How We Train.

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Although I have explained this before in various places, I keep getting the same basic question, (what is your program?) and I am going to tackle the question again, hopefully in a more effective way than I have done in the past.

Step One: The backbone of our program is 3 main workouts, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon. These our our 3 heaviest workouts on the snatch and clean and jerk. Friday is always the competitive lifts, while the other two might be some variation, like lifts off a box or from the hang. But whatever variations are done these are definitely the three heaviest workouts, the sessions where we definitely expect lifts over 90 percent to be lifted, the emphasis is usually to get to the heaviest single possible on the lifts we are doing, then do some back-off sets. Exact sets and reps on the two lifts can change depending on the lifter, or the particular needs of a lifter, but we are always going heavy on the competitive lifts or close variations.

Step Two: We do a morning workout Monday through Friday. These workouts are normally not as heavy, and normally concentrate more on doubles rather singles. We often do the power versions of the lifts on these workouts, and often go to max. But, max on a power version is usually only 80 to 90 percent of a full lift. And when we do the full lifts or any other variation we will not normally go heavier than what the athlete can do for a power version. We also end these workouts with an overhead strength exercise. Push presses are the most widely used, but based on the individual lifter it could be presses, push presses, power jerks, or jerks. These workouts add a lot of the overall training volume, and the exercises are more variable than in the afternoon, to address the individual needs of particular athletes.

Step Three: Now we are talking about squats. Although they are last here, they certainly are not last in importance. Squatting is usually programmed with one thing in mind, what is going to keep the squat moving upwards with the least interference with the rest of training as possible. Often a program like the Texas Method can make this happen, but, we do add one more session to accomplish this. A Saturday session where squatting is prioritized and done first, followed only by overhead strength work like pressing or push pressing, or jerk practice. We do the volume workout on Monday, the “light” workout on Wednesday, and the intensity day on Saturday where we are always trying to make some sort of a PR. The first two squat sessions can be done in either the morning or the afternoon sessions, whichever fits that particular lifter the best.

If we get to the point that TM squatting is not increasing the squat, we go to something different, often something that might at least temporarily interfere with the competitive lifts. But the squat has to move up, so then if that needs to happen, so be it. There are a lot of options. The Smolov program is one. It is a 4 day a week program of back squats, and it is high enough in volume that it needs to be done during the Mon, Wed, Fri morning training sessions during the week, then Saturday. Another option is frequent max effort front squats. Find what works to get your squat up. There is no one best way here, just find what works and remember, the squat HAS to move up or you need to find another way.

There it is in a nutshell.

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27 responses to “How We Train.

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