Lets talk about Programming! (mcb272)

Progression Work – I define this as technique work that is done before any Snatch or Clean & Jerk

Volume – # of reps

Intensity – % of 1RM

Identification – The ability to identify weaknesses and adjust the program correctly

Program Basics

How long should my program be?

I like to work with 12 week programs. I write a month at a time. This allows me to not get ahead of myself and allows me to alter it if I have identified any consistent weaknesses or technique issues.

How long should my daily program be?

By trial and error, I have found that good number for monthly reps for me is anywhere between 1000 – 1300 reps per month. A rep is defined as any lift @ 70% or above. I will break these down into weeks below, but it transfers into my daily program being about 2hrs to complete. (this is from when I get my shoes on to when I leave)

What lifts should be in my program?

Over time and my own experience, I believe that best way to improve your snatch and CJ is to snatch and CJ. This means, from the floor and very few variations.

The lifts should be:

Power CJ
Power Snatch
Back Squat
Front Squat
Clean Pull/Snatch Pull
Press(or some variation)

Lets talk goals!

I believe you should have weekly, monthly, and full cycle goals.

My weekly goal is almost always to minimize misses and be as efficient as possible. My monthly goal is to be more consistent at higher intensity. My cycle goals are to be stronger, faster, and more consistent.

I no longer set # goals. For example, I don’t say « I want to snatch 120kg at the end of this cycle ». Why? My own personal obsessions towards a # leads me to disobey the program and value hitting 120kg once in a blue moon over hitting 115kg consistently. Therefore, I leave my goals ambiguous. This is simply personal preference and to be taken however you want.

So here we are, we know what lifts to do, how many to do, and we got some goals we want to achieve. Now what?

How should I structure my program?


Week 1 – Base Phase – Work with 75% – 300 Reps
Week 2 – Volume Phase – Work with 78% – 350 Reps
Week 3 – Deload – Work with 70-72% – 200 Reps
Week 4 – Peak – Work with 80-82% – 250 Reps

Total Monthly Reps: 1100

Cycle 2

Week 5 – Base Phase – Work with 78% – 300 Reps
Week 6 – Volume Phase – Work with 83% – 350 Reps
Week 7 – Deload – Work with 75% – 200 Reps
Week 8 – Peak – Work with 88% – 250 Rep

Total Monthly Reps: 1100

Cycle 3

Week 9 – Base Phase – Work with 83% – 300 Reps
Week 10 – Volume Phase – Work with 88% – 350 Reps
Week 11 – Deload – Work with 72-75% – 200 Reps
Week 12 – Peak – Work with 95%+ – 250 Rep (Adjust this week accordingly if you’re going to be competing)

Total Monthly Reps: 1100

What should my Weekly Program Look Like?

Before you start writing your program for yourself or others, ask yourself, what is the biggest thing holding you/that person back.

My personal weakness is leg strength. I have very little problems racking a clean and I can clean and jerk 99% of my front squat max. I can also snatch 84% of my clean and jerk. All of these %’s should show you that I am efficient, but severely lack strength. (I am by no means saying my technique is good btw)

Therefore my weekly program will contain 5 squat sessions and they will be done first before any other lifting.

My current squat program does not follow the cycle that I have posted above. I have found that the best one for me is this: http://www.sportivnypress.com/documents/73.html

Edit: Thanks to /u/ashlemon calculator for squat program herehttp://exrx.net/WeightTraining/RussianSquatProgramGenerator.html

Identifying the weakness is half of the battle with programing. Whatever is your weak point, do it first and drill the hell out of it.

If it’s a technique issue, ill talk about it further below in the progression section.

Weekly Workout: (example)

Day 1
Squat 70/5 75/5)x3 – 20 Reps
Snatch 70/2)x5 – 10 Reps
Power CJ – 70/2)x5 – 10 Reps
Snatch Pull – 75×3)x3 – 9 Reps

Total Reps: 49

Day 2
Squat 70/5 75/5)x3 – 20 Reps
Snatch 70/3)x4 – 12 Reps
Jerk 70/3)x3 – 9 Reps
Clean Pull 75/3)x3 – 9 Reps

Total Reps: 50

Day 3
Squat 70/5 75/5)x3 – 20 Reps
Power Snatch 70/2)x3 75/1)x5 – 11 Reps
CJ – 70/2)x3 – 75/1)x3 – 9 Reps
Snatch Pulls 75/3)x3 – 9 Reps

Total Reps: 49

Day 4 Snatch – 75/2)x6 – 12 Reps
Clean – 75/2)x6 – 12 Reps
Clean Pulls 80/2)x3 – 6 Reps
Press(or variation) 5×5 – 25 Reps

Total Reps: 55

Day 5
Squat 70/5)x3 75/5)x2 – 25 Reps
Snatch – 75/3)x4 – 12 Reps
CJ – 75/3)x4 – 12 Reps
Snatch Pulls 80/2)x3 – 6 Reps

Total Reps: 55

Weekly Reps – 258

A couple of things to point out.

I usually do a 6th day with squats to make it to the 300 rep count. This is totally up to you and your athlete to determine what amount of volume works best for you/them.This was just to show you an example of how the intensity and volume adds up over the month.

I SNATCH EVERY DAY. I cannot express how much this has helped me on my technique. Sometimes just doing the movement more often, will help you correct little things.

The distribution of repetitions by set and percentage ranges

Method #1:

Target Setting, After performing 3 to 5 warm-up sets the athlete performs repeated sets at a prescribed load (50% x 3), (60% x 3), (70% x 3)3 sets

Method #2:

American Pyramid, An increase in weight combined with a decrease in Volume (50%x5), (60%x4), (70%x3), (80%x2), (85%x1), (90%x1)

Method #3:

Segment Work, A double pyramid (80%x1),(85%x1),(90%x1),(80%x1),(85%x1),(90%x1)

Method #5:

Double Stimulation, Training both the nerve and the muscle (80%x3),(90%x1),(80%x3),(90%x1), (80%x3),(90%x1)

The use of these models will be decided upon the line of best fit as determined by the coach and the athlete. There is no magic formula for becoming a successful Advanced Weightlifter. There is only observation and implementation of proven scientific based training models.

Right now I am doing double stimulation during weeks 1,2,3, and then the American Pyramid during peak week.

Source: http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/Class_I_Weightlifter%5B1%5D%5B1%5D.docx

Progression Work

Progression work starts from the moment you pick up the barbell. There are drills that must be done that are specific to the movement that you are warming up for. Many of you probably call this « bar work » or something like that, but if we structure this, you will see amazing results. Do not under estimate the power of being warmed up properly.


Hip Pull + Hang Pull + Low hang Pull = 3 + 3 + 3 @20kg(just the bar)
Hip Pull + Hang Pull + Low hang Pull + Hang Muscle Snatch = 2+2+2+2@20kg(just the bar)
Hang Pull + Hang Muscle Snatch + Snatch Balance = 1+1+2 Musc@30kg
Hang Muscle Snatch + Snatch Balance + Snatch Press from bottom = 1 + 1 + 3 @30kg
Pull + Finish = 3 reps ( I am not really sure what to call these, basically doing a high pull, pausing at top, then finishing and dropping under into a full snatch. I do these @ 40kg) See this vid for what I am talking abouthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c493I-PMNqo

This does not take me more than 10 minutes!!


Hip Pull + Hang Pull + Low hang Pull = 3 + 3 + 3 @20kg(just the bar)
Pull + Clean Drop – 2+2 @20kg
Pull + clean drop – 1+2 @30kg

Clean drop: http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/CRRASSHHH.doc
Clean drop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cQ4_CUDYVo


Press + Push Press = 5+5 @20kg
Press + Jerk no Dip = 2 +3 @20kg
Jerk no dip = 3 @30kg
Jerk no dip = 3 @40kg

Sorry cant find a vid for the jerk no dip drill…

If your jerk is your limiting factor I recommend doing more of these at heavier weight

I would now like to open the discussion to those out there that coach or are interested in programming. I want to hear what you think what your opinions are on how you approach programming and what you think works best.

Here is a list of all the articles that I have read to form my opinions.

  1. ://www.qwa.org/Resources/docs/The-Russian-Approach-to-Planning-a-Weightlifting-Program.pdf
  2. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/CRRASSHHH.doc
  3. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/TheJerk.doc
  4. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/RealPulls.doc
  5. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/Class_I_Weightlifter%5B1%5D%5B1%5D.docx
  6. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/Supercompensation.doc
  7. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/ProgramDesign1a.doc
  8. http://www.csulb.edu/~atlastwl/Training_for_WL.pdf
  9. http://www.qwa.org/Resources/docs/Advanced%20level%204%20days%20a%20week%20for%2012%20weeks%20before%20competition.pdf
  10. http://www.eteamz.com/idahoweightlifting/files/Supercompensation.doc

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