My Pendlay-Style Beginner’s Weightlifting Program

As covered in an earlier post, I recently attended a 5-week weightlifting workshop at the University of Edinburgh CSE gym. With the workshop now finished and having enjoyed it immensely, I’ve decided that I’d like to do Olympic weightlifting competitively, with a view to doing my first meet in late 2013 or early 2014.

With this in mind, and having taken coaching advice, I’ve overhauled my training regime to fully focus on the Olympic lifts and necessary strength work (so lots of squats, then). The template I’m using is in the image below (click to view full size).

Pendlay Program Corrected

The program is based on Glenn Pendlay’s Training System for Beginning Weightlifters and  is spread over three days a week. Each day includes a Snatch movement, a Clean movement, a Jerk movement or other form of overhead work (i.e. Push Press) and a Squat movement. At the moment I still have a fair degree of technical work to do some I’m using a combination of lifts from the hang and full movements, with the majority done from the hang for the first few weeks while I get better at nailing the positions.

Squats will progress via Texas Method, with volume day on Tuesday, intensity day on Saturday and a light day of front squats on Thursday. As per Justin Laseck’s Texas Method Pt 1 ebook, I’ve lowered the volume to 3×5 volume day and 1×3 intensity day to take into account the squat work that Olympic lifting involves. If/when progress peters out on Texas Method, I’ll switch over to a Russian Masters Squat routine to move things along.

The overhead work is pretty much as per Glenn’s template, though I’ve added extra pressing on Push Press day as the OHP has always been my weakest lift and it could do with some bringing up. I may also occasionally Bench Press on Thursdays purely for vanity reasons.

I may need to include some hamstring specific work to counterbalance all the squatting but I’m going to play it by ear. If so, I’ll just add RDLs or Stiff-Leg Deadlifts on Saturday.

  • Lukasz

    nice job, but youve made a mistake in reps and sets. For example: week 1 day 1: it should be 1 rep for 10 sets in snatch

    • Jodi

      Thanks for pointing this out Lukasz, you’re quite right. Will correct it in the next couple of days!

  • joda

    I know this is a rather old article, but I hope you can still help me out. I’m currently switching over from “normal” weight lifting to olympic lifting. So my question is, how long do you rest between sets? When you do 10 sets of snatch that is. I’m used to resting 3-5 minutes. But that would be 30-50 minutes in just brakes here. Do you have any rule of thumb?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Jacob Micoud

      The 10 is the number of reps, not sets. Rest times are up to you, 3-5 minutes is fine.

  • Phibes

    thanks for the workout. just one question: the Push Press you have 3×5/2×3,1×1 . so…we do 3set of 5rep, then 2set of 3rep and 1set of 1rep?
    can you explain please?
    thanks