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Old 04-12-2011, 06:29 AM   #1
Philip Stablein
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Default 12 week Str and Power Development prog review- from Greg's Book

I recently completed Greg's 12 week Strength and Power Development program from the book. It went great! My total went from 200kg on Jan 8th, to 218kg on April 9th. My coach (USAW Senior coach and board member John Filippini) and I selected the program because it hit a lot of my weaknesses, was appropriate for my development, and spanned the time between the two contests.

I also moved my back squat from ~165 to 184kg. I used a 160 training max throughout the whole cycle, but hit a pretty easy 184 last night.

Here are some notes on the cycle from an email exchange with Cain, another lifter, local to me and a member of this board.

So, I am an intermediate in terms of strength development. I ran SS in 09 into early 2010, and then moved to weightlifting once becoming a full fledged intermediate strength athlete. I am still an intermediate, and likely will be so for at least a few more years. The issue with Olympic style weightlifting is that it is a very skill oriented sport, much like gymnastics. Full-time OL programs (like the Everett 12 wk S&P) are designed to give the appropriate strength work to an intermediate/advanced who is simultaneously trying to hone their skills in the lifts. There isn't room in the program for other stuff, because all the stuff is chosen for you. 5/3/1 gives you 1 lift a day, and you get to pick the skills that you layer on top of it, in the 12wk S&P you pick nothing, because the skills are chosen for you (jerks, snatch balances, high pulls, etc) and prescribed each and every workout.

The genius of Everett and Burgener is that they've put together a strength program and allows you to still progress your OL skills effectively. If trying something like Texas Method (for all 3 power lifts) or any other 5x5, you just get the strength portion, with very little other recovery capacity available to practice snatching, cleaning and jerk, and their drills, component exercises, variations and derivatives. Its a slower road to raw strength progress, because it balances the strength gain with Oly skill (and positional) acquisition.

So, with that massive qualification out there, which sums of much of my view of OL and PL programming differences...I can answer your questions.

Each session takes between 90mins and 120mins of lifting, depending on how fast you pace yourself. Some of the Saturday sessions (early in the cycle) and some of the workouts during the back-off weeks (weeks 5 and 9) can be done in 60-75 mins. I expect some of the sessions in these final two weeks will be short as well, which is a welcome relief. That said, if you are not cognizant of your time between sets, the workouts can easily go on for 2 hours plus. This could also occur if you are very tired, which has happened to me a few times.

That time estimate doesn't account for warm-up or stretch down, but you should have an idea of how long those take. Mine took a longish time because SBCF has minimal heat, and I was doing the longest workouts in Jan and Feb. I am also creaky from many sports injuries, so I take my time with warm-ups, and I still have flexibility gains to make, so I am pretty diligent with my stretches. I allotted 2 hours for each workout, generally, and was able to complete it in that time-frame most days.

The early part of the program is very volume intensive, so I used that portion to improve my "weightlifting conditioning", namely the ability to perform at relatively higher %s of 1RM consistently (60-75%). This is a very real type of ability and is widely credited as the basis for the success of the Russian and Chinese lifting systems. Being consistent for 3-6 reps in that range really helped me power through the later portion of the program. I'd estimate that I missed under 10 lifts in the 10 weeks I've completed so far, and about half of those estimated 10 happened on snatch balances, which I suck at and often underestimate.

I did tweak the program minorly. I have a bad shoulder from a traumatic injury, which was just beginning to recover as I began this program. I was very careful with jerks for the first phase of the program (weeks 1-4) and then around week 6 used the percentages as written, instead of my liberal rounding down or cutting of reps (I'd often take triples down to doubles to avoid tweaking my shoulder while lowering the jerks, no jerk blocks). Once week 6 hit, I was in a good place and left jerks alone. I think the push-presses really helped shore up my shoulder.

However, around that time, my ankle began bothering me. So I skipped FS and snatch balances for a few weeks (I'd need to check my log for details) and caught everything in the power position. This of course was no ideal, but it did let me keep training while I rehabbed my myriad ankle idiocies. I eventually got my ankle under control and have been able to return to full programming.

Aside from the injury modifications, I did my best to do the program as planned. There were of course some cases where I ran out of time and had to skip a set of RDLs or something, but I consider that to be relatively minor assistance work (for me personally). I would never consider skipping the 5x5 push-presses because those did so much to help strengthen the bad shoulder, but since I have pretty good hamstrings (for now), missing 2-3 RDL sets isn't something I worried about.

Now, as for recovery. I am 28, and until 2 weeks ago, was unemployed. I worked about 10 hours at the gym and another 20 hours consulting and job searching. I sleep between 7.5 and 10.5 hours a night. 7.5 is pretty much only on days I don't lift, otherwise its 9 or 10.5 hours. I eat 3 big meals a day and drink a half gallon of milk more or less every day, usually fortified with protein powder. I foam roll (even on my off days), stretch to maintain my modest flexibility, and do shoulder and ankle rehab. I ice my knees almost every day that I train, preventatively. I would rate my innate recovery ability as medium. There are certainly people who are more robust than I am, but I think I fall within the range right around the middle.
I wrote this email at week 10, which is the last "hard" week before the program moves into a competition prep type phase. The last 2 weeks were gravy after the duress of the first 2 blocks. I tested at the end of week 9 because I was feeling totally awesome, and hit some PRs that day, which where then obliterated on the final day. 200 -> 210 -> 218

I am a 100kg lifter, standing 6'1, Cain already knew that, but I realize it might help for recovery perspective, and so you can see how lame my total is :-D

And finally my conclusions:
So, my conclusions:
1. The program is excellent. Its really well designed in terms of skills progression. The workouts build on each other in a way that reflects the experience of the men who designed it. Within and across workouts, it fits together.
2. I tried my ass off to adhere to the program, adjust for my injuries, and recover aggressively.
3. I would do it again.
4. Its definitely a program for someone who is looking to pursue OL to the exclusion of other stressors!

Hopefully this helps some people who are pondering what to look for from Greg's excellent published resource. The programs in there are solid, and several lifters at my gym are doing different ones, and close modifications. The secret is there is no secret. Train hard, recover harder, listen to the smart coaches!
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:10 AM   #2
Tyson Wright
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Does anyone have Greg's program in a spreadsheet format? I don't want to break any rules as far as having electronic versions of his program but I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I have purchased and read the book
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
Joe Hart
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I take it that this is in the second edition of his book? Or is it the "Advanced" program in the first edition.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
Tyson Wright
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if this question is for me, 2nd edition.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:15 AM   #5
Greg Everett
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The program referred to is in the 2nd ed only. I'm sure someone's made it into an excel file at some point, but I'd prefer it not be posted online - I'm sure if someone has it they'd be willing to email you a copy.
Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

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Old 06-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
Tyson Wright
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Understood Greg. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:36 PM   #7
Joe Hart
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I'll buy the book when I get a little cash. Greg has been good to me in the past.
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