Coaching Rookies

When someone begins the sport of weightlifting, the first 8 weeks should be mobility centered around the lifts, stabilizing the positions needed, and movement. Snatching and Clean & Jerking should come much later. One should prepare the body to perform the lifts efficiently, and then move on to the lifts. Here are a list of exercises to perform first:

Snatch: Sotts press, OH Squat, Muscle Snatch, and Position Pulls.

Clean: Sotts press, Front Squat, RDLs, and Position Pulls.

Jerk: Push Press, and Behind Neck Split Press

Here is a video demonstrating each of these:

You could also add in: pull-ups, dips, rows, back squat, Deadlift, and all versions of standing press.

During this time it would also be ok for a coach to start teaching the movements of snatch and clean with an empty bar or PVC pipe. After the athlete becomes efficient, then slowly add weight. Keep the program simple! I use reps of 3-5 and 4-6 working sets slowly increasing weight.

I hope this gives you all a reference point. I would like to see all of these new weightlifting programs succeed.

I’ll be teaching at my Learn 2 Lift Seminar this weekend at CrossFit Sandstorm in Albuquerque, NM. Then I will be at Undisputed Strength and Conditioning in Eagan, MN. To sign up go to

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