The Programme

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”  Mark Twain

The following program will be repeated for two weeks

1. Modified Russian Squat Cycle

It is optional but recommended that you follow the Modified Russian Squat Cycle and that you max out in singles before doing the work-sets. If you prefer to do it as a separate session that is fine.

The workout:

It is a fairly common event structure in crossfit competitions to establish a 1RM in a lift or go as heavy as possible in a complex. Unfortunately the warm-up facilities are not always that good. The space, amount of bars and plates are often insufficient but even if those elements are on point you will often have to do a good bit of waiting from finishing the warm-up until the action starts on the competition floor. If you are used to have it your way in training this can be very disruptive but there are no excuses only different scenarios; and a good athlete should be able to perform well under any circumstances.

This session is not just about lifting heavy but about lifting heavy mimicking the waiting time you can expect to experience in a competition.

The two workouts today are:

2. Find your daily max in snatch anyhow within a six minutes window.

When the time is up you have a three minutes break before going into the second workout.

3. Find your daily max in the following complex within a six minutes window: Snatch Anyhow + TnG Squat Snatch + Overhead Squat.

Rules:

You are allowed unlimited attempts within the six minutes window.

You are allowed to use the bar in the break.

In the complex you are not allowed to drop the bar to the ground before having finished the overhead squat.

The Warm-Up

Do the OHS Complex and Snatch Warm-up as usual and in a pace that gets your body warm but at the time doesn’t tire out your lower back. Build up to 70% of what you think you’ll lift in the snatch singles. When the workout starts you do a few quick, solid reps on the heaviest weight from the warm-up and then add weight. Short breaks in the beginning but make the breaks longer as needed.

Here is the added challenge: when you have finished warming up you need to take a ten minutes break where you are NOT allowed to touch a barbell whatsoever. You can put on extra clothes; you can sit in your bottom position or do a handful of burpees. You can and should do several things to stay ready in both body and mind but you are not allowed to use any external objects for that purpose.

As soon as you have finished the first workout you should start warming up for the complex by doing it three times with the same weight used in the Snatch Warm-Up and then begin to add weight.

Good luck!

 

4. Snatch Pull Cycle

It is optional but recommended that you follow the Snatch Pull Cycle. If you prefer to do it in a separate session that’s fine and could be done in combination with the squat cycle.

NB. You can find more info on the Modified Russsian Squat- and the Snatch Pull Cycle under the “Strength Cycles” rubric.

1. Modified Russian Squat Cycle

It is optional but recommended that you follow the Modified Russian Squat Cycle and that you max out in singles before doing the work-sets. If you prefer to do it as a separate session that is fine.

 

2. Narrow Grip OHS Complex

Performed with an empty barbell; two sets of five reps in the three different versions. These are: (1) down slow, up fast, without pause in the bottom position; (2) down slow, up fast but with a three second pause in the top- and bottom position; (3) 1,5’s. No pause in the bottom position but a pause in the top between reps.
Do the first set with a grip only slightly narrower than your snatch grip. Try to use a progressively narrower grip in each set. If the bar goes forward, if you bend your arms or if it actually hurts instead giving a good stretch you know that the grip was too narrow.

 

3. Front Squat Complex

Performed with an empty barbell; two sets of five reps in the three different versions. These are: (1) down slow, up fast, without pause in the bottom position; (2) down slow, up fast but with a three seconds pause in the top- and bottom position; (3) 1,5’s. No pause in the bottom position but a pause in the top between reps.
Make sure, and this is important, that you do all the reps with a full grip. The barbell has to stay in the palm of the hands and not slide out into the fingertips. You’re allowed to use the hook grip but it is not a requirement.

 

4. Front Sots Press

Three to five sets of five reps performed with an empty barbell and with clean grip. Press the barbell overhead in a controlled fashion, hold the lockout position for a couple of seconds and then lower the barbell back to the shoulders. Keep your upper body as vertical as possible and be in balance throughout the set.
Be sure not to go too deep in the bottom position if you don’t feel comfortable. Start high and gradually go lower rep for rep and set for set.

 

5. Power Clean + TnG clean + Split Jerk

5.1 Do five full complexes at the weight you would normally use for the Clean & Jerk Warm-Up.

5.2 Find your daily max in the complex.

5.3 Do three additional sets at 90%.

5.4 Do one set at 80% but double up in reps.

5.5 Do one set at 70% but triple up on reps.

1. Power Snatch, Hang Snatch, Behind The Neck Power Jerk.

1.1 Warm up by doing ten reps in the three different exercises at the same weight you normally use for the Snatch Warm-Up. You can split up the reps as you want.

1.2 Do a 30 minutes AMRAP of 5 power snatches, 5 hang snatches and 5 Behind The Neck Power Jerks at 60% of the best weight you managed to hit in the Snatch Complex on Day 1.

Focus on good technique and balance for the entire workout

1. Modified Russian Squat Cycle.

It is optional but recommended that you follow the Modified Russian Squat Cycle and that you max out in singles before doing the work-sets. If you prefer to do it as a separate session that is fine.

 

2. Jerk Cycle

It is optional but recommended that you follow the Jerk Cycle. Some people following my program only do power jerk and never split jerk in heavy CNJ. This is unusual but not wrong. You know that you belong to that category if your split jerk is rubbish AND your power jerk is on par or even better than your split jerk. If you are a “pure power jerker” you just substitute that with the split jerks outline in the Jerk Cycle.

 

3. Deadlift Cycle

It is optional but recommended that you follow the Deadlift Cycle.

NB. You can find more info on the Modified Russsian Squat-, the Jerk- and the Deadlift Cycle under the “Strength Cycles” rubric.

Squatting – front and back 

1. Follow the Modified Russian Squat Cycle.

I have designed the following squat program build on the first three weeks of the Russian Squat Program/Generator but incorporating both front squats and back squats in the same cycle.

W1: FS 6×2 reps, BS 6×3 reps, FS 6×2 reps
W2: BS 6×4 reps, FS 6×2 reps, BS 6×5 reps
W3: FS 6×2 reps, BS 6×6 reps, FS 6×2 reps
1 deload week (optional).
W1: BS 6×2 reps, FS 6×3 reps, BS 6×2 reps
W2: FS 6×4 reps, BS 6×2 reps, FS 6×5 reps
W3: BS 6×2 reps, FS 6×6 reps, BS 6×2 reps

BS: 80% of your 1RM.
FS: 80% of your 1RM

If you don’t know your 1RM you need to take a day to max out. I strongly recommend that you keep the weights conservative. It’s preferable to have the squat cycle being a bit too light rather than a bit too heavy. After completing the cycle it is not required to max out. You can simply add five kilos to your 1RM, recalculate and repeat the cycle.

Twist 1: You are allowed and encouraged to max out both before and after the six work-sets in every session. If you do so try to avoid going to failure. The max-out is not mandatory and if you feel particularly weak on any given day it is perfectly alright to focus on the work-sets.

Twist 2: If you max out you are allowed to use a belt but the six work-sets must be done without the use of belt.

Deadlifting

I have used different deadlift cycles over the years but the following is my favorite and general recommendation.

1. You deadlift once per week.
2. Straps and/or belt are not allowed.
3. You can’t be barefoot as shoes are required in competition and therefore you need to be used to that.
4. Use your strongest mix-grip for all sets.
5. Start the cycle at about 50% of your 1RM.
6. Perform one set of twenty reps and three sets of ten reps.
7. Complete a set every fifth minute or faster.
8. Increase the weight with 5-10 kilos every week.
9. When you get to the point in the cycle where the set of twenty reps is seriously challenging you switch to doing one set of ten reps instead and follow up with three additional sets of ten reps at a lighter weight (70-80%).
10. Never go to failure. Finish the cycle with the heaviest possible set of ten reps while maintaining good/decent form and then re-start the cycle with the aim of surpassing the weights of the precious cycle (both for the 20’s and 10’s).

This is what my previous deadlift cycle looked like:

Week 1: 120/20, 3×10.
Week 2: 130/20, 3×10.
Week 3: 140/20, 3×10.
Week 4: 150/20, 3×10.
Week 5: 160/20, 3×10.
Week 6: 170/20, 3×10.
Week 7: 175/20, 3×10.
Week 8: 180/20, 3×10.
Week 9: 185/20, 3×10.
Week 10: 190/10, 170/3×10.
Week 11: 200/100, 170/3×10.
Week 12: 210/10, 170/3×10.
Week 13: 215/10, 200/10, 190/10, 180/10.
Week 14: 130/20, 3×10. Aiming for 190/20 and 220/10 in this cycle!

Snatch Pulls

Week 1: 5 sets of 3 reps at the weight of your 1RM snatch.
Week 2: 5 sets of 5 reps at the weight of your 1RM snatch.
Week 3: 5 sets of 2 reps at 110% of your 1RM snatch. 3 Three additional sets of 10 reps at 80%.
Week 4: 5 sets of 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM snatch in hang snatch pulls.
Week 5: 3 sets of 5 reps at 80% of 1RM snatch in TNG snatch pulls and 3 sets of 10 reps at 70% of 1RM snatch in TNG snatch pulls.

Technical notes.

1. In the first three weeks you have to reset on the floor every time and not do TNG reps.
2. You are strongly encouraged to use straps.

Clean Pulls

Week 1: 5 sets of 3 reps at the weight of your 1RM clean.
Week 2: 5 sets of 5 reps at the weight of your 1RM clean.
Week 3: 5 sets of 2 reps at 110% of your 1RM clean. Three additional sets of 10 reps at 80% of your 1RM clean.
Week 4: 5 sets of 5 reps at 90% of your 1RM clean in clean pulls from below the knees.
Week 5: 3 sets of 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM clean in TNG clean pulls and 3 sets of 10 reps at 70% of your 1RM clean in TNG clean pulls.

Technical notes.

1. In the first three weeks you have to reset on the floor every time and not do TNG reps.
2. You are strongly encouraged to use straps.

Shoulder to Overhead

Week 1: Establish a 3RM split jerk. Three additional sets of triples at 90%.
Week 2: Establish a 2RM split jerk. Five additional sets of doubles at 90%.
Week 3: Establish a 1RM split jerk. Five additional sets of singles at 90%.
Week 4: Establish a 1RM power jerk + split jerk. Build to a daily max, then drop down in weight and build up again in two additional waves.

For me it would look like this after having warmed up:

Wave 1: 60/1+1, 80/1+1, 90/1+1, 100/1+1, 110/1+1, 120/1+1, 125/1+1, 130/1+1.
Wave 2: 100/1+1, 110/1+1, 120/1+1, 130/1+1, 132,5/1+1.
Wave 3: 100/1+1, 110/1+1, 120/1+1, 130/1+1.

Week 5: Push-press. Daily max in triples, doubles and singles. When you have maxed out in triples, I want you to drop down in weight and build up again for a daily max in doubles and then do the same when you switch to singles. Same approach as in Week 4 when you did three different waves.

Bench Press 

Use your jerk grip.

W1: 6×2 reps, 6×3 reps, 6×2 reps
W2: 6×4 reps, 6×2 reps, 6×5 reps
W3: 6×2 reps, 6×6 reps, 6×2 reps

All the work-sets are done at 80% of your 1RM. If you don’t know your 1RM you need to take a day to max out. I strongly recommend that you keep the weights conservative. It’s preferable to have the bench press cycle being a bit too light rather than a bit too heavy.

After completing the cycle it is not required to max out. You can simply add five kilos to your 1RM, recalculate and repeat the cycle. You are strongly encouraged to max out in singles before doing the work-sets in each session.