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Need Help Figuring Out How To Plan Your Athletes’ Training?


Vol. 4, No. 7

April 01, 2011


This free newsletter is to inform you of events, and thoughts regarding the training of weightlifters and the incorporation of the Olympics lifts and their derivatives into the training of athletes.


Why are we so far behind the Russians/Chinese/Bulgarians/Iranians.? You fill = in the blanks. This discussion has been going on for decades and it inevitably comes down to the drug issue because it’s an easy one to understand. Drugs, however, are not nearly as much a factor as a combination of athlete preparation issues that are not addressed well or at all in this country. What not too many people understand is that there is a huge infrastructure gap between us and the serious weightlifting nations in the world. One of the issues that doesn’t get much attention is the fact that our athletes are often not trained properly from the first day.

A world champion like Marcin Dolega was able to reach his true potential through well designed long term planning

If you are a coach in this country, anxious to develop athletes, and you have a few enthusiastic ones eager to succeed, there’s a good chance that you don’t even have a notion that there is a fairly well defined pathway to follow. And it’s not your fault!

Because of the reorganization of USA Weightlifting since 2008, the Senior and Regional coach courses are in limbo. No other organization or entity is offering any courses of substance on how to train a weightlifter beyond the early technique learning stages.

This Saturday, April 2nd, at Crossfit High Voltage in Burbank, CA I’ll be presenting a four hour (1-5PM) course with step-by-step instructions on the hows and whys of program design for the beginning and intermediate athlete. You’ll learn the processes I’ve used successfully with hundreds of lifters. The cost is $100.00, but the information and insights will be priceless. Even if you are not planning on being a weightlifting coach, the insights you’ll gain will prove invaluable in program design for other activities.

You can sign up early on line at by clicking the events tab. Walk-ups will cost $150.00. We’re doing this to encourage early sign-ups as there is a great deal of handout material to be prepared. Hope to see all you enthusiastic coaches there!

A world champion like Marcin Dolega was able to reach his true potential through well designed long term planning


The 8th International Eleiko-Women’s Weightlifting Grand Prix will be conducted in Styria, Austria from June 23 to 26. Konrad Hogg is putting on this growing event that features some of the top female competitors from Europe, although other participating countries include South Africa, China and Egypt.

Girls and Kids will compete in a Sinclair competition, while the senior and junior women will compete for weight class honors. There will be substantial awards.

Preliminary entries must be received by April 28th and final entries are due on May 26th. For more information and entry forms, contact Konrad Hogg at [email protected].

How many of the top women lifters will be at the Eleiko Grand Prix?


Last weekend there was a development meet held at Team Crossfit Academy in Monrovia. As soon as I found out about it, I decided that I would enter my newest crop of lifters for the purpose of learning more about them and the training that I had designed for them (which is posted on my blog at

After a very successful competition for the group at our last meet on March 12, they underwent two weeks of demanding training, considering their point of development. Week 1 was 462 reps done in five training days. Week 2 was 385 reps spread over 4 days. I know they were beat up because some of them were just falling to the floor after each set on Thursday of the second week. There was also very little talk once the training began (a good indication of fatigue). I gave them Friday and Saturday off and we lifted on Sunday. I expected more good snatches than clean & jerks, as that lift takes a little more restoration time.

Now you might ask why we just didn’t total out in the gym rather than go to the trouble of going to a meet. The answer is that the psychic ambiance is different in a competition and thus the lifts give me a truer indication of the physical condition. Furthermore they are all still in the educational phase of their training and need meet experience.

In the snatch, Tiffany tied her PR, Lindsey got a 1 kg PR, Scott got a 2 kg PR, Michael got a 5 kg PR, and Johnny was 4 kg under. In the C & J, Tiffany tied her PR, Lindsey was 4 kg under, Scott was 2 kg under, Michael got a 5 kg PR, and Johnny got a 5 kg PR. Pretty much what I expected.

So the upshot is I learned a little bit more about how my training plan was working, a little bit more about the conditioning of my athletes and they gained a little bit more experience about lifting in a competition. Not all the meets on the local calendar are going to line up perfectly with your periodized training programs, but they can serve a purpose as a test competition.


Since the success of our first local meet at Crossfit High Voltage on March 12th, Tim Thackrey and I have been getting inquiries as to when we’re having the next one. After perusing the calendar and the recent announcement of the Nationals being moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa on the July 15 – 17 weekend, we selected Saturday, June 4th. This should be in time to beat the qualifying total date (which is usually four weeks ahead of a national event). It will also provide an opportunity for the national level competitors to get in a last tune-up event.

We’re looking at the idea of holding a developmental session in the morning for the up and coming lifters, and then an elite session in the afternoon. This would give the newcomers a chance to watch the elite athletes, which they might not get if they are in the same session. Furthermore it would streamline the elite session and allow for a higher level of performance.

More on these details as they develop. Anyway mark that date on your calendar.


I just got an e-mail from Peter Haas who has put together a service for meet directors. Peter’s ( ) will process credit card payments for entry fees, while charging a small surcharge to the athlete. It will also establish strict entry deadlines, and put together an early entry list. This service has the potential to standardize the meet direction process, and to allow meet directors to plan how many awards to purchase, and to set the meet size which should help in facility rental.

It was inevitable that something like this would develop from the many internet savy people coming into the sport recently. This is something that could have come from USAW, and could actually have developed into a revenue source, but with the many changes that have taken place over the last couple of years, it is understandable that something like this might have been overlooked.

Anyway I wish Peter well. You can check out the nature of his services at He’s also got a Facebook Fan Page.


Due to the difficulties involved with combining the wrestling and weightlifting Olympic Trials for 2012, USA Weightlifting has decided to combine the National Weightlifting Championships and the Olympic Weightlifting Trials into a single event for 2012. Bid information is expected to be posted shortly at


Top British weightlifter, Zoe Smith, has decided to forego her college studies in order to participate fully on training for the London Games. This will afford her the opportunity to train full time with her coaches. Since she is publicly funded, Smith feels a responsibility to spare nothing in her quest for Olympic success in front of her countrymen.

Paul Coffa, the president of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, is beating the drums for Penang, Malaysia. Penang will be the host of the 2011 World Junior Weightlifting Championships. They are expecting that this will have the largest number of participating nations in the history of the event.


My apologies for omitting the results of Maximilian Adams in the PHAT Elvis High Voltage Open results. It was entirely an oversight. Maximilian was lifting in his first meet as a 15-year-old 105 and lifted 50 kg snatch and 60 kg clean & jerk. Sorry about that, Max, and good luck in your future lifting!

Program Planning Clinic. Saturday, April 2 at Crossfit High Voltage in Burbank. 1PM to 5 PM. Learn the process of long term training planning to insure the continuous progress of your athletes over an extended period. Sign up at

Level 1 Clinics. I’ll be the instructor at USA Weightlifting Level 1 courses at Crossfit Fast in Westlake, CA on the April 23-24 weekend. I’ll also be instructing a Level 1 course at Camp Pendleton on April 4,5. You can sign up for either one at the USA Weightlifting website A good opportunity here for aspiring coaches to get started on the USAW certification pathway.

Last Chance Qualifier. June 4th at Crossfit High Voltage. Details to follow.

NSCA National Conference. I’ve been notified that I’ll be speaking at this summer’s NSCA National conference in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel. The topic will be The Determination and Planning of Long Term Strength and Conditioning Training Based on the Training of Weightlifters. It’s scheduled for 1:00 PM on July 9th. Hope to see you all there! For more details go to


California State Games and State Games of America will be held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, CA on Sunday, August 7, 2011. This will be the first time that the State Games of America will be contested in California. It will involve the State Games Champions of each state competing against each. Join the PHAT Elvis Weightlifting Club for this in sunny San Diego! On line registration at See you there!

The location for the 2011 National Championships will be Council Bluffs, Iowa. The event is scheduled for July 15 through 17. It will be the major qualifier for the World Championships that will be held in Paris in November.

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Copyright 2011 Robert Takano / Takano Athletics ( ). All rights reserved.

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