Training guidelines for athletes in Olympic Weightlifting

Kaitlyn Fassina in farewell competition.

As a coach, I have learned that training consistency is a key factor in performance improvement. If athletes are frequently injured, consistency flies out the window. Therefore, I strive to prevent athletes from over-stepping the safety line and damaging themselves. So I recently wrote the following training guidelines.

To the athlete:

  1. Injury prevention overrides the importance of any training program target, intensity or volume.
  2. Your focus on achieving excellence of technique should never subside and never be set aside.
  3. Focus on good training (PDF download) rather than be fixated about achieving personal bests.
  4. Do not think that any written program is a formula for success. A program is simply a guideline for how to approach training sensibly.
  5. Never inflate personal bests to raise training targets. If you do, then straightaway you are risking failure, overtraining, injury, and disappointment.
  6. If, for any exercise, you achieve the target percentage without loss, then by all means add an extra set with 1-2kg more. If this extra set is also achieved without fault, you can if you wish add a further set with another 1kg more . Additional sets after this should not be performed unless sanctioned by a coach who is witnessing your training.
  7. If, for any exercise, you are struggling to achieve the target percentage, drop back to an intensity you can manage and finish the programed sets.
  8. If, during an exercise, you feel you might have an injury – STOP. Avoid loading the possibly injured part of your body further in this session. If tomorrow the injury is non-existent, you have only lost a part of one session. However, if the injury is real, by stopping the day before you did the right thing.
  9. Dont go to training with preconceived ideas of what you can achieve. You are setting yourself up for failure.
  10. Act with patience and maturity in training. Improvement is a long haul task. Athletes of all ages often think “I don’t have much time” . However, if you act with immaturity you will be on the sideline wasting even more time.
  11. Consistent quality training is your best strategy, egotistical wants is your worst enemy.

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