you!
If you are someone who has been weight training for years and wants to switch up your program, then don’t worry we have a program for you!
No matter what you are looking for, we have found the 5 best Olympic weightlifting programs around and one of them will be the perfect match for your training because they are each designed for a different kind of training need.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Burgener Strength has a range of training programs available, each created by Mike Burgener who has coached world class Olympic weightlifters.
He has managed to help these people reach the highest levels in Olympic lifting all whilst in his home gym. Although Burgener has a range of training programs to choose from, we are looking at his Free Online Daily Course.
The program tells you what to do every day, and it has already added in days of rest. In the program, you work out for 5 days in a week, and the program lasts for 12 weeks in total. Because it is all online and self motivated, if you want to move the days around to better suit your lifestyle, then you can!
The downside to this course is that the program is hard to navigate. When you click the link you are taken to Week 1 - Day 6. It takes a lot of clicking to reach Week 1 Day 1, although you will get there eventually. This can be fixed easily though, by printing out the web pages instead of reading them online. If you don’t have a printer then this might be a frustrating problem.
The next negative is that the course assumes that you know what their shorthand terms mean. This is the problem of choosing a no-contact course, as you cannot ask questions or double check meanings.
On the flip side, if you have been in the weight lifting world for a while and know terms like a “Superman Hold”, then a lack of unnecessary explaining can help you speed read through the program.
- Program Created by a World Class Olympic Weightlifting Coach
- 12 Week Program
- Hard to Navigate Webpage
- Not Suitable for Beginners.
Lift Vault has a program created by Next Step Strength which is 12 weeks long. They have 4 training days per week and use block periodization to help you with your strength and peaking phases.
This means that they break down the specific training of each type of lifting (including Olympic weight lifting) into 2 to 4 week periods. This allows you to reach your “Peak” level and stay there for a longer period of time. This is great if you are training for a competition.
As you may have noticed in that little description, this program is for more than just Olympic Weightlifting, as it takes on you on a weekly tour through a lot of different styles. This is great if you are looking for a mixture of weight training, but if you only want Olympic Weightlifting in your training routine, then this might not be the one for you.
Lift Vault suggests using this program if you have a general understanding of all 5 lifts, so if you are a true beginner then this program might not be for you.
The actual program is available in an excel spreadsheet which then helps calculate what you personally need, without having a trainer. This is great for those of us who want the experience without the hassle of signing up to a program where the instructor isn’t someone you can gel with.
- 12 Week Program
- Given as an Excel Spreadsheet
- Easy to Use
- You need to know the terminology already
- Aimed at those who already have an understanding of weightlifting
California Strength is a leading weightlifting team. They have produced national team titles for America and still hold American records for weightlifting.
California Strength has made a reputation for themselves world wide! Their standard is high and so are their programs. It makes sense then that California Strength’s Olympic Weightlifting Program is the highest rated program on our list.
They have four programs in total, from beginner to master weightlifter, so no matter your level they have a program for you. Each program is made to improve your technique, increase your strength and become competition ready.
The sessions range from 3 per week to 9 per week, and their prices vary depending on the number of sessions and the level of training you need.
All the sessions are online through a video or webcam, so you have a real person to talk to and help you with your technique. This is the best program around at the moment, and the fact that the personal trainer will give you real reviews of your workout, and help you out when you are struggling, is amazing.
- Personal Trainer
- Four types of Programs (Beginner to Master)
- 3 to 9 Sessions per week
- Reasonably Priced
- No Cons!
Some of the programs that you can sign up to or download make you do a bit of guesswork to figure out how to increase or decrease your weight.
If doing all that math seems like a headache, then we suggest getting the FitBod app. The app designs your weightlifting program based on the data you log into it and gives you appropriate recovery rates as well.
If you would rather try before you buy, the Fitbod gives you a sample 3 day per week Olympic Weightlifting Program and also lets you save the program to the Fitbod if you decide that you liked it after all. Saving it means it will recognize that you have completed this part already, showing your progress as accurately as it can.
This program, unlike the others on this list, recognizes that you might not want to increase the weight of your lift every week. You can tell the app this, and it will create a program accordingly. Being so personalized means you can have the perfect program for you specifically.
- On An App
- Personalized Program
- Sample 3 Day Program already available
- Explains Termanology
- Only available on the App
Invictus has created a 3 day and a 5 day program for all levels. Buying this package also gains you entry into the exclusive Invictus Weightlifting Facebook Group, where you can have your questions answered by Invictus coaches. In the group, you can also upload videos and ask for reviews to help improve your technique from home.
Coach Jared Enderton is the main coach who will be helping you, and he has been in this business for over 9 years. He is the head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the USA Spring Cycling Team as well as the owner of CrossFit Pandora’s Box.
He also owns the Enderton Barbell Club. With so many fitness interests, you know that he will understand how CrossFit or any other workouts can be improved by Olympic Weightlifting. He can also help you balance these sports together.
The Invictus program is more expensive than the others on my list, but the personal training and the community spirit that comes with these programs make it worth it.
Strong communities can really push you forward when you think you have hit a lack-of-energy wall, so knowing that this Facebook community already exists, is a sign of empowerment.
- Strong Community
- Coached by Jared Enderton
- Live sessions
- Video feedback
Best Olympic Weightlifting Program Buying Guide
Why is it called Olympic Weightlifting?
Olympic weightlifting, or Olympic Style Weightlifting, is when the weightlifter tries to lift a barbell (a long bar), which has been weighed down with weight plates. The weightlifter has to lift this in one go.
Technically there are three types of weightlifting, Olympic, Powerlifting, and Weight Training. The Olympic style is different from the powerlifting style, as powerlifting lifts their maximal weight on three lifts. This is also different from typical weight training, which uses dumbbells or weight stacks. With typical weight training, you would repetitively lift and lower the weight for strength training.
Weightlifting in general wasn’t standardized until the 1928 Olympic games. There were two categories of lifting, which were the Snatch, and the Clean and Jerk. These two styles are now considered Olympic Weightlifting techniques because of the history of standardization.
The programs we have found for you, all contain Olympic style weightlifting training, helping you reach the explosive potential of power and strength. They train for the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk as well as other training techniques to help you when it comes to these lifts. You will need to create muscle as well as knowledge to be able to lift in a way that is safe.
The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk
The Snatch technique is within the Olympic Weightlifting style. It is when the weightlifter gives a wide berth between their hands on the barbell, and they have only one movement to lift the weight. When you can do the snatch well, it will look effortless. It uses your whole body and needs strength and power, as well as flexibility to get the technique right.
The Clean and Jerk has a closer grip instead, and the weightlifter lifts the weight in a two move lift. It is one of the most difficult lifts as you will need a bank of core strength and a stable balance to get the lift right.
For either lift, you should practice strengthening the core of your body in preparation for the lifts.
What Olympic weightlifting terms do I need to know?
The most important term to know when you are beginning at Olympic Weightlifting is the intensity percentage. This percentage measures the maximum weight that you can lift. For example, if the maximum that you can lift is 50 kg, then your 100% intensity percentage is 50 kg.
If the program asks you to lift 5 x 50%, then they are asking you to lift the barbell 5 times and the weight should be 25 kg. This is because 50% of 50 kg is 25 kg.
The Olympic programs will assume that you know a lot of workout terms already. They might ask you to do “Back Squats” or a “Military Press” for example. If you don’t know how to do these, and the program doesn’t tell you, then we suggest you put those terms into YouTube to have a physical representation of what you are meant to be doing.
This might be a reason to buy a trainer lead program instead of a free online program, but if you already know what you are doing, then investing in a trainer might be unnecessary for you.
This is why we have created a list with a mixture of platforms to take your programs from. Each program will be great at teaching you and training you into Olympic Weightlifting, but the amount of direction you will need is up to you. So now you know what to look for, let’s five into the 5 best Olympic Weightlifting Programs!