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)

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