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View Full Version : Programming: frequency, intensity, overtraining, periodization?


Kristoffer Andersen
07-16-2014, 05:17 AM
How often should I train OL weightlifting? Can i train like this?

Monday: Clean and jerk
Tuesday: Snatch
Thursday: Clean and jerk
Friday: Snatch

Ive taken inspiration of excercises etc. from http://www.catalystathletics.com/articles/article.php?articleID=131

The things i wonder about this program is that:
1. Literally the whole body are going to be trained at every training day. :eek: Wont this quickly lead to overtraining? :confused:

2. Another general question about OL weightlifting is that you only train with low reps; you train with low reps to become explosive, i get that. But how many percentage of the maxlift should you train with, when training explosive?

3. And another important thing: wont the body need rest form this type of training? I mean; wont the nerves need pause from this kind of training, like from any other kind of training method? How do OL weightlifters train then, when they dont train the explosive lifts? How does the OL weightlifters periodize their training?

4. How should supplemental work look like when training OL weightlifting. Right now I'm training a form of hybrid training, in other words: powerlifting, bodybuilding, OL weightlifting. What SHOULD I DO, and NOT DO of these hybrid elements when training explisit for OL weightlifting?

5. If anyone of you reading this have good examples of programming, periodization etc. or knows of good internet sites/links - plz share! :)

Waiting excited for answers! :)

Daniel Villarreal
07-16-2014, 12:53 PM
Those are some very good questions to ask but they are so broad that it's impossible to answer them with any degree of satisfaction. Basically you have three options. 1) Get a good coach, 2) get a bunch of books and read up on this stuff, or 3) go blind by tried and true methods such as the catalyst athletics training cycles.

But to answer some of your questions briefly...

1) You use your whole body every day yet you don't worry about overtraining due to ordinary everyday activities. Why? Intensity x volume is at a level your body can handle and can recover from. Same principle (albeit at a higher intensity) goes for all training.

2) I believe the most usual (and correct imho) answer is that you should mostly work at 70-75% of your max for optimal results. Naturally you'll want to stay lower than that during deload phases between cycles and go higher than that with some frequency to also adapt to higher weights.

3) too complex to answer, but for example most catalyst athletics cycles seem to have thursdays and sundays off for resting. Between cycles you'll want to deload as necessary, I personally like to deload for 1-2 weeks between cycles and I tend to use 6-9 week cycles. You should note that people recover differently and much of this has to do with getting to know your own body.

Of course, you have to understand it takes a long, long time to work up to the level of conditioning where you can actually recover consistently from such heavy work. You can't just jump into this headfirst and start lifting 5x a week at 75% and expect not to fall hard.

4) powerlifting exercises can be and frequently are used in weightlifting, though there's not necessarily much benefit to be derived from low bar squatting, for example. However, in order for them to be useful in a weightlifting setting they should be used accordingly as supplemental exercises. As far as bodybulilding goes, it's mostly going to be counterproductive, as the methods are pretty much polar opposites. Maybe you can work biceps and other muscles you don't really use in weightlifting but that's about it and it certainly won't be of any particular use in terms of weightlifting.

5) I'd say this is by far the best site and has immense resources.

Kristoffer Andersen
07-18-2014, 09:55 AM
Many tanks for super good answers! :) Is there any good links with periodized programs, or links that explain how to do so yourself (a sort of guide for newbeginners, for example)?

Ben Harlan
07-21-2014, 05:27 AM
Just my opinions on these questions

1) Personally I try to avoid over training by only going above 80% of my max 1 day a week and every 4 weeks or so I do a deloading week where I drop the weight to 50% and take a set or 2 off of each lift. I've been doing a 5 day a week split and that deloading cycle seems to help me, it's also a good chance to work on techinque faults.

2) I shoot for 70-80% generally unless it's saturday than I push to try and match my current 1RM.

3) Rest and recovery is something that varies a lot between people so it's tough to answer, for me it's all about sleep. If I can keep up with my sleep needs I can recover pretty well even if I pushed myself hard the day before. Nutrition is also obviously very important for good recovery.

4) Supplimenting with powerlifts is definitely beneficial if strength is your weekness, if techinique is a weekness (like it is for me) I would put the supplemental work on technique improving movements. Body building work on chest and arms can be nice too if you want more athstetics.

5) The training cycles here on this website are pretty good, I'm using one right now. I'd also recommend buying Greg's book "Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes and Coaches" it offers a lot of training programs for all different goals, experience levels, ect.

Kristoffer Andersen
07-21-2014, 10:46 AM
Just my opinions on these questions

1) Personally I try to avoid over training by only going above 80% of my max 1 day a week and every 4 weeks or so I do a deloading week where I drop the weight to 50% and take a set or 2 off of each lift. I've been doing a 5 day a week split and that deloading cycle seems to help me, it's also a good chance to work on techinque faults.

2) I shoot for 70-80% generally unless it's saturday than I push to try and match my current 1RM.

3) Rest and recovery is something that varies a lot between people so it's tough to answer, for me it's all about sleep. If I can keep up with my sleep needs I can recover pretty well even if I pushed myself hard the day before. Nutrition is also obviously very important for good recovery.

4) Supplimenting with powerlifts is definitely beneficial if strength is your weekness, if techinique is a weekness (like it is for me) I would put the supplemental work on technique improving movements. Body building work on chest and arms can be nice too if you want more athstetics.

5) The training cycles here on this website are pretty good, I'm using one right now. I'd also recommend buying Greg's book "Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes and Coaches" it offers a lot of training programs for all different goals, experience levels, ect.

MANY THX, Ben Harlan! This helped a bunch! I have wondered about this, especially on the percentage of intensity. I actually posted an own post about this subject at: http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?p=102117#post102117
Does any programs/cycles on this site have explanations about how they've set up the programs? I then think about information like the percentages of intensity, etc. Because what you told me in 1) and 2) really gave me an overlook, and understanding of HOW a general program can look like, and WHY its built up that way! Plz give me more tips, and/or information about this, if you have! :)

Daniel Villarreal
07-22-2014, 12:14 AM
Well, I guess now I understand better what you're after. Personally, nowadays I mostly train by feel. I do maybe 2-3 programmed training cycles a year and I guess I mostly do them to calibrate whether what I'm doing seems to be at the right intensity and volume. If a "proper" routine feels challenging but I manage to get through it, it tells me my training by feel is in the right ballpark. Training's not so rigorous anymore, what with being married with kids and having a daytime job and all that. Back in the day I used to do mostly properly programmed cycles and I'd usually just pick something geared towards whatever my then-current weakness was. And believe me, there were lots of weaknesses. I've never really cut it for the sport and haven't competed, but I've always been enthusiastic about it.

If I really break it down (which I doubt I've actually ever done before - like I said, I go by feel) I guess I mostly work at around 75% of my 1RM, but I generally do one of the lifts or squats heavier each day. The heavy lift of the day will generally progress from 75 to 90-95% during the first 2-3 weeks, then I'll start again without a deload and go from 75 to hopefully something over 100% of my initial 1RM, and if I'm feeling like it, I might go for another reboot before entering into a deload phase. However, I do also try to do a day of heavy singles or doubles for both lifts at anything between 90-100% each week. After that it's 1-2 weeks deload, rinse and repeat with a (hopefully) new 1RM. All in all it's 6-9 weeks between deloads, depending. I probably should deload more but I like training heavy too much to do it more frequently.

It's a fine balance to strike, really. You have to push yourself (particularly towards the end of a cycle) and you do need to work hard, but you don't want to go over the top, and you want to recover. You want to feel like you've trained when you leave the gym, but like you've recovered when you return there.

Kristoffer Andersen
07-22-2014, 11:15 AM
Thank you mr. Villareal! Its educating to hear others way to train!

If anyone else got theire way to periodize training, I would love to know of it!