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Some periodization comments on 5x5 by Pendlay

Thought I'd post a collection of posts by Glenn Pendlay on how he periodizes the 5x5

there are really so damn many ways to squat, even to squat with 5 sets of 5, or 6 sets of
4, or 4 sets of 6, or any similar thing, that there is not really any one program... im
always hesitant to even write it out as a "program" becasue i dont really know what we
will be doing in 4 weeks when we start such a thing... it kind of adapts as it goes.

but there seems to be some confusion as to the pyramid version or the non-pyramid
version, so ill try to briefly explain the differences.

the EASIEST method we use for squats, and the one which rip used for beginners, is a
simple pyramid program, the weights are pyramided BOTH monday and friday... and
another leg exercise is used for wednesday, usually front squats for the young and
athletically minded, sometimes leg press for the old and feeble.

say a person tests at 200lbs for 5 reps on their initial workout. well then monday they
might do the following sets for 5 reps, 95, 125, 155, 185, 205. fairly equal jumps, ending
with a 5lb personal record. if the last set is successfull, then on friday they will go for
210 on their last set, with adjustments on the other sets to keep the jumps about even
as needed.

the average beginner can stay on this exact simple program for anywhere from 4 weeks
to 4 months, as long as they continue to improve at least 5lbs a week, most can do this
for quite a while.

when they stop improving, the first thing he does is to drop a couple of the "warmup"
sets down to one or two reps, to decrease fatigue and allow a few more personal
records on the top set... so that 200lb top set of 5 workout at this point would at this
point have the 155lb set at maybe 3 reps, and the 185lb set at one or two reps, then try
for 5 at 205.

this change usually lets people get new personal records for another 2-3 weeks,
sometimes more.

at some point, of course, this doesnt work anymore. so now we change the monday
workout to 5 sets of 5, still with heavy front squats or for some lighter back squats on
wednesday, and the same pyramid on friday, trying for one top set of 5. the 5 sets on
monday with the same weiight will be some amount less than the current personal
record for one set of 5.

usually with this raise in volume, the weights are set somewhat lighter than they were,
and people are given a few weeks to work back to their personal records, then try to go
past them, invariably they will pass them, and invariably eventually they will stall again...

at this point we usually lower the volume of training, raise the intensity, in some form we
will go with lower reps, lower amounts of sets, cut out a day of squatting, something to
allow a raising of the numbers... again, the numbers will raise for a while, then stall

a this point, another raise in volume is needed, and at this point we will go to the
program that most usually associate with the "5 by 5"... squatting 5 sets of 5 with the
same weight 3 times a week, lighter on wednesday and heavier on mon and fri. you are
all familiar with this i think, we raise the volume for 2-4 weeks, then slowly cut the
volume aned intensity of most workouts, going for a big workout every 1-2 weeks, might
be a single, a single set of 5, or even one big 5 sets of 5 workout. with people cycling
down for a big contest at thsi point we might go for lower reps and try for the big
singles.... with someone not at a place where a big peak is needed, its just cycling down
to less sets but keeping the reps at 5, and trying to make a pr on a set of 5. this can be
repeated several times over and over, but at some point you have to have a period of
lower intensity training for a while in between cycles.

i will add that often, for the people with higher goals who want to really train hard, i will
start right in with the 15 hard sets a week version, but with weights low enough that they
can endure it, and when they get in condition and get used to the volume, will then go
back and start at the normal place where rip starts right from the beginning. i find that
people who have been athletically active, who have been training on other programs,
etc, usually do well with an initial 4-8 weeks of high volume lower intensity training to get
them mentally and physically used to this sort of training, get their form changed to a
good squat, etc.

this post describes as much as a year of training for most people, with some that adapt
well it is stretched to two years.... two years from when they start their initial "pyramid"
workouts, or their initial month or so of conditioning with 15 moderate sets a week to
when they get through their first real cycle with heavy weights and 15 sets a week
cycled down to a peak.
i know this question was aimed at people who have used 5X5 and not me, but id still
like to make a couple of comments... there are so many versions of the "5X5" training
style, and they are so different. i use this type of training for the people i train all the way
from beginners to really good lifters but the program changes over time for each person.
generally it starts out in the first week of training with finding your max set of 5 and then
very simply working up to one max set two times per week trying to add weight to that
one set, with one ther workout in between that is most likely front squats. simple as this
might be, it usually works for several months and i am convinced that it is about the
fastest way for a total beginner to make progress. at some point this stops working and
we go to a slightly different version, probably the one most well known, and also
probably the one most usefull to a large number of people. 5 sets of 5 on monday with a
set weight, then lighter squats on wednesday or front squats, then on friday working up
to a max set of 5. there are some things we do here when it isnt possible to just add
weight every week, but for a lot of lifters with minor variation this keeps the squat going
up for another year or two. like everything else, it eventually stops working, and we start
to add in some more long term variation like loading and unloading. we might do 5 sets
of 5, pretty heavy, on all 3 squatting days for 3-4 weeks as a loading period, then back
off the volume for 3-4 weeks by squatting for lower reps and only 2 days per week as an
uloading period. we might add in speed work or dynamic effort work, using 5 sets of 5
on monday, fronts squats on wednesday, and dynamic effort work on friday. when a
lifter is really near the top of their genetic potential, they cant do 5 sets of 5 consistently
with heavy weight. for example, i dont think kyle gulledge could do this. hes squatted
700lbs with belt and knee wraps, so i estimate his raw squat as around 625-650lbs,
probably pretty close since he did a chain squat raw last week with about 650lbs total
weight, with a lot of that weight taking the form of hanging plates attached to the chains
that came off the ground all at once right at the sticking point, a very hard way to do it.
its normal for a lifter to be able to do 5 sets of 5 with around 82-87% of thier max squat.
85% for kyle would be 550lbs or something like that. i dont think thats something he
could benefit from doing week in and week out. hes almost superhuman, but to recover
from this weekly and still be able to train other lifts would take a cape and tights, almost
superhuman wouldnt cut it. so for a guy like this, we wouldnt use it all the time, we
would do 5 sets of 5 with lighter weights for 3-4 weeks, working up to one really heavy
workout trying to break our record, then move on to a more westside style of training,
with max effort work one day and dynamic effort work another day, much easier to
recover from if you are pushing really heavy weight.
If your doing 5 sets on monday, lighter squats on wed, and one set on friday, or
something like that, you would be trying to do your one set on friday with more weight
than you used on monday.

its important that you approach it in a systematic way, start with weights that are easy to
handle. just for example, if you are capable of doing say, 300lbs for a set of 5, you might
start with 225lbs for 5 sets of 5 on monday, 200lbs for 3 sets of 5 on wednesday, and
then 275 for one set of 5 on friday. you could then try to increase the monday and friday
weights by 10lbs 3 weeks, and the wednesday weights by 5 lbs. that would give you a
PR of 305 for 5 on week 4, and depending on the person, you might be able to get 310
or 315 for 5 on week 5. if friday of week 4 feels like you just might be able to get a PR
the next week, you might try dropping the monday workout back to 225 monday of week
5, and letting yourself recover a little more preparing for week 5 friday.

there are lots of options for the next cycle... for instance, you could choose to push the
monday workout hard and not push your single set of 5 quite so hard. a good goal here
would be to do 5 sets of 5 on monday with your previous best single set of 5. you would
then start your monday workout in week one with a weight that is say 40lbs below your
best single set of 5... keep the wednesday workout similar to the first cycle, and on
friday simply add 5 or 10lbs to mondays weight, roughly the same weight you will try for
5 sets the next monday. given steady 10lb increases, if you started with 270lbs on
monday, you should have a good chance of doing 310 for 5 sets of 5 on monday of
week 5.

options for the next cycle would be to change the number of reps... say to the same
number of sets but 3 reps... or you could run another 4-5 week cycle similar to the first
with lower numbers for the monday workout, say this time starting with 235lbs, but trying
for 320-330lbs for a single set of 5 on week 4 or 5, or you could start with lower weight
and make bigger jumps if you feel your getting tired around week 3 or 4 on the previous
cycles. starting lower and making bigger jumps takes some of the fatigue factor away.

OR... two things we have done that work really well, have been to do a cycle with
monday and wednesday the same, but take fridays workout and turn it into either 5
singles, or into a westside style DE day. If the friday workout is 5 singles, then you again
have the choice of doing the 5 singles with a weight that is say 20lbs above mondays
weight and trying to make a PR 5 sets of 5 mark at the end, or of keeping the 5 sets of 5
at a slightly lower weight than maximal, and pushing the singles up to a PR weight at
the end. If you choose the second option, you can also try decreasing the number of
singles each week by one, so that at week 5 you are going for a true max single. If you
are doing this, increasing mondays workout by 10-15lbs for the first 3 weeks, then
decreasing it by 10-15lbs a week for the last 2 weeks is a good option.

If you use the westside DE day as fridays workout, you again have several options. you
can use 6 weeks as your cycle length, and do 2 of the 3 week waves that louie likes on
friday, incorporating a higher weight single into each workout at the end of fridays DE
work, and trying for a new max single on friday, OR you can keep the DE work fairly
light, and push mondays training hard and try for a new max 5 sets of 5, or 5 sets of 3,
or whatever scheme you are doing on monday.

whatever you choose eventually, you should do it the way i initially described it for the
first cycle, and probably should follow with my second recomendation for the second
cycle. if you have never done this style of training before, keeping the weight relatively
low on monday and concentrating on a higher single set of 5 on week 4 or 5 will help
you get used to it without the strain of all out training with 5 sets of 5 when you are not
really ready for it. after a 4 or 5 week introduction, you will be ready to really push the
harder monday workout, and should be able to really make gains by doing so. going
straight back to the first cycle for your third time thru is usually the best option from what
i have found. after really pushing the monday 5 sets for a month, you should be ready to
make a much bigger single set of 5, and backing off of mondays weights a little and
pushing the single set on friday will help you realize your new potential for a big single
set. from here its anyones guess, but you should by this time be familiar enough with
how your body is responding, how tired you are getting, etc, to know what to go to for
your next cycle.
"when you get to a certain weight and workload, it is indeed tough to do it all on just 3
days... i think its really advantageous for beginners to do it on 3 days just to get in
better shape, but at some point it is good to split it up, or at least go back and forth
and switch to a split late in the cycle when the weights get really hard.

what i like to do is actually legs and back on one day, and shoulders, chest and and
triceps on the other... sounds like a LOT more work on one day than another, and it
is, and i believe this is good. all your training days should NOT be exactly the same
stress level, you should have some hard days and some easy, and i think this
accomplishes that goal.

if you do this, you can try just squatting two times a week, although i know that for
some people three squat workouts work really well and they continue to add in light
squats on one of the chest/shoulder days.

in general, what i would recomend if you do this is thye following

heavy squat day, then something like powercleans or stiff leg deadlifts and then

heavy military press, heavy close grip bench press and then maybe something light
for chest...

squats a bit lighter than monday, heavy deadlifts, heavy barbell rows, then some
other back exercise, depending on what you need

heavy bench press, lighter military press than tuesday or maybe DB militaries of
some sort, some sort of nosebreakers or other tricep exercise.

or course some of the exercises i would really question the need to change, like the
squats, militaries, benches, deadlifts, but others like the nosebreakers or pullups or
closegrip benches could bd changed if you like other similar things.
i think a really good way to do this would be to do the 3 day a week program for a
certain number of weeks, then switch to the 4 day split for a few weeks at the end
when it really gets hard and you are having trouble getting it all done. this would let
you keep going up in weights for a few extra weeks becasue of the lower frequency
and less total work in each training session... then lower the weights again (but of
course not totally back to the old levels) and start over again on the 3 day a week

a variation that i think i discussed in the post i wrote about the 5 by 5 training
program and that you could use here for squats or for any other exercise you wanted
to concentrate on would be to do 5 by 5 on one day then work to one max set of 5 on
the second day... for instance if you really wanted to specialize on militaries you
could start with militaries on tue and thur and on tue do 5 by 5 and on frir work to one
top set of 3 or 5 reps... of course the same principle applies, when you first start the
workouts with the top set of 3 or 5 start below your best set of that rep range, give
yourself 2-3 weeks to work back to your old max and then pass it.
"girth, its hard to put a percentage to it, becasue its kind of individual to the lifter, kind
of like how light to go with the wednesday workout, some need to back off more than
ohters. a couple of good rules of thumb, you should be at or near PR levels around
week 3 or 4, you should definately be trying a new PR by week 5. some people can
do it sooner than this, kind of depends on how long you have been training.

as far as the size of the jumps and how far below PR levels you should start, the
stronger you are and the longer you have been training, the lower you should start,
and therefore the bigger the jumps. 10lbs for the squat is a good rule of thumb for
many lifters. however ive seen lifters who need to start way lower and take way
bigger jumps. as ive gotten older, ive become one of them.

id say if you are squatting 350 or less for sets of 5, then 10lb jumps will be about
right, unless your weighing like 150-160lbs or something light like that and that
represents a really good squat... assuming you are 200+lbs, then the 10lb jumps
should be about right. if your squatting 500 or so for sets of 5, then 15-20lb jumps
every week might work better. if you are handling 600-700lbs in your workouts, then
you will definately need to take bigger jumps. when i was in this situation, i took
jumps of 30lbs or so each workout.

if you are in your first or second year of training, you can usually start a little closer to
your max, take smaller jumps, and be at a new PR earlier. the longer you have been
training, and the stronger you are, the lower you need to start relative to your old
max, the bigger jumps you should make, and the longer it will take you to get to new
PR levels.

does that make sense?

i should say that all this is based on a high bar olympic style squat, deep and close
stance and no wraps or suit, personally i dont even wear a belt when i do this
workout. if you are half-squatting, or squatting powerlifting style then it might need to
be significantly different.
"first off, if you are under 200lbs, and doing over 400lbs for a set of 5 on the squat,
assuming it is a true, deep, OL style squat... thats pretty strong. peoples notion of
squat numbers gets all screwed up becasue of powerlifting, and high squats. very
few, very few people can squat 500lbs all the way down with no wraps or suit. you
have to be really strong to do that. make it a half squat, and you dont hae to be that

sounds like youve done the program a few times, what i would do now would be to
raise the training volume the next time you go through it... by doing sets across on
monday and friday, instead of going up to a max set on friday. do this for 4 weeks at
the beginning of your next cycle... if you can do that and end that period with similar
or higher numbers than the monday workout of your present loading period, when
you cut the volume you should be able to add another 20-30lbs to your squat.

other changes to your next cycle should be doing 3-4 work sets with the top weight
with the rows on monday instead of just one set, and adding push presses to the
saturday workout... start the push presses with 10-20 more pounds than the military
presses, you can do them from behind the neck if you want, this might even be
better, be sure to use LOTS of leg drive, as much as you can.

do the unloading the same.

that should get you through one more cycle with some decent gains. after that, you
will have to change the workout more... probably even different rep schemes. 5 sets
of 5 is a good workout, and the program you are doing is a good one, but nothing
works forever. after 3-4 cycles through it, you should be ready for some different
trainig for a while to rest a little, then back at it.

dont get discouraged with your gains. 10lbs gained per month on the squat is good.
in 3 years, thats 360lbs gained. no one does that! maybe they do if sometime during
those 3 years they add knee wraps and a powerlifting suit, or start squatting
shallower, but not 360 honest pounds, unless they are starting out as a total

and last, i read some of your and AM's back and forth... hes right that going to a 4
day split for a while at this point would probably be good... but if you cant you cant, i
can understand that. i think you can still make some good gains on 3 days. also
about deadlifting... you dont have deadlift in the loading phase of the workout you
listed... it aint gonna kill you not to do it, but adding deadlift or stiff legged deadlift on
wednesday would probably help you, either just add it or even better do it in place of
the pullups and put the pullups on saturday... that would be ideal but then you would
have to drop the light bench on saturday or with pullups and push presses added it
would be too much. personally id be in favor of that, no benches on sat, but add push
presses and pullups, and do the stiff legged deads or the deadlifts on thur."

Here's an overview summarized in a clearer format:

Stage 1:
o Monday = 5x5 (pyramid)
o Wed. = 5x5 (20% lighter than Mon. or front squats)
o Friday = 5x5 pyramid to PR if you got all 5 reps on Monday

Stage 2:
o Same as above except reduce volume of ramping sets on Monday (do a few singles
or doubles on sets 3 & 4)

Stage 3 (increase Monday’s volume):

o Monday = 5x5 same weight (using less than single set PR)
o Wed. = no change
o Friday = 5x5 pyramid to PR
o w/ more volume, it takes a few weeks to work back up to PR
-- Programming notes from Glenn: here, you might choose to push Monday or Friday
hard for a cycle . . . e.g., build up over a few weeks to a new 5x5 PR on Monday while
making Friday a lighter day by pushing for a top set that is maybe 5-10 pounds heavier
than your Monday sets (then Monday, you’ll get 5 sets of 5 w/ Friday’s weight). Then in
the next cycle, swap it around and push Friday’s top set while making Monday’s sets
-- You can reduce Monday’s weights as you near the end of the cycle so you have more
gas to push PRs on Friday

Stage 4 (reduce volume, increase intensity by using lower reps)

-- A few ideas:
- Push 5 sets of triples or singles on Friday; keep everything else the same
- Monday, either go lighter or keep pushing for 5x5 PR . . . if you do the former, you can
reduce the number of sets on Friday by 1 each week so that by the end, you do a true
PR max single on the last Friday (in the last few weeks, you can even go lighter on
Monday so you’re ready for big PRs on Friday)
- Do Westside DE style squats on Friday . . . either keep it light & push for 5x5 PR on
Mondays or add a heavy single at the end of your DE work on Friday

Stage 5 –5x5 w/ the same weight

o Monday = 5x5 same weight
o Wed. = 5x5 same weight, but lighter than Mon.
o Fri. = 5x5 same weight
o After a few weeks of this higher volume, reduce volume and go for PRs

A Training System for Beginning Olympic Weightlifters

I believe that the most important thing to explain about any training system isn’t what it
is, but, what it isn’t. I do not know of any coach that can provide a generic program that
is ideal for a lifter that is unknown to him or her. So this is certainly not a system that I
expect to be followed rep for rep and set for set for weeks, months, or years.
Instead, it is a template that provides the beginner athlete or young coach with a
reasonable and proven way to structure training. It is also a program that can indeed be
followed in detail until the athlete or coach see a reason to individualize, or in other
situations, gain the experience and confidence to individualize training successfully.

Step 1
The first step is to choose the basic workout template and a weekly plan of exercises. I
believe that for beginning athletes training 3 days a week (3 is what we recommend) a
snatching exercise, a cleaning exercise, a jerking exercise, and a form of squatting
should be done every workout. In beginners it is also important to develop overall
athletic ability, build the conditioning level of the athlete, and prehab to prevent future
injuries. I like to use a series of complexes (several exercises performed in a circuit
fashion) at the end of the workout to accomplish this. Here is how I suggest laying out
the workout.
Exercise 1 snatching exercise
Exercise 2 clean and jerk exercise
Exercise 3 squatting movement
Exercise 4 complexes
For the weekly and monthly plan, I recommend laying out a repeating 2 week cycle of
exercises. For beginners, the competitive exercises are alternated so that the athlete
spends about half his time doing the actual competitive exercise and about half doing a
variation. It is important to do the actual competitive lift as required in competition often,
but many times variations can reinforce good technique. For instance snatches from
the hang can help teach staying over the bar or reinforce a good second pull position,
while doing a clean pull or two followed by a clean can help discourage premature arm
pulling. Back squats are done twice as often as front squats, because they have a
larger affect on general strength than front squats, which is important for beginners, and
because front squats are already incorporated in the cleans being done 3 days a week.
Pressing exercises are not specifically mentioned, because if they are needed, they are
used as a jerk variation. Complexes are a way to include a variety of different
movements that although they are not major exercises, can still aid in developing a
young athlete. Complexes include plyometric exercises like box jumps or long jumps,
abdominal and lower back exercises like reverse hypers and planks, conditioning
exercises like high rep kettlebell snatches or swings, and prehab exercises like band
work for the shoulder joint.
Workout 1 Workout 2
Workout 3
Snatch Snatch variation Snatch
Clean variation clean and jerk clean
Jerk variation Front squat Jerk
Back squat complex 1 Back
Complex complex 2

Workout 4 Workout 5
Workout 6
Snatch variation Snatch Snatch
Clean and Jerk Clean variation Clean
and jerk
Back squat Jerk variation Back
Complex 1 Front squat
complex 1
Complex 2 complex
complex 2

Keep in mind that this specific template may need modification for some lifters. A lifter
may have a lot of trouble with the rack position in the clean, and therefore leave out the
front squat until the flexibility to do meaningful weight has been achieved. A lifter might
lack the ability to do a full snatch, and have to rely on various snatch variations for some
time before alternating back and forth between the full lift and variations is achieved.
But this template, or one very similar, should be worked toward.
​Step 2
Next we will add in the specific snatch, clean, and jerk variations. Keep in mind that the
level of individualization increases as we go along in the process. EVERY BEGINNER
should incorporate a snatching exercise, a cleaning exercise, a jerking exercise, a
squatting exercise, and at least one complex of some sort into every workout. Most
beginners would be well served by following the the weekly plan as it has been laid out,
however, there are definitely those that might not be able to do this. In this case, the
ability to do so should be worked toward. But when we come to specific exercises then
the sets and reps of each workout, some individuality is ok and even desired. I will lay
out a basic plan, for a generic athlete with neither amazing nor poor abilities for any
physical quality. A very average young man or woman.
Workout 1 Workout 2
Workout 3
Snatch Sn. Pull + H. Sn (knee)
C. pull + Clean (knee) clean and jerk C. pull + H. Clean
Push press or push jerk Front squat Neck
Back squat complex 1 Back
Complex complex 2
Workout 4 Workout 5
Workout 6
Sn. Pull + H. Sn. (hip) Snatch H. Sn.(hip) + H.
Clean and Jerk Clean (hip) + H. Clean (knee) Clean and
Back squat Bench Press or Military Press Back
Complex 1 Front squat
complex 1
Complex 2 complex
complex 2

The variations for the competitive exercises are all chosen for specific purposes. On
the snatch and clean, we do the exercise from the hang directly below the knee and at
the hip (second pull position) because these are the two most important positions in the
pull, and starting lifts from these positions allows beginners to “feel” the correct position
more than they can during a full lift. Lifts from these positions allow correction from a
coach, and encourage the development of good technique. We use pulls immedietly
prior to a lift from the hang to discourage one of the most prevelant beginners mistakes,
premature elbow bend.

For the Jerk variations, we start with the Neck jerk. This exercise encourages a correct
dip and drive (on the heels), and a correct bar placement at lockout (behind the head).
The Push press is used for two reasons. One is that it is a very good upper body
strength exercise. The second is that if done correctly, it is excellent for teaching both a
correct dip and drive, and a correct lock out position. It is easier to concentrate on the
dip and drive when the weight is lighter and the movement less complicated, and an
athlete who finds it difficult to push the bar behind the ears on an fast exercise like the
jerk often finds it much easier when the lockout occurs slower like on the push press.

Unlike the snatch and clean variations, the Jerk variations contain a choice, the choice
between Bench Press and Military Press. These two exercises strengthen the elbow
and shoulder, and are used for beginners primarily to build enough strength and muscle
to prevent injury to these joints. The choice between them is simply made. If an athlete
has trouble getting the bar behind his or her head at the lockout of the jerk, or displays
shoulder flexibility problems, do the military press. And emphasize pushing the bar
behind the head at lockout. If not, Bench Press. Simple as that.

Step 3
Adding in the sets and reps is the next step. For the technical exercises (snatch, clean,
and jerk variations) choosing your reps range to maximize strength gain is not as
important as choosing to maximize technical proficiency. For the first few months of
training a lifter will get stronger no matter how many reps they do, within reason. I have
found that a mix of reps from 1-3 per set works best when building technical proficiency
in a beginner. It is important to learn to make the first rep your best and make it correct,
after all, the first rep is the only one you do in competition. So no program should ever
get away from doing at least some singles. However, it’s very normal for a beginner,
when using a light or medium weight to actually see technique improve on the second
and even third reps. This is because lack of technical proficiency keeps the weight from
being of a quantity that would lead to any significant fatigue after only one or two reps,
and the athlete is receiving feedback from both proprioception and a if available a
coaches cue’s. This often leads to errors corrected on the second or even third rep.

For the technical exercises (snatch, clean, or jerk related), weight is only roughly
planned before the workout. If the program calls for 5 sets of 2, and your best ever set
of 2 is 100kg, but you know you can do consistent sets with 90kg, then as long as
warm-ups go well, start with 85-90kg, raise the weight on subsequent sets if possible.
The weight for 5 sets might look like this: 80, 80, 85, 90, 80. In this situation the lifter
did not have his best day. He felt tired and shaky during warm-ups, and opted to start
low. After two sets he thought he could move up, and did, to 85 then to 90, but 90 was
shaky, maybe he even missed one rep, so he returned to 80 for his final set. Or, the
workout could have gone like this: 90, 95, 97, 101, 101. In this example, our lifter felt
great during warmups, started high, and added weight each set right up to a PR, did a
great first rep with 101, then barely missed the second. It was close enough that he
tried again on his last weight and made both reps. I think you get the idea. Always
attempt to work as heavy as possible, but no heavier than a weight that you have
consistently good form using.

It is easy to get carried away adding weight and ruin the position or tempo of your lifts,
it is also easy to be too cautious, and not try hard enough to add weight to the bar. To
minimize mistakes in either direction, I recommend the following: After each exercise,
think about how many lifts you were happy with, and demonstrated good position and
tempo with, and how many you either missed outright, or demonstrated poor technique
with. Out of every 10 lifts, 7 or 8 should be good lifts. 2-3 can be misses or lifts you are
less than happy with. For a beginner, if you consistently do 10 out of 10 perfectly, you
could probably stand to push the weight up a little harder. If you consistently do 5 good
lifts against 5 bad ones, you probably need to back off a bit.
Strength exercises are done for slightly higher reps, because they have less skill
component, and at this stage in training we are usually more concerned with building
some muscle tissue than maximizing neural efficiency. The planning for strength
exercises also works little differently. Because of a lesser skill component, strength
gain is more linear. Squatting, Front squatting, push pressing, and military/bench
pressing should be started with very conservative weights, and the weights should be
slowly increased each workout in a linear fashion. Most beginners, if they start
conservatively enough and progress 5kg per workout on the squat and front squat, and
2kg per workout on the pressing exercises, should be able to progress for several
months without interruption. If this is not successful, “reset” the weight by lowering it
between 10 and 20 percent, and starting the linear progression over again. You can
also lower the pace of progression when you feel like you are getting close to a stall. If
this system is correctly applied, it should keep gains coming for the first 3-6 months of

Workout 1 Workout 2
Workout 3
Snatch Sn. Pull + H. Sn (knee)
x 1 x 10 (2+1) x 5 x2x

C. pull +H. Clean (knee) clean and jerk C. pull + H. Clean

(2 + 1) x 5 x 1 x 10 (1 +
1) x 5

Push press Front squat Neck

x 5x3 x3x3 x2x

Back squat complex 1 Back

x5x3 complex 2 x5x


Workout 4 Workout 5
Workout 6
Sn. Pull + H. Sn. (hip) Snatch H.
Sn. (hip) + H. Sn. (knee)
(2 + 1) x 5 x 1 x 10 (1 +
1) x 5

Clean and Jerk H. Clean (hip) + H. Clean (knee) Clean and

x 2x5 (1 + 1) x 5 x1
x 10

Back squat Bench Press or Military Press Back

x 5x3 x5x3 x5
Complex 1 Front squat
complex 1
Complex 2 x3x3
complex 2


So there you have it, a complete system for laying out a training program for beginning
weightlifters. In part II we will discuss individualization and overcoming common
problems and set-backs.

Individualizing the Beginners Program

While my beginners program is a good starting place, many lifters will need slight
adjustments to make it work as well as possible. I will explain the most common
reasons for individualization and how to solve them.

Ideally, the program should be done on 3 non-consecutive days per week. If training is
limited to 2 days per week, then spread each 6 workout cycle over 3 weeks instead of 2.
It is best to not increase to 4 days per week, when you are ready for 4 days per week
then the program will be changed.

There is normally little need to individualize the squatting, but sometimes a little
tweaking is in order. I recommend the back squat be done twice a week and the front
squat once. This works well for most people. In some instances, the front squat cannot
be done with acceptable form because of flexibility problems. If this is the case with a
beginner, it is perfectly acceptable to NOT front squat for a while and to just work on
flexibility in place of front squatting, or, to front squat light and primarily work on position.
If a lifter has a back squat that is out of proportion to the front squat then front squatting
twice a week and back squatting once is ok till the proper ratio is obtained. Ideally, the
front squat should be about 80-85% of the back squat, but a beginner should not
change the program unless the front squat is less than 70%. Overhead squats are
valuable for some lifters, usually those who have a difficult time holding a weight

Normally they would replace the first back squat workout of the week if they are used.
It is normal for a beginner to be able to simply add weight to the bar each workout for
several months, assuming a conservative starting point was used and the lifter is
sleeping and eating well and recovering. If recovery is a problem, try dropping the
weight on one of the back squat workouts about 10%, and keeping it about that far
below the other, heavier workout. For a lifter with a lot of previous weight training
experience, but who is new to weightlifting, the sets and reps recommended and linear
progression may not work. If this is the case, said lifter will usually have enough
experience to “program” their squats themselves, but, one should still maintain the 2
back squat and 1 front per week frequency if possible, as it is important to get used to.

The most important aspect of individualization is the individualization of the pulling

movements. There are four pulling variations included in the program, Lifting from the
hip, lifting from the knee, the full lifts, and pulling. One more can be added if needed,
and this is the power version of the lifts. In the basic program, about half the training for
the pull is done using the full lifts, the other half is split between pulls, lifts from the knee,
and lifts from the hip. For the average beginner that has gone through a 2-3 week
teaching phase, this is about the right ratio, but it’s not for everyone. For some lifters, it
will take longer to develop a feel for the positions and movements of the full lifts. In
these instances, more positional work should be included. For instance, for someone
who can do a great lift from the hip, but has trouble with the correct position below the
knee and can only do the full lift from the floor if the movement is slow with light weight
might increase the proportion of lifts from the hip and knee, and decrease the amount of
full lifts and pulls. One workout per week might even include only lifts from the hip, so
that the lifter can challenge himself without holding the weight and speed of movement
back to hold proper position. As the lifter gets better from the knee and speed and
weight achievable from the knee while holding proper position get more equal to that
achievable when the start is from the hip, then lifts from the knee become the focus,
with lifts from the hip decreased, and lifts from the floor increased. In this way, one
should work from the hip to the floor, always emphasizing the most advanced
movement that you can do well, while including and practicing the next step in the
progression. In time, one should be able to do the basic beginner program.

We normally pull twice in every two week period because it helps keep the bad habit of
pulling prematurely with the arms from ever getting started. If a lifter has problems with
premature arm pull from the beginning, pulls should be done more often, usually as part
of a complex that includes a lift from one of the 3 possible positions. For instance, in
the clean, clean pull + H. clean (hip) might be used for the majority of workouts until the
arm bend is no longer a problem with that combination. At this point, lifts from the hip
with no previous pulls can be added, as well as pulls + lifts from below the knee. In this
manner, doing pulls 5-6 times a week can gradually be dialed down to 2 times every two
weeks, and lifts from the three positions can gradually be brought into the correct ratio
as outlined in the beginners program.

The Power lifts are not normally used, but in two instances they can be added. The first
is for a lifter who has trouble cutting his or her pull. This is rare, the urge to overpull is
the norm, thus the absence of power lifts from the normal program. Power lifts
encourage an extension of the pull, which is exactly what most beginners DON’T need.
But for the rare individual who wants to cut the pull, power lifts can be added to combat
this. Normally, adding a power lift followed by a lift from one of the three start positions
starting twice a week, then moving to once a week, will effectively combat this. Some
who have a tendency to cut the pull will want to continue to include one workout per
week including the power version of the lifts, others will be “cured” fairly quickly and able
to default back to the basic program.

The second reason to include the power versions is an inability to perform the squat
version due to inadequate flexibility. This is a difficult situation, but there is nothing for it
but to just substitute power versions for all the lifts called for in the basic program and
work hard on developing the flexibility to do the full lifts. In this case, one must be very
conscious not to develop the habit of over-pulling, as is normal with those who do to
many power lifts too soon.

Of course these instructions apply to both snatch and clean, and one can often be on a
different level than another. For instance, the basic program might be no problem with
the snatch, but the clean exercises might have to be modified due to premature arm

Overhead work on the basic program is split, with half occurring as part of a clean and
jerk, and half being split between neck jerks, push press, and pressing exercises. As
has already been mentioned in the article about the basic program, the choice between
military press and bench press is simple, if you have any problem getting the bar behind
your head, military press. If not bench press. I would now add that if you are a
beginner only to Olympic lifting, with a history in other forms of the iron sports, it’s fairly
certain you would do well to drop bench presses, even if you have the ability to put the
bar behind your head easily.
Maintaining half the overhead work as part of a clean and jerk should be done if
possible. When it is not possible, working towards that ratio should be top priority. It is
rare to encounter a situation where the pressing exercises should be emphasized more
than the basic program. One such situation is a youth with a huge surplus of flexibility
and very loose joints. I have seen situations where this was the case to an extent that
made regular overhead work with significant weight dangerous. In this case, the bench
press should be emphasized and done 1 or 2 times per week while still practicing the
jerk with light weights. The other situation, equally rare, is when flexibility is so bad that
the bar cannot be moved to a finish position behind the ears with the head in a neutral
position. In this case, practicing a jerking motion will only lead to bad habits. Practice
on the military press then push press should be done, along with aggressive flexibility
training, until a lock out behind the ears can be obtained.

There are two problems in the jerk that can normally be best attacked by emphasizing
the push press. One is a problem with the dip and drive, the other is a failure to lock out
behind the head even after the ability and flexibility to do so is developed. Any
problems with arm or bar position or rhythm in the dip and drive should be addressed
primarily by the push press, as the lighter weight makes a good dip and drive much
easier to execute. The push press also has a slower lockout. The slower speed and
less complicated body movement makes concentrating on finishing with the bar behind
the head easier, and makes developing a habit of finishing behind the head much more
obtainable. The neck jerk is included in the basic program once every two weeks,
because it helps reinforce a dip and drive from the heel, helps reinforce a lockout
behind the head, and, because often one can handle more weight from the neck, can
increase confidence and strength locking out regular jerks. For lifters with a problem
going to the toes on the dip and drive, or have a problem with the hips moving
horizontally as the feet split, the neck jerk should be emphasized. The neck jerk can
also be used along with the push press in encouraging the good habit of locking the bar
behind the head.

An example of an individualized program is the following, which is written for a lifter who
learned the clean quickly, but has a lot of trouble with premature arm pull and trouble
hitting the correct second pull position in the snatch. He also has a hard time balancing
the bar and holding it overhead. His jerk is pretty good, but although he has the
flexibility to put the bar behind his head, previous time spent weight training with an
emphasis on bench pressing makes him want to push the bar forward a bit much. His
squatting is strong and he is able to do both front squats and back squat without
​ orkout 1
W Workout 2
Workout 3
Sn. Pull + H. Sn (hip) H. Sn (hip) + Snatch Sn. Pull + H. Sn
C. pull + Clean (knee) clean and jerk C. pull + H. Clean
Push press Front squat Neck
Back squat complex 1 Back
Complex complex 2

Workout 4 Workout 5
Workout 6
Sn. Pull + H. Sn. (hip) Snatch S. Pull + H. Sn.
Clean and Jerk Clean (hip) + H. Clean (knee) Clean and
OHS squat Neck Jerk Back
Complex 1 Front squat
complex 1
Complex 2 complex
complex 2

In the snatch, because of the premature arm pull and trouble hitting the second pull
position, the Snatch pull and lifts from the hip have been emphasized. The clean is left
alone, but in the jerk a session of neck jerks is added because of the tendency to push
a jerk forward. Because of the previous history of bench pressing, it made sense to
substitute the neck jerks for the pressing. Overhead squatting is added because of the
difficulty in holding a bar overhead.

Hopefully this will help you adapt the program to make it just right for you or your
Tapering for the Beginner

There are no questions in weightlifting asked more often than those about how one can
most advantageously "peak"for competition. Doing your best in competition involves
many things including making sure your training fatigue has been dissipated while
strength has been maintained, technical skill is at its highest point possible, and
confidence and mental strength is at its highest point possible.

Obviously what is done to prepare for the competition is to some extent dependant on
the training plan followed up to that point, for the purpose of this article I am assuming
that the beginner is following a program similar to the one in the article on this site titled
"A Program for Beginner Weightlifters".

For the beginner, the process of dissipating fatigue and therefore peaking usable
strength is quite simple, since there is rarely very much accumulated fatigue. A beginner
will usually be able to do this entirely during the last week before competition, there is
no need to worry much about "resting" or lightening the load for a period longer than 7
days prior to competition. Should a beginner be going into competition on a Sunday, the
following works well when it comes to "resting" and dissipating physical fatigue: Monday
before competition lift maximally on snatch, lift weights in the clean and jerk amounting
to about as much as you can do without undue chance of missing, and squat hard, but
not a really high volume. As an example, a lifter who has maximal lifts of 100kg snatch,
120kg clean and Jerk, and has been doing 3 sets of 5 in the squat 3 times a week and
improving almost every workout for the last few weeks might do the following: Snatch all
the way to maximum, maybe even trying 101 if it seems possible. Clean and jerk to
115kg, a weight you know you will not miss but is heavy and close to maximum. Squat a
single set of 5 with a heavy weight, maybe even a new personal record for 5 reps.

Wednesday before competition, would have the athlete making 3 snatch attempts
around your planned opener, with the emphasis on MAKING all 3 attempts, and no
misses or ugly lifts. The clean and jerk training should be working up to a single lift
which should be in the neighborhood of the planned opener. Squatting should be
medium intensity but low volume. A couple of doubles in the front squat at or around
your clean and jerk max is good for many lifters… if the lifter is used to back squatting
only then working up to one reasonably heavy back squat is also a good plan.

Friday would be the last training day. A lifter might snatch up to his opener or just a few
kilos below, clean and jerk up to about 10% below his opener, and either not squat, or
at most front squat up to the opener clean and jerk.

For the lifter competing on a Saturday, the Monday training session would stay the
same, training as described in Fridays session would be done on Wednesday except
the squats would be obligatory, and on Thursday a very light session would be done,
say 60% for a couple of singles in both lifts.

For the lifter competing on a Friday, Monday would be the same except the squats
would be a heavy single or double instead of sticking with the sets of 5. Fridays training
would be done on Wednesday, but with squats prohibited. No training would be done
on Thursday.

As you can see, the last week, as compared to a normal training week as outlined in the
training program mentioned is much lower in volume with what workload there is much
more dominated by the actual competition lifts than an average week. The week starts
with Intensity as high or even higher than normal, but the intensity drops as the week
goes by.

The lower volume during the whole week and the decrease in intensity toward the end
of the week should be enough to allow the beginner plenty of rest and to enter into
competition in a fresh and rested state. The increased concentration on the actual
competitive lifts should lend as much of a short term bolstering to technical skill as is
possible, and the concentration on weights that can be done successfully and done
correctly (with the possible exception of Mondays snatches) yet are still somewhat
challenging should fill the athlete with confidence toward the end of the week.

The Training Weight

Most weightlifting programs rely at least partially on percentages to determine the

weights used in training on various days. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this,
but I believe that for many athletes, especially those at the level of novice or advanced,
percentages should not be the last word in choosing the weight to train with.
It is typical for a novice to be able to max out with say a 70kilo snatch, which is ugly and
all over the platform, but still make the lift. This same person might not be able to do 60
kilos for several sets or reps with consistently good form. 60 kilos is about 85% of 70,
and it would not be atypical for a training program to call for several doubles to be done
at 85%. Practicing with a weight like 60kg which would ensure rep after rep of bad form
would not be the best choice for this person. I believe that if 35kilos is the most they can
show consistently good technique with… then that should be the main training weight
even though it is only 50% of max! Of course, the lifter should continually attempt to
raise the weight at which he or she can show good form, and there will be periodic
attempts with higher weights and even attempts with new maximums even if they are
ugly. But there should always be more “perfect” lifts done than ugly ones, no matter how
low the weight needs to be.

An advanced lifter is at the other end of the spectrum. Let me use as an example Caleb
Ward, who has the most consistent technique of any lifter I have ever worked with.
Caleb has as a best snatch 127kg. 85% for Caleb would be 108kg. 108kg for Caleb is
so light that I really doubt there is any training effect whatsoever at that weight. Even on
his light days he works to 110 or 115kg on the snatch. Caleb has been lifting for 5
years, is in great shape, very consistent, and doing anything up to and including 90% is
about as challenging as getting out of bed in the morning. In training the snatch, Caleb
works quite consistently and regularly with 120kilos, or about 95% of his max. Holding
his training weight down because he is only supposed to hit a certain percentage would
undoubtedly decrease the training effect of his workouts.

Percentages are good guidelines, especially for average lifters who are neither novices
or advanced. However, they shouldnt be followed blindly.

The training weight part II: correct progression through the pull variations...
For a beginner, using the correct variations of the full lifts is much like using the
correct training weight. Get it right and you will make steady progress in your
technique and efficiency as a lifter, get it wrong and you will ingrain bad habits that
could haunt you the rest of your career.
It is an unfortunate reality that many people, most in fact, cannot immedietly upon
being introduced to the Olympic lifts correctly do the full competitive versions at
maximal speed with challenging weights, or even with any significant weight at all.
One of the surest ways to create hard to break bad habits is to rush through the
learning progressions too quickly. This creates bad positions at the knee, bad
positions at the start of the second pull, and often bad tempo with a pause
immedietly prior to the second pull. No matter how impatient you are, remember
that it is 10 times harder to break a bad habit than it is to create a good one from
the start.
Here are some guidelines on when you should progress to the next step in the
snatch learning progression… (note: This assumes that you are familiar with the 4
part snatch progression video series located here:​).
Do the majority of your work from the second pull position, until you can:
1) Go consistently from a standing position to a correct second pull position
immedietly and without hesitation.
2) Correctly initiate the upward movement of bar and body with the legs and hips,
and not the arms.
3) Time the catch so that the feet return to the floor at least close to the same time
as the bar is racked or caught.
When you can do these things, you can move to the below the knee position for the
majority of your work, but stay there till you can:
1) Move from a standing position to a second pull position, then to a correct below
the knee position immedietly and without hesitation or adjustment.
2) Move through the lift from the below the knee position without any slowing of the
bar or hesitation.
3) Hit the second pull position on the way up consistently
When you can do these things, you can move to the floor.
If going to the floor interferes with any of this, go back to the second pull position or
the below the knee position, practice more, then try to move back through the
Keep in mind that your ability to move forward through the teaching progression is
totally dependent on your ability to correctly execute what you are doing, not on
time. It can take 5 minutes or 5 months. But no matter, move forward when you
are ready, not before and not after.


Two Factor Theory hate to butt in here, but let me explain what i think are the important
things about these theories... given the one factor theory, which looks at physical ability
as, or course, one factor, you are left with the problem of timing workouts to correspond
to the supercompensation wave... anything sooner or later will lead to a useless

Given the two factor theory, which seperates physical fitness or prepardness and
fatigue, you see that the timing of individual workouts it is unimportant to long term
gains... in other words regardless of whether or not fatigue is or is not present, fitness
can still be increased...

what is important to note is that there is almost universal agreement amoung scientists
and athletes and coaches in all sports EXCEPT bodybuilding that the two factor theory
is correct and the single factor theory is not correct and is in fact suitable only for
beginners to follow when planning training.

it is also important to note that most athletes in most sports are experiencing some level
of constant fatigue ALWAYS, except for maybe a couple of weekends a year, when they
are peaking. training takes place daily against a backdrop of fatigue... animal,
concerning the single and dual factor training theories you asked about earlier... i dont
think the bodybuilding community has altogether ignored the latter... in fact i think that
the HST that ******* has talked about seems to be taking advantage of this principle.

basically the most real-world and practical advice i can give you concerning the dual
factor theory is this. instead of thinking of each workout as one seperate "fatigueing"
session, followed by a seperate "recovery" session of a day or two of rest... begin
thinking in terms of weeks. in other words, you have one, or two or even three weeks
which are "fatigueing" in other words you think of this time period just the same way as
some people think of one workout.

you accumulate fatigue the whole time, you never completely recover. then you have
another time period of recovery. this is another one, two or three weeks in which you
train with reduced frequency, volume, or intensity and allow recovery to take place.

personally i favor keeping intensity high, drastically lowering volume, and slightly
lowering frequency.

in any event the overall training stress is lower. so you have say two 3 week periods
which you approach like you would have approached two days, one a workout day and
one a rest day.

now, of course in programming for elite athletes it gets much more complicated than
thsi. you may also have a 6 month "overload" period, during which you have a series of
5 week periods each consisting of 3 weeks of hard work and 2 weeks of lower stress
training. then you may have another 3 or 4 month period of "recovery" consisting of 1
week of "loading" or hard work, then 1 or 2 weeks of reduced training.

all this may be superimposed upon 3 years of slightly harder overall work, in other
words slightly higher volume overall... then 1 year of slightly lower volume.

this fits into the fact that the olympics are every 4 years and athletes want to hit their
highest performance at the olympics. the greeks do 3 loading weeks followed by 1
unloading week (approx 12 workouts a week during loading, and 9 workouts a week
during unloading, also all weights are lowered by about 10kilos during the unloading
week)... these are "loading" months, then every 4th month is an "unloading" month
consisting of only 1 loading week and 3 unloading weeks. close to a big competition like
the olympics... they switch to alternating weeks, 1 loading week followed by 1 unloading

however, to actually program sets and reps... this is very individual. what is unloading to
me may be highly stressfull to you. but this is how training is programmed for the
majority of athlets in sports other than BB and powerlifting. fatigue is gradually
accumulated and then gradually disipated... i would encourage you or anyone else to
take a look at the HST training protocol... as it is the first BB specific program i have
ever seen that seems to be set up on these principles. people doing it seem to be
making gains, so i assume it is the correct volume for a majority of bbers... of course
individual adjustment is usually required with programs like this.

personally... when adjusting volume for individuals i am lucky in that i can use
testosterone/cortisol ratios from weekly blood draws and also glutamine/glutamate
ratios to assist in determining the stress level of the training for an individual athlete. this
allows me to be pretty precise in loading an athlete to his limit without crossing the line
into real overtraining... then determining the correct volume of training for the unloading
period so that recovry takes place without any detraining.

unfortunately i doubt any of you have the rescources to do this or the expertise to
interpret the data correctly if you did have access to it. HOWEVER... i do have some
"rule of thumb" guidlines... during loading, if you are capable of setting personal
records... your not loading hard enough. on the other hand, if performance falls below
85% for more than one or two workouts in a row... then you need to lighten the load.

the length of the loading period is also individual. start with one week to 10 days... after
youve gone through a couple of cycles experiment with 2 and 3 week loading periods.
very few people can handle a 3 week loading period. i know i cant. howeer the
bulgarians and greeks do, so i know some great athletes can do it, and maybe some of
you can.

as far as unloading... you should be approaching peak performance after 7-10 days of
unloading... you should have peak performance somewhere between 14 and 21 days of

you dont always want to allow peak performance. you may want to follow 2 or 3
consecutive loading cycles without every allowing complete recover during unloading, if
you are really advanced... however i dont recomend this for beginners to this type of
training... load then unload long enough to set new personal records... allow another
week or two to get good and rested then load again.

hope this helps explain how this is used in the real world... sorry but its just impossible
to get into sets and reps on a specific basis... but if you copied the 8 week squat
program i posted several times a while back this is an example of this type of training,
and its a proven and result producing program.
Bill Starr Novice Routine
Monday � Heavy Day
Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set ( add 10 rep pump sets after 8-12
weeks on program)
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 1 35% of target set 2 70% of target set 3 80% of target set 4 90% of target
set 5 target

Wednesday � Light Day

Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 5 use weight from 3rd set of Monday

Friday - Medium
Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 5 use weight 4th set of Monday

Leg extensions and leg curls 1x20 and 1x10 OR 1 set of Stiff leag dead lift each
workout 1 workset

10 reps
1 set of weighted situps

eventually this will feel like a power lifting contest so we change the basic set up:
Powerclean Heavy
Bench Medium
Squat Light

Powerclean Light
Bench Heavy
Squat Medium

Powerclean Medium
Bench Light
Squat Heavy
Program 2

Monday � Heavy Day

Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set ( add 10 rep pump sets after 8-12
weeks on program)
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 1 35% of target set 2 70% of target set 3 80% of target set 4 90% of target
set 5 target

Wednesday � Light Day

Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Incline Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set set 5 use weight from 3rd set of

Friday - Medium
Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Over head press � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set set 5 use weight from 3rd set of
set 5 use weight 4th set of Monday
Leg extensions and leg curls 1x20 and 1x10 OR 1 set of Stiff leag dead lift each
workout 1 work set 10 reps + 1 set of weighted situps
Program 3

Monday � Heavy Day

Shrugs � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 1 35% of target set 2 70% of target set 3 80% of target set 4 90% of target
set 5 target

Wednesday � Light Day

Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Incline Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set set 5 use weight from 3rd set of

Friday - Medium
Power pull � 5 sets of 5
Over head press � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set set 5 use weight from 3rd set of
set 5 use weight 4th set of Monday

Leg extensions and leg curls 1x20 and 1x10 OR 1 set of Stiff leag dead lift each
workout 1 workset

10 reps
1 set of weighted situps
Program 4

Advanced Squat routine

Monday � Heavy Day
Shrugs � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 10
set 1 35% of target set 2 70% of target set 3 80% of target set 4 90% of target
set 5 target

Wednesday � Light Day

Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Incline Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 3

Friday - Medium
Power pull � 5 sets of 5
Over head press � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Front Squat � 5 sets of 5
Leg extensions and leg curls 1x20 and 1x10 OR 1 set of Stiff leag dead lift each
workout 1 workset

10 reps Calve press 3x30

1 set of weighted situps
Program 5
Advanced off season
Power clean 6 sets 5 5 5 3 3 3
Bench press 9 sets 5 5 5 2 2 2 5 5 5 last 3 sets at the same weight
Squat 6 sets of 5

Power clean 5x5
Over head press 6x5
Dips 5 5 5 3 3 3
Calve press 3 x 30

Squat 5x5
Good morning 4x8
Barbell curl 5x5
Tricep press 2x20

Squat 5 5 5 3 3 3
Shrug 5x5
Bench press 5x8
Close grip bench press 2x8
Barbell curl 2 sets of 20
Powercleans � 5 sets of 5
Bench � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 1 35% of target set 2 70% of target set 3 80% of target set 4 90% of target
set 5 target

Dead lift � 5 sets of 5
Military � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Row � 5 sets of 5 1x10 weight from 3rd set
set 5 use weight from 3rd set of Monday

Powercleans � 5 sets 5-5-3-3-3
Bench � 5 sets 5-5-3-3-3 1x10 weight from 3rd set
Squat � 5 sets 5-5-3-3-3 1x10 weight from 3rd set

1 set of Stiff leag dead lift each workout 1 workset 10 reps

1 set of weighted situps
Advanced 5x5

set 1 35% of target, set 2 70% of target, set 3 80% of target, set 4 90% of target,
set 5 target,

pump set 80%x10

powerclean 5x5
row 1x10 at set 3 weight of power clean
bench press 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
squat 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted situp 1x10

dead lift 5x5
squat 1x10 at 3rd set weight of dead lift
shoulder press 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
row 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted sit ups 1x10

Optional May be added to work out A only 1 set of 10 repetitions

Dumb bell combination flat bench press
Leg extension
Barbell curl

The 6-3-6

bench press
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted situp 1x10

dead lift
shoulder press
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted sit ups 1x10

1 30% x 6
2 60% x 6
3 70% x 6
4 80% x 3
5 90% x 3
6 TARGET x 3
7 90% x 6
8 90% x 6
9 90% x 6

Combination 636 and 5x5

A week Work out 1
bench press
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted situp 1x10
A week workout 2
set 1 35% of target, set 2 70% of target, set 3 80% of target, set 4 90% of target,
set 5 target, pump set 80%x10
powerclean 5x5
row 1x10 at set 3 weight of power clean
bench press 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
squat 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted situp 1x10
B week workout 1
dead lift
shoulder press
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted sit ups 1x10
B week workout 2
dead lift 5x5
squat 1x10 at 3rd set weight of dead lift
shoulder press 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
row 5x5 + 1x10 at 3rd set weight
stiff leg dead lift 1x10
weighted sit ups 1x10

Order of progression for weight

add 5 pounds every week, when failure ocurrs reset as follows:
week 1 20% less than rep max
week 2 10% less than rep max
week 3 5% less than rep max
week 4 rep max
week 5 PR

week 1 75% of 1 RM
week 2 80% of 1 RM
week 3 85% of 1 RM
week 4 90% of 1 RM
week 5 95% of 1 RM
week 6 100% of 1 RM
NFL style 8 week periodized cycle
Work out A
Power Clean
Bench Press
Stiff Leg Dead Lift 1x10
Work out B
Dead Lift
Shoulder Press/ Military Press
Bent Over Rows
Stiff Leg Dead Lift 1x10
All percentages are percent of 1 RM
Week # set 1 set 2 set 3 set 4 set 5 set 6
1 25% x 10 50% x 10 55% x 10 60% x 10 65% x 10 XXXXX
2 27.5% x 10 55% x 10 60% x 10 65% x 10 70% x 10 XXXXX
3 30% x 10 60% x 10 65% x 10 70% x 10 75% x 10 XXXXX
4 25% x 5 50% x 5 60% x 5 70% x 5 80% x 5 70% x 10
5 27.5 x 5 55% x 5 65% x 5 75% x 5 85% x 5 70% x 10
6 30% x 5 60% x 5 70% x 5 80% x 5 90% x 5 70% x 10
7 25% x 3 50% x 3 65% x 3 80% x 3 95% x 3 70% x 10
8 27.5% x 3 55% x 3 70% x 3 85% x 3 100% x 3 70% x 10

A middle workout may be added as needed to bring up week points

Choose the right program for your level. A program that is to advanced for you
will do you more harm

then good. For programs that only have you lifting twice a week it does'nt mean
you sit on your butt

for 5 days, these programs where designed for performance athletes so get out
there and perform.

Cardio, plyos, sled pulls, tire flipping ect. ect.