Weightlifting Programs: No Silver Bullets

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 12:15:10 +0000
April 16, 2024
Weightlifting Programs: No Silver Bullets

There are no weightlifting programs that are “the best”. Lots of different programs can be successful, in-fact almost anything will be successful for beginners. Instead of laying out a program or giving an example I will give some key characteristics of programs that have been successful for my athletes.


  1. The athlete absolutely must believe in the program and the coaching that goes along with it. Without this, no program will succeed.
  2. Needs to incorporate planned lighter weeks. I prefer every 3-4 weeks depending on the individual. Generally females can go longer without a lighter week. The lighter week should be a reduction in both volume (reps x sets) and intensity (% of 1RM). Generally reducing volume is the most important aspect. How much depends on the individual.
  3. Exercise selection should reflect individual weaknesses (strength, technique, and mobility). For example, if front squat is drastically lower than clean and jerk more squat work needs emphasized. If the jerk and snatch lag behind cleans then upper body strength should be assessed and focused on accordingly.
  4. I find the best results occur when technique coaching and programming are tied together very closely and the athletes know exactly what technical cues they are focusing on throughout their workouts.
  5. For the classic lifts (snatch, C&J, and their variations ) I want my athletes to practice perfect repetitions. My goal is to minimize misses. Too much missing teaches the athletes to miss. Generally for the lifts I want my athletes hitting weights that are heavy but technically crisp and fast. I would describe it as weight for that individual athlete that requires good focus and effort but has a low probability of missing. On a percentage basis this can range from 75%-95% depending on individual and the number of reps. Over time I hope to push this number higher on a percentage basis.

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