As an athlete that is preparing to train at the next level of Olympic style weightlifting, you may find yourself scouring google, youtube, ehow, and All Things Gym, trying to figure out how and why the Russians and Bulgarians are so flippin strong.
I mean how many Vasiliy Polovnikovs do you know that squat 310kg/682lbs like it’s a calm Sunday afternoon in spring.
Holy Back Squats Batman!
If you look at the success of most of these athletes have had you will find very detailed, premeditated, and effective methods used in their training. Let’s look at Kendrick Farris for instance, a very successful American weightlifter that has recently broken the American clean and jerk record in the 94k weight class. In Kendrick’s programing he doesn’t test his one rep max for the vast majority of any of his training cycles. His programing is so detailed and algebraic that his capacity is more of an algorithm to find his maximum capacity, than a max out Saturday, for the rest of us.
Let’s take a look at programing in America. On an Olympic sport level, America is known for bringing home the gold in many events. It’s hard to watch the Olympics and not see Americans in the finals battling it out against other nations. If how ever you turn your focus toward Olympic weightlifting, you won’t see much of red, white, and blue (other then those pesky Russians). This domain is vastly dominated by Russia and Bulgaria. If you investigate the Russian or Bulgarian styles you again find a very organized style of programming. The Russians focus on a very different method of training compared to most American styles. Instead of focusing on the main “lifts” or movements they turn their focus purely toward the base strength aspect of their conditioning. The Bulgarians are very similar to the Russians and focus on strength but differ in that they train mostly the main movements or lifts at their full capacity every training session.
One of the biggest reasons Bob Shannon “Apex blogger” and I get along so well, is that we have spent a good deal of time training these types of programs. Any program will produce results, but the gains you read about or hear about don’t come from some type of esoteric program. These programs, or training styles, long for some organized form of chaos. Instead of falling into the same mindset of needing structure, we instead completely disregard any real structure to programs, and instead relay on an objective and a foundation. Not because we want to train this way, but because we must!!
We are the type that will devote days, weeks, months, even years with this desperate obsessive like mentality to become better. When a person has that much time invested into their own success, it would behoove one to take more than someone else’s advice in their own prosperity. I have found success in self education through my own experience, my own training, programing, accessory work, mobility work, and training with people that have the same quite desperation for success. Simply from the drive to become a better athlete myself, I have achieved a 120kg/265lbs snatch and a 140kg/315lbs clean and jerk in men’s 77kg masters weight class. Bob, who at 200lbs, squats over 500lbs, dead lifts nearly 550lbs, and benches 335lbs. We both have opportunities of making professional teams in our respective sports, and qualify for national level competitions. We have no other contributors to these achievements other than our own invested efforts.
For anyone with hopes of similar aspirations, seminars and coaches are great, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. You usually end up getting to hear the stories of the people you look up to, and you get a lot of tips and great information. Some of this information is well needed and some is downright moronic. I highly recommend anyone take a few seminars, and try a few different coaches. This will help give you a broad spectrum of information at your disposal. You will listen to these individuals because they didn’t get to where they are now from listening to other people, or from taking advice from the guy down the road with all those weekend certificates. You will listen because they have pages of achievements, and a labyrinth of knowledge that they earned from making those tough decisions. Some of those decisions didn’t play out and some changed the sport. This success will only come from time on the bar, and time with your self. So get out of that box mentality and work not only on that posterior chain, but also your mind. It is with your mind that you will find your success. So go out and surround yourself with like minded individuals, make decisions and train your ass off, and you will be much better off in the long run.
– Coach Cam