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-   -   Excellent read: Gewichtheben from Gerhard Carl, Sportverlag Berlin 1976 (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=994)

Rick Deckart 05-13-2007 04:29 AM

Excellent read: Gewichtheben from Gerhard Carl, Sportverlag Berlin 1976
One of the few Olympic lifting barbell dealers in Germany recommended a book to me. It is long out of print and from old East Germany: Gewichtheben (Olympic lifting), from Gerhad Carl, Sportverlag Berlin 1976.

Well this is the only book on olympic lifting in german and in my opinion it would be well worth to print it again or even translate it to english. One of the chapters deals with the question how the education of a young lifter should look like, a very interesting read, what follows is a rough and dirty translation of the first paragraph of said chapter:

4.8 Versatile athletic education [of a weightlifter]

World class athletes in the olympic lifts reach their peak around age 26--30, but there are great differences in the age lifters start training for the olympic lifts. During the first phase of the athletic education the focus should be on a versatile athletic education to create well rounded athletes. Multi-functional training should be maintained during later phases of the education, as it has an important place in training. It is impossible to develop the special skills necessary for olympic lifting relying only on training the olympic lifts. Using a versatile multi-functional education we will reach success earlier [and have better success].

So what does the author recommend? The basic training should consist of excercises from
  1. track and field (running, jumping, throwing)
  2. games (soccer, volleyball, basketball, handball)
  3. gymnastics (rings, horse, high bar, tumbling etc.)
  4. swimming [!] (sprints, distance, high diving)
  5. winter sports (nordic ski, ski run, ice skating)

And how would a typical basic education look like?

phase of training, age, track and field, games, gymnastic, swimming, winter sports, % of total training

1. 10--14 years 18% 18% 15% 8% 8% 8% 75%
2. 14--16 years 12% 14% 10% 4% 5% 5% 50%
3. 16--18 years 8% 10% 5% 4% 4% 4% 35%
4. 18--20 years 5% 9% 3% 4% 2% 2% 25%

The rest of training would be the olympic lifts. There are most detailed descriptions how the training of each of the disciplines should look like. This is the second time I see somebody mention that a multi-year build up [of basic preparation=not olympic lifts] is necessary to reach the top in the olympic lifts. The other one is Zatsiorsky who mentioned a three years rule of general basic training to prepare for olympic lifting.

Larry Lindenman 05-13-2007 06:34 AM

First of all, thanks for the translation. Now could you do the rest of the book???:) The Soviets were big on GPP for kids and only totally specialized when appropriate for the sport. Obviously female gymnasts peak earlier than male Olympic lifters. This is one of the reasons plyometrics are used way to early in the training of US athletes. We see 21 year old USSR athletes preforming depth jumps and throw our 13 year old athletes off a box...never seeing the preparation it took to get the Soviet athlete to the level he was at to do plyos without injury. I have an obnoxious neighbor...daughter is a soccer star, son is a hockey star (15 and 12 years old). This guy is loud and only brags about kid sports! I try to tell him about general training to extend the career of his kids and prevent burnout...I get "yeah, yeah, yeah...but... I then say "Paul, you and your brothers were great athletes, right?" "Why yes we were!" "Ok Paul, how many Division 1 scholarships in your family, Division 2, or how about junior college? None huh" "Any pro athletes from you sports dominant high school?" "Oh a guy who sat on the bench, for a year, on the Dolphins...great." Let kids play, develop a wide range of attributes, learn sportsmanship, leadership, how to get up and go again, and how to work hard. 99% of kids will get more from a positive experience in a wide variety of activities then they will from 15 years of single sport focus IMHO. Off the soap box!

Rick Deckart 05-13-2007 10:10 AM

Your welcome. The book is really good, even includes a 10 page chapter on the training and execution of the olympic press---now how many books on weightlifting do cover the nowadays obsolete olympic press? Also lots of diagrams and instructions how to build equipment, partly design for the woodworking inclined, partly designs for those who can work with steel, obvisously they could not buy the stuff, so they had to build it. The design of my wooden squat racks is from the book [http://www.performancemenu.com/forum...ead.php?t=832]. Kettlebells, sandbags [including how to build these, what design, what poundages etc.] , rope jumping etc. etc., in a way it's a goldmine on ideas and hands on information.

With respect to the above mentioned chapter, I found it striking how much time they spent developing well rounded athletes, and how long it took until olympic lifting got training priority---6 years of general preparation until the oly lifts cover more than 50% of total yearly training volume. Six years. I am curious how things are handled nowadays. If somebody age 12, willing to start the oly lifts [unlikely I know...] would approach a trainer, what would he have to expect?

Derek Simonds 05-13-2007 01:13 PM

Peter that is a great question. My son is a competitive gymnast at age 7. This year was his first year competing. They train 3 days a week 3 hours a day. He is good, who knows if he would ever be olympic or scholarship good but that is not the direction he wants to go. I doubt he will be the right size anyway as I am over 6' 1" and the men in my wifes family are all huge.

This was the first spring season since he was 4 that he hasn't played baseball (conflict with gymnastics competitions). He will play fall baseball with his cousins and friends and we won't worry about missing time at gymnastics. He also just did his first triathlon which is pretty funny because it is basically what I did as a kid every single day of the summer. Get up ride my bike to the pool, swim my brains out, go play soccer or chase my friends all over the fields than ride home. No wonder I like doing Triathlon so much.

He has been watching me with my o-lifting for the last couple of months and has been doing the Burgener warmup with my Jo. I ordered him a 5 KG bar from Pendlay. His younger sister also wants to be a weight lifter she is 5. The last 3 Saturdays have been testing days so I watch videos off youtube of Olympic lifters to get pysched and he watches with me. He didn't know that I had ordered the bar and we were walking into a store last night and he said "Dad I want to be a champion weightlifter". He has never said he wants to be a champion anything and all he can talk about is wanting to play football (we want let him until he is much older). So I said okay you can do it.

So I guess what I am saying in my long and rambling post is that I agree with Larry completely and I think that the Germans had it right with their well rounded athletes. Play, leadership and sportsmanship are the best lessons a child can learn through sports. Too few make to division 1 or above and many at a too great of a cost. One of our coaches wanted to have Jr switch to a gym in Orlando that trains morning and night 5 days a week. I said no way! He is a kid let him enjoy his life.

Derek Simonds 05-13-2007 01:18 PM

BTW do you live in Germany Peter? One of my best friends is living in Kassel.

Robb Wolf 05-14-2007 07:59 AM

Great thread! Thank you peter and everyone. Really interesting.

Rick Deckart 05-15-2007 10:46 AM


Originally Posted by Derek Simonds (Post 11576)
BTW do you live in Germany Peter? One of my best friends is living in Kassel.

Well should you ever find the way to over here drop me a line and we can arrange something in the hole which is also known as the 'Silence of the lamb training hall' (Robb's words not mine...).

So to repeat my questions to the trainers/coaches: If somebody age 10--12 would want to start weightlifting, what would he have to expect? I really have no idea and no agenda, just curious...

Robb some of these old 'Schinken' (ham: german slang for a thick book) make for a fascinating read, there is really nothing new under the sun...

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