Writing a Program, Respect and Weightlifting Terminology.

1377345_576324552448118_590096886_n As of late, I have been involved in helping more people out in improving their lifts. My goal is to help people constantly improve their lifting and better appreciate the sport I enjoy. The natural progression I go through with them is basically working on technical aspects of their lifts from the pull to receiving the bar. From the snatch to the clean. From the power variation to the full variation. Whether they have been lifting for awhile or are completely beginners, I would put them through the same progressions. There are a few reasons for that and that is what I will be discussing.

Through the progressions I mentioned, it gives me an idea of where the athlete is. Putting them through the different variations allow me to understand what is missing in the entirety of their lift. It is from observing their movement that a proper program focusing on improving these weakness or missing links can be created. If the athlete is a beginner, then a program with a decent balance of pulling and squatting movements would be suggested with adequate practice of the classic lifts. Should the individual have had some form of lifting experience, the program will be determined based on whether he or she requires more work in the legs, the back, positioning or timing (coordination/tempo).  So every program written would be catered to the individual but would fit in somehow into a more general picture. That was how my program was as well when I was still lifting in my weightlifting club and it definitely did work. So understanding that there is a decent amount of planning in the program needs to be made known to whoever you are writing it for. Only by having that same mindset can both coach and athlete progress in the same direction.

With that, it brings me to my next point. Respect. The common phrase is that respect needs to be earned, not given. Having a coach write a program for you is a privilege whether he is being paid for it or not. A program that has your name on it, meant to work on specifically what you are lacking in terms of your lifts, does not come that easily. Like I mentioned, much time and thought have been spent into putting the program together. Even in a general setting, writing a program for an entire group comes with understanding commonality within the group and on top of that, individual differences. Hence, writing that program for an entire group requires more patience in putting different aspects of programming together so that everyone is still able to benefit from it. Thus, the end product is something that much effort has been put into it and the athlete benefiting from it needs to respect that. This is why I also put those I work with through the progressions for them to understand that these progressions are there for them to be able to move forward into a proper program. If you don't go through it, you will not learn how to respect the program which will be later written out for you. Appreciating these progressions will help you appreciate the technical aspects of the program written for you. If you come to me and you have an eventual goal, there is what the program is written for and tailored towards. If you are not going to respect the process, you will never appreciate the product.

And my last point is related to the terminology used. As more people try to re-invent the wheel, the biomechanics of the weightlifting movement do not lie. Phyiscs is physics. Weightlifting is physics. There is nothing new apart from being more efficient in movement to be more effective in the outcome. Moreover, weightlifting has been a sport that has a long tradition since 1896. Training methods and terminology have not changed much and it is up to those who teach the sport to pass down proper education to those who are carrying it on. Starting with the name of the sport itself, there has been much debate on what it should be called. But Harvey Newton wrote in an article awhile back talking about the need to standardize this if we intend to take the sport further and promote it better. And this can be also said for the exercises or training methods used when writing programs. This is also another reason why I go through those progressions with the guys and girls I work with. It is to allow them to understand what I mean when I mention a certain exercise or a certain position is prescribed in their program and they would remember it through their progressions.

And to end off, a snatch is called a snatch or a full snatch,  it's not a squat snatch. But that's another story for another day.