3.5 April 23-29

Almost done with the squats! Take the slight taper seriously, don’t jeopardize your 5 weeks of work by getting antsy and doing too much at the end of the week or this weekend. The big payoff will be when we max our back squats at the start of next week once our legs have had a chance to recover, then it’s onward into the competition cycle!

Day 1

  • 4 times:
    • Tall muscle snatch x 5
    • Maddie’s glute activation exercise (superman straddle holds 20 sec)
  • Snatch w/ pause in mid hang 70-85% x 1 x 3
  • Clean w/ pause in mid hang + jerk 70-75% x (1+1) x 3
  • Back squat 84-90% x 4 x 8
    • Beginner: back squat x 3 x 5, add 2kg from last time
  • 20 min focused gymnastic skill work
  • Mobility focus: hamstrings

Day 2

Active recovery and mobility

 

Day 3

  • 3 times:
    • Pressing snatch balance x 5
    • Single leg glute bridge x 10/leg
  • No foot snatch 40% x 1 x 5
  • No foot clean + no foot or step jerk 40% x 1 x 5
  • Back squat 89-95% x 3 x 10
    • Beginner: back squat x 3 x 5 add 2kg from last time
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: glutes

Day 4

  • High hang snatch to 75% for singles
  • Power jerk + jerk to 75% for 1+1
  • FS 80% x 2 x 2
  • BS 80% x 2, 85% x 2, 90% x 2

Day 5

  • 4 times:
    • Sotts press x 5
    • Every direction monster walks x 10
  • Snatch heavy single (3 misses allowed)
  • C&J heavy single (3 misses allowed)
  • BS 70% x 3, 75% x 3, 80% x 2
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: quads

(Back squat retesting will be Day 1 next week)

Week 3.4 April 16-22

Recover smart as the squats become unbearably hard! Do your stability and mobility exercises before and after, eat right, sleep right. Keep pushing through!

Day 1

  • 4 times:
    • Tall muscle snatch x 5
    • Maddie’s glute activation exercise (superman straddle holds 20 sec)
  • Snatch w/ pause in mid hang 78-83% x 1 x 5
  • Clean w/ pause in mid hang + jerk 78-83% x (1+1) x 5
  • Back squat 87-90% x 3 x 10
    • Beginner: back squat x 4 x 5, 6kg less than last time
  • 20 min focused gymnastic skill work
  • Mobility focus: hamstrings

Day 2

  • Snatch balance to 90% of snatch for a double
  • Power snatch to 78% for doubles
  • High hang clean singles up to 80%
  • 3 sets:
    • Front rack hold 115% of FS 30 sec
    • 100m farmer carry heavy

Day 3

  • 4 times:
    • Pressing snatch balance x 5
    • Single leg glute bridge x 10/leg
  • Snatch liftoff + snatch pull + snatch 79-85% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean liftoff + clean pull + clean 79-85% x 1 x 5
  • Back squat 74-80% x 6 x 6
    • Beginner: back squat x 4 x 5 8 kg heavier than day 1
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: glutes

Day 4

  • High hang snatch to 81% for singles
  • Power jerk + jerk to 81% for 1+1
  • 3 sets:
    • 5 uphill inchworms (feet on plates)
    • 100m double KB overhead walk

Day 5

  • 4 times:
    • Sotts press x 5
    • Every direction monster walks x 10
  • Snatch singles up to 88%
  • C&J singles up to 88%
  • Back squat 79-85% x 5 x 7
    • Beginner: back squat x 3 x 5 add 2 kg from last time
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: quads

Week 3.3 April 9-15

Keep up the good work! At the end of this week we’ll be more than halfway through the squats!

Keep putting effort into your technique as the oly lifts get a little heavier. You should have one or two things that you are actively thinking about doing on every single lift—if you tend to forget, write them down and put them right in front of where you’re lifting.

Day 1

  • 4 times:
    • Tall muscle snatch x 5
    • Maddie’s glute activation exercise (superman straddle holds 20 sec)
  • Snatch w/ pause in mid hang 75-80% x 1 x 5
  • Clean w/ pause in mid hang + jerk 75-80% x (1+1) x 5
  • Back squat 70% + 3-6 kg x 6 x 6
  • 20 min focused gymnastic skill work
  • Mobility focus: hamstrings

Day 2

  • Snatch balance to 85% of snatch for a double
  • Power snatch to 76% for doubles
  • High hang clean singles up to 76%
  • 3 sets:
    • Front rack hold 110% of FS 30 sec
    • 100m farmer carry heavy

Day 3

  • 4 times:
    • Pressing snatch balance x 5
    • Single leg glute bridge x 10/leg
  • Snatch liftoff + snatch pull + snatch 77-83% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean liftoff + clean pull + clean 77-83% x 1 x 5
  • Back squat 75% + 3-6 kg x 5 x 7
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: glutes

Day 4

  • High hang snatch to 78% for singles
  • Power jerk + jerk to 78% for 1+1
  • 3 sets:
    • 5 uphill inchworms (feet on plates)
    • 100m double KB overhead walk

Day 5

  • 4 times:
    • Sotts press x 5
    • Every direction monster walks x 10
  • Snatch singles up to 85%
  • C&J singles up to 85%
  • Back squat 80% + 3-6kg x 4 x 8
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: quads

3.2, April 2-8

Treat every set of squats with care—activate, breathe correctly. Rest time should be 2-4 min for most sets. Take the mobility work seriously, and keep the gymnastics work focused. Have fun! Soon we’ll be squatting 305kg.

 

Day 1

  • 4 times:
    • Tall muscle snatch x 5
    • Maddie’s glute activation exercise (superman straddle holds 20 sec)
  • Snatch w/ pause in mid hang 72-77% x 1 x 5
  • Clean w/ pause in mid hang + jerk 72-77% x (1+1) x 5
  • Back squat 75% x 5 x 7
    • Beginner: 5×5, add 3kg from last time
  • 20 min focused gymnastic skill work
  • Mobility focus: hamstrings

Day 2

  • Snatch balance to 80% of snatch for a double
  • Power snatch to 73% for doubles
  • High hang clean singles up to 73%
  • 3 sets:
    • Front rack hold 105% of FS 30 sec
    • 100m farmer carry heavy

Day 3

  • 4 times:
    • Pressing snatch balance x 5
    • Single leg glute bridge x 10/leg
  • Snatch liftoff + snatch pull + snatch 74-79% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean liftoff + clean pull + clean 74-79% x 1 x 5
  • Back squat 80% x 4 x 8
    • Beginner: 5×5, add 3kg from last time
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: glutes

Day 4

  • High hang snatch to 75% for singles
  • Power jerk + jerk to 75% for 1+1
  • 3 sets:
    • 5 uphill inchworms (feet on plates)
    • 100m double KB overhead walk

Day 5

  • 4 times:
    • sotts press x 5
    • every direction monster walks x 10
  • Snatch singles up to 81%
  • C&J singles up to 81%
  • Back squat 85% x 3 x 10
    • Beginner: 5×5, add 3kg from last time
  • 20 min gymnastics skill work
  • Mobility focus: quads

 

3.1, March 26-April 1—Switching Week

Welcome to the third block of this very long mesocycle! This will be our 5-week back squat strength block, after which we will do a brief switching/conditioning cycle before starting a competition cycle that will take us into the RVA Open.

While we’re destroying our legs over the next 5 weeks everyone will be asked to choose an upper body gymnastics skill to focus on—these will probably be either pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand push-ups/walking, or dips. Talk to me if you’re unsure what to choose and also to get some ideas for what you can do during the programmed “focused work” periods on squatting days.

The idea is that we’ll be doing maintenance work on our classic lifts while building up some serious lower body strength surpluses that we can ride to some big PRs when we come back to snatching and c&jing heavy.

This switching week is meant to give a quick break from the heavy stuff from the last week and give your legs a little bit of preparation before entering back squat paradise. Don’t be surprised if you are very sore by Thursday this week—hopefully you’ll feel alright by the time the squats start for real on Saturday.

Finally, for those of you who haven’t met Smolov before, this is a serious squat program. If you are a beginner (less than a year experience), you should do a classic 5×5 linear progression program instead, as noted. Everyone should probably expect to increase their calorie intake slightly during the coming weeks and pay serious attention to recovery work—I’ll have some ideas programmed.

Day 1

  • No foot snatch + snatch 70-75% x (1+1) x 5
  • No foot clean + no foot push jerk 70-75% x (1+1) x 5
  • Back squat 65% x 6 x 3, 70% x 5 x 2, 75% x 4 x 1, 80% x 3 x 1
  • 3 rounds:
    • Sandbag walking lunge 30 steps heavy as possible
    • 15 back extensions
  • Tabata air squats 🙂
  • Pick an upper body gymnastic skill to focus on while we’re squatting (probably pull-ups, hspu, or muscle ups). Determine your level—maybe try a max set, the most challenging variation you can perform, etc.

Day 2

  • Power snatch up to 70% for doubles
  • Power clean up to 70% for doubles
  • 5 rounds:
    • 20 twisting slam ball throws
    • 20-30 hollow rocks
    • 3 uphill inchworms
    • 10 single leg RDL

Day 3

  • Snatch 70-75% with pause above knee x 1 x 5
  • Jerk 70-75% with pause in dip x 1 x 5
  • 3 times:
    • Front rack hold 100% of FS 30 sec
    • 40 sandbag back squats heavy as possible
    • 100m moderate sled drag walk

Day 4

  • Rest (take 2 days with no squatting before going into Day 5)

Day 5

  • 4 rounds:
    • 5 sotts press
    • 10 every direction monster walk
  • Snatch up to 75% for singles
  • C&J up to 75% for singles
  • Back squat 70% x 6 x 6 (Smolov 1.1)
    • Beginner: do 65% x 5 x 5 instead
  • 10 minutes intensely focused work on your gymnastic skill target (see me for ideas)
  • 10 focused minutes of related strength work (see me for ideas)
  • AT LEAST 10 min mobility. Focus: Quads (mash and stretch)

Week 2.5 Mar 19-25

Power through this last heavy week! There is a heavy single day on day 5 – I’m not really expecting anyone to hit PRs in anything except the strict press because we haven’t done much heavy work with the competition lifts, but if it’s there, go for it!

Day 1

  • Strict press 80% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch pull + mid hang snatch pull + mid hang snatch 84% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean pull + clean 84% x (2+1) x 5
  • Clean DL 120% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • 5 times:
    • Barbell bicep curl x 10 moderate
    • Back rack reverse lunge moderate x 20 (10/leg)

Day 2

  • Block snatch (knee) 84% x 1 x 5
  • Press in jerk 55% x 5 x 5 (% of jerk)
  • Jerk dip + jerk 84% x (2+1) x 5
  • Quarter FS + parallel FS + FS with 33×0 on each 71% x (1+1+2) x 3
  • 4 times:
    • DB row moderate x 10/arm
    • Tricep extension moderate x 10/arm
    • Weighted plank 30 sec
    • Overhead earthquake bar walk length of gym

Day 3

  • Snatch with pause in low hang + snatch balance 86% x (1+1) x 5
  • Clean with pause in low hang + jerk 86% x (1+2) x 5
  • Snatch DL 125% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • Box squat 78% x 2 x 8 on the minute (be explosive, load glutes, don’t take feet off the ground)
  • 4 times:
    • Seated double DB or KB strict press heavy x 8
    • Split squats x 10/leg

Day 4

  • Open workout 18.5 OR:
  • Press in power snatch + press in snatch light x (3+3) x 3
  • No foot power snatch + no foot mid hang snatch 80% x (1+1) x 4
  • Press in power clean + press in clean light x (3+3) x 3
  • Power clean + power jerk 76% x (1+1) x 4
  • 5 times:
    • Incline bench moderate/heavy x 5 (heavier than last week)
    • Hip thrusts x 5 w/ 5 sec at top of last rep (heavier than last week)
    • OHS w/ earthquake bar moderate x 5
    • Sumo DL 70% (of DL) x 5

Day 5

  • Strict press heavy single
  • Snatch heavy single
  • C&J heavy single

Week 2.4, Mar 12-18 – Deload

Take this week to give your legs a rest, next week will be heavy!

Smaller athletes (and often Chinese lifters) will have a more upright chest position during the first two pulls—look at his mid hang position. This won’t be ideal for most people, but everyone should learn to be this vertical in the third pull, this fast under the bar, and this strong in the catch.

Day 1

  • Strict press 78% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch pull + mid hang snatch 75% x (1+1+1) x 4
  • Clean DL 115% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • 3 times:
    • Barbell bicep curl x 10 moderate
    • Back rack reverse lunge moderate x 20 (10/leg)

Day 2

  • High jump power snatch to 60%
  • Press in jerk 50% x 5 x 3 (% of jerk)
  • Jerk dip + jerk 75% x (2+1) x 5
  • 3 times:
    • DB row moderate x 10/arm
    • Tricep extension moderate x 10/arm
    • Weighted plank 30 sec
    • Overhead earthquake bar walk length of gym

Day 3

  • Clean with pause in low hang + jerk 75% x (1+2) x 4
  • Snatch DL 120% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • 4 times:
    • Seated double DB or KB strict press heavy x 8
    • Split squats x 10/leg

Day 4

  • Open workout 18.4 OR:
  • Press in power snatch + press in snatch light x (3+3) x 3
  • No foot power snatch + no foot mid hang snatch 70% x (1+1) x 3
  • Press in power clean + press in clean light x (3+3) x 3
  • Power clean + power jerk 70% x (1+1) x 3
  • 3 times:
    • Incline bench moderate/heavy x 5 (heavier than last week)
    • Hip thrusts x 5 w/ 5 sec at top of last rep (heavier than last week)
    • OHS w/ earthquake bar moderate x 5
    • Sumo DL 65% (of DL) x 6

Day 5

  • Strict press 80% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch 80% x 1 x 6
  • C&J 80% x 1 x 4
  • Back squat up to 85% for singles

Week 2.3 March 5-11

Next week will be a deload! Keep up the good work, may the glutes be with you.

Don’t pay attention to all the people talking about themselves at the beginning of the video, just skip to the end to see Clarence Kennedy’s power and stability at the bottom of back squats and be like that on your tempo squats.

Day 1

  • Strict press 75% x 5 x 5
  • 3 position muscle snatch up to 55%
  • Snatch pull + mid hang snatch pull + mid hang snatch 81% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean muscle under light x 3 x 3
  • Clean pull + clean 81% x (2+1) x 5
  • Clean DL 110% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • 5 times:
    • Barbell bicep curl x 10 moderate
    • Back rack reverse lunge moderate x 20 (10/leg)

Day 2

  • High jump power snatch to 60%
  • Block snatch (knee) 80% x 1 x 5
  • Press in jerk 50% x 5 x 5 (% of jerk)
  • Jerk dip + jerk 81% x (2+1) x 5
  • Quarter FS + parallel FS + FS with 33×0 on each 68% x (1+1+2) x 4
  • 4 times:
    • DB row moderate x 10/arm
    • Tricep extension moderate x 10/arm
    • Weighted plank 30 sec
    • Overhead earthquake bar walk length of gym

Day 3

  • Tall snatch heavy single (no leg drive)
  • Snatch with pause in low hang + snatch balance 83% x (1+1) x 5
  • Tall clean heavy single (no leg drive)
  • Clean with pause in low hang + jerk 83% x (1+2) x 5
  • Snatch DL 115% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • Box squat 75% x 2 x 10 on the minute (be explosive, load glutes, don’t take feet off the ground)
  • 4 times:
    • Seated double DB or KB strict press heavy x 8
    • Split squats x 10/leg

Day 4

  • Open workout 18.1 OR:
  • Press in power snatch + press in snatch light x (3+3) x 3
  • No foot power snatch + no foot mid hang snatch 76% x (1+1) x 4
  • Press in power clean + press in clean light x (3+3) x 3
  • Power clean + power jerk 76% x (1+1) x 4
  • 5 times:
    • Incline bench moderate/heavy x 5 (heavier than last week)
    • Hip thrusts x 5 w/ 5 sec at top of last rep (heavier than last week)
    • OHS w/ earthquake bar moderate x 5
    • Sumo DL 60% (of DL) x 6

Day 5

  • Strict press 78% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch 86% x 1 x 6
  • C&J 86% x 1 x 4
  • Back squat with 33×0, 76% x 3 x 4 (go lighter if you can’t keep good positions or keep tension at the bottom without bouncing)
  • 4 times:
    • Max distance standing broad jump x 5
    • Heavy double KB swings x 10 (heavier than last week)

Recommended Core / Conditioning

  • Open workouts 18.1 and/or 18.2
  • Back alley beat down abs in plank
  • Thorough warm up and 125m run fast x 5 (start at garage door, run up hill, walk back)
  • Recycle a workout from the last few weeks

Week 2.2 Feb 26-Mar 4

Good job making it through the first week! We’ll have two more heavy weeks, week 4 will be a slight deload, and week 5 will be the heaviest week.

Take care of your mobility work! Don’t wait for an injury to start trying to fix things, be proactive about stretching and mashing, especially if you are trying to work Crossfit in as well. Quads, hamstrings, lats, upper back, pecs, shoulders, calves, shins, traps, etc. all deserve some attention before and after most training sessions.

Day 1

  • Strict press 73% x 5 x 5
  • 3 position muscle snatch up to 55%
  • Snatch pull + mid hang snatch pull + mid hang snatch 78% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean muscle under light x 3 x 3
  • Clean pull + clean 78% x (2+1) x 5
  • Clean DL 105% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • 5 times:
    • Barbell bicep curl x 10 moderate
    • Back rack reverse lunge moderate x 20 (10/leg)

Day 2

  • High jump power snatch to 55%
  • Block snatch (knee) 76% x 1 x 5
  • Press in jerk 50% x 5 x 5
  • Jerk dip + jerk 78% x (2+1) x 5
  • Quarter FS + parallel FS + FS with 33×0 on each 65% x (1+1+2) x 4
  • 4 times:
    • DB row moderate x 10/arm
    • Tricep extension moderate x 10/arm
    • Weighted plank 30 sec
    • Overhead earthquake bar walk length of gym

Day 3

  • Tall snatch heavy single (no leg drive)
  • Snatch with pause in low hang + snatch balance 80% x (1+1) x 5
  • Tall clean heavy single (no leg drive)
  • Clean with pause in low hang + jerk 80% x (1+2) x 5
  • Snatch DL 110% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • Box squat 70% x 2 x 10 on the minute (be explosive, load glutes, don’t take feet off the ground)
  • 4 times:
    • Seated double DB or KB strict press heavy x 8
    • Split squats x 10/leg

Day 4

  • Open workout 18.1 OR:
  • Press in power snatch + press in snatch light x (3+3) x 3
  • No foot power snatch + no foot mid hang snatch 73% x (1+1) x 4
  • Press in power clean + press in clean light x (3+3) x 3
  • Power clean + power jerk 73% x (1+1) x 4
  • 5 times:
    • Incline bench moderate/heavy x 5 (heavier than last week)
    • Hip thrusts x 5 w/ 5 sec at top of last rep (heavier than last week)
    • OHS w/ earthquake bar moderate x 5
    • Sumo DL 60% (of DL) x 6

Day 5

  • Strict press 75% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch 83% x 1 x 6
  • C&J 83% x 1 x 4
  • Back squat with 33×0, 73% x 4 x 4 (go lighter if you can’t keep good positions or keep tension at the bottom without bouncing)
  • 4 times:
    • Max distance standing broad jump x 5
    • Heavy double KB swings x 10 (heavier than last week)

Recommended Core / Conditioning

  • 5 rounds for time: 15 GHD sit-ups, 15 back extensions, 15 cal bike
  • 3 times: 200m row sprint, rest 1 min
  • 10 min AMRAP: 20 OH DB lunges (50/35#, 10/arm), 15 wall balls, 10 pull-ups
  • Back alley beat down abs: 4 rounds of 20 sec side plank with assault and battery each side

Week 2.1, Feb 19-25 – New Mesocycle!

Welcome to our new strength mesocycle! The focus will be pulling and pressing strength, so we will be doing a lot of deadlift variations and overhead work. The idea is to build a strength surplus in these areas to pave the way for some PRs in our snatch, clean, and jerk (though we won’t be truly maxing these with the benefit of a taper for a while).

This mesocyclone will coincide with the Crossfit Open, which is always a tricky time of the year to balance different aspects of training for those of us who are still interested in Crossfit. If you do not care about the Open, it is still good to at least try the workouts, but you can treat them like recommended conditioning and fit them in where applicable (and probably skip the nastiest ones). If you are doing the Open, I would recommend lifting Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, taking Thursday off, doing the Open workout Friday instead of lifting, and doing day 5 of lifting on Saturday or Sunday.

This will be tough, but it should be fun because there are a lot of movements that we don’t often do. Manage your fatigue, and make your priority each day the quality of your positions, especially in the pulling strength work – grinding through pulls with sloppy form will not make you a better lifter. Decrease the load if quality of movement deteriorates.

Day 1

  • Strict press 70% x 5 x 5
  • 3 position muscle snatch up to 50%
  • Snatch pull + mid hang snatch pull + mid hang snatch 73% x (1+1+1) x 5
  • Clean muscle under light x 3 x 3
  • Clean pull + clean 75% x (2+1) x 5
  • Clean DL 100% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • 5 times:
    • Barbell bicep curl x 10 moderate
    • Back rack reverse lunge moderate x 20 (10/leg)

Day 2

  • High jump power snatch to 50%
  • Block snatch (knee) 73% x 1 x 5
  • Press in jerk 45% x 5 x 5 (extra credit: do with earthquake bar [kettlebells hanging off bar with bands], lighter weight)
  • Jerk dip + jerk 75% x (1+1) x 5
  • Quarter FS + parallel FS + FS with 33×0 on each 70% x (1+1+2) x 4
  • 4 times:
    • DB row moderate x 10/arm
    • Tricep extension moderate x 10/arm
    • Weighted plank 30 sec

Day 3

  • Tall snatch heavy single (no leg drive)
  • Snatch with pause in low hang + snatch balance 76% x (1+1) x 5
  • Tall clean heavy single (no leg drive)
  • Clean with pause in low hang + jerk 76% x (1+2) x 5
  • Snatch DL 100% x 1 x 18 every 20 sec (stay tight!)
  • Box squat 65% x 2 x 10 on the minute (be explosive, load glutes, don’t take feet off the ground)
  • 4 times:
    • Seated double DB or KB strict press heavy x 8
    • Split squats x 10/leg

Day 4

  • Open workout 18.1 OR:
  • Press in power snatch + press in snatch light x (3+3) x 3
  • No foot power snatch + no foot mid hang snatch 70% x (1+1) x 4
  • Press in power clean + press in clean light x (3+3) x 3
  • Power clean + power jerk 70% x (1+1) x 4
  • 5 times:
    • Incline bench moderate/heavy x 5
    • Hip thrusts x 5 w/ 5 sec at top of last rep
    • OHS w/ earthquake bar moderate x 5
    • Sumo DL 50% (of DL) x 6

Day 5

  • Strict press 70% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch 80% x 1 x 7
  • C&J 80% x 1 x 4
  • Back squat with
  • 4 times:
    • Max distance standing broad jump x 5
    • Heavy double KB swings x 10

Recommended core/conditioning:

  • Tabata shuttle slides (approx 3m side to side)
  • Back alley beat down abs: 5 sets of 15 sec on, 45 sec rest hollow body hold while a friend/enemy bounces a medicine ball off your abs
  • Reverse tabata bike for calories (10 sec on, 20 sec off, 8 rounds)
  • If you’re doing the Open, make sure to get in some skill work on any weaknesses that haven’t shown up yet!