An Introduction To Weightlifting Training Programs


by Bob Takano, Head Coach of Takano Athletics

What Are Weightlifting Training Programs?

Weightlifting training programs are nothing more than highly detailed, long range plans that are designed to achieve the next set of goals or levels as determined by the coach either with or without consultation with the athlete. Any consultation taking place should be done with the intention of selling the athlete on the proposed goals. This will insure a buy-in to the training.

A well designed training program should elevate the athletic performance at a predesignated date or within a predesignated window of time. It should be the best performance that the athlete in question is capable of at that point in the developmental process of achieving sports mastery (PASM).

Why Athletes Should Not Write Their Own Weightlifting Training Programs

Unless there is no other alternative, the vast majority of athletes are better off following a program written by an expert coach. An expert coach is highly skilled at balancing all of the existent factors into the planning of the training and producing the primary program that will insure that the athlete will peak at the proper time.

513-nWFuSaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Don't know where to start? This book will help.

Most athletes lack the understanding of the physiological processes involved in evoking a peak performance. They, in all probability, don’t understand the extent of their own talent the way a coach does, nor do they understand how much specialization to put into the remediation of weak points. Usually the norm for most athletes is to judge everything in the training process using themselves as the reference point, not realizing that the reference point may be in a state of flux throughout the career.

Furthermore a coach should be present during all of the training to make the appropriate adjustments in the training as the cycle progresses. These adjustments can best be made if the coach has written the entire program and knows what the athlete’s body has gone through before and what is yet to come in the long range program. If the coach is very familiar with the athlete, the program and its modifications are designed with the personal training preferences and aversions of the athlete in mind.

What Factors Should Influence the Weightlifting Training Program Writing Process

An accomplished coach plans training by balancing the training to account for the many factors that can influence the outcome of the training. The following is a nearly complete list of these factors:

  • Age of the athlete
  • Training age of the athlete
  • Bodyweight to height ratio
  • Training history
  • Injuries
  • Psychological factors
  • Technical proficiency
  • Physiological talent
  • Competitive history
  • Relative strengths and weaknesses
  • Psychic ambience


Most training programs written by a knowledgeable coach will work to a certain degree provided that they provide sufficient stress to the organism. When viewing our training programs available in the marketplace, one should realize the following:

They are being provided as models of properly designed programs. They are provided so that aspiring coaches can understand the process of training athletes. Many people will not be capable of following them through their entireties, and some of them could even lead to a scenario where injury is highly probable. No liability is assumed for any individual following these training programs.

All training programs will require some slight modification by a competent coach observing the training on a daily basis.


Any coach interested in writing training programs should take some pre-written programs and apply them to a group of athletes and observe them each day throughout the cycle and take note of the results in the concluding competition. The next time through the coach should make appropriate modifications and see if the results of the concluding competition are affected positively.

Every successful coach has trained many athletes for many years, and during that entire time has been refining and modifying techniques. Gaining the experience to write good training programs requires a certain amount of real time invested. The only factor that can shorten this time is sound mentorship.

I hope you find this information helpful.

About The Author

A longtime leader in the sport of weightlifting, and a five time member of the USA national team to the world championships. Bob has coached four USA National champions, two National Record Holders, two Pan American Champions and an Olympian. Over a forty-five year coaching career 35 of Bob’s lifters have qualified for the USA Nationals.