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.

 

2. 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.

 

3. Snatch warm-up f. hang

Two sets of five reps with an empty bar in A, B, C, D, E. Three seconds pause in the overhead position of the muscle snatches and the catch position in C, D and in the bottom position of the full snatch. Draw a line with chalk and make sure that you are not jumping forward. Don’t check the line as you land but when you are in the top position. First you lift then you check.

A. Snatch Pulls.

B. Muscle Snatch.

C. Power Snatch.

D. Deep Power Snatch.

E. Snatch.

 

4. Hang snatch

4.1 Find your daily max in hang snatch doubles. You are not allowed to drop the bar in between reps.

4.2 Do five additional singles at the weight of the heaviest double.

 

5. Snatch f. the ground

5.1 Do ten quick singles at the weight you would normally use for the Snatch Warm-Up from the floor.

5.2 Find you daily max in snatch singles.

5.3 Do five additional singles at 90%.

 

6. 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. 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.

 

2. 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 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 are allowed to use the hook grip but it is not a requirement.

 

3. Clean & Jerk warm-up

A. Two sets of three reps of muscle cleans w. a three second pause in the top position.

B. Two sets of three reps of power clean w. a three second pause in the catch.

C. Two sets of three reps of power clean w. a three second pause in the catch followed by a front squat of the first version (down slow, up fast, no pause in the bottom position) and after the last clean three split jerks w. a three second pause in the split..

D. Two sets of three reps of power clean w. a two second pause in the catch followed by a front squat of the first version (down slow, up fast, no pause in the bottom position) and after the last clean three split jerks w. a two second pause in the split..

E. Two sets of three reps of power clean w. a one second pause in the catch followed by a front squat of the first version (down slow, up fast, no pause in the bottom position) and after the last clean three split jerks w. one second pause in the split.

F. Two sets of three reps of power clean without the pause in the catch followed by a front squat of the first version (down slow, up fast, no pause in the bottom position) and after the last clean three split jerks w. (still) a one second pause in the split.

Technical notes:

1) The front squat always has to start directly from the catch position. You can’t stand up from the catch and then do the front squat.

2) Try to keep the hookgrip throughout the cleans. It might not be comfortable but is important to develop good front rack mobility over time. As you begin to add weight it’s not uncommon to lose the hook grip but try to maintain it for as long as possible.

3) Make sure to change the grip after the third clean going into the jerks. Maintain a solid grip on the bar by keeping it in the palm of the hand rather than letting it slip into the fingers tips but without using the hook-grip.

4) Be sure to recover the feet from the split to the parallel position from which you take the bar back down to the shoulders in only two steps. Push the front foot back first and then pull the rear foot up.

 

4. Clean & Jerk Bonanza

4.1 Find your daily max in triples.

4.2 Find your daily max in doubles.

4.3 Find your daily max in singles.

Do a full lift every time and then drop the bar down. Minimal breaks between the reps in a set. Hit at least the same weight in doubles as you did in triples and at least the same weight in singles as you did in doubles. After finishing the triples and doubles you have to drop down in weight and build up again.

You have to be a true Bulgarian and push the limit in triples!

 

5. TNG clean & paused split jerk

5.1 Do three additional singles at 90% of the heaviest single from 4.3.

5.2 Do three doubles at 80% of the heaviest single from 4.3.

5.3 Do three triples at 70% of the heaviest single from 4.3.

When you do the doubles and triples you first have to do all the cleans as touch and go and then, after the last clean, all the jerks. The jerks do not have to be done as TNG but you are required to pause in the split for three seconds on every single split jerk. If you lose your balance the WHOLE SET is no-repped.

Losing balance is as soon as you have to move a foot to adjust your position or regain balance; or by falling back after the three seconds are over instead of putting your feet together in controlled fashion.

You are, of course, allowed to fight for balance in the split – and you should!

1. 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.

 

2. Power snatch + hang power snatch.

2.1 Do five sets of two TNG power snatches + two hang power snatches at the same weight that you would normally use in the Snatch Warm-Up.

2.2 Daily max in power snatch + hang power snatch. You are not allowed to drop the bar to the ground after the first rep.

2.3 Do three additional sets at 80% but double up on reps. Do the two power snatches from the ground as TNG reps and then finish with the two hang power snatches.

 

3. Power clean + power jerk. 

3.1 Do ten quick singles at the same weight that you used in the Clean & Jerk Warm-Up on Day 2.

3.2 Find your daily max in singles.

3.3 Do five additional sets of power clean + power jerk at 90% of the heaviest single but do two reps in every set of either power clean or power jerk. Chose the weakest lift of the two.

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.