Westside Barbell- The Strongest Gym In The World

A System of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting by A.S. Medvedyev

Posted on September 27 2016

As you should know by now, the Westside system is adapted from the systematic research of the Soviet Union’s track and field and weightlifting methodologies. There was no powerlifting research when I was starting out. I soon found, however, that one does not train for a single meet, but rather trains for a long-range goal, which takes a long-term plan. For all of you ‘weightlifter only’ people out there, A System of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting is a must read.

The book is about amassing a large training plan that takes an athlete from 10 years old or younger through to adulthood. The plan addresses sport-technical mastery by introducing special training plans. From there the young sportsman goes through developmental training that becomes more demanding every two years.

Forty percent of the training is for General Physical Preparedness (GPP). One cannot just try to increase the two classical lifts; this can disrupt that weightlifter’s long-term goal. While in the early years, the work on the snatch/clean and jerk (C-J) is raised until a high level of sports mastery is achieved.

Then, even more GPP – about 20 percent – is included into the program, which is designed to increase strength by raising total volume. It takes about four years of training to reach a high level at weightlifting. Special exercises comprise a large portion of that training to build speed-strength. To improve technical work the Soviets would raise the requirement to reach master of sport. It seems that the United States has made it easier to reach a total to lift in our nationals.

Medvedyev found that in long-term training, the larger weightlifter could continue to make progress longer then the lighter lifters. That is one reason light lifters do not want to gain weight. This was found to be a mistake. The longevity can be prolonged by the advancement of new training methods and special equipment, much like the equipment at Westside Barbell.

When a lifter goes up a weight class, he or she can expect to gain an average of 30 kg. The book also states that the lifter can prolong their progress sometimes by three years or as much as six or seven years to 10 years. It takes a program that uses many special means to increase that volume in the correct intensity zones that will improve sport-technical mastery. This is done by using special programs consisting of many special exercises that are constantly rotated.

To reach the top, you must go through many stages that increase technical styles by working on a lagging muscle group while adding volume in all intensity zones in an organized plan. It does no good to have highly qualified specialists lay out a plan that cannot be implemented by a sub-par coach. Many lifters let the coach lay out a program that is mostly worthless. Bud Charniga Jr. made many books available to the coaches, and when talking to them they said they read them … but did they? I don’t think so. Many of the books by Bud say the same thing. But you must be able to absorb what you read when you are responsible for others.

Next, the conjugate system was first used on beginners in four-week programs. It was later found that a more individualized program must take place. By 1971, Medvedyev began a plan for 24 weeks of loading for the highest skilled lifters to increase tonnage with attention to selecting what special exercises to use for a certain lifter. The task was taken on by A. S. Prilepin, the junior Soviet Union coach from 1975 to 1980 and the senior national coach from 1980 to 1985.

Prilepin had found the minimum optimal and maximal amount of lifts and reps per workout that allowed the lifter to optimally use proper bar speed while maintaining correct technical skills. But a new problem surfaced … how to add volume. The answer? Special exercises for improving the squat and pulls and jerks.

Special exercises took the form of overcoming yielding combination exercises for muscle work including isometric work. This made training much better, and much more interesting while raising work capacity. This was done first at the Dynamo Club. The conjugate system allows one to work on what is needed to improve. Everyone does not have the same strengths or weaknesses. This program takes into account this fact.

One must improve year by year. The program must change to improve. This is the conjugate system. Prilepin and Medvedyev are responsible for at least 100 different weightlifting snatch and C-J exercises. This is much like my programs in my strength manual for weightlifting. Many ‘weightlifter only’ people will constantly ask me “can only weightlifters use the conjugate system?” I hope A System of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting and other books we sell that were translated by Charniga will help educate the weightlifting community.

Of course, this book covers biomechanical fundamentals of the technique of the snatch and clean. It tells the importance of doing special exercises from many positions, including standing on a raised platform. It shows the most effective special exercises for the jerk.

  • Jerk behind the head
  • Jerk from stands or pin
  • Classical C-J
  • Push jerk
  • Wide-grip jerk
  • Half jerk

You will learn what weightlifting exercises to start with and how to progress to strength exercises later. And why you must do at least 50 percent of your training aimed toward strength development. You’ll also, learn how to separate special strengths, and find out what special strengths are, including speed strength, explosive strength, slow or strength speed, and isometric strength. We all must learn to train correctly. Train like knowing what a contest max is, and a training max – and when to use each. You will learn that it is common knowledge that the key quality of a weightlifter is strength … that’s right, strength.

This shows that while speed is a must, so is being able to display a maximum effort like the Westside’s Pendulum Wave system of loading in a three-week wave. It says one should constantly vary the amount of weight lifted for optimum progress. And the importance of jumping exercises. You will learn the importance of raising the average intensity in all lifts – special and classical. This is a must to increase your total every year of your sporting career.

A.S. Medvedyev shows that by lowering the intensity, your lift will go down. He also shows that while beginners train four times a week, as you move up in training you must add more workouts. For strength and raising GPP, you should have mastered technique by now.

Learn to organize the training by first a weekly plan that turns into a monthly plan, and of course, a yearly plan that becomes a multi-year plan. Like Westside that has too many special exercises to mention, Medvedyev constantly shows countless lifts and programs to increase strength in certain portions of the body that can raise the classical lifts. To reach the top in weightlifting, it requires a large amount of strength work and a larger amount of energy.

You will find the most important exercises and how often to train. Then, don’t do worthless exercises, and above all, check to make sure your training is aimed at improving your total – and not just providing you with a program. This book has many of the answers that you have been looking for, which is the truth and not a lot of misguided information.


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