View Full Version : Squat cicle for Olympic Weightlifting??

Ivan Perez
07-09-2009, 12:19 AM
Hi guys

I talked yerterday with my coach about summer workout and I will repeat a technical cycle at last two weeks of July and August... many set and reps with little weight for diferent technical exercices (I will use GŁe again :mad: ), also I 'm not pleased with my squat, form is correct but I don't lift enough.

So my question, What strenght cycle can I do to improve my squat, 5x5, Smolov Jr?? or Is better forget this idea??


P.S: I will use Front Squat

Justin Fricke
07-09-2009, 06:34 PM
Personally, I like Russian Peak Cycles---i did a 10 week version and a six week version. For me the ten week was better and allowed me to recover more fully before the next "heavy" day. my squat went from 350 to 405 in 10 weeks vs 335-350 in six weeks. and you could do it with fron squats just as easy also Mikes Gym has som egood squat programs listed on his page as well.

just my 2cents for what it is worth.

right now i am doing 5/3/1 and i am loving it.

Joe Hart
07-09-2009, 07:06 PM
I am partial to the Hatch squat program. It will wear you out though and don't plan on doing very much on the squat day. To quote Greg "It will take the starch out of your britches", but you will make some good progress.

Dave Paton
07-10-2009, 04:25 PM

Next week will be week 11 doing the Hatch cycle. it's really not that bad and is pretty do-able. Monday is the squat max day for me. I am also looking for another squat cycle (my glaring weakness).

Does anyone have a link to the Russian Peak cycle?

Gavin Harrison
07-10-2009, 09:25 PM

You could always look up the smolov squat cycle if you're up for a challenge and close to 100 lbs on your squat in a couple months...

Rick Deckart
07-11-2009, 03:55 AM
I have no idea what your max in the front squat is, but if it is close to or well over 130 kg the following schedule, a modified smolov basecycle, works really well:

Monday Wednesday Friday Saturday
Week 1: 70.0%x9x3 75.0%x7x4 80.0%x5x5 85.0%x3x6
Week 2: 75.0%x9x3 80.0%x7x4 85.0%x5x5 90.0%x3x6
Week 3: 77.5%x9x3 82.5%x7x4 87.5%x5x5 92.5%x3x6
Week 4: rest rest rest test max

80.0%x5x5 = 80.0% x 5 reps x 5 sets

Note that if your max were 200 kg you would use the original smolov basecycle poundages (10kg is 0.05*200 kg, 5 kg is 0.025*200 kg).

Basically it is ~25% reduction of the volume and an adjustment of the progressions in week 2 and 3 which is more suited for weaker squatters.

I have done a full smolov cycle and compared to the original base cycle i made similar gains doing it like outlined above, but it was way way more comfortable.

P.S.: if somebody gets 100 pounds out of a full-smolov cycle I more or less guarantee that he started it with a max over 180 kg...

Dave Paton
07-11-2009, 02:14 PM

I will try that modified cycle when I finish the Hatch. Thanks!

Do you have an opinion of doing the cycle for back squats or front squats in regards to weightlifting? My goal would be increasing my actual lifts, not competing in a squat contest. thanks.

Rick Deckart
07-12-2009, 05:21 AM
When I modified the Smolov basecycle I had front squats in mind, however it should work equally well with back squats and I intend to use it for overhead squats as well.

My two cents: if improvement of the olympic lifts is the goal I would first assess if it is really lack of strength which is holding you back or lack of technique / flexibility etc pp. If it is the latter you should probably focus more on the olympic lifts, get good coaching...

Personally I used this as I thought that my terrible front squat form was hindering squat cleans. And it definitely improved the front squat as well as cleans and jerks. However I would not use this 4-week cycle more often than three or four times per year.

Dave Paton
07-12-2009, 09:57 AM

Thanks. It is more a strength deficit with me. And more specifically, leg strength. I can jerk anything I clean. I have good coaching in regards to technique too. i will definitely try this out. thanks.

Ivan Perez
07-13-2009, 12:32 AM
Thanks for the answers :)

I'll do Peter's Smolov version at August and in other time I'll use Hack or Burgener programs.

Thanks again

Rick Deckart
07-13-2009, 11:04 AM
I attached a small Excel file, a very rough job, no rounding just the basics. Included is a slightly modified 2-week introcycle (first sheet) and if you really want to give that routine a go I would suggest you do the two week introcycle first.

It is not really necessary but it makes it a bit easier.

The goal of the intro is to work up to a quintuple, a set of five with 85% at the end of week two; also most people are very uncomfortable with higher rep front squat sets and the first week of the intro gives one a good feel for these with lighter weights.

If you can work up to a set of five with 85% at the end of week two, you will probably find that the modified base cycle is no big deal.

Make no mistake, it will be hard, but it won't be too difficult.

I would appreciate a short note how it went and how much you gained. Take care and good luck!

EDIT: I removed the attachement, the excel file with roundings is posted below...

Dave Paton
07-13-2009, 08:05 PM
Peter, awesome thanks! i just got my max today in the front squat so I should have a pretty accurate account when I finish the cycle. I am going to start next Monday. I'll post back in a month.

Ivan Perez
07-13-2009, 11:11 PM
Great!!! Thanks Peter, when I'll finish the cycle I'll post the result

Ivan Perez
07-14-2009, 03:45 AM
Peter, I've a little question

How can I round weights, round off or down?

For example, if I must use 101,25, I'll round to 101,5 or 101?? And 114,75... 114,5 or 115?

I'll always round off, I think :confused:

Rick Deckart
07-14-2009, 04:09 AM
That is not really critical; sorry but I had only five minutes yesterday, but I will attach a version which rounds to the closest standard weights (KG plates)...

Ivan Perez
07-14-2009, 05:22 AM
That is not really critical; sorry but I had only five minutes yesterday, but I will attach a version which rounds to the closest standard weights (KG plates)...

Awesome thanks, It will look nicely

Jeremy Shepard
07-19-2009, 07:27 PM
Just finished the old Russian squat cycle or working up to 6x6 @ 80%, 5x5 @ 85%, 4x4 @ 90%, etc. with 6x2 @ 80% in between as recovery days.

It sucks, a lot. Not only physically crushing, but quite the emotional/psychological toil. Works, though.

Matt Edwards
07-19-2009, 07:46 PM
I just finished the same cycle couple weeks ago and I have to say that it didn't feel all that physically demanding. Was it tough? Yes. Was it as tough as everyone makes it out to believe? No. Then again, it might be because my squats numbers are low and that's my weakness. Finally training the weak areas...