The main priority for this stream is long-term strength development.
Now that we have established good baselines on the test week, it’s time to start building strength from the ground up. The next 4-weeks of strength work will help you build work capacity (for lifting) and put on some muscle mass. You’ll also have an opportunity to improve your snatch and jerk techniques in this training block.
We’ll progress your capacity on the typical gymnastics movements (pull ups, toes to bar, HSPU etc.) and barbell cycling in the skill sessions (one of these is optional).
Three (3) weekly conditioning sessions will help you maintain (and even build) your overall fitness in the sport-specific context without interfering too much with the strength training. Some of the skill work is blended with conditioning as well. There are two (2) main high intensity conditioning sessions each week (Tuesday/Friday), with an optional lower intensity piece on Friday’s.
Overall these next 8-weeks will lay a solid foundation for the strength progressions coming up in the following 12-week training block.
What will the training look like?
Session #1 - Snatch primer focus on transition under the bar and complexes focused on improving the positions and pull off the floor. Power cleans to develop speed/force production for the cleans. Higher repetition back squats.
Session #2 - Blended skill/low intensity conditioning session to build capacity on basic gymnastics and barbell cycling.
Session #1 - Higher rep deadlifts (or sumo deadlift). Strict overhead pressing (standing/seated) and lunges. Accessory strength circuit.
Session #2 - Interval conditioning session.
Active recovery / Rest day
Session #1 - Alternating weeks: 1) Snatch from blocks to develop speed/force production and snatch push press + OHS complex to strengthen snatch grip overhead and snatch receiving positions. 2) Jerk drills to improve the dip/drive mechanics and BTN split jerks to build confidence and to work on the bar path.
Each weightlifting session is followed by high volume front squats then stiff-legged deadlifts.
Session #2 - Optional additional skill session.
Session #1 - Upper body strength session: Bench press (variations) and strict pull up/chin up at moderately high volume. Strict dips and barbell rows. Bodybuilding circuits as finishers.
Session #2 - Optional lower intensity conditioning session.
Session #1 - Snatch balance + OHS to work speed under the bar and the receiving position. Clean and jerk complex with emphasis on front squats. Snatch pull (variations) to develop strength, positions and rhythm through the 1st pull. Work capacity (carries etc.) circuit as a finisher.
Session #2 - Competition workout of the week
Key focus points
The most important principles for strength training are specificity (you must do what you want to get better at), and progressive overload (training has to be hard enough (in frequency, volume, intensity) to create a need for adaptation. This also means training has to get harder over time).
The main driver for adaptation (work capacity, hypertrophy) in this training block will be volume in main lifts. We are doing bigger sets with steady progression towards slightly higher intensity (weights). Your main job is to put in quality work from one session to the next ( = avoid pushing so hard in a single session that you won’t be able to complete another one). That being said, we want the sets to be challenging enough (follow the RIR guidance) to be considered working sets.
Aim to build each week from the last one, whether by increasing the reps or weights (depending on the progression). Focus on accumulating high quality (do the lifts with good form) repetitions to lay a solid technical foundation for future training.
As your goal is to get stronger and put on some muscle mass, it’s a good idea to be in a slight caloric surplus in this training block. You’ll want to show up well fuelled for the lifting sessions as even modest glycogen (stored sugar) depletion can lead to reduced session quality (which we don’t want).
A good sign that you could eat more to fuel your training is that you feel hungry. If you’re not sure, a few rough reference points for daily intake (if you’re into macros) could be:
Protein - 2.2g per kg (1 gram per lb) BW
Fat - 25-30% of daily calories or 1g per kg (1g per lb) BW
Carbs - Remaining calories or 4+g per kg (1.8+g per lb) BW
22 x BW in kg (or 10 x BW in lbs) x (1.7 to 2 as “activity multiplier”) + 100 to 200 cals (for surplus)
Remember that if you don’t eat enough, you won’t recover and get the results you want.
The most important thing for your recovery will be to get enough (7.5-9 hours) sleep regularly. Your training (and results) will be better if you can sleep more. Aim to be in bed before 11pm latest, and sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room. If you can, get out for a short (10-minute) walk soon after sunrise (before 10am is fine) and again around sunset. This will help set your circadian rhythm so it’ll be easier to go to bed early.
All other recovery modalities will come second to this. Implementing a 10 to 30-minute daily mobility routine, split between morning, training and evening will also very likely pay off, both short and long-term.
Who is it for?
If you’re looking to get significantly stronger over the next 3 to 6-months (improve your squats, deadlift, upper body strength and weightlifting numbers) then this is the best choice for you. You will do enough conditioning and skill work to be ready for smaller competitions/qualifiers but if you have a major event coming up within the next 8-weeks, you might want to choose the SPP stream instead.