Guides Olympic Lifting Training Notes

«How To» Choose Your Training Program

«How To» Choose Your Training Program

When I moved from a  junior to an adult team, my coach suddenly told me: “I must return to the sports school. You’re the only person I work with here, and back there are 40 young and promising athletes who also really need me.” It was a challenge for me, because I decided to try training on my own. Of course, I could follow the general program of the team as it was really good, but how would I challenge myself with no one to guide me?

By that time I already had my own vision and understanding of how to structure training plans as my coach had always taken the time to explain what we were doing and why. As such, I already had a great training and competitive experience and learned a lot about physiology and planning methods, and I was always interested in experimenting and learning something new.

So when my coach left me on my own something came out of me, and my desire to learn, along with what I had already learned, led me to find what approaches and methods are optimal for athletes of different training levels.

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I would say the most important criteria for developing training programs for professional athletes (and amateurs too!) are these:

  • Defining the goal. Are we preparing for competitions, do we just want to have fun or do we need weightlifting to complement another training program – American football, functional training, basketball, athletics, etc.;
  • Duration and recurrence of the program. Training of professional weightlifters for international competitions can last up to 6 months, for national level athletes this period may last 3 months and other times we have only 4-6 weeks. We can work out to our greatest ability no matter what time we have;
  • Training level. Beginner, advanced, experienced professional. This will determine the workload intensity, as well as the choice of training methods;
  • Your training tasks. They can be completely different: Undergoing a full-cycle preparation for competitions, improving your technique and correcting mistakes in the SNATCH or CLEAN & JERK, realizing your power potential in competition exercises, developing strength or figuring out your baseline in the off-season for other sports.

To get the answers to these questions and decide which program fits you best, closely examine the programs on my website. All of them have detailed descriptions and explanations. The priority goal of all these training programs is preparation for competitions, except for the LEG STRENGTH PROGRAM. You can make your choice based on the factors mentioned above, as well as what level of support you will have during your training process. There are programs whose purpose is to prepare for competition or to reach a new achievement in the snatch and jerk, but there are also programs to help you increase strength and develop the muscles of the back and legs.

LEG STRENGTH and DEADLIFT CYCLE solve the tasks of power training and can be used in the annual training cycle 2-3 months prior to the  main competitions, when it is necessary to work on the power base or when moving to a new weight category. If timeframes allow, the athlete can go through these two training cycles in turn, but I would recommend performing a DEADLIFT CYCLE first, and then LEG STRENGTH.

athlete on floor might have injury

Also, I would like to note that the cyclic loading in these programs was developed with weightlifters in mind, whose main objective is to improve the SNATCH and CLEAN & JERK. In this regard, even in these power cycles there are special weightlifting exercises whose primary aim is to be a warm-up function before power work, and also work on muscle memory and the basic elements and phases of the clean & jerk. Each of these plans can end with a control training session, if an athlete wants to see progress, or with a recovery week before competitions using individual or basic programs.

Certainly, methods for beginners and experienced athletes are way different. It is important for a newcomer not to expect too much of themselves. Remember that skills and experience are obtained over years of hard training and there are no miracles or shortcuts, so you need to tame your ego and be patient moving forward.

The comparative table of the personal training programs can give you a more complete understanding of what the athlete can expect and what level of support they will receive when going through the training cycle. It is very important to understand what level of support is needed in order to receive the full benefit of the training process.

When writing the individual training plans, I always take into account all the information provided by the athlete, including goals and objectives, in order to properly structure the training load and help them achieve their desired results. Communication with the athlete, questions, feedback and analysis of control videos are very important for me. All these factors affect the correction and optimization of the plan.

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Basic programs for male and female athletes can also be an excellent solution for you. They provide full long-term planning of the training process and a consistent and reasonable structure of the training load to ensure the development of explosive power and improvement of general performance simultaneously – essential components for setting new records.

For those of you who choose the basic programs, video analysis would be an important tool for monitoring your current level of technical preparedness. It’s no secret that it’s important to listen to your own feelings when performing the exercises and skills training. Still, an unbiased and critical evaluation can always help you identify problems and suggest ways to fix them, including adjustment of the training plan.

I know from my own experience how much any weightlifter dreams of lifting the perfect PR, and I want to help you achieve your best results!

Train together- train right!

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Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov
Head of Sport Science, PhD

Experience: 20 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 165 kg,
C&J – 200 kg

Sergii Putsov, Ph.D., is a former professional weightlifter and National team member, achieving multiple medals in the 94 kg weight category at national competitions. With a Master’s degree in “Olympic & Professional Sport Training” and a Sport Science Ph.D. from the International Olympic Academy, Greece, Sergii now leads as the Head of Sport Science. He specializes in designing training programs, writing insightful blog articles, providing live commentary at international weightlifting events, and conducting educational seminars worldwide alongside Olympic weightlifting expert Oleksiy Torokhtiy.

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