Olympic-style Weightlifting Programs

Provided by Dr Lon Kilgore, PhD (former National Weightlifting Champion)

Midwestern State University Strength Research Laboratory & USA Weightlifting Regional Development Center

MSU Experimental Training Program 1.0

MSU has a 6 week training program available for download for those who have access to Microsoft Excel (.xls file).  This program utilizes large variations in intensity and volume designed to cause adaptations in the endocrine system which assist the athlete in gaining strength. See Hormone Fluctuation Model. Weeks 1 and 2 seem very easy, while the 3rd and 4th weeks seem viciously hard, and the last two weeks are tapering weeks leading up to a competition at the end of week 6.  This program was adapted from some very well documented programs used on elite European lifters and from scientific literature.  This version has been used successfully by athletes ranging from junior to master, and ranging in experience from beginners to athletes with over 20 years training experience.  Don't worry if you feel like you are on deaths door for the 3rd and 4th weeks, everyone on the program feels like this, but without exception everyone using the program will experience performance improvements at the end of the 6th week. Do not alter the program and expect gains, do your best to execute the training as written.  While the program does work well, we believe that additional recovery time (i.e., a longer taper) will enhance performance gains.  To this end we are investiging a similar program but with a 4 week volume-biased taper.

Weeks 1 and 2

Weeks 3 and 4

Weeks 5 and 6

Build Up

Hard Training


Dr Lon Kilgor: former national weightlifting champion

WFW Program

Several of our lifters are currently utilizing a Louie Simmons inspired program under the supervision of Coach Glenn Pendlay (Former Jr World Powerlifting Champion) with good success.  This may be a good program for both increasing strength and developing technique.  It seems to be particularly effective when used between more specialized peaking cycles like the MSU Experimental Program 1.0 because it allows the lifter adequate time to work on individual technique problems and individual strength deficiencies, something which is lacking in highly structured programs like the experimental program. This program is basically a 4 day a week program, where the lifter works on the Snatch and Clean & Jerk on Monday and Thursday, and works on strength on Tuesday and Friday. We have found that 8 to 12 singles done on the Clean & Jerk and Snatch work well, with the lifter using between 65 and 85% of his/her maximum.  Usually only one specified weight is used for each training session.  A limited rest period is used, usually performing one rep per minute.  This allows the lifter to work with a light enough weight to practice technique, yet still get a good workout.  It appears from early results that this protocol works very well for building consistency in a lifters technique.  The focus is to complete each workout with zero misses at the target weight before allowing the athlete to increase the weight in the next workout or next week (The athlete is not allowed to increase the weight after a workout with misses). Progression, variety and individualization are the keys on Tuesday and Friday.  The athletes should perform exercises that work on their identified individual weaknesses (i.e, weak legs - concentrate on Squats, weak back - concentrate on Romanian Deadlifts, problems catching the snatch - include Snatch Balances, Overhead Squats, or Snatch-grip Push Presses).  The variants are endless. Vary the reps, and vary the exercises, and always try to make new personal records on whatever strength exercise you are working on.

Doc Stone's Basic Program

Dr. Mike Stone has been one of the major scientific influences in weightlifting all the way back to the days of the National Strength Research Center at Auburn.  This program has been described as his basic program for getting strong.

"Russian Squat" Routine

This program has been around for a long time.  It is rarely used with any of our athletes as we believe our other training models are more effective.

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