Ecuador uses the school of Medvedyev and Dr Alfredo Herrera. Though their are coaches who are trained under Vorobiev, the common theme is the goal of producing athletes with out doping. They use a carefully constructed high volume system combined with exceptional detail to nutrition and timing of nutrients, personalized to the lifter. The importance of impeccable technique is drilled into the lifters.
Ok, in laymen's terms: they are drug free and have a team of potential medal winners on the international stage.
Many of their coaches, likewise, are from Russia or Cuba. They aso have a focus on developing their own pipeline of coaching talent. For example, an Ecuadorian Coach obtained the first PhD in weightlifting from a Russian university. Just like a successful business, they are investing in their talent - athletes and coaches.
In terms of athletes, training incentives have changed over the years. A former Junior Pan Am Champion achieved a life stipend of $600 per month for LIFE for his win. Of course, this type of guaranteed stipend provides reduced economic incentive for the above average athlete to train harder and win more competitions. In effect, athletes no longer receive Life stipends for one time wins. Athletes who achieve international prestige can make $4000 per month. $4000 in Ecuador goes a long way; imagine how one could train on that!
Secondly, even developing athletes receive aid. This is important. Ideologically, we like to reward the winners-- but it takes a hell of a lot of work to become one, and supporting carefully selected athletes will help them get to that level sooner.
I'll give you a personal example. I'm 30. I trained in the training hall, and one of the coaches- who is a Professor Emeritus of weightlifting- told me I am a "dream of an athlete", have fantastic physical conditions, "can be top 3 in the world in two years", and don't worry about my age since I could compete easily until 35 or 36.
If I lived in Ecuador or any country that funds its athletes to train, I would be given the resources to focus 100% on training. Yes, there are many athletes with children and families who only train full time in such countries.
Do you think that would ever happen in the USA? Do you think I would ever get phone call saying, "ya know, since, now, two of highly respected coaches in the world say you have fantastic potential, let's fund you so you can fully develop that potential." The chance of that happening is like .1%. We don't invest enough in our athletes, and when we do, often we don't invest in the right ones. Remember its not about the battle -- the short term careers that do decently on the Pan Am/world level-- its about the war-- the long term getting someone on the Olympic podium.
Yes, this frustrates the hell out of me. You know how I'm sponsored-- it's called work 40+ hours per week.