Do they do only their lifts (clean & jerk + snatch)?
Or do they do heavy compound movements?
Some of them are huge - do they do any weight training for bulking or mass building?
What about cardio?
this will vary as much as asking how do powerlifters train, or how do strongmen train, or even more so how do bodybuilders train.
it depends on the gym they go to.
some do higher frequency, some do higher weights, and some do higher of both (bulgarian method).
im sure many do some off season work to build some more muscle as more muscle can mean more strength. some may only do extra work on weak links.
as for cardio, their event lasts less then 10 seconds, so conditioning would only be done to increase work capacity.
you can call me "ozzie" for short.
I read once they do a 4 year method.. one is like strength, 2 is form 3 is a combination and 4 is perfection time.. i read it a long time ago
I'm friends with a nationally ranked, not Olympic caliber, weightlifter. He does front, back, and o/h squats and then clean, jerk, snatch and the various accessory lifts with each (snatch drops, pulls, whatever). Plus core work that is literally all he does
Check this out:
And yes, you will see it is diverse in training just like power lifting. If you look at the actual olympic model (4 year periodization) you'll see a lot of work is done early on to increase absolute strength and weak points in the lift, then later on more emphasis is placed on lift execution and increasing lift weight.
Muscle mass doesn't always mean more strength on a pound for pound ratio. For instance, a 59kg power lifter can lift more than 3 times his BW without considerable muscular mass. So imo I wouldn't add to much isolation work to their training program just to boost muscle mass. I would however suggest a high volume of compound movement training that focuses on individual phases of each lift (i.e. squat + OHP for clean and jerk). Once sticking points have been identified (weak links and things) then id work on rectifying these issues to.
Then of course technique would have to be worked on.
Also, when trying to make weight, especially in lower weight classes, a high muscle mass could be detrimental. Especially if it doesnt aid the lift in any way
The biggest mistake assumption people make about olympic lifters is that they train solely for power, speed-focused training only. Absolute strength has a lot to do with being able to perform a speed lift correctly, so olympic lifters often use compound, powerlifting movements as a method to correcting flaws in their form or tools to their training. Their staples will be different than a powerlifter usually, but their training methods will vary just like a powerlifters.
Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
Current lifts: Squat: 545 | Deadlift: 600 | Bench: 425 | P. Clean: 325 | Press: 285