Saturday, July 20, 2013

Planning a Training Program, Part Two

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As the season progresses and the major competitions approach, you will wish to increase the intensity of your workouts by adding more weight and using heavier poundages, even if it means cutting down on tonnage. The Intensity Progression Program is slanted towards this aim, and yet maintaining a balance of work to hold the gains you have already made. 

Intensity Progression Program (in kg)
Initial Maximum - 110 kg.

Starting Point
72.5x3/82.5x3/92.5x3/97.5x2/102.5x2/105x1/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 1
75x3/82.5x3/92.5x3/97.5x2/102.5x2/105x1/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 2
75x3/85x3/92.5x3/97.5x2/102.5x2/105x1/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 3
75x3/85x3/95x3/97.5x2/102.5x2/105x1/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 4
75x3/85x3/95x3/100x2/102.5x2/105x1/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 5
75x3/85x3/95x3/100x2/105x2/105x2/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 6
75x3/85x3/95x3/100x2/105x2 + 2/105x1/107.5x1 + 1
Progression 7
75x3/85x3/95x3/100x2/105x2/105x1/107.5x1/110x1 + 1

The main increase is in intensity.

 Phased Training
(Part One - Fitness)

It can be seen that in this book the wide view, the overall approach, is used because I strongly believe the novice should be taught good technique from the start and that long-term planning is absolutely essential for all lifters. Most of the principles and methods outlined are as applicable to the weightlifting "rabbit" as they are to the "tigers" of the platform but the degree of work varies considerably. Weightlifters can expect a long competitive life, unlike the little swimming or gymnastic girls who are world champions while they are still at school and over the hill by the time they are old enough to vote! This long competitive life calls for a special approach: a competitor will normally only carry on whilst he is still making progress, and yet as a man reaches maturity many external factors tend to impede progress. This selection aims at prolonging improvement in competition results. It is a fine sport that can boast of having world class competitors from the ages of 13 to 40-plus, with fathers and sons competing together.

The fact that in many cases progress slows or halts after 10 or 20 years' hard training is caused not so much by age as by the fact that the body has adjusted itself almost fully to the work placed before it. One of the basic requirements for mature lifters, therefore, is a change of routine in a shorter period than would normally be the case. Changes of intensity are advocated as well as changes of exercise and tempo. The advanced weightlifter should do a considerable number of sets using 5 to 6 repetitions, particularly if trying to gain muscle mass in the right places for weightlifting results. There is also a place in the routine for some isometric work. As lifters reach their thirties and even forties there should be a decreasing of work, but do not assume that "older" necessarily means "advanced". Nowadays we get some very advanced young lifters.

There should not be more than 7 different exercises in a routine and there may well be as few as 3 if these lifts are being done thoroughly. The total repetitions for a 7 exercise schedule should not exceed 100 and a full week's repetitions should not normally exceed 230.

In the snatch and the clean & jerk there will probably be 8 to 16 lifts in a workout with 5 to 6 additions of weights, but remember, variety in the volume of training is very important to advanced lifters. Falameev of the USSR recommends that the optimum training weight in the snatch and clean & jerk should be 67-77% of maximum and weights of this caliber should be used in more than half of all lifts. This fine coach also recommended the following optimum training weights for assistance exercises (the percentage applying to the snatch or clean & jerk as appropriate):

Power snatch with dip (from hang, blocks, or platform)
62-72% of snatch.

Power snatch without dip
57-67% of snatch.

Dead lift, wide grip
85-167% of snatch.

Power pull, wide grip
80-95% of snatch.

Stiff legged dead lift, wide grip
85-100% of snatch.

Power clean with dip
62-72% of clean.

Power jerk
62-72% of jerk.

Dead lift, normal grip
80-92% of clean.

Power pull (blocks), normal grip
85-100% of clean.

75-110% of best clean & jerk weight.

It is very seldom that weights of over 100% are used nowadays as it has been found that although there are gains of strength, speed diminishes.

With the various guidelines given, it should now be a simple matter to compile result-producing schedules and the good thing about this approach is that there is great scope for personal choice. This inbuilt flexibility gives coaches and lifters lots of freedom for individual preferences, which I am sure will be welcomed by all advanced and experienced performers. One final word of warning: you will prefer the work which you do best, but if you want continued progress, concentrate on your weaknesses.

Phase 1 - Fitness

A whole thesis could be written on why fitness is necessary and in fact this very problem  was tackled by my great friend, the late John P. Jesse of California who reviewed most of the good existing literature on the subject and proved conclusively that lifters expect higher totals if they make fitness work an integral part of their scheme.

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Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia 
by John Jesse

John P. Jesse showed that that heart and lung efficiency will allow the performer to train harder, recover quicker and perform better under competition conditions -- whether it is a short competition with only a single warm-up or a lengthy contest, like major championships with large entries, requiring the contestants to warm up for individual lifts.

The psychological side of this type of work is beyond our scope here, so I will confine myself to recommending workouts and basic principles to produce maximum fitness. Fartlek training and interval running are among the most popular means of producing cardiovascular fitness, but I believe that this should be approached slowly by those without at least some athletic background. Building to a peak must be a gradual process; build up progressively so that discomfort is kept to a minimum and, where possible, enjoyment is maximal. The best way to start then is with a routine something like this:

Early Fitness Work - 
Heart and lung work
1) Walk 50 yards, run 100 yards.
2) Walk 50 yards, run 150 yards.
3) Walk 50 yards, run 200 yards.
4) Walk 100 yards, run 250 yards.
5) Walk 100 yards, run 300 yards.
6) Walk 100 yards, run 350 yards.
7) Walk 100 yards, run 400 yards.

You will see that if you are doing this on a quarter-mile track you have not at any time run even one full lap. Surely nobody can object to a program like this! The total work, however, has built up well, and this is only a start. You must gradually increase the runs without increasing the walks and the runs must get faster too. If you are doing it in the gym you may prefer to calculate in paces instead of yards, e.g., you walk 50 paces and then run 100 paces, and so on.

This should be done 3 times weekly and should be followed by a free exercise flexibility routine designed to work all the muscles and joints through their full range. Arm, shoulder and chest exercises for four minutes, e.g., backward arm circles, alternate arm swings as far forward and back as possible, forward circles, and press-ups.

Waist and hip work -
Situps in sets of 20
Trunk circling, 12 reps each way for 2 continuous minutes
Jack-knife, 2 sets, 12 reps
Leg raises, 12 reps
Back, hip raises, 15 reps

Leg work - Ankle stretching, ankle circling
Standing long jumps, 4 max efforts
Consecutive long jumps, 3 close-footed jumps, repeat 3 times
Vertical jump, 3 max efforts in test style
Fast squats, 25 reps, increase eventually to 70 reps

Finish off with supplementary recreational work, e.g., at home you should do some simple forward rolls or hand and head balancing; in the gym or outdoors, partner hand-balancing, agilities such as hand springs, etc. and whenever possible a proper game. In order of priority I would recommend volleyball, basketball, baseball, minor team games and football. Avoid contact sports and anything with high injury potential. You can also play around with light weights but play and light are the operative words.

On other days more work must be done. One should be reserved for a fairly long walk, cycle, or swim. The advantage of these activities is that you can make them social occasions with family or friends and at the same time get the active yet relaxing type of activity we are after.

The other day should be reserved for a weight workout using fairly light weights, e.g. -
1) Skipping, 3 minutes 
2) Snatch, 10 reps, 2 sets
3) Seated press, 10 reps, 3 sets
4) Snatch without split or squat, 15 reps x 2 sets
6) Jerks, use barbell equal to bodyweight, 2 sets of 6 reps less than maximum weight for a single group plus one or two "tinkering" exercises of your choice.

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Next: Intermediate Fitness

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