Linear periodisation is a systematic approach to structuring training programs aimed at optimising your athletic performance. It’s a time and tested method that has been widely utilised by athletes, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts across various sports and disciplines. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of linear periodisation, its principles, application, and effectiveness in achieving your Weightlifting goals.


Linear periodisation operates on the principle of gradually increasing training intensity while decreasing volume over distinct time blocks, typically spanning weeks to months. This structured approach allows athletes to systematically progress through different training phases, each targeting specific physiological adaptations.

The traditional linear periodisation model typically consists of three main phases:

  1. Phase 1: Hypertrophy/Endurance: This phase focuses on building a solid foundation of muscular endurance and hypertrophy. Workouts typically involve moderate to high repetitions with relatively lighter loads to stimulate muscle growth and enhance endurance capacity.
  • Phase 2: Strength: The strength phase emphasizes increasing maximal strength through heavier loads and lower repetitions. Workouts prioritize compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, aiming to improve neuromuscular efficiency and muscle recruitment.
  • Phase 3: Power/Peak: The power phase aims to translate strength gains into explosive power and speed. Training intensity peaks during this phase, with emphasis on plyometrics, Olympic lifts, and high-speed movements to enhance power output and athletic performance.


 Week 1-4Week 5-8Week 9-12
Session 1– Snatch 6×4 @ 60-70%
– Back Squat 3×8 @ 55-65%
– Snatch Pull 3×6 @ 90-100%
– Snatch 6×3 @ 70-80%
– Back Squat 5×4 @ 65-75%
– Snatch Pull 3×4 @ 100-110%
– Snatch 5×2@ 80-90%
– Back Squat 4×3 @80-90%
– Snatch Pull 3×2 @ 110-120%
Session 2– Clean & Jerk 6×2 @ 60-70%
– Push Press 5×5 @ 55-65%
– Clean Pull 3×6 @ 90-100%
– Clean & Jerk 6×2 @ 70-80%
– Push Press 5×4 @ 65-75% – Clean Pull 3×4 @ 100-110%
– Clean & Jerk 5×1 @80-90%
– Push Press 4×3 @ 80-90%
– Clean Pull 3×2 @ 110-120%
Session 3– Snatch 6×3 @ 70-80%
– Clean & Jerk 6×2 @ 70-80%
– Front Squat 3×8 @ 55-65%
– Snatch 5×2 @ 80-90%
– Clean & Jerk
– Front Squat 5×4 @ 65-75%
– Snatch 4×1 @ 90-100%
– Clean & Jerk 4×1 @ 90-100%
– Front Squat 4×3 @ 80-90%
Table 1 – Basic layout of a 12 week linear periodisation program specific to Olympic Weightlifting

I have put together a very basic (non goal specific) Weightlifting program, for you to visually see how linear periodisation COULD be use to formulate a goal specific program that aids Weightlifting improvement.


Linear periodisation can be applied across various sports and fitness goals, including:

  1. Strength Training: Athletes looking to improve strength and power can benefit from linear periodisation by systematically progressing through different phases to maximize gains in muscular strength and explosiveness.
  • Endurance Sports: Linear periodisation can be adapted for endurance athletes, with focus shifting from hypertrophy to endurance in the initial phases, gradually transitioning to strength and power training closer to competition season.
  • Bodybuilding: Bodybuilders often employ linear periodisation to structure their training programs, strategically targeting different muscle groups and energy systems to achieve optimal muscle growth and conditioning.
  • General Fitness: Even individuals pursuing general fitness goals can adopt linear periodisation principles to systematically progress their workouts, prevent plateaus, and achieve long-term results.


While linear periodization has been widely used and proven effective, it’s essential to consider individual differences, training experience, and specific goals when designing a periodised program. Additionally, variations such as reverse linear periodisation (increasing volume and decreasing intensity) and nonlinear periodization (periodising multiple training variables simultaneously) offer alternative approaches to suit diverse training needs.


Linear periodisation provides a structured framework for optimizing athletic performance and achieving fitness goals through systematic progression and adaptation. By strategically manipulating training variables over distinct phases, athletes can enhance muscular strength, power, and endurance while minimising the risk of overtraining and injury. Whether you’re a competitive athlete, fitness enthusiast, or someone looking to take their training to the next level, understanding and implementing linear periodisation can be a game-changer in your fitness journey.

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When an athlete struggles to support the bar overhead in the snatch, it’s common to assume insufficient strength is the primary issue and to address