A 20 year old fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter. I am a Level 2 Weightlifting coach, Powerlifter, and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthier lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
Back to Blog
I was transferring all my old programs, programs I've written for the kids I coach and training programs I had to design for school work/coaching course assessments over to my laptop. That was when I decided I'd provide some basic advice on how to design a training program. Obviously most popular clubs, gyms and businesses will charge for programs, prices can actually be pretty extortionate and you could probably learn to write one for yourself if you're clever and patient enough! Some programs are worth the money though, getting the feedback from an experienced competitor and coach. The good thing about writing programs is that if you aren't experienced in writing them, you can learn through trial and error! I view it as, there is always room for improvements and new knowledge to learn surrounding training and sports in general, with dissertations and research being produced all the time! I enjoy volunteering to coach the OASIS Squad lifters, so I've always produced (and learnt from) creating free programs in my spare time. In fact, I've never had a program written for me and any I've trialled online have never suited me. You know your body best! So if you aren't sure where to start, and are feeling patient enough, please continue reading.
Periodisation and Aims
Before you begin writing your program you want to think about periodisation and the aims of the program. The periodisation of your program should fall under one of these three categories:
Percentages and PB's
When writing a program for myself, I tend to stick with a macrocyle but write the mesocycles only a couple of months in advance, since I never really know what comps might pop up and might get cancelled/ replaced with other plans. I also fit my program around my coaching and exams, so if I did write a macrocycle a year in advance, I think I would probably fall behind. However I believe anything is worth a try. I aim to write 12 four week training programs that I complete within the year, however since I've been doing this for a while now, I tend to jump back and re-complete old programs that I enjoyed and which worked for me.
Back in March, I trained 4x per week with 2 active rest sessions, so my mesocycle would consist of 16-24 individual sessions. My lifter's programs consist of 10-12 individual sessions per mesocycle. We tend to have Personal best re-evaluations every 4-6 weeks (at the end of the mesocycle), these are then used to calculate or alter the next mesocycle training program based on percentage of one rep max. However, we feel that if one of the lifters in feeling particularly strong and able on a normal training night, that they can attempt a personal best. Personally, I don't do this within my own training.
Here's an example of how the increase in % of 1RM looked in my older programs (for myself).
I try to keep up with the latest research produced surrounding training, weightlifting and coaching. My coach sends me stuff, I read a lot, test theories out myself, research what has worked for other people on strength forums and have joined many Facebook groups surrounding coaching science (this I absolutely recommend). Catalyst athletics being the most reliable source I've found so far, my coach has had his fair amount of input in their sites comment section now. I also recommend (as any coach should) attending webinars and seminars, getting as much CPD as possible. I found my level 1 and level 2 weightlifting courses the most educational and best coaching experience to date! You learn so much from observing other coaches. Sometimes I like to sit in the warm-up room and spot the things other coaches do, that I don't. Then, I hope my brain has picked up the good bits to try out later with my own lifters!! Hahaha.
Regarding % of 1RM, I found information from www.cdearperformance.com very interesting. It reads:
Choosing assistant exercises
For a Weightlifter, you'll stick with the main lifts of the Clean and Jerk and Snatch, following on with maybe some complexes (versions of the lift) and any of the following that I use:
Some exercises for Powerlifters may include any of the following (including the main three lifts):
Thankyou for reading! I enjoyed writing this and hope I can share more surrounding the intricacies of my future programs. Take care, Niyah.