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. the ground

Two sets of three reps 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 of all lifts and in the overhead position of the muscle snatches and 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.

 

4. Power Snatch + Snatch 

4.1 Find your daily max  in power snatch + snatch. You are not allowed to drop the bar after the power snatch but have to take it down and reset from the floor; so no TnG either. It’s very important that you try to pull the bar high and catch it high in the power snatch.

4.2 Drop down to 80% and do twenty reps for quality not for time. Alternate between doing one power snatch with a three second pause in the catch and one second in the top before dropping the bar and a full snatch with a three second pause in both bottom and top position.

If you forget to count or take a step forward or back as you stand it up in either lift it is a no rep and does not count. If you flat out fail a lift you have to do ten burpees over the bar before continuing with the next lift.

 

5. Power Clean + Power Jerk

5.1 Spend three full minutes playing around with an empty barbell. Make sure that you are warm in all vital positions; especially front rack, front squat and narrow grip overhead.

5.2 Do ten singles at the same weight you would normally use for the Clean & Jerk Warm-Up.

5.3 Find you daily max in singles.

5.4 Drop down to 80-85% and do five sets of one power clean + two power jerks.

 

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. 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 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.

 

4. 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).

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 three 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. a three 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. a three 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.

Change it for the jerks so you let go of the hook but still maintains a solid grip on the bar rather than letting it slide into the finger tips.

 

5. Clean & Jerk

5.1 Find your daily max in singles.

5.2 Drop down to 85% and do three sets of doubles. Do a full lift and then drop the bar down.

5.3 Drop down to 50% and do as many hang clusters as possible in five minutes. You can do singles or sets of multiple reps but whatever you chose you need to go HARD!!!

5.4 Take a five minutes break (and not a second more!) after finishing the five minutes of hang clusters and then do five additional minutes at the same weight but with thrusters. The goal is to get the same amount of reps. You should be really, really tired going into this last workouts but thrusters are much easier and faster than hang clusters so it’s doable to get the same amount of reps.

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. hang

Two sets of five reps on an empty bar in A, B, C, D, E. Three seconds pause in the catch position in C, D and in the bottom position of E.

A. Snatch Pulls.

B. Muscle Snatch.

C. Power Snatch.

D. Deep Power Snatch.

E. Snatch.

Draw a line with chalk and start every lift with the toes by the line. Don’t check the line as you land but when you are in the top position. If you jumped forward the lift is a no-rep. Jumping slightly back is not a problem but try to stay by the line.

It’s paramount that you find a starting position from hang, which allows you to move the most weight. When doing hang snatch in this program it is not meant as an accessory to the full snatch but is rather a goal in itself. It’s fairly common to keep the body more upright than in the full snatch and to rely more on the quads or to even do a high-hang snatch. Experiment with and stick to what seems to be working for you without regards to the full snatch.

 

3. Hang Snatch

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

 

4. Barbell Efficiency!

Five minutes on/five minutes off. Accumulate as any sets of five reps in five minutes, then rest for five minutes and continue with the next exercise until you have completed all of them. Use the same weight that you used for the Snatch Warm-Up on Day 1. The RX weight in that warm-up is 25kg for women and 40 for men. The following workout is for quality and not for time, which means that you go as hard as you can but without the technique breaking down.

4.1 TnG Power Snatch. On heavy power snatches it is emphasized to move your feet as it tends to make the transition more aggressive and fast, which is needed on heavy weight. With light barbell cycling, however, moving your feet is both unnecessary and more fatiguing. Try instead to keep your feet in the ground the whole time (you are allowed to get up on the toes) and get under the bar by bending your legs. This style is referred to as “bolt” because the feet are bolted to the ground.

4.2 TnG Hang Snatch.

4.3 TnG High Hang Power Snatch.

– In both the hang snatch and the hang power snatch it is important that you practice the “bouncing style” or “TnG from hang”, which means that you need to be in a position to start the lift as soon as the bar gets contact with the hips as you take it down. The key is to keep the upper body vertical and the legs bend as the bar comes down so you don’t have to make any positional adjustments before starting the rep.

Watching this video with Julie Abildgaard is helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDJLEno404A&index=10&list=PLIS-EgWsrJqOPfkpgeMG0RPRuf0Ttfqlw

4.4 Overhead squats. Do a snatch as the first rep and follow up with four overhead squats.

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.