Training National Caliber Olympic Lifters, Part 1

May 10, 2012

In two previous posts (http://wp.me/p1XfMm-4A and http://wp.me/p1XfMm-4F ), we covered the training of a beginning Olympic lifter using the kind of exercise variety and progressive, systematic training that used to be employed.

 

This post and the one that comes after it covers the training for a more advanced Olympic lifter that can be expected to compete at national-level events.   Unlike with absolute beginners, this lifter is preparing for two very specific competitions and the idea is to peak the lifter for those competitions.  In this case it is for the American Open (December 10, 2011) and Nationals.  These posts are going to focus on preparation for the American Open.

 

Some assumptions are made in this training plan:

  • The lifter is capable of qualifying for the American Open.
  • The lifter has solid technique in the snatch and clean/jerk.
  • The lifter has no deficiencies.  In other words, this is a training program that focuses on everything.  If there were deficiencies, the program would emphasize attacking those.
  • The lifter responds to the training as is outlined, keep in mind that plans are great but when they meet the lifter they must be modified.
  • The lifter has no injuries.
  • The lifter is beginning training on April 1, following a recovery phase after the 2010 American Open.

 

A word on notation: 3x3x85% represents 3 sets of 3 reps at 85% of 1-RM.  Now, 1-RM isn’t evaluated for all lifts (for example, power snatch/clean and specific hang variations).  It is assumed that a competent lifter can lift 85% of their full snatch/clean with the power and hang variations, so the percentage of 1-RM is calculated from that 85%.  For example:

Classic Snatch 1-RM: 120kg

85% of 120kg = 102 kg

Power Snatch, hang, AK 3x3x80%= 80kg (rounded down)

 

To keep the workout tables manageable in word press, the exercises are abbreviated:

Cl Sn = classic snatch

P Sn = power snatch

h, AK, K, BK= hang, above the knee, knee, below the knee

O Sq= overhead squat

B Sq= Back squat

F Sq= front squat

GM, st, se= good morning, standing or seated

 

To prepare for the December 10th American Open, training will be broken down as follows:

  • April 4-April 30 (4 weeks)
  • May 2-May 28 (4 weeks)
  • May 30-July 2 (4 weeks)
  • July 4-July 30 (4 weeks)
  • August 1-August 27(4 weeks)
  • August 29-September 24 (5 weeks)
  • September 26-October 29 (5 weeks)
  • October 31-December 3 (5 weeks)

 

This post will emphasize April-July 30.

 

April 4-April 30:

Training is divided into five days per week.  It is set up so that the first two days of the week are the heaviest, the next two days are moderate, and the last day is the lightest.  However, the last day also has the highest volume due to its focus on combination lifts that are designed to stress the lifter’s endurance.

 

The first and third days focus on the snatch, the second and fourth on the clean and jerk, the final day represents combination exercises.  Conditioning will be similar to what was described in the beginner posts earlier.

 

The classic lifts, over the first three months, follow a very methodical approach of being done from the hang over what are gradually lower starting positions.  The idea is to build strength in each of these positions and to really focus on the explosion as well as the receiving position.  Overhead squats and front squats are used extensively to make the lifter stronger in the receiving positions.  Volume is moderate to high on the assistance exercises (squats, good mornings, presses) to develop the structural basis to be successful later in training.  Power variations of the lifts are included on the third and fourth days because in the power variations the bar must be pulled to a greater height than in the classic variation, so this forces the lifter to help develop their explosive pull.  Finally, every time the lifter cleans they also jerk.  If these lifts are allowed to be disconnected, lifters become good at cleaning but hesitant in the jerk – so this skill must constantly be emphasized.

April 4 April 11 April 18 April 25
Cl. Sn, h, AKO. SquatSn. Pulls, h, KB. Sq

GM, st

3x3x70%3x6x60%3x6x75%3×12-15×60%

3×12-15

3x3x75%3x6x65%3x6x80%3×12-15×65%

3×12-15

3x3x80%3x5x70%3x5x85%3×10-12×70%

3×10-12

3x3x60%3x6x60%3x6x60%3×12-15×60%

3×12-15

AM:ConditioningPM:

Cl. Clean, h, AK + Sp. Jerk

Sp. Jerk

Cl. Pulls

F. Sq

 

3×3+3×70%

 

3x3x70%

3x6x75%

3×6-10×60%

 

3×3+3×75%

 

3x3x75%

3x6x80%

3×6-10×65%

 

3×3+2×80%

 

3x2x80%

3x5x85%

3×4-8×70%

 

3×3+3×60%

 

3x3x60%

3x6x60%

3×6-10×60%

P. Sn, h, BKSn. Pull, h, AK + Cl. Sn, h, AKLungesBack Raises 3x3x60%3×4+3×60%3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x65%3×4+3×65%3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x70%3×4+3×70%3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x50%3x3x50%3×12-15

3×12-15

AM:ConditioningPM:

P. Cl, h, BK

Cl. Clean, h, AK + Sp. Jerk

Military Press

 

3x3x60%

3×3+3×60%

 

3×12-15

 

3x3x65%

3×3+3×65%

 

3×12-15

 

3x3x70%

3×3+3×70%

 

3×12-15

 

3x3x50%

3×3+3×50%

 

3×12-15

Sn. Pull, h, K + Cl. Sn, h, KCl. Clean, h, K + F. Sq + Sp. Jerk 3×6+3×50%3×3+6+3×60% 3×6+3×55%3×3+6+3×65% 3×6+3×60%3×3+6+3×70% 3×6+3×50%3×3+6+3×60%

May 2-May 28:

The training in May is a continuation and a progression of what was seen in April.  The weights are a little heavier this month, but the structure of training is fundamentally the same.  Note that 1-RMs will be taken during the last week of this month.

May 2 May 9 May 16 May 23
Cl. Sn, h, KO. SquatSn. Pulls, h, BKB. Sq

GM, Se

3x3x75%3x6x65%3x6x80%3×12-15×65%

3×12-15

3x3x80%3x5x70%3x5x85%3×10-12×70%

3×10-12

3x2x85%3x5x75%3x4x90%3×8-12×75%

3×8-12

1-RM3x6x60%3x6x60%1-RM

3×12-15

AM:ConditioningPM:

Cl. Clean, h, K + Sp. Jerk

Sp. Jerk

Cl. Pulls

F. Sq

 

3×3+3×75%

 

3x3x75%

3x6x80%

3×6-10×65%

 

3×3+2×80%

 

3x2x80%

3x5x85%

3×6-10×70%

 

3×2+1×85%

 

3x1x85%

3x4x90%

3×4-8×75%

 

1-RM

 

3x3x60%

3x6x60%

1-RM

P. Sn,Sn. Pull, h, K + Cl. Sn, h, KLunges, RearReverse Hyperextensions 3x3x65%3×4+3×65%3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x70%3×4+3×70%3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x75%3×4+2×75%3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x60%3×4+3×60%3×12-15

3×12-15

AM:ConditioningPM:

P. Cl,

Cl. Clean, h, K + Sp. Jerk

Military Press

 

3x3x65%

3×3+3×65%

 

3×12-15

 

3x3x70%

3×3+3×70%

 

3×12-15

 

3x3x75%

3×3+2×75%

 

3×12-15

 

3x3x60%

3×3+3×60%

 

3×12-15

Sn. Pull, h, BK + Cl. Sn, h, BKCl. Clean, h, BK + F. Sq + Sp. Jerk 3×6+3×55%3×3+6+3×65% 3×6+3×60%3×3+6+2×70% 3×6+3×65%3×3+5x2x75% 3×6+3×55%3×3+6+3×55%

May 30-July 2:

The training for this month lightens up somewhat compared to the previous month.  The structure is the same.  The major difference here is that pause and eccentric squats are introduced.  This is both for variety as well as help make the lifter that much stronger and prepared for the upcoming training.

 

May 30 June 6 June 13 June 20
Cl. Sn, h, BKO. SquatSn. Pulls

B. Sq (Pause)

RDL

3x3x70%3x6x60%3x6x75%

3×4-6×60%

3×12-15

3x3x75%3x6x65%3x6x80%

3×4-6×65%

3×12-15

3x3x80%3x5x70%3x5x85%

3×4-6×70%

3×12-15

3x3x60%3x6x60%3x6x60%

3×4-6×60%

3×12-15

AM:Conditioning 

PM:

Cl. Clean, h, BK + Sp. Jerk

Sp. Jerk

Cl. Pulls

F. Sq, Eccentric

 

 

3×3+3×70%

 

3x3x70%

3x6x75%

3×4-6×60%

 

 

3×3+2×75%

 

3x2x75%

3x6x80%

3×4-6×65%

 

 

3×3+2×80%

 

3x2x80%

3x5x85%

3×4-6×70%

 

 

3×3+3×60%

 

3x3x60%

3x6x60%

3×4-6×60%

P. Sn,, AKSn. Pull, h, BK + Cl. Sn, h, BKLunges, Front

GM, St

3x3x60%3×4+3×60% 

3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x65%3×4+3×65% 

3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x70%3×4+3×70% 

3×12-15

3×12-15

3x3x60%3×4+3×60% 

3×12-15

3×12-15

AM:Conditioning 

PM:

P. Cl, , h, AK

Cl. Clean, h, BK + Sp. Jerk

Military Press

 

 

3x3x60%

3×3+3×60%

 

3×12-15

 

 

3x3x65%

3×3+3×65%

 

3×12-15

 

 

3x3x70%

3×3+3×70%

 

3×12-15

 

 

3x3x60%

3×3+3×60%

 

3×12-15

Sn. Pull, h, AK + Cl. Sn, h, AKCl. Clean, h, AK + F. Sq + Sp. Jerk 3×6+3×50%3×3+6+3×60% 3×6+3×55%3×3+6+3×65% 3×6+3×60%3×3+6+3×70% Competition

July 4-July 30:

July sees a major difference in the organization of training.  Beginning with this month, there will be a real focus on maximal strength.  To help do that, the first and fourth days have been split up into two sessions each.  The morning session focuses on strength, while the afternoon/evening session focuses more on the Olympic lifts.  The training intensity is similar to the previous month.  Note that there are several instances where five sets an exercise are being employed instead of the usual three – this will remain a mainstay of training until shortly before the American Open.

July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25
AM:B. Sq (Ecc)GM, St

 

PM:

Cl. Snatch

Push Press + O. Squat

Snatch Pulls, NE + Snatch Pulls

5×4-6×60%5×12-15

 

 

5x3x70%

3×3+4×50%

 

3×4+2×65%

5×4-6×65%5×12-15

 

 

5x3x75%

3×3+4×55%

 

3×4+2×70%

5x406x70%5×12-15

 

 

5x2x80%

3×3+4×60%

 

3×4+2×75%

5×4-6×60%5×12-15

 

 

5x3x70%

3×3+4×50%

 

3×4+2×65%

AM:Conditioning 

PM:

Cl. Clean + Sp. Jerk

Sp. Jerk

Clean Pulls

 

 

5×3+2×70%

 

5x2x70%

3x6x75%

 

 

5×3+2×75%

 

5x2x75%

3x6x80%

 

 

5×2+1×80%

 

5x2x80%

3x5x85%

 

 

5×3+2×70%

 

5x3x70%

3x6x75%

P. Sn, h, KSnatch Pulls + Cl. SnBack Raises 3x3x60%5×4+3×60% 

3×12-15

3x3x65%5×4+3×65% 

3×12-15

3x3x70%5×3+2×70% 

3×12-15

3x3x60%5×4+3×60% 

3×12-15

AM:F. Sq (Ecc)Military Press

 

PM:

P. Clean, h, K

Cl. Pulls, h, AK + Cl. Clean, h, AK

Sp. Jerk

5×3-5×60%5×12-15

 

 

3x3x60%

5×4+3×60%

 

5x3x60%

5×3-5×65%5×12-15

 

 

3x3x65%

5×4+3×65%

 

5x3x65%

5×3-5×70%5×12-15

 

 

3x3x70%

5×3+2×70%

 

5x3x70%

5×3-5×60%5×12-15

 

 

3x3x60%

5×4+3×60%

 

5x3x60%

Sn. Pull, h, K + Cl. Sn, h, K + O. SqCl. Clean, h, K + F. Sq + Sp. Jerk 5×3+2+3×70%5×2+3+2×70% 5×3+1+2×75%5×2+3+1×75% 5×2+1+1×80%5×1+3+1×80% 5×3+2+3×70%5×2+3+2×70%