What is the SRA principle and How Does it apply to Weightlifting

October 19, 2016


Estimated read time 2-5 Minutes



What is it?


SRA stands for Stimulus Recovery Adaption. It’s basically a fancy sports science term describing the process through which our body’s respond to training.


When we train we introduce a stimulus or stress. Our body’s then respond to this stress by making various adaptions. If our body’s respond adequately then we grow stronger and become more able to deal with the initial stress.



Too much versus too little training


If you overdo training frequency, pushing SRA too far, then you will stress your body too much, potentially leading to overtraining, a lack of progress, and even becoming weaker.


If you underdo training frequency, not pushing SRA enough, then you won’t be giving your body enough stimulus in order to optimise adaption. (Too little training = too little gainz)


Make sense so far?





Weightlifting movements, such as the Snatch, Clean & Jerk all require very little time under tension. The average movement is executed in less than a second and we drop the bar so there is no eccentric portion of the movement. This means that the overall impact of the training is fairly light in comparison to say heavy squats or deadlifts. This means that weightlifting movements have a short SRA curve and can be trained more frequently than your strength movements.


Strength based movements on the other hand tend to require more time under tension, they also involve larger weights, typically more repetitions, and they generally include eccentric movements. This means that Strength movements tend to have longer SRA curves and need to be trained less frequently than your olympic movements.



How to include this in your programme


Simply put, practice light olympic lifting frequently across your training week, but have only 2-4 heavy strength training sessions. This will allow for the development of both attributes at an optimum rate.


For example you could perform heavy olympic lifts, heavy squats and some heavy pressing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then on Tuesday and Thursday you could come into the gym and perform some light olympic technique work. That would mean you were completing 5 Olympic lifting sessions and 3 strength sessions.


Optimised training = optimised progress = Stronger quicker



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