Coaching Association of Canada

Daniel Robitaille - Weightlifting

Olympic Lifting for All

Do you consider Olympic lifting an essential part of your athletes’ training program? Are you a weightlifting coach, a personal trainer, or have you ever through about adding Olympic lifting to a program? Daniel Robitaille, former national team coach has the following tips for a successful introduction to Olympic lifting on its own or as part of another sport training program.

For those learning Olympic lifting techniques (the snatch, and clean and jerk), it’s important during the Learn to Train stage of LTAD, to make sure that all the links that make up the lifts are learned properly. For example -- maximum extension, leading to maximum amplitude of movement in the bottom, or catch position is essential. The masterful execution of these lifts will allow for loading during the Train to Train stage to further strengthen these technically correct links and movements. Mechanical success, and technical execution is imperative. It should also be stressed that, in training, athletes should be using weights where the success rate will always be beyond 95% -- when you’re missing, and missing, and missing, you’re not getting stronger.

Often in the first two or three years of training, many athletes neglect to work on the weakest links in the three lifts. The resultant shortcoming leads to an inability to sustain the necessary overload training that permits gains in performance later on.

As an athlete transitions to the Learn to Compete stage (after 3-5 years of lift training according to the Canadian Weightlifting Federation’s LTAD model) the rest portion between sets and workouts becomes more important. The concept that training more will lead to better results is false. The more you train correctly, rest at the appropriate times, and recover properly, the more likely you are to achieve consistent improvement.