Every athlete has peaks and valleys in their training.  The problem is when that valley is a sustained plateau.  We have all hit these plateaus in our Olympic weightlifting.  We hit a period where we don’t have a lot of motivation, we miss lifts, we aren’t hitting any PRs, and so on.  These plateaus occur all the way up to the top Olympic competitors.  The key is to quickly identify the plateau and take serious ACTION against it.  Different trainers will have different ways of dealing with issues, but here are a few tactics I’ve seen successfully help break through an Olympic lifting plateau over the years:

  • Take a week off – Seriously, sometimes a full week off can do the body a lot of good.  You come back and within a week or two you start smashing old PRs.
  • SLEEP MORE – We all don’t get enough sleep.  If we aren’t getting enough sleep we aren’t giving our bodies enough time to recover.
  • Switch up the workouts – Hit the track for some sprints, mix in a little HIIT training, or hit Yoga for a couple of days.  These things will have some positive effects on your training, it will focus on different metabolic pathways, and it will give you the mental change of pace you need.
  • Get to a competition – Competitions of any kind can be a wake-up call that you need to get your sh&t together.  Hit a competition and find your fire.
  • Find a new training partner or an Olympic Lifting coach – Find someone with a different methodology or find someone that will push you harder than you push yourself.
  • Switch up the venue – Try working out in a new gym, take your weights outside, whatever you want to do.  Small switches can provide big psychological changes.
  • 3-5 day intensive recovery – Spend a few days on nothing but recovery.  Work on mobility and flexibility.  Get a couple deep tissue massages or active release therapy sessions.  Spend some time in the ice bath and some time in the hot tub.  Get in lots of sleep, foam rolling, and healthy eating.  You’d be shocked what this can do for you mentally and physically.
  • Teach someone else – Sometimes coaching or teaching someone else can remind you why you love the sport of Olympic lifting…you find your passion and your motivation
  • Change in programming – If you have fallen into a routine vs. more dynamic programming, you may want to have someone who knows what they are doing spruce up your training routine.

What has worked for you in terms of breaking plateaus?  Have you tried any of these items?  Leave comments below…

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Adidas PowerLift Trainer – Review

by olyhq on February 10, 2012

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Adidas
PowerLift Trainer – $90

Rating: 6/10

Summary
The PowerLift Trainer is an aesthetically pleasing, affordable shoe that is good for beginners, recreational lifters, and CrossFitters, but not an ideal shoe for Olympic Weightlifters.

Pros & Cons
PROS
Cost: First off, I want to say that I think it’s great that there is a reasonably well made and AFFORDABLE Olympic weightlifting shoe on the market.  We all love our shoes, but let’s face it, they are expensive!

Weight: This can be a Pro or a Con depending on your tastes, but these are a bit more lightweight than a shoe like the Romaleo.  Much of this weight advantage is achieved by putting a foam type material in the sole (you’ll see that ahead in the Cons section).

Appearance: Honestly, this is a good looking shoe.  It is offered in a several different color choices, and it spices up a normally less-than-fashion-forward shoe market (if that is what you are looking for).

Additional Functionality: This one is reaching a bit, but the light weight and foam sole makes the shoe slightly more functional for folks that want to be able to do a little more than just Oly Lifts in these shoes.

CONS
Materials: The shoe uses cheap synthetic leather and an EVA (foam-like) sole.  Critics of the foam sole mention the potential for compression and potential durability issues.  I have not had the shoes long enough to make a call on this, but I will personally stick with the wood sole (like the Risto) or a heavy duty TPU sole (like the Nike Romaleo)

Durability: This is only a guess at this point, time will tell…

Stability: These just don’t have the solid feel that you get out of the higher priced Olympic Lifting Shoes.  Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Fit:
The shoes fits comfortably, although I have wide feet and the width was a bit tight.  The sizing is dead on with what I wear in most other shoes (standard US sizing).  I wear a 12 in normal Adidas shoe, and the 12 fit just right on the PowerLift Trainer.

Overall:
6/10: These are good shoes for a beginner or potentially for someone who is into CrossFit and wants a lighter shoe.  It is also among the lowers price points for a reasonably well made Olympic lifting shoe.  I think most lifters will prefer the more stable feel of the market leaders (Risto/Nike/AdiStar).

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Early struggles in Olympic Lifting

January 29, 2012

For those just getting started in Olympic lifting, there is often a struggle to get your body into some of the more challenging positions that are required.  Positions like the bottom of a squat with the barbell overhead, as in the bottom of a Snatch or a position like a nice low catch on a […]

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Olympic Lifting Comparison – Sinclair Coefficients

January 22, 2012

The Sinclair Coefficient is a way in Olympic lifting that you can compare lifters in different weight classes.  This gives ranking bodies the abilities to rank all lifters vs. just ranking lifters in the same weight class. It is a bit mathematically complex as the formula is:  10^A(log^10 (x/b))^b  if x<b But thankfully it’s a […]

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Choosing an Olympic Lifting Coach

October 26, 2011

There are a number of different trainers, coaches and instructors out there. But as you see in anything, there are good certifications and bad certifications. Personal Trainers Let’s start with the bad. Now…These aren’t necessarily bad, but they are just less specific. This This first group are really just personal trainers that have been certified […]

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Risto Sports Linea Blanca – White Thunder Review

September 16, 2011

Risto Sports Linea Blanca and White Thunder – $140 (currently on sale for $119!) Rating: 10/10 Summary: The Risto Sport is really is a great weightlifting shoe.  Brief warning…I may be a little biased as these are actually my lifting shoes of choice! Pros & Cons: My experience with Risto was very positive.  It started […]

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Basic Nutrition Guide

May 7, 2011

Let’s say your workouts amount to 12 hours in a week. A week has 168 hours in it, this translates to about 7% of a week spent working out. Do you seriously think that what you do in 93% of your time has no impact how you feel, your weight, your energy, your fitness level, […]

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Nike Romaleos Review

April 28, 2011

Nike Romaleos – $189 Rating: 10/10 Summary: The Nike Romaleo really is a great weightlifting shoe. “Romaleo” is Greek for strength and the shoes hold up to that. These shoes are big and strong. These shoes were designed by Nike for the 2008 Olympic Games. Pros & Cons: When you put your feet in these […]

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Olympic Lifting for Athletes of Other Sports

April 24, 2011

Olympic lifting may be the best exercise in training for football, basketball, baseball, track & field, soccer, lacrosse, and more. Olympic lifting requires speed, strength, balance, and explosiveness that is unparalleled by any other movement. There have been several studies done that show that the Olympic lifts greatly improve vertical jump. There was even a […]

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