After last week’s webinar, I got a few more questions from one attendee.  I thought the answers might prove interesting to you. 

Here’s the questions:

1)You said that we first do the full exercises (cj,snatch) and then we continue with other incomplete. Isn't it dangerous to begin directly with the full range of motion at these exercises?
2) Do you have any specific warm up that you suggest to your athletes or every person has its' own warm up routine depending on his needs?
3) At the samples you gave us, there are defined percentages at each day in microcycle. These percentages how did they came up?
4) The rest between sets as we raise the volume is also higher? When we αpproximate the %max, rest must be betwenn 3-5 minutes?

Question 1 deals with exercise sequence within a training session.  One of the primary goals of a weightlifting training program is to improve explosiveness through the performance of the snatch and clean & jerk via proper technique.  This takes place best at the beginning of the session when the nervous system is fresh.  Exercises that deplete the energy stores of the motor nerves prior to snatches and cleans and jerks work against the development of speed. 

I think that “dangerous” is too strong a term here, by the way.  After an adequate warm up that raises the temperature of the extremities, a trained athlete who trains on a regular basis should have no problem beginning the session with the classic lifts or their derivatives.  It is certainly far from dangerous. 

Question 2 along with question 1 reflects somewhat of a pre-occupation with warming up.  The functions of a warm-up should be to raise the temperature of the extremities in order to lower the viscosity of the tissues and to increase circulation so as facilitate hormonal transport and gas exchange.  This, for most, is not a lengthy process and should detract minimally from energy reserves necessary for the proper performance of training.  Most lifters perform some light calisthenics or jogging to initiate increased circulation and then move on to some technical practice with an empty bar before beginning the training with weights of 60% or more.  Some individuals with a pre-existing injury may spend extra time on a particular joint. 

Question 3 deals with relative intensities.  Speed development takes place primarily within the 60%, 70% intensity ranges and must be addressed early in the session when nervous energy is high.  This is especially true when performing power snatches and power cleans.  The classic lifts should almost always go up to the 80% range for Class 1 lifters and perhaps even higher.  Strength is increased with movements above 80%.  All of the effects of these intensity ranges have been established through empirical studies on the training of weightlifters performing at a variety of achievement levels.

Question 4, I believe, is concerned with reps per set as well as increasing volume (the absolute number of reps).  Yes, the rest between sets should increase as the intensity (%age) increases.  It may not increase much for lighter, younger athletes whereas heavier, older athletes will need longer rest periods between sets in order to recover sufficiently.  There is not a hard fast rule here, but resting for too long can cause physiological function to deteriorate and thus affect the training benefit of each set.  Psychological readiness must also be taken into consideration.  3 lifters training on a single platform with a single bar provides the right amount of rest between sets when considering the weight changes that must take place (the last lifter and the next lifter each changing one end of the bar). 


I hope the answers are helpful.  Those of us who have been deeply immersed in coaching for a long time sometimes don’t realize what may be a difficulty for newer coaches.  These questions are helpful to folks on both ends of the experience timeline.