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5-Week Front Squat Emphasis Cycle
5 weeks

This is a preparatory cycle that emphasizes front squat strength and tests for a max front squat on the last Saturday.

"My snatch went from a lucky 240 to a solid 250 (I hit it two weeks in a row and just barely missed 260); a 300 clean and jerk to a 320 clean and jerk; my back squat went from 380 to 405; and my most dramatic increase was my front squat. At te beginning of the cycle it was at 320 I prd once at 335 3 weeks into the cycle, then today I hit a solid 380! 45 pound PR in two weeks and 60 pound in 5. Thanks a lot for the programming."

"Front squat went from 305lbs to 350lbs! Clean went from a lucky (3rd attempt) 275 to solid (1st attempt) 285 and Snatch from 185 to 210! I also went from never jerking to a 247lb Jerk."

"My front squat went up from an iffy 300 lbs with questionable depth to a smooth, deep 325 lbs. My Snatch made a similar improvement of 20 lbs, and my clean and jerk improved by 20 lbs. I feel much more explosive, my box jump has improved by 3 inches and my speed under the bar has increased dramatically."

"This program restored my previous numbers (plus a kilo on FS) after dropping a weight class and losing strength, and gave me my first 300# front squat!"

"97kg to 120kg front squat! Thanks CA."

"FS went from 138 to 147. Snatch from 105 to 107. Clean from 129 to 134. And jerk from 127 to 129 Kg."

"Front squat went from 305lbs to 350lbs! Clean went from a lucky (3rd attempt) 275 to solid (1st attempt) 285 and Snatch from 185 to 210!"

Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Leg strength (especially front squat specifically)
  • This program is intended to improve and test the squat. It does NOT finish with a snatch and clean & jerk peak, although you will still get plenty of snatch and CJ work and many people do improve significantly in these lifts as well as the squat.

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(13) Comments
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Adrian 2015-08-01
Loving this program. My snatch is up 5kg in just 2 weeks. But that's why I come on, I missed the 3rd weeks front squat&heavy singles day (the gym was closed). What should I do? Continue onwards or perform it on Day 1 of week 4?
Just continue with the program as written. In the future if you know you're going to miss a heavy day, reschedule to get it if possible.

Greg Everett
Kendra 2015-08-23
Hey Greg! I am excited to start this cycle tomorrow but have a few question. Nothing about the programming, but as someone that also does crossfit. Is it still okay to do a WOD with the strength? Or would that not help?
We recommend against combining programs as they will interfere with one another. I recommend reading here before beginning.

Steve Pan
Shelby 2015-08-24
Hey Greg!:) I'm curious if you think this program is a good fit for me to try? I just finished my last powerlifting meet in July and I want to do something else for awhile. I peaked for meets 3 times in the last year and a half and I I was considering doing a front squat smolov to kinda do something different and bring back the fun in training. I love the oly lifts so this looks like so much fun. I realize a lot of programs are designed with a preferred benchmark weight to start with basically dividing the beginners from intermediates. I'm definitely a beginner with the oly lifts, what are your thoughts? I'm just trying to find something like this that has a little more speed, and power work. I'm a little burnt out from straight grind sets all day long.
It could be fine - you just may need to adjust the weights a bit by feel day to day if you don't have accurate 1RMs for the lifts.

Greg Everett
Kendra 2015-08-25
Me again! Are the pullups in the conditioning sessions strict or kipping? :)
Strict unless otherwise specified.

Steve Pan
Tyler 2015-08-26
I'm not seeing the Excel template for this anymore. Can you post it again?
We will not be using the Excel sheets any longer. You will have to go through the daily pages as you go. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Steve Pan
Adam 2015-09-13
Not seeing the excel template either.
Josh 2015-09-16
Hey Greg! I just started this program. I was just curious about how much time I need to allot for each training session. I have a full time job and I coach crossfit after work as well. I need to start planning my training and coaching to accommodate for the limited time during the week. I appreciate any input. Thanks!
These workouts should take about 1.5 - 2 hours including warmup and accessory work.

Steve Pan
Aaron McNew 2015-09-21
Jerk @ 75%. 3 sets of 5 reps? Is that correct?
That is not correct. If the prescription is 75%x3x5 it will be 5 sets of 3 reps at 75% of your best jerk. I recommend reading the Help & Info section here.

Steve Pan
Colin Tuohy 2015-09-22
Hi Greg, Started this programme a week ago and really enjoying it. My question is this: What would you recommend I do if I can only train Monday to Friday? I'm just trying to figure out how to get my rest days before and after the heavy days without modifying the programme too much. Thanks in advance
This is not ideal and you will have to temper your expectations of the effectiveness of the program. The best suggestion would be to take it much easier on Thursdays workout and then move Saturday's workout to Friday and do the best you can on that workout.

Steve Pan
Colin Tuohy 2015-09-23
Thanks Steve, much appreciated. Just looking for your thoughts on moving the Tuesday and Thursday conditioning pieces to Monday and Wednesday? Also, could you recommend some percentages if I was to keep the Thursday sessions light?
I would recommend taking out the conditioning pieces and just working on back and ab exercises each day. As far as taking the Thursdays lighter I would recommend making a judgement call each workout and either taking it down a bit (5-10%) or taking a set or two off and seeing if that helps you recover to have a better "Saturday" workout on Friday.

Steve Pan
Varun 2015-09-24
For the weight for jerk behind the neck, will this be the same as the regular split jerk? thanks!
The weight will be off of your best jerk from the front.

Steve Pan
Varun 2015-09-24
Hey guys, I'm back for another question. As part of the conditioning workout j saw 'jump rope'. Just confirming if that means double unders. As if now I'm unable to string about 13-15 alternate DUs. So for a 3-min jump rope set, do I just keep going for max reps even if I can't do more than say 15 in one go? Thanks once again!
It just regular jump rope for those. Double unders will be specified when called for in a workout.

Steve Pan
Zach Adams 2015-10-06
what are the major differences between this cycle and the 5-week squat bump cycle? they both seem to emphasis similar strengths, but there are differences in the actual day to day exercises
Only significant differences are that the squat bump cycle uses some pause squats and halting/floating DLs and so will be a little better for reinforcing postural strength in the pull and squat.

Greg Everett

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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches by Greg Everett

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