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Start by choosing eight to 10 exercises, which would cover the main muscle groups: shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, back, lower body, and abdominals. If you’re using a barbell, begin on an empty bar and complete one set of eight reps, such as a squat. Add weight if the empty bar feels too easy as long as you maintain perfect form. Progressively increase your sets and reps to three sets of 10-12 reps. Ensure you warmup before you start your session and stretch afterwards. Complete your routine thre times per week.

You can, however it is important to understand that you need to develop your strength and mobility in order to successfully learn the Olympic snatch and clean and jerk.  Supplement your Olympic lifts with strength and conditioning movements such as squats, deadlifts, push press and jump training and this will support  your progress in the Olympic lifts. 

Short answer: Yes! This is a common misconception amongst women and holds no truth. Strength training, particularly lifting heavy weights, is essential to developed toned and defined muscles. Women do not get overly muscular or ‘bulky’ because they have higher oestrogen levels than men. 

Before you add any weight make sure you can complete the movement correctly using your bodyweight and an empty barbell. Then, progressively increase the weight to a level that allows you to maintain perfect form and allows you to execute your planned number of reps. If your form isn’t perfect reduce the weight.

I usually train athletes using free weights because they are most useful for strengthening functional movements. However, pin or plate loaded machines are also very useful and help to work on muscles in isolation. A good programme would cover both free weights with some machine reps too

Between three and six times per week, depending on your fitness and goals. Four 60 – 90 minute sessions per week is ideal, but don’ t beat yourself up if you can only mange three sessions. Consistency over time will get you results. 

Powerlifting focuses on the squat, benchpress and deadlift. Olympic weightlifting focuses on the snatch, and clean and jerk. The major difference between the two sports is that weightlifting requires additional physical characteristics, such as additional mobility, technical coordination and speed-strength in order to move heavy weights fast. I’d recommend having a good strength base before starting Olympic weightlifting to ensure your body can handle moving weights as well as having a strong mind-muscle connection for similar movements, such as a push press and front squat.  

You won’t need anything to begin with. As your lifts become heavier you may want to invest in chalk, a belt and lifting shoes but they aren’t necessary to begin with. Always wear sleeves if you feel you need extra support in your knees, elbows or wrists.