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Periodization Part 4

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Periodization Part 4

Transition period

Unfortunately, or fortunately, no training program can last forever and after the next stage of preparation, which can last 2-3 months, the athlete performs in competitions. Regardless of whether he has achieved the planned result or not, there comes a transitional period. This training period is not secondary, as many novice athletes think. Rather, it is very important and in this article I will try to tell you why.

The main tasks of the transition period include proper rest after training and competitive loads, as well as maintaining a certain level of fitness to ensure optimum readiness for the next training start. Special attention should be paid to the full physical and mental recovery. These tasks determine the duration of the transition period, the dynamics of loads.

Modern weightlifting is characterized by a tendency to reduce the transition period and to exclude passive rest from it. If in previous years the duration of the transition period often reached 1.5–2 months, then in the present it is usually limited to 2–4 weeks. This is due to the expansion of the competitions calendar, with the need to allocate time for the preparatory period. The shortening of the transition period and the increase in it of various types of motor activity is also due to the need for prevention of badly adapting energy supply systems.

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At the same time, I want to note that historically there have been cases when some world-class athletes took a timeout of 8-12 months after long and exhausting preparations for the Olympic Games, which could consist of 2-3 continuous annual training cycles, who then returned successfully to the “big platform” and won medals. But I would consider it rather an exception, and I do not recommend this approach to athletes without a great deal of experience.

The first 5-7 days of the transition period can be completely subordinated to active rest, training exercises with a barbell should be excluded (yes, you also need to rest from it, both body and mind), diversify the way of life as much as possible with the goal of full physical and mainly mental recovery. After that, the period of active rest should be combined with the training work, designed to prevent a clear manifestation of maladaptation.

Training in the transition period is characterized by a small total amount of work and minor loads. The amount of work compared to the preparatory period is reduced by 60-80%; the number of lessons per weekly microcycle does not exceed 2-4; classes with large loads are not planned. The direction of work also changes dramatically. The main content of the transition period consists of various means of active rest and general preparatory exercises. At the same time, in the process of both active recreation and the use of general physical training facilities, it is advisable to focus on new means that were not widely used in the previous training.

olympic weightlifting schedule

    Various sports games can be used for outdoor activities: football, basketball, and so on. Strangely enough, many weightlifters love volleyball and table tennis, swimming, various types of functional training in a reasonable amount. Such workouts are quite engaging but do not overload the athlete’s mind, and their diversity allows you to maintain the level of fitness.

Weightlifters hardly ever, and without much enthusiasm, use aerobic exercises in their training process, especially running. But during the transition period, this type of activity is quite acceptable. For example, the famous Soviet weightlifter Anatoly Pisarenko (+110 kg) in the transition period ran 7-8 km through the forest, and in winter went 12-15 km on cross-country skiis. And this did not prevent him from setting a world record in the 265 kg clean & jerk. Let me remind you that the medical standard on cardio load – 10,000 steps a day – is a requirement for everyone, including weightlifters.

As for the exercises from the weightlifting arsenal, I would recommend removing all dynamic exercises (that is, those that include power position and drive). Full muscle snatch and clean from floor and from hang, press standing, sitting, lying on an inclined bench, lying on a horizontal bench (but just a bit), deadlifts with average grip from hang, various variations of good mornings and split squats. Small and medium loads are planned during this period, the number of repetitions should be 4-8, 2-4 sets.

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Also, this period is perfect for recuperation from old or chronic injuries, and prevention. Therefore, the mode of the day and food should be reasonably respected. It makes sense to pay attention to such fields as yoga, stretching, myofascial release.

With the right transition period construction, its optimal duration, the size of the load, the athlete not only fully recovers from the past year and gets set to work actively in the preparatory period, but also goes to a higher level of preparedness compared to the same period of the previous year.

At the end of the transition period, the load is gradually increased, the amount of active rest is reduced, and the number of general preparatory and auxiliary exercises is increased. This allows you to smooth the transition from the transition period to the first stage of the next macrocycle preparatory period.

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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