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    The preparatory period is a special preparatory stage.

    Preparation periodization is a creative method that allows you to control the process of reaching your peak athletic shape, taking into account the calendar of competitions.

    The preparatory period in weightlifting lasts 6-8 weeks and sometimes even up to 10 weeks. It is exactly when the functional base, necessary for thigh performance, is created. It is when motor skills are improved, physical qualities are developed and tactical and psychological training is carried out.

    The preparatory period is divided into two stages: general preparatory and special preparatory. The ratio of duration of the stages depends on the athlete´s level. When preparing highly qualified athletes, a relatively short general preparatory stage (2-3 weeks) and a long special preparatory stage (4-6 weeks) are planned; less experienced athletes (up to 3 years) will need the opposite ratio.

    We discussed the building loads peculiarities in the general preparatory stage in the previous part.

    This part is devoted to a special preparatory stage. The training process focuses on the development of competitive exercises at this stage. This is achieved by increasing the special preparatory exercises proportion (SNATCH in straps, CLEAN, JERK from rack) as well as the competitive exercises (SNATCH, C & J).

    Training is aimed at developing complex qualities (speed-strength and coordination abilities, special endurance) on the basis created at the first stage of the preparatory period. The intensity in these exercises reaches 80-85%, but occasionally even 90-92%. In addition, a significant place is given to highly specialized exercises (for example, JERK SUPPORT, BENCH SQUAT, heavy BLOCK PULLS), contributing to the special working capacity enhancement. Much attention is paid to improving competitive technique. It is at this stage that it becomes important to develop the stability of technique in competitive exercises for 2-3 repetitions at a working intensity of 80-85%. This task is usually carried out together with the development of physical qualities, especially explosive and maximum strength.

    Competitive exercises are distributed irregularly during the second stage of the preparatory period: their number gradually increases closer to the end. The same applies to the use of various power-specific preparatory exercises. SNATCH and CLEAN PULLS are performed with 90-105% weight and sometimes 110% for 2-4 repetitions. At this stage of preparation, such work intensity should already be fully operational. Athletes that are weaker in Squats, Pulls and Presses should strengthen and balance them by the end of this period.

    Training weeks are often very intense at this stage. Weeks with a heavy load in the lift and squats alternate and sometimes are combined with  90-92% competitive high intensity exercises.

    The preparation preparatory stage is frequently completed by control competitions where the task is "to feel the platform", to qualitatively work on 5-6 sets, to show a good power reserve and technical skills level. Tapering in this kind of competition is generally absent. Athletes simply plan a recovery week at the end of the week they perform. Considering the fact that athletes don’t compete in their peak form and even despite fatigue, forcing them to do their best would not be reasonable and could even be dangerous. Therefore, coaches tend to use 2 strategies: either athletes lift up to about 92-95% in SNATCH and C & J, or in one of the exercises they make a full PR session in order to "break through" a new result, and in the second exercise they raise 85-87%. It is essential to plan tactical strategies correctly during this period and to focus on the general readiness and psychological state of the athlete, since the next training stage which is competitive will be the most important before the main competitions. Therefore, do not take risky and adventurous steps that could cancel out all of your previous hard work.

    The next part of this article will be devoted to the competitive period, where we will discuss the important moments of getting to your peak shape and preparing for the performance.





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