Pan Am Preparation/Nationals Preparation with Ideas on Program Development

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Pan Am Preparation/Nationals Preparation with Ideas on Program Development

Our team is preparing for monster meets right now. Four of my boys are getting ready for the Junior Pan American Championships, and the rest of the team is preparing for the National Championships/Olympic Trials. We are approaching the last three hard weeks of training for the Pan Ams and last four for Nationals. At this point, training looks like this:

• Squat volume is down and intensity is up
• Focus is on Snatch and Clean & Jerk
• Volume and Intensity of the lifts is high
• Assistance is still in the program but is targeted
• Max Out Fridays are Intense

Our team has a lot to prove at these next two meets. Now that we are a 501c3 non-profit, we are acquiring partners that want to see us do well. All that I can say is that practices are going better than ever. People are hitting PRs, and we are really starting to have fun as a team. It’s amazing, but when people are smiling, they are normally hitting big numbers as well.


I am enjoying coaching with Don McCauley again. It’s good to be in a room with coaches that have new ideas. I feed off of that, and my brain starts working faster. Chris Wilkes has a different philosophy and way of teaching technique, which I think is great. There are three very different coaches in one place. That means there is someone for everyone.

Our gym is full of athletes all doing very different programs. If everyone in the room is doing the exact kind of program, then you either have coaches with a lack of knowledge or they are too lazy to individualize programs. There is no way that we are going to cut any corners. We have one shot to show America that our weightlifting team is special. If it doesn’t work, it won’t be because we are lazy.

Ask yourself the following questions before writing a program:

• What meet are they getting ready for?
• When is that meet?
• Is the athlete new?
• Does the athlete have 3-5 years of experience?
• Does the athlete have 6 or more years of experience?
• What are the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete?

Obviously if the meet is in four weeks, the program is different than a meet coming in 16-weeks. We also have athletes training for youth nationals, which are in about 11-weeks. These athletes are focused on hypertrophy and general physical preparedness.
If they are getting ready for the Olympic Trials, training is going to be way different than preparing for an athlete’s first local meet. The stakes are a little bigger, so athletes are pushing the intensity to make the Olympic Team. We have 2 or 3 athletes with good shots at the Olympics, so these athletes are trying to push all-time numbers.


If we are coaching a rookie athlete, they will be placed on a general plan focusing on technique, general physical preparedness, and volume in the lifts. There is no reason to place them on a specialized plan because you don’t know their strengths and weaknesses yet. After each 12-week block, we will review the program, make changes, and start the specialization process.

When an athlete has 3-5 years in the game, it is important for coaches to get feedback from the athlete during program development. The athlete is starting to understand their own body, so their feedback becomes valuable to the process. Program development becomes a partnership at this point.

Once an athlete has 6 or more years in the sport, they know their body better than anyone else. They what they need, and they know what doesn’t work. At this point, they can develop their own plan with the coach’s supervision. As long as the athlete is progressing, let them do their thing. That is my golden rule.

Of course strength and weaknesses have to be taken into consideration. Some athletes have weak leg strength in relation to their lifts. That athlete needs lots of squats. Some athletes are weak overhead, so they need some overhead strengthening. It’s easy, but you have to put some thought into the plan.

This team is going to make some big waves this year. We need the prayers and support from all of you. We are planning several fundraising events over the next few months. The first event is July 8-10 at the Mash Compound in Clemmons, NC. It is going to look like this:

Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and Social Afterwards
Day 2 Seminar with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, Coach Mash, and the Team
Day 3 Meet Preparation (choosing openers, warm-up timing, and strategy) and a Sanctioned Meet

This will be live a little later today, so get ready for that. This team will never work without all of you. Our goal is to make a situation where athletes can train hard, focus, and hopefully earn some medals on an international level. Of course right along with that is starting our program for “At Risk” Children.

Keep an eye out as we come up with new ideas that might be useful to all of you and allowing you to support the team while receiving something awesome in return. We want to use the knowledge of three International Coaches and all the great athletes to educate all of you by providing services and products that all of you will find useful.

The support already has been overwhelming. We are so grateful to know that all of you are behind this project. If any of you want to partner or assist with this great project, email us at:

Right now, we need:

• Obviously financial support
• Grant writing experts
• Ideas on potential foundations
• Ideas of potential donors
• People looking to start youth programs around the country
• Any ideas on growing a 501c3

Thanks for the support all of you!

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