LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development)

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LTAD – Long Term Athlete Development

  • Is based on the physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive development of children and adolescents. Each stage reflects a different point in athlete development.
  • Ensures physical literacy* upon which excellence can be built
  • Builds physical literacy in all children, from early childhood to late adolescence by promoting quality daily physical activity in the schools and a common approach to developing physical abilities through community recreation and elite sport programs.
  • Recognizes the need to involve all Canadians in LTAD, including athletes with a disability.
  • Ensures that optimal training, competition, and recovery programs are provided throughout an athlete’s career. provides an optimal competition structure for the various stages of an athlete’s development.
  • Provides an optimal competition structure for the various stages of an athlete's development.
  • An impact on the entire sport continuum, including participants, parents, coaches, schools, clubs, community recreation programs, provincial sport organizations (PSOs), national sport organizations (NSOs), sport science specialists, municipalities, and several government ministries and departments (particularly but not exclusively in the portfolios of health and education) at the provincial/territorial and federal levels.
  • Integrates elite sport, community sport and recreation, scholastic sport, and physical education in schools.
  • Is ‘Made in Canada’, recognizing international best practices, research, and normative data.
  • Supports the four goals of the Canadian Sport Policy — Enhanced Participation, Enhanced Excellence, Enhanced Capacity, and Enhanced Interaction — and reflects a commitment to contribute to the achievement of these goals.
  • Promotes a healthy, physically literate nation whose citizens participate in lifelong physical activity.
  • *Physical literacy refers to competency in fundamental motor skills and fundamental sport skills.
    In Development
    The Olympic Weightlifting LTAD Model/Plan is in the process of being developed. Here are some examples of the content and what it may look like.


    What are the stages of development of a Weightlifter?

    The following is the first attempt at identifying the stages of development for a Canadian Olympic Weightlifter. This is based on international research linked to the Canadian LTAD Model. The Weightlifting LTAD Work Group is gathering further information to verify these stages. The primary consideration is the Training Age, second is developmental age and then the chronological age.

    Training AgeLTAD StageObjectivesActual Age (Men)Actual Age (Women)
    0Physical LiteracyDevelop physical literacy and determination0-100-9
    1-2Learn to TrainAcquisition of basic techniques/skills, easily manageable load progressions10-139-12
    3-5Train to TrainRefinement of skills considering changes in body proportions as a result of maturation13-1712-16
    5-8Train to CompeteAccelerated development of strength and continuous refinement of skills17-2116-20
    8-12Learn to WinContinued development of strength and stabilization of skills21-2520-25
    12+Train to WinMaximize strength and skill mastery25+25+
    ManyActive for LifeStrong for Life14+13+

    The primary focus of this chart is training age in relation to objectives outlined at each LTAD stage. Therefore chronological age is a secondary guide. i.e. basic technique acquisition could occur at the age of 10 years old or at 14 years old. Therefore this recognizes the requirement to individualize training programs based on ‘training age’ and ‘developmental age’.

    Specific program design with relation to training age considering:

    • Training Age incl. General sport training and Olympic Weightlifting age
    • Developmental age = PHV related
      • Maturation = early, average and late maturers
    • Chronological age
    • Skeletal age
    • Mental, Cognitive and Emotional age

    In the future, annual periodized plans will be developed based on ‘training age’. Those plans will have to be adapted by Weightlifting coach considering the other ‘ages’ of the athlete. Once adaptations are completed the coach will have an individualized training program specific to an athlete needs.

    Competition Structure

    Training AgeCWFHC ClassificationLTAD StageCompetitionActual Age (Men)Actual Age (Women)
    0Physical LiteracyPhysical fitness testing.

    No formal competition.
    1-2Novice ClassLearn to TrainSkills & Novice competitions10-139-12
    3-5Provincial Class I - IVTrain to TrainJuvenile & Junior Events13-1712-16
    5-8National ClassTrain to CompeteJunior, Senior & International B Events17-2116-20
    8-12International Class I - IVLearn to WinSenior, International A & B Events21-2520-25
    12+International Elite
    World Class
    World Elite
    Train to WinSenior, International A & B Events25+25+
    ManyActive for LifeMasters Competition14+13+


    Coaching Pathway

    Requirements to be an Olympic Weightlifting Coach:

    • Olympic weightlifting athlete experience is strong benefit
    • Study under an experienced Olympic Weightlifting Coach
    • Demonstrated proficiency in the development of athletes (are the athletes demonstrating proper technique)
    • A sport science degree can be an asset
    Training AgeLTAD StageNew NCCPActual Age (Men)Actual Age (Women)
    0Physical Literacy0-100-9
    1-2Learn to TrainLevel 1 / Club Coach10-139-12
    3-5Train to TrainLevel 2 / Club Coach13-1712-16
    5-8Train to CompeteLevel 3 / Provincial Coach17-2116-20
    8-12Learn to WinLevel 4 / High Performance Coach21-2520-25
    12+Train to WinLevel 5 / High Performance Coach25+25+
    ManyActive for LifeLevel 1 / Club Coach14+13+
    (Minimum certification required)

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