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Training Protocols
Written by Jim Napier
1) Training at the right monthly average intensities.

Training at too high a level of intensity for long periods of time is normal for most lifters. A way to avoid such a dilemma is keep track of the top end weight used for each lift on each day and add those up at the end of each month and make sure the percentage is not greater than 80% of PR in both the snatch and clean & jerk. For example, if a lifter does 100% in the snatch at the end of the week, then they will have to do 60% the next workout to compensate for that 100% effort and still achieve the average intensity of 80%. Over the course of a month the intensity range can be from 60% to 100% or 70% to 90%. Averaging 80% will go a long way in insuring the lifter will not become overtrained.

Overtraining has the effect of causing an involuntary reduction in intensity. This can occur gradually and the lifter is unable to sense what is happening when his 90% of PR lifts feels like 100%. When this sensation occurs too often it is a sure sign the lifter is overtraining or overreaching. By going back and checking the average monthly intensities they might come to find out what the problem is, especially when the average is 85% of more in both lifts and/or in the squats and pulls.

Some athletes believe that training in a somewhat constant state of fatigue is how progress is achieved. In reality it creates a slower rate of change instead of faster.

2) Using specific times in motion.

The following times are general approximation for particular lifts and parts of those lifts;

1) Snatch - from the platform to full extension: .67 seconds
2) Snatch - from full extension to receiving the weight: .33 seconds.
3) Snatch - from the platform to standing up with the weight: 2 to 2.5 seconds.
4) Clean - same as snatch
5) Clean & Jerk - from the platform to locking out the jerk: 3.5 to 6 seconds.
5) Jerk - .5 seconds
6) Squats - standing up: 1.5 seconds or faster (no deceleration) with 100% PR
7) Pulls - from platform to full extension: .67 seconds or faster (smooth and continuous acceleration) with 100% of PR, both snatch and clean.

The above times should be consistently monitored to make sure those times are staying closely in line with the lifter’s own timed index factors from the snatch and clean, which can be used to determine the following;

1) Clean & Jerk should be 86% of full back squat in 1 second.

Jerk Drive
1) Front Squat - 100% of clean & jerk in .67 seconds

2) Back Squat Parallel - 120% of clean & jerk in .67 seconds.

3) Keeping the Auxiliary exercises in their proper perspective.

Adding too many exercises to the mix and treating those exercises as events where maximum efforts (PRs) are being attempted frequently or even infrequently, can create what could be perceived as weaknesses within the full movements.

Training too many lifts as events where PRs are attempted causes those lifts to become mediocre relative to each other. This is the same thing that happens to decathletes who have to train ten events. Those ten events become mediocre, relative to those individual event’s WRs. The decathlete is not interested in becoming a world class pole vaulter or discus thrower, they are only concerned with each of those ten events being proficient as a whole and not any one event being more important than the other. In weightlifting the main events are the snatch and clean & jerk and those are the only events that should become proficient and pushed to maximum efforts in absolute terms, in training and in competition.

4) Allow the body and mind to recover sufficiently for subsequent workouts.

While some athletes might give rave reviews about certain gimmicks, such as foam rollers, cryotherapy, message therapy and a host of other gimmicks that have been related to a physical recovery process. The only sure fire way of recovering is taking time off and allowing the body and mind to recover or training at a lower level of intensity until the lifter feels fully recovered, perhaps checking the monthly average intensity levels to make sure it is at 80%. Both mind and body should be allowed to recover properly between high intensity sessions or imbalances or perceived weaknesses can occur in certain areas of the lifter’s motions.

In an attempt to correct perceived weaknesses, the lifter might cause an imbalance to occur in another area of the lift, i.e., engaging in a squat routine to strengthen the legs by using slow grinding actions might increase the lifter's ability to stand up with more weight than they can clean. The coach and lifter might keep going back and forth between the squats and pulls in some vein attempt to correct a perceived weakness that might only exist due to improper training protocols.