Assistance exercises may serve many purposes. For one, they can help a lifter understand movement patterns to fix technical errors. Assistance exercises exist for every part of the lift and should be employed if needs be. Don’t miss out on Updates : Make sure you follow… Read More »Non conventional assistance exercises
I get e-mails all the time asking me about how to program, how each movements should be included, and how to get started in weightlifting or progress. I have developed templates that I use and taylor individually for every athlete or online client. I have decided to share some of my templates here. Each can be customized (by yourself) to fit your goals. If you do use these templates – all I ask for is to be credited (if you decide to support First Pull – that is also appreciated) . More importantly, if you do use them, I would love for you to write me and let me know how that goes for you.
I was never a big fan of strict yearly plans – it may be the Canadian in me, but I like the grey area more than the black or white area. I have developed a set of training guidelines that I use in my coaching. Those guidelines are ideas of what we should be doing in training in relation to where we are in the year and how far the next competition is from now. Add to that some recipes of how to fix technical or strength problems and you have got a good idea of what you should be doing in training. That is, my programs are very flexible – especially when it comes to weight selection. In my experience, I have found that this type of flexible programming produce more results than strict programming.
One of my biggest pet peeve, in weightlifting, is missed jerks. According to Russian literature and coaches experience, the jerk is the competitive lift that is the most often missed. According to what I have seen around (in NA), it is also the least actively coached lift and the least trained lift. Now everybody will miss lifts – that’s part of weightlifting and we should all learn from that. However, some missed jerk attempts are so far from being save-able, let alone made, it needs to be addressed.
The whole point of the planning of the training process of weightlifters is to make sure they lift the best they can on a given (scheduled) date. Unlike other sports (mostly team sports), sports like weightlifting (or boxing for instance) are defined by a long period of training that lead to one performance on a scheduled day. That is, you know how many weeks you have until the meet and your training volume, intensity and need for recovery can be planned and anticipated in order to show up in the best shape you can be. Here are some thoughts on competition planning – especially in regard to the pre competition phase.
How to develop excellence in lifters (or any sports really) can be tricky – but a common sense-based approach and progressive method is the prerequisite. A sporting background in another sport is not necessary in order to become one of the best lifter around. Contrary to popular belief, many international-ranked lifters have no background in gymnastics, sprinting, figure skating, swimming or any other popular kids sport you might think of. Weightlifting is a sport of itself in which young kids can develop the required athleticism to lift bigger weights later on.
On May 15 to 17th, our nationals were held in Mississauga near Toronto. I’m told a total of 202 athletes were registered which is a sign that our sport is slowly growing. It always impress me how our teams remain competitive in America’s competitions and Commonwealth games given the relatively low number of participants. Usually quantity brings quality – but in our case we have managed to deal with the situation pretty well. Anyhow, a lot of good fights happened on the platform given that this was the last stop to qualify for Pan ams in Toronto. Obviously, every great Canadian weightlifter wanted to be on the team to represent their country on home turf.
I have been pretty busy in the last month and I have struggled to find the time to write something meaningful and worth sharing. After much deliberation with my athletes and people around me, there is a subject I would like to touch upon. It was suggested to me that I should write about what I think is necessary to reach the top in our sport (or any meaningful activity for whats worth). The following might sound pretty much straight forward, but it is a good reminder to all aspiring athletes.
Weightlifting is more popular than it ever was. Many things have contributed to the rise of popularity of our sport, such as Crossfit, modernization of our competitions ($ prizes at the Arnolds or web streaming for instance), athletes showcasing their training online (YouTube, instagram, Facebook’s athletes pages), etc. This hasn’t really translated in more youth lifters (may be a little). It has mostly translated in a lot of 18-30 years old new lifters. Youth lifters don’t really read weightlifting articles or watch YouTube instructional videos. What we are seeing is a lot of older athletes who are very smart and tend to think like coaches and gather more information than they can put in practice – although they are still young in their lifting career.
Many things in life are done out of tradition. What used to work in the past should work in the present. Only a change technical rules of the sport could influence majorly how you would want to lift a barbell overhead . In other words, although the general concepts of weightlifting don’t change much, the best technique will change – or evolve – according to the rules of competition. Over the years, weightlifting has evolved in many ways and the best methods are the one that match the current situation and rules.