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.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. Snatch warm-up f. the ground
Two sets of fivereps in A, B, C, D, E. Be sure to use a large plate, and not the small metal plates, to get the right distance from the floor. Three seconds pause in the starting position and in the in the overhead position of the muscle snatches, the catch position in C, D and in the bottom position of the full snatch.

A. Snatch Pulls.
B. Muscle Snatch.
C. Power Snatch.
D. Deep Power Snatch.
E. Snatch with a three second pause in the bottom position.

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.

Notice that this week has five reps and not three reps in the snatch warm-up. Take slightly longer breaks and be sure not to let the lower back cramp up.

Last week I introduced a three second pause in the starting position and we will continue on that theme. The idea here is to improve the mobility of the starting position. Most of us are unable to have sufficient posture in the starting position and as a result generate less power in the pull phase.

The execution is simple: you find your starting position, hold it for three seconds with as much posture as possible and start pulling without any positional corrections.
Understand that added posture of the upper body should not change the angle. Said differently: don’t lean back the upper body as you try to improve your posture in the starting position.

3. Snatch
3.1 Establish your daily 2RM.
3.2 Drop down to 80% and establish your daily 1RM.
3.3 Drop down to 80% and do ten reps with a three second pause just above the knees (lower quads), in the bottom position and in the top position of every single rep. If you take a step forward or back as you stand up – or if you forget one of the pauses – that lift is a no-rep.

4. Snatch pulls
4.1 Five sets of ten reps at the same weight as in 3.3. No TNG. Reset from the ground every time. Use straps.



1.Back squat
1.1 Establish a daily 5RM.
1.2 Drop down to 60% and do one set of ten reps and three sets of five reps.


2. Barbell Chipper
20 deadlifts
20 power cleans
20 hang cleans
20 thrusters
20 push-presses

Complete two rounds of the chipper but at two different weights.
Men: 80 in the first round and 50 in the second.
Female: 55 in the first round and 35 in the second.
Scale weights as needed.



International Max-Out Friday in Honor of Ilya Ilin!

1. Snatch
1.1 Max out in singles.

2. Clean & Jerk (squat clean + split jerk)
2.1 Max out in singles.
2.2 Drop down to 80% and do five additional sets of one clean + two split jerks.

3. Front squat
3.1 Establish your daily 5RM.
3.2 Do five additional sets of five reps at 90%.
3.3 Drop down to 70% and do one rep-out set. Go hard, it’s not a beauty contest.

– Warm-up as you prefer. Remember to post the good stuff on Instagram and feel free to tag me.



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. Sots press.
Five sets of five reps performed with an empty barbell, with snatch grip and with a three second pause overhead. It is not uncommon to have difficulties with this exercise in the beginning, especially if you are struggling with overhead mobility and/or are weak. Don’t be afraid to scale to a lighter bar.
Technical advice: Keep your upper body as vertical as possible and be in good 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.

3. Power jerk + split jerk
3.1 Establish a daily max in two power jerks + one split jerk.
3.2 Do five additional sets of two power jerks and two split jerks at 80%.

4. Deadlift
No straps, no belts. Use mix grip. I want you to use your strongest mix grip in the first set, the weakest mix grip in the second set and alternate for every rep in the third/last set.

You have to lower the barbell slowly and explode on the way up. I do not want you to smash the plates into the ground on every rep. Control is key. Make sure that your upper body is slightly tilted forward in the top and the hips neutral not opened. Forget about the hips and focus instead of stretching your legs while keep a slight upper body tilt in the top.


4.1 Ten reps, touch and go, strongest mix-grip.

4.2 Ten reps, touch and go, weakest mix-grip.

4.3 Ten reps, alternating between weakest and strongest mix grip, lift the bar and then drop it down.


– My deadlift sessions are always a part of an ongoing cycle. If this is your first time doing it you chose a weight, which you could do 20-30 reps on. You pick a light weight. Every week the weight increases with 2-10 kilos depending on the person. Late into the cycle many weeks from now when you begin to approach failure you simply restart the cycle on a light weight with the stated goal of finishing that second cycle on a heavier weight than the first.

The deeper you get into the deadlift cycle the less importance is given to the last two sets. As soon as you get to the point where it is not easy to do the three sets anymore, lets say half-way into the cycle or so, you should begin to lower the weight of set 2 and 3. In the end of the cycle it’s all about that one heavy set. You can either skip the two additional sets entirely or you can decrease the weight substantially.



Squatting update!
Fellow gangstas,

You now have two options. If you are currently following the Russian squat cycle and wish to complete it, or if you haven’t tried it out yet but wish to do so, by all means do it. If you have already experienced progress from doing one cycle, I recommend you do another. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
However, if you feel it is time to try something new I have integrated several squat workouts in the program but it is either or and not both. Following both the Russian squat cycle and the additional squat sessions would be overkill. Chose one and stick to it. There are many different ways to build up a squat and any given one works better for some people than for others.

Good luck!
(old post) Squatting in the program – taking a new approach!
Many of my students have had great results following the Russian Squat Cycle. We are going to integrate that into the program in the following way:

1. Follow the link posted below and type in the weight that you know you can back squat on any given day – especially on a bad day!

2. You now have three squat sessions to do on a weekly basis. You decide yourself when to add them but make sure that you are not squatting two days in a row. Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is a good idea.

3. As you get farther into the cycle and some of the sessions end up being very demanding, I want you to start the session with the squats and do the weightlifting – or whatever else you had on your program – afterwards. The squat cycle is numero uno priority and you need to be ready for it.