An Olympic Weightlifting Peaking Program – Our 4-Week Training Leading Up to the Oregon State Championships

OREGON-LOGO

The state championships this year went really well for us.  Beth and Amy won their weight classes. Brandon set 2 Jr. State Records (Clean and Jerk and Total, the snatch record was already his, and he matched it).  Chris hit life-time PR’s in the Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and Total.  Jake hit PR’s so big that he added 17.5k to his total(!).  And Dave and I both matched our best-ever contest lifts.

In other words: not too shabby! 

Sure, most of us (other than Chris and Jake!) feel like there are things we could have done better.  That is always the case.  But, clearly the work we all put in paid off. 

That begs the question, “what was the work we put in?!”

Below I’ve posted a (rough) template of the routines that I wrote on the white board every day in the gym for the last 4 weeks before the contest. (I’ve also posted a video of some highlights of May’s Training at the bottom of the page). 

Not everyone did every workout as written, but most came close.  (It is also the work done by a number of lifters who didn’t compete this time, but who have been making a lot of PR’s.  Aaron, the blonde dude at the beginning of the video has been hitting PR’s almost every week!)   

Beth_in_Flight

Now, of course, a few lifters didn’t touch this routine.  Beth (in the pic above), for instance, was coming in about 3 or 4 times a week and doing her normal CrossFit work on the other days. (See my article on combining Oly lifting and CrossFit here.)  She was training every day (like she usually does), but not always on Oly lifts.  For her, the work she did with me was totally focused on getting as many good singles in as possible on the snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat, and shoring up a few technical issues.  That’s it.  And it paid off. 

The day of the Contest she was “off” a bit, and quite nervous to start.  But, the training kicked in.  While she wasn’t hitting things perfectly, she was able to make both her openers solidly (in fact, she powered them both – albeit on her second attempts).  That was enough to beat out the other women she was up against.  And she won, and is now the State Champion.

The point of the training is to make sure that on your “bad” days (contest are almost always bad days!), you still get on the board and do well.  She put in the work and was rewarded for it.

Now … Most of my lifters do the PM workouts only (and the AM on Saturdays).  Brandon and I do twice-a-days because we can.  It’s the PM workouts that matter, they are the real meat-and-potatoes of the program.  If you want to try this, ignore the AM workouts unless you have a ton of time on your hands.  I’m just putting it in there because I think it is important to show it all.  I personally am the ONLY lifter who did AM workouts on nearly every occasion (Brandon has 2 jobs, so he can’t always do them).  For me, being in the gym IS my job, so I might as well lift. 

At 33 years old, I’m proof that you don’t have to be a teenager to work your ass off. 

Special Treat

Ice_Cream

One last thing before we dive in.  I make a lot of adjustments to all of my routines for masters lifters and lifters who have busy lives and couldn’t possibly do the maniacal routine you are about to read.  These lifters do very well.  It would be way too complicated for me to explain every little adjustment and routine that I make for each and every lifter on a blog … but, don’t worry!  If you find yourself wanting to know all the details, the ins and outs, and the methods behind it all, then you are in luck.

Dr. Michael Hartman and I are working on a BIG project together that will compile a massive storehouse of detailed routines and templates that the two of us have used over the years training real athletes in the real world (not just the routines used by high-level super talented freaks who can do anything and succeed, but also the programs used by real people like YOU).   To keep up to date on when this project will be released, make sure to sign up for my newsletter to the right of this page (and also to Dr. Hartman’s newsletter on his blog here.)

OK … without further ado … the workouts:

Week One – Squat Focus

Deep_squat_position_3

Monday

AM

Front squat: 1RM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Back Squat: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 90% (do sets of 2 or 3 reps with what you made for your 1RM)

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

-Bodybuilding and core. (This is always optional, and should not be taken too seriously.  Just do “stuff”.)

Tuesday

AM

Front Squat: 1RM

PM

Front Squat: 1RM

Power Snatch: 1RM

Power Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Wednesday

AM

Front Squat: 1RM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Back Squats: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 90%

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

-Bodybuilding and core.

Thursday

AM

Front Squat: 1RM

PM

Front Squat: 1RM

Weak Link Training. (Work on what you suck at most. Could be snatch, cleans, or jerks.  Don’t go heavy, focus on technical details.)

Friday

PM – only

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Back Squat: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 90%

Saturday

AM – only

Front Squats: 1RM

Weak Link Training

RDL’s: Hvy 5  (this should be heavy, but NOT a true max.)

Sunday

AM – only

Back Squats: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 90%

Week Two – Oly Focus

weightlifter_scream

Monday

AM

Front squat: 1RM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 80%+

Back Squats:  1RM

-Bodybuilding and core.

Tuesday

AM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Front Squat: 1RM

Power Snatch: 1RM

Power Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Wednesday

AM

Front Squat: 1RM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Snatch: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 80%

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Back Squats: 1RM

-Bodybuilding and core.

Thursday

AM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Front Squat: 1RM

Weak Link Training.

Friday

PM – only

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Back Squat: 1RM

Saturday

AM – only

Front Squats: 1RM

Weak Link Training

RDL’s: Hvy 5 

Sunday

AM – only

Back Squats: 1RM + 3×2 or 3 @ 90%

Week Three – Peaking

george_eiferman

Monday

AM

Snatch: 1RM

PM

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Front Squats:  1RM

-Bodybuilding and core.

Tuesday

AM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Power Snatch: 1RM

Power Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Wednesday

AM

Snatch: 1RM

PM

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Front Squats: 1RM

-Bodybuilding and core.

Thursday

AM

Power Snatch: 1RM

PM

Weak Link Training.

Friday

PM – only

Snatch: 1RM

Clean and Jerk: 1RM

Front Squat: 1RM

Saturday

AM – only

Front Squats: 1RM

Weak Link Training

Sunday – OFF

Week Four – Pre-Contest

alien-vs-predator

Monday

AM

Snatch: 90% of opener

PM

Snatch: Openers

Clean and Jerk:  Openers

Tuesday

PM – only

Power Snatch: 80% of openers

Power Clean and Jerk: 80% of openers

Wednesday

AM

Snatch: 80% of opener

PM

Snatch: 90% of Opener

Clean and Jerk: 90% of Opener

Thursday

PM – only

Power Snatch: 80% of opener

Power Clean and Jerk: 80% of openers

Friday

PM – only

Bar only, maybe up to 40% or so of your openers.  Roll out and stretch a lot.  Warm up as though your are about to lift heavy.  Screw around, then go home.  The point is to keep the body going, NOT to “workout”.

Saturday

CONTEST!!

 

Here’s the video I promised.  (Yes, for those in the know, the music is the background is my own.)