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PROGRAM DESIGN FOR WEIGHTLIFTING



The underlying issue of jumping forward, or any technical issue for that matter, will always be a combination of inadequate positions and the movements associated between those positions. But if you're not sure what position/movement is causing the issue the no-feet snatch/clean could be found helpful.

Programming is an art in itself, however, like any other art, there are fundamentals that need to be understood before originality can be applied. In this article I'll try to explain, in the simplest way I know how, the basics of programming so you can apply it to yourself.


Basic program structure — PERIODISATION

Structure is key when it comes to programming. Without structure results are going to be that much harder to achieve. So periodisation is used as a means to get basic structure to a program. Essentially it's just a method of dividing a longer program into separate phases, namely macro, meso, and microcycles. In weightlifting the mesocycle phases used the most often are: General preparation phase (GPP), strength phase, and competition / peaking phase. And in that exact order. Each phase serves a specific purpose and is programmed to achieve exactly that. let's dig into it, shall we.


General Preparation Phase

The main purpose of the GPP phase is to "create a foundation" for more intense training later on in a program. This is achieved by three factors, firstly; having a wide variety of exercises. This will improve overall skill and strength, yet, non-specific movements. Secondly; having noticeably high volume. Higher volume, achieved by increasing total sets and higher rep ranges, will improve hypertrophic GAAAIINS and increase fitness levels. And last, but not least; the GPP phase allows time for technical work. Since most of the higher intensity work will be done in later phases, doing technique work in this phase is really beneficial.


Strength Phase

Following the GPP a strength phase will be introduced. During a strength phase the volume will reduce, intensity will increase, and exercises will be more weightlifting specific, although, there will still be quite a variety of exercises to choose from. In the strength phase a large emphasis will be put into progressive overload and structured de-load weeks/days. (more on this later)


Competition / Peaking Phase

For this phase/s volume will decrease even further, intensity will increase, and the exercise selection will be limited to only the most specific movements, namely; Snatch, clean & jerk (+ some variations), and front/back squat.


Quite simple, right?

It should be fairly easy to see the trend through the three phases. Volume decreasing, intensity increasing, and exercises being more and more weightlifting specific as you go along. Just in case you still don't get it, here is another graph, for you visual learners.

No athlete is the same, so nor should their program be.

Well, I say that... The case is a bit different with beginner and intermediate lifters. When starting out, a generic program could be found tremendously useful (if done right). In fact, the same could be said for experienced lifters, however, the beginner will get a much greater benefit out of a generic program than an experienced lifter will. <