Programming For Perfection


This week we started all new programming in preparation for the NC State Weightlifting Championships in October. The volume is very heavy right now, and we are focused on general preparation that will ready our athletes for the Bulgarian-ish programming to come. Most of our team are rookies, so stabilizing the overhead position and working on and stabilizing the various positions of the pull is critical. I have come to love programming for my team, and for my online clients, schools, and gyms/boxes. I also believe that teaching an aspect of programming at my seminars is an aspect that makes them unique from the other seminars out there. This blog is more about the general necessities of all programs, so to find out more about my specific programming go to:

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about the four aspects of becoming a World Champions: minimums, maximums, fearless attitude, and a positive group. Today I want to talk about another important part of the plan “programming”. Of course I believe that my programming is superior, but I want to give you what all programs should have in common use this list to evaluate your current program.

1. “Priorities are reoccurring” Dan John says to pick the exercises that are important and do them everyday. If you practice a movement, then you will become more efficient in the movement. If you are a weightlifter, snatch, clean & jerk, and the squat should be common place in your program. Of course pick assistance work that will target weak spots and apply accordingly. The same goes for powerlifting. The squat, bench, and deadlift should be common practice. Old school programs focus more muscularly like a bodybuilding program, but they forget the neuromuscular component. Strength sports are like any other sport if you want to get better at baseball practice baseball.

2. “Defendable” What I mean here is that program designers or a coach should welcome questions with open arms. I love when a MashEliter asks me questions about their program because then I have a chance to rap about science. If your coach gets mad at you about questioning their program, then take that as a big red flag and you should run. The only reason a person would get mad at a question is because they don’t know the answer.

3. “Adaptability” All programs should be able to be scaled for individual needs. For example if a weightlifter can clean within 20lbs of their front squat, then that person has a very efficient pull underneath the bar. That person should focus on squats because their clean should get stronger with that increase. On the other hand if a person can front squat 450lbs, but they only clean 350lbs, then they should focus less effort on the squats and more on the clean. Another example is if a lifter is lacking mobility to catch the snatch, a coach might want to address the mobility and start with overhead squat. A great coach is necessary for any program to be maximized.

4. “Peaking or Taper” There should be a phase that peaks an athlete for their sport or goal. If you are a Crossfit athlete, strength and work capacity should be maximized with the last four weeks being gradually tapered to allow for the body to recover and recharge for the event itself. If the taper is done properly, an athlete should experience a surge of strength, work capacity, and even mobility. Great programs will take a 52 week approach with everything geared towards the most important competition or event of the year. Different aspects can be targeted throughout the year like strength, work capacity, relative strength, or mobility.

These are just a few components that are necessary for good programming. My advice is to find a reputable coach that has produced athletes in your chosen sport, or clients that have achieved results that are in alignment with your own goals. After finding a good coach, give the program a chance. Almost all programs that are written by good coaches will work if you commit to following the plan.

For more information on programming or any other service that Mash Elite Performance offers go to:

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