Novelty and challenges are often overlooked pieces of weightlifting programs and training, especially as athletes become more events. For beginners learning the highly technical movements are novel and challenging enough. But as athletes train for many years there is a need to keep things interesting, exciting and challenging in different ways.
At the end of the day weightlifting is a sport with only 2 movements, complicated movements nonetheless but only 2 competition movements. I am firm believer that weightlifting requires a large amount of specificity and the farther you move away from the snatch, clean and jerk your returns may be limited. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun sometimes in different ways!
So what kind of novel things and challenges have I experimented with and utilized? Novel exercises like power clean into immediate, squat jerks and narrow grip snatches are some things that I’ve utilized for technical reasons and to provide some excitement and challenges. Another area that provides a challenge without moving away from the lifts is EMOM or other time constrained sets. For squats in the first phase of programs I’ve had athletes perform a set of as many reps as possible at a given percent. I remember at the OTC seeing Zygmutz have the youth/junior athletes perform as many reps as possible of no contact and no hook snatches at 60% of their 1rm - that was an interesting thing to watch!
I plan on writing more often - what weightlifting topics would you like to hear more about?