4.4 May 21-27 Back off week

Doing heavy singles every day is fun, especially for those of you who are hitting multiple PRs on this cycle, but it also takes a toll. The first part of this week is a back off week with lower intensity to dial in technique again and give our legs, shoulders, and backs a slight reprieve. Starting Saturday we’ll have one more intense week followed by a real taper leading up to the RVA Open (and another retest of maxes for those not competing).

Day 1

  • Sotts press x 5 x 3
  • Snatch 80% x  1 x 5
  • Press in clean x 5 x 3
  • C&J 80% x 1 x 5

Day 2

  • Power snatch + slow OHS 75% x 1+1 x 4
  • Power clean + power jerk 75% x 1+1 x 4
  • Get 3 min total of quality hollow body hold

Day 3

  • Snatch technique primer of choice
  • Snatch 70% x 2 x 4
  • Clean technique primer of choice
  • C&J 70% x (2+1) x 4

Day 4

Rest

Day 5

  • Snatch heavy single, then 80-85-90-95% of that
  • C&J heavy single, then 80-85-90-95% of that
  • Back squat 80% x 3, 85% x 2, 90% x 2, 93% x 1, 95% x 1
  • Weighted side plank 30 sec/side x 3

4.3 May 14-20: Intensity City

Congrats to everyone who lifted in the mock meet! Everyone who went for PRs got at least one!

This week will be tough, get through it and pay special attention to recovery work. Treat days 1, 3, and 5 like competition days—warm up thoroughly, focus and attack every lift. Don’t neglect the importance of technique primers and quality light attempts before going for the heavy singles. This is the time of year when you have the green light to go heavy in the classic lifts almost every day, make the most of it! Get consistent in the 90%+ range and hit some PRs!

Next week will be a back off week.

Day 1

  • Sotts press x 5 x 3
  • Snatch 88% x 1 x 5, then 3-5 attempts at heavier singles
  • Press in clean x 5 x 3
  • C&J 88% x 1 x 4, then 2-4 attempts at heavier singles
  • Front squat 80% x 3, 85% x 3, 90% x 2 x 2
  • Back extension x 15 x 3 (weighted if possible)

Day 2

  • All EMOM: 
    • min 1-3: slow mo snatch bar to 45% for triples
    • min 4-7: no foot snatch 45-70% for doubles
    • min 7-10: power snatch + snatch balance 70-80% for 1+1
  • All EMOM:
    • min 1-3: Slow mo clean empty bar to 45% for triples
    • min 4-7: no foot clean 45-70% for doubles
    • min 7-10: power clean + front squat 70-80% for 1+1
  • Snatch pull 105% x 3, 110% x 2, 115% x 2, 120% x 2, 100% x 3 x 2
  • DB overhead walking lunge x 10/leg x 3

Day 3

  • Technique primer of choice
  • Snatch singles every 2 min, start at 80%, take 10 total attempts, add 2% each time, if you miss any go back to 80%. Heavy single attempts after finishing, off the clock, if feeling good.
  • Technique primer of choice
  • C&J singles every 3 min, start at 80%, take 6 total attempts, add 4% each time, if you miss any go back to 80%. Heavy single attempts after finishing, off the clock, if feeling good.
  • Back squat to 75% x 3, 80% x 3, 85% x 2, 90% x 1, 93% x 1
  • Side plank 30 sec x 3/side, weighted if possible

Day 4

  • Jerk technique primer of choice
  • Jerk heavy single
  • Clean pull 105% x 3, 110% x 2, 115% x 2, 120% x 2, 100% x 3 x 2
  • Split squat x 10/leg x 3

Day 5

  • Muscle snatch to 50%
  • Snatch heavy single (3 misses max), then 80-85-90-95% of that
  • Muscle clean + push press to 50%
  • C&J heavy single (3 misses max), then 85-90-95% of that
  • Front squat 80% x 2, 85% x 2, 90% x 2, 93% x 1
  • Strict T2B x 10 x 3

Week 4.2 May 7-13

Keep up the focus on technique, use every lift to get better!

Solidarity is hosting a mock meet this weekend, if you’re in town sign up here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdzzDhMcyBAO1aUHWr4IaQSj4VcEn4JwuMyEzQOBoWqbyWa3g/viewform

We’re using it as a practice meet for the RVA Open at the end of this cycle in June, so we’re training through it, but it will still be a fun opportunity to max in a competition environment!

Day 1

  • Sotts press x 5 x 3
  • Snatch 85% x 1 x 5, then 3-5 attempts at heavier singles
  • Press in clean x 5 x 3
  • C&J 85% x 1 x 4, then 2-4 attempts at heavier singles
  • Front squat 70% x 3, 80% x 3, 85% x 3 x 3

Day 2

  • All EMOM: 
    • min 1-3: slow mo snatch bar to 40% for triples
    • min 4-7: no foot snatch 40-65% for doubles
    • min 7-10: power snatch + snatch balance 65-75% for 1+1
  • All EMOM:
    • min 1-3: Slow mo clean empty bar to 40% for triples
    • min 4-7: no foot clean 40-65% for doubles
    • min 7-10: power clean + front squat 65-75% for 1+1
  • Jerk heavy single
  • Snatch pull 100% x 3, 105% x 2, 110% x 2, 115% x 2, 95% x 3 x 2
  • DB overhead walking lunge 10/side x 3

Day 3

  • Technique primer of choice
  • Snatch singles every 2 min, start at 78%, take 10 total attempts, add 2% each time, if you miss any go back to 78%
  • Technique primer of choice
  • C&J singles every 3 min, start at 78%, take 6 total attempts, add 3% each time, if you miss any go back to 78%
  • Back squat 70% x 3, 75% x 3, 80% x 3, 85% x 2, 90% x 1

Day 4

Rest/active recovery

Day 5

Solidarity Mock Meet (if not doing this, do heavy single of both lifts with a slow and thorough warm up)

Week 3.6/4.1: April 30-May 6

It’s time! I’ve given a full warmup protocol for the squats. If you’re going to the gym Monday, take the day to do some very light lifting and mobility work and come max on Tuesday during strength, it will be a high energy environment and fun because if you’ve done all the squat work you’re all but guaranteed a back squat PR.

The rest of the week is a brief deload dovetailing into the start of our competition cycle, which will culminate with the RVA Open June 9th. The start of the competition cycle means a lot more emphasis on heavy classic lifts as well as high intensity squats at much lower volume. As always, warm up thoroughly and focus on technique—if you have a habitual technique problem, write down the cue that works for you and put it in front of your platform for the whole workout.

I’m also giving the option of taking a few attempts at a heavy single any lifting day, after you’ve finished the prescribed work, if you’re feeling good. This means 2-4 extra attempts at most but no misses.

Finally, sign up for Solidarity’s mock meet next weekend! We’ll use it as a practice meet for the RVA Open in June.

Day 1

  • Monster walks, 15 min dynamic range of motion and stretching
  • 3 rounds:
    • 15 cal bike
    • 15 cal row
    • 15 back extensions
    • 15 wall balls
  • Back squat:
    • Empty bar 33×0 x 3 x 3
    • 30% 33×0 x 2 x 2
    • 45% 33×0 x 2 x 2
    • 60% 30×0 x 2
    • 70% 30×0 x 2
    • 80% x 2
    • 86% x 1
    • 92% x 1
    • 97% x 1
    • 101% x 1
    • 105% x 1
    • if desired, walkout at 111%
    • 110% x 1
  • Gymnastics warmup and “1RM” of skill (max set, or attempts at new difficulty, etc)

Day 2

  • Active recovery

Day 3

  • Snatch 80% x 1 x 5
  • C&J 80% x 1 x 4
  • FS to 80% for a double

Day 4

  • Active recovery

Day 5

  • Snatch technique primer of choice
  • Snatch singles every 2 min, start at 75%, take 10 total attempts, add 2% each time, if you miss any go back to 75% and build back up
  • C&J technique primer of choice
  • C&J singles every 2 min, start at 75%, take 10 total attempts, add 2% each time, if you miss any go back to 75% and build back up
  • Back squat 75% x 3, 80% x 3, 85% x 3 x 3

Recommended Conditioning

  • Row 30 sec sprint, rest 30 sec, bike 30 sec sprint, rest 30 sec, for total calories over 4 rounds
  • 3 rounds for time: 10 hspu, 10 pull-ups, 10 burpees, 10 t2b
  • 3 rounds for time: sled pull 100m moderate, 10 heavy KB swings, 20 sandbag lunges

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