strength training for shot put and discus

Strength Training For Shot Putters and Discus Throwers: When Less Is More

Throwing far when it matters most isn’t about luck, it’s about great programming and training so throwers learn how to peak multiple times.

Many coaches and throwers work hard…. really hard!

… but so many spend a ton of time getting strong as hell, and throwing all the time, but the overall plan doesn’t allow them to get the most out of the training.

They lift a ton, they throw far in training, but they miss throwing far when it matters most- in competition.

Throwing and lifting for maximum results has real complexity. The Key to success is simplification, but if you don’t know all the elements, its impossible to simplify.

As we come the end of what is referred to as the “preparation phase” of training in Block Periodization ( that means Off-season Training), we now begin the preseason phase for the shot put and the discus.

My ATN throwers for the last week have been focused on strength training and have just came off a speed phase. This week, most will start their new Accumulation Phase.

These are the structures of Block Periodization that I cover in our ATN course: Strength Training and Program Design for Throwers.

Here’s the thing, when we talk about creating training blocks, we need to realize that the body responds better to less stimuli, or rather adapts faster to less stimuli.


If you Lift, drill, Run, Sprint, and do Plyos, you are covering all the bases, but what’s better?  Covering all the bases at one time, or covering all the bases over a period of weeks and months?

The research and my empirical evidence show the latter.

This is essentially the crux of Block periodization.

The Entire focus of strength training for throwers in the TCR™ is the Central Nervous System (CNS)…

… and using the principles of Pavlov, less stimuli creates a faster adaptive response.

This means, you are better off with fewer exercises, or lifts done with more frequency than a lot of exercises done only once a week.

Where confusion arises is due to the influence of things like the fitness and body building industry creeping into performance training for athletes.

Where terms like “Muscle confusion” creep into the athletic training world.

But here’s the thing,

…  there is no perfect system.

But in my experience as a strength & throws coach, what is near to perfect is the principles of Block Periodization.

Essentially it boils down to this…

There is a window of time to focus on:

  • Volume to gain size and build a base: i.e. More load in the weight room/ More throwing reps
  • Intensity to gain strength: i.e Heavier weight, but a reduction in total weight room volume
  • Competition Speed. Throwing far, and working speed in the weight room. Like in the 25-55% 1RM range.

And its critical to focus on these items in block.

When you try to do too much at one time, its harder for the body to adapt and that is the opposite of athletic training. Strength Training athletes is about repetition. Repeating the athletic task over and over to perfect it. programming the body to do it.

In the Strength Training for Throwers course, I spend a solid 7.5 hours on all this.

I roll with a simple philosophy…

… Paint the big picture, then when everyone realizes all the parts of the big picture, boil it down to simple terms to train more specifically.

Understand the things that produce the biggest results and focus on those things.

When coaches and throwers begin doing their research, they begin to realize there are a ton of parts and things that can be done to be better. That usually translates to doing too much in an effort to make sure all the bases are covered.

But block periodization is about understanding how to organize and cover all the bases over a period of weeks to days, and how to do so in more simplified terms.

Each year my throwers PR on average about 4-5 times a season.

Each year over 85% of my throwers PR during the championship phase of the season.

That’s no accident… That’s done by design.

Of course, I’m a confident coach, but the organization of what to do and when, makes my success more repeatable.

The TCR™ system creates consistency in the ring, the Strength Training for Throwers program, allows you to perform at the highest level, and at the right time.

When great throwing Technique meets great lifting programming… You get big PR’s

Accumulation. Transmutation. Realization phases. These are your blocks.

Focus on the specifics goal of each block and you begin to achieve predictable results.

If you want your throwers to throw far march 1st, April 12th, and May 25th

… Block Periodization will help you create the windows for doing exactly that!

Throwing far when it matters most isn’t about luck, it’s about great programming and training so throwers learn how to peak multiple times.

So, to all ATN TCR Alpha members, be sure to log in and start setting up your program- We include sample programming Sheets In the Strength Training Course program.


If you are not yet a member of our TCR™ online program, click here to grab the Alpha Coach pack at a steep holiday discount (it’s the last BIG promotion until AFTER the 2017 season.)

As I mentioned, we just had most of our athletes go back into their Accumulation ( Volume/Size) phase.

And here are just a few clips of what the various lifts look like…

The key isn’t so much about the lifts. (obviously you must include the Olympics lifts, Snatch, Clean, Jerks), but how you create the training load over time.

That’s the real key to success.

Right Now get the ATN Online Throws Coaching System @ 50% OFF and make 2017 your best season ever!


Books I recommend on Block Periodization and sport specific training:

Block Periodization- Vladimir Issurin

Transfer of Training is Sports-  Anatoliy Bondarchuk

Throw Far,

Coach Johnson.

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