Sample One-Week Weightlifting Training Program
A lot of you guys are Performance Menu subscribers, right? For those of you who are, you might have noticed that we’ve been running a special section in the magazine for the past few issues.
About eight months ago, I was cleaning out some old boxes in my garage and I found my training journal from 1993. This was when I was twenty-one and training with the Calpian weightlifting club in Washington. For over a year, I literally wrote down every lift, set, and rep I did in training. Absolutely nothing was left out. Greg and I thought it would be an interesting way for people to study program design because the training method we were using with the Calpians made us one of the top teams in the United States. We’ve been publishing the program in sections, about six weeks per issue.
I thought I would use this blog post to show you what a typical week of training looked like for our club during this time period. Everybody in our gym was using the same program, so this was the basic workout structure for all of our team members. Most of the lifters in our club were national-international level competitors and had been training on this same program for several years.
This is what I did in training during the week of 9/20/93, and here are some notes to make it easier to read:
- Every lift I did in my workouts is recorded here, all warm-up sets included.
- Everything is listed in kilograms.
- I write sets and reps as follows: 5x3 means five sets of three repetitions, 100x2 means 100 kilos for a double (a set of two reps), 2x8 means two sets of eight reps, etc.
- All missed attempts are recorded as well.
At this time, my personal records were as follows:
- Snatch- 125
- Clean and Jerk- 162.5
- Back Squat- 212.5x2
- Front Squat- 180
- Rack Jerk- 175
Week of 9/20/93
- Snatch- 50x3, 50x3, 60x3, 70x3, 80x3, 90x3, 100x3, 105x2, 110x1, 115x1, 120x1, 125x1, 105x2, 110x1, 115(miss), 115x1
- Clean Pulls- 120x3, 150x3, 190 4x4
- Back Squat- 150x3, 187.5x5, 197.5x3, 207.5x2, 190x5
- Seated Good Mornings- 140 2x8
- Power Clean- 60x3, 60x3, 90x3, 90x3, 110x3, 120x2, 130 3x2
- Rack Jerk- 90x3, 90x3, 120x2, 130x1, 140x1, 150x1, 160x1, 167.5x1, 172.5(miss), 172.5x1
- Clean and Jerk- 60x3, 60x2, 90x2, 90x2, 110x2, 120x1, 130x1, 142.5x1, 147.5x1, 152.5x1, 142.5x1, 147.5x1, 152.5x1
- Clean Pulls- 180 3x3
- Push Press- 60x3, 90x3, 90x3, 110x3, 115 3x3
- Snatch- 50x3, 50x3, 60x3, 70x3, 80x3, 90x3, 100x3, 105x3, 110x2, 115x1, 107.5x3, 112.5x2, 117.5(miss), 117.5(miss), 117.5x1
- Snatch Pulls- 140 3x3
- Stop Squat (back squat with a one-second pause in the bottom)- 120x3, 130x3, 180x2, 197.5 3x3
- Seated Good Mornings- 145 3x5
- Clean- 60x3, 60x3, 90x3, 90x3 110x3, 120x2, 130x2, 140x2, 145x2, 150x2, 140x2, 145x2, 150x2
- Clean Pulls- 185 3x3
- Front Squat- 60x3, 110x3, 140x3, 165x2, 175 3x3
- Seated Good Mornings- 140 2x8
As I said, this was a typical week for us. If you look at any of the other training weeks we did throughout the year, they would look very similar to this in terms of volume, order of exercises, training days, etc. Our program was pretty rigid, not a lot of variety.
I was training for the 1993 National Collegiate Championships at this time. In the two weeks following this one (9/27 through 10/11), I went on a hot streak and set new PRs in almost everything. At the National Collegiates, I made a 130 snatch and 165 clean and jerk, all new personal records. My bodyweight was 100.80 kg (about 221 lbs). It was a big breakthrough meet for me. One month later, I went to the American Open and totaled 300 for the first time (132.5 SN, 167.5 C&J). Those were some fun days, mama.
You can study this program in a variety of ways. The best thing to do would be to analyze the whole training year so you can see how we peaked for big competitions, when our deloading weeks were, what our overall progression schedule was, etc. If you haven’t been reading Performance Menu, you’ll have to get some back issues to get caught up. Next month’s issue will be the fifth installment (out of seven total), so we’ve published most of it already.
I decided to put this stuff out to the public because program design is probably the biggest thing I get asked about by other lifters and coaches. After technique analysis, programming is the most popular topic in weightlifting. Absolutely everybody is trying to find the right approach. This is just one of many training methods you can examine, but I can safely say that this one had a higher record of success than most others. We won the US National Team Championship in 2000 by training like this, so it’s definitely worth your consideration.
If you have any questions about any of this, get in touch with me on Facebook or in comments to this post.