The goal of any competition prep cycle is to make the lifter peak for a competition. Such a goal is best accomplished by adhering to the widely acknowledged principles of de-loading;


  1. heightened specificity
  2. considerable lowering of volume
  3. maintenance of high intensity


The duration of this peaking cycle is four weeks, which is roughly what it takes for the body and the central nervous system to fully recover, assuming the training and recovery is done as prescribed. 


During the competition prep we strive to train as sport-specific as possible. This means that the exercises we do in training are similar to the ones found in competition. Thus, a large portion of the lifts in this cycle will be full snatches and full clean & jerks done from the floor with slight variations. Furthermore, the volume of auxiliary exercises such as pulls and squats are reduced, the focus simply shifts away from building strength and all attention is diverted towards improving speed and power by keeping sets and reps low. Accessory exercises (i.e. bodybuilding) are reduced to only the essential movements that mentally help the athlete and don’t interfere with the goal of peaking for the competition. Training volume is reduced by approximately 50% from our regular programmes in order to ensure full recovery. Training frequency (number of training sessions per week) is reduced relatively slowly, starting at five sessions a week, tapering to three weekly sessions at the end.


Do not think of this cycle as a shortcut to a new 1RM in the Olympic lifts. This cycle is appropriate to apply if you’ve been working hard, doing basic weightlifting specific training, e.g. run one of our other online programs, for a lengthy period, and need to peak for a weightlifting meet or another competition. If this doesn’t describe your current situation, take a look at our other programs, the monthly renewed subscription-programs OP3, OP4 & OP5 or the various 3-month cycles we also offer, targeting specific weaknesses. Chances are, you’ll find a perfect fit!


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© 2020 by Weightlifting 101

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