View Full Version : Clean, Back Squat, Bench programming

Kevin Parsons
01-13-2009, 02:51 AM
I have been following the CA WOD for a little while now, but my workout partner and I have decided to compete in a small weightlifting meet that our school is putting on. The comp. will consist of BS, Bench, and Clean, on three different days, and I would like help with a program we can follow. The meet will be sometime in early April/late March.

The excercises I feel will be benificial and need to be in the programming:

BS, FS, OHS, Bench, Clean, Clean Technique(tall, power, hang, etc.), Bench assist(close-grip, floor press, weighted dips, etc.), pull-ups/bent-rows, shoulder press/push press, clean pulls/DL, and ab work.

So, just some early ideas for programming were as follows:

Mon- BS, BP, PU or Bent-row
Tues- OHS, Clean Technique, short metcon
Wedn- FS, SP or PP, Clean pull or DL, Abs
Thurs- Rest
Fri- BP assist, short metcon
Sat- Clean, Abs

Thoughts? Advice? What needs chnging?


Ari Kestler
01-13-2009, 05:59 AM
I think you might be doing too much/overthinking.

You only need to get better at 3 exercises. If you are already competent in most of these exercises and lifts, and your only reason for training until the meet is to perform the BS, bench and clean, then guess what? Just BS, Bench and Clean. SS style.



If you are beyond linear progression or beginner gains then you will have to play around with the sets and reps, but 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps seems logical for everything. Eat a lot. Sleep a lot. Game over.

Jamie Crichton
01-13-2009, 11:05 AM
I agree with the simple approach. Scrap all the metcon stuff, totally unnecessary. Remember, if what you are doing isn't getting you closer to your goals, then it's moving you further away. You've specified a goal: compete in this meet, in BP, BS and Clean.

I think if you want to train more frequently than 3 times a week you may need to be a little creative with your exercise choices to avoid burning out, but just training those movements regularly with basic periodisation to set you up for the meet would serve you well.

As far as sets and reps go, 3-5 of 3-5 sounds good for squats and bench, but I'd probably keep it as doubles and singles for the clean. I don't see the point in doing greater than that often; you get tired and technique goes to ratshit fast. Work up to 2-4 heavy singles; doing your technique work as your warm-up (tall cleans etc).

For assistance work go for scap circuits and glute activation. This will keep your body healthy without crushing you with volume. Stretch and foam roll after every session. Let us know how it goes!

Kevin Parsons
01-14-2009, 06:28 PM
Thank you for the replies so far! I would def. agree that the volume was high!

I would really like to have a seperate day for clean techinique work. This day will be light to work on our sticking points. I would also like a day for front squats b/c I need to get those #'s up too. Here is a modified version:

Mon: Light clean technique work, abs
Tues: Rest
Wed: Front Squat, Pull ups or rows
Thur: Rest
Fri: Bench, abs
Sat: Back Squat, Clean

Still too high volume? I am open to all opinions!

And what is scrap circuitng?

Jason Tanner
01-14-2009, 06:49 PM
I'm not so sure if you would even ab work. Your doing plenty of work on the abs already with all your lifting in the program, is there any reason for you to want to keep the ab work (such as wanting to keep an 6 pack, although that may be more influenced from your diet)?

Kevin Parsons
01-14-2009, 06:56 PM
Def. not for the 6-pack. I'm at about 12% right now @ 210, and I've never been able to function very well at below 7is% so I have no chance or desire to cut down to the 198 class. The extra ab work is just for additional strength and conditioning of the abs. I feel like my core limits many of my lifts(OHS, FS, etc.).

Should I just do one day of additional ab work instead of the two?

Matt Edwards
01-14-2009, 06:57 PM
I'm not sure how the benching back to back will be for you. Try it out and see if your body responds well.

Kevin Parsons
01-14-2009, 07:34 PM
That was def. not supposed to be in their! Thanks for pointing that out...

Gavin Harrison
01-14-2009, 11:34 PM
Why not some original Bill Starr 5x5? It's simple, fairly short, and should work fine for anyone in the ~intermediate range of strength...

Heavy, Light, Medium.

5x5 Clean
5x5 Bench
5x5 Back Squat

Heavy Day: ramp up weight to a top set of 5, making 5-10 pound jumps each set
(ie. 90, 95, 100, 105, 110), each week add 5 lbs.
Light Day: Ramp up the first 2 sets, then three sets across.. same weights as your heavy day (90, 95, 100, 100, 100).
Medium Day: Ramp up 3 sets, then two across.

Specificity + Frequency = win?

Allen Yeh
01-15-2009, 04:11 AM
What are your current numbers and experience in these 3 lifts? How about training experience?

I'm going to chime in that I think you need a bit more frequency in the lifts than once a week. You have basically 8 weeks of triaining and then 1 backoff week prior to your competition right? Having a set date will help you backwards plan your programming better as no one should go balls out 1-2 weeks within a comp.

I would definitely bench more than twice a week, even if it's variations of the bench. How is your bench press form? Rip's videos in regard the the form were great and helped me rework my bench some, the things I always try to cue myself before a lift is upper back tight and set, lower back arched w/ ass on bench, leg drive.

Scap circuiting as someone else mentioned is stuff like scap pushups, wall slides, neutral grip face pulls...etc.

Your revised template:

Mon: Light clean technique work, abs
Tues: Rest
Wed: Front Squat, Pull ups or rows
Thur: Rest
Fri: Bench, abs
Sat: Back Squat, Clean

My variation of what you have down:
Mon - clean technique work, back squats , romanian deadlifts + 1 ab superset
Tue - rest
Wed - flat bench, row variations, extra volume to strengthen triceps a few sets of dips...etc whatever, ab circuit
Thu - rest
Fri - cleans, front squats, some single leg stuff + PC stuff(GHR's, pullthroughs, good mornings...etc)
Sat. - pullups, bench variation(DB's, or close grip...etc), single arm row varations

With all this stuff being said, it is only ~9 weeks away and depending on your training age Gavin's approach or rather Bill Starr's approach might be best.

tom hurst
01-15-2009, 10:25 AM
Why not a modified westside template, just add the cleans on maybe dynamic leg day. Pick one accessory exercise and heavy ab work every day. Something like this

Mon- Max effort upperbody working up to a 1 rep max on bench or floor press
lat work( rows, pull downs), rear delt work( face pulls, reverse flys), tri work
(close grip bench, kickbacks, skull crushers)
Tues- Cleans (power, hanging), weighted box jumps, post. chain movement.
Wed- rest
Thurs-Dynamic upperbody 60% max bench 8x3 fast as you can move it. Then more
accessory work pick a different exercise than mon.
Fri- Max effort lowerbody, working up to a 1 rep max on oly squat, deadlifts, front
squats, single leg movemen (bulgarian split squats, step ups, reverse lunges),
posterior chain movement.

Eat alot, then eat more. Rotate your max effort exercises every 2-3 weeks, and work it so you'll be on your second week of squat and bench for competion.

Kevin Parsons
01-15-2009, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the continued replies!

Allen- what kind of rep ranges do you use for the bench assist stuff and the rows? <5?

Tom- is that sets x reps or vice versa on the dynamic bench?

Allen Yeh
01-16-2009, 03:12 AM
For speed stuff you usually do lots of sets for singles to triples.

I'd say rep ranges below 8 usually, maybe throw a higher rep set at the end...for example...incline db press supersetted with head supported db rows for 3 sets of 5 then 1 set of 8...

Dave Van Skike
01-16-2009, 06:06 AM
what are your numbers and what do you weigh?

tom hurst
01-16-2009, 09:30 AM
You are correct Kevin it is sets x reps. Keep at a weight to where bar speed doesnt drop for your set amount of reps. But Ive read that 60% of max is what usually works best.

Kevin Parsons
01-16-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks again for all of the advice so far!

I'm 21, 6'3", and 210.

Bench- 235
BS- 300 oly style a2a
FS- 255 a2a
Clean- 210
DL- 430

My #'s are all low for my weight and aren't going to be very competitive for the competition. Until about 2 months ago, I only benched about once a month so that has come u0p quite a bit. I've been lifting weights for about 2.5 years with the majority of the first 1.5 years being BB splits and never much focus on true strength. Then I hybrid crossfitted for a little while whith a heavy empghasis on strength before coming to the CA WOD with no oly experience. I've only been oly lifting for about 3 months and I've really been enjoying the technical aspects of learning the lifts. I have not had any coaching on the lifts, just been watching a ton of videos and I've bought Greg's book. I have yet to take video of myself and post that. I will hopefully do that next week.

I have not done a PL style squat in a long time, should I experiment with that to see if I can go heavier than my oly style? I only have to go parrallel for the comp.

Also, I started a creatine cycle last week. When is the perfrct timing for the creatine cycle leading up to a competition? The end of an on-phase? After a backoff week?

Like I said, their will probably be some strong guys show up in my weight class, but I love having a goal in front of me. My goal for this whole thing is to recognize where I'm at, make a plan to improve, and test the plan by the progress I make as seen by my #'s at the competition.

Kevin Parsons
01-17-2009, 11:53 AM
New PR for the clean today-220

Kevin Parsons
01-17-2009, 02:07 PM
And about the bench, I am just now learning about proper form. Hopefully that alone will add to my #'s. Besides the Rip videos on crossfit, anyone know some other good videos?

tom hurst
01-18-2009, 12:28 PM
Try this website