Too old to start olympic weightlifting

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Olympic weightlifting

Posted by Jason

After reading the profiles of of some of the heavy lifters, I am seriously considering taking up Olympic weightlifting. I have been working out for a number of years but as I approach my 43rd birthday, I'm wondering if I'm flexible enough to partake in this sport? My joints are still relatively good except for some stiffness now and then.

I would appreciate some advice.


Re: Olympic weightlifting

Posted by JP

Hi. I'm 43 and a former Olympic style weight lifter and competitive power lifter. As far as Olympic lifting is concerned, flexibility is very important. You also need to be very strong to Olympic lift.

You may or may not find squat style snatches difficuly depending on your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle flexibility. Split style may be more condusive to strength gains.

As far as squat cleans are concerned, I always found those to be a bit easier than split style cleans.

I've written extensively about Olympic lifts for older lifters.

I would stick with at least the following:

Do some form of each lift like snatching and cleaning but pull the first rep from the floor into a power snatch/power clean, the second rep should be done from the hang where you ease into the bottom position and the last rep should be a full snatch or squat clean.

Follow with some form of overhead work; either pressing, jerks from the rack, split jerk, push presses or some form of incline

Then a pull movement such as snatch grip or clean grip high pulls and conclude with one of the following types of squats -

back squat, front squat or overhead squats.

You can add ab work (I recommend it for core stability) and maybe something like dips, chins or pushups for that "little extra".

With the exception of the ab work, dips, chins and pushups I would stick with multiple sets of singles, doubles and triples on the Oly movements.

Be sure to stretch your joints, especially your shoulders with things like broomstick dislocates. Hold the broomstick in an overhead position with a wide grip as if you just completed a snatch and simply move the broomstick back and forth, albeit slowly, and stretch the shoulders out. Overhead squats will also stretch out the shoulders too.

Good Luck



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