Olympic Lifts and Sprinting

I love the olympic lifts and their derivatives. However, I find that when I am doing my track work first and then heading to the gym, I don’t have much left for them. The strength lifts (squat, bench, etc) seem to be fine but I just don’t have the pop for the OLs after sprinting. So, in my normal program, I simply drop the OLs. I count on sprinting (and some plyos) for RFD and squats for strength. No problem yet.

However, as we move towards winter here, it often hapens that the weather conditions are not suitable for track work. So if I can’t do my track work, I like to substitute in the OLs to help keep my explosion.

Here’s the problem: If I don’t do at least some minimal level of OL work all the time, then when I add it in as a substitute for sprinting, I find that I get sore and/or I can’t move as much weight (presumably due to lack of practice.)

So here are my questions. First, what is the minimal level (sets, reps and intensity) of OL lifting that I should do the maintain my motor skills and avoid getting sore? I understand this is likely quite variable based on individuals but what are some good guidelines to start with? Would something like 3 sets of 1 rep at 80% be about right? I always have a tendency to want to do too much…

How often would this need to be done? Could I get away with one session of snatches and one session of CJ per week?

I have generally been doing MWF as high intensity and TTH as tempo. I was thinking that I need to bite the bullet and add in the ‘maintenance’ OL on MWF but after reading CT’s article on CNS training, I was wondering if I could get away with doing them on TTH before my tempo work?

Or does anyone else have any other better ideas about how to make this work?


3x2r @ 80% once per week will be sufficient to maintain strength and avoid soreness (assuming limit strength and other RFD components are continued) I wouldn’t do clean derivatives on tempo days however… Why not increase volumes of med ball work instead?

I could do that and also modify (increase) my plyo work. However, I feel like I get a better workout using the olympic lifts. It is harder (for me) to characterize and control the volume and intensity of med ball work. How does one measure progress with a med ball?

So you would recommend 3x2r@80% 1x per week? Alternate snatch one week and C&J the next or do both in one session? I may be able to handle this on my SE days (which I plan on running this season!)

Thanks for the input!

I find my strength in OLY’s goes down immediately after speed but I just adjust the weight downward slightly to accomodate the extra stress of sprinting.

When I hit powercleans etc on days I dont sprint my poundages are the same as usual.

Might be a question of volume and density.