Olympic Weightlifting Programs
Workouts Menu


Training Programs


View by Date

Choosing the Right Weightlifting Program… And Making it Work

Read this before you choose and start one of our training programs!
Starter Program
4 Weeks

This is a program we suggest starting with to prepare you to do the Catalyst Athletics training program or other training cycles if you have not done a dedicated weightlifting program before.
The Simplest Weightlifting Program in the World
Training Template

This a simple Olympic weightlifting training template for 3 days/week that you can use to create a program for yourself.
Greg Everett 2014 American Open Cycle
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week cycle very similar to what Greg Everett used to train for the 2014 American Open. It uses RMs and back-off sets with much of the work to allow a lot of flexibility in loading and very hard work if you're ambitious. It also has a good amount of positional strength work for the lifts and training for leg explosivess. The cycle finishes with a full 4-week competition mesocycle with plenty of heavy single snatch and clean & jerk for max testing or competition.

Volume: High
Intensity: Adjustable

Good For:
  • Squat strength
  • Pulling strength
  • Overhead strength
  • Leg explosiveness
  • Unilateral leg strength/stability
  • Turnover strength
Notes:
  • The percentages that follow an RM are of that day's RM. For example, 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5 means that you work up to a 5RM, then do 95% of that for 5 reps, and then 90% of it for 5 reps.
  • Rep prescriptions like 3+1 provide the rep count for each exercise in the complex in order. For example, Segment Clean (knee) + Jerk Drive + Jerk - (1+3+1)RM means that for each set, you will perform 1 segment clean, then 3 jerk drives, then 1 jerk.
On The Minute Cycle
13 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week training cycle (with an additional transition week at the beginning) that uses snatch, clean and jerk singles on the minute along with plenty of pull and squat strength work. This cycle is good for technical consistency in the classic lifts.

"After this cycle, I got a 15# PR on snatch to 240#, 25# PR on C&J to 320#, and a 30# PR on back squat to 505#. So stoked at these numbers."
-Nickolas H

Volume: Moderate-High
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Classic lift technical consistency
  • Pulling postural strength
  • Squat strength
Notes:
  • OTM means "On The Minute". This means that each set is started exactly 1 minute after the previous set was started, not 1 minute of rest between sets. In other words, your 15th set will begin on minute 14 (set 1 begins on minute 0).
  • Weight changes during the 15 OTM sets must be done within the same 1 minute time limit

Download Excel Spreadsheet
Jessica's Complex & Competition
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week program with a lot of complexes in the first 8 weeks, and a competition taper in the last 4 weeks. Pulling strength is emphasized, but squat strength and overhead strength are not forgotten. The volume is high, so be prepared before you start it.

Volume: Very High
Intensity: Adjustable

Good For:
  • Volume accumulation
  • Pulling strength
Notes: 
  • The percentages that follow an RM are of that day's RM. For example, 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5 means that you work up to a 5RM, then do 95% of that for 5 reps, and then 90% of it for 5 reps.
  • Rep prescriptions like 3+1 provide the rep count for each exercise in the complex in order. For example, Segment Clean (knee) + Jerk Drive + Jerk - (1+3+1)RM means that for each set, you will perform 1 segment clean, then 3 jerk drives, then 1 jerk.
12-Week Basic Cycle
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12 week cycle with plenty of squatting, pulling and pressing strength work for the first several weeks. This is a good cycle for fairly well-balanced lifters. The volume and intensity are moderate, so this cycle is good for newer lifters or those who cannot tolerate a lot of volume and intensity.

"Finished up the 12 week basic cycle after about 15 months off from Crossfit with lifetime PRs of +25lb snatch, +35lb clean & jerk plus PRs in, well, everything from strict press to deadlift." -Jeremy J.


Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Lower volume & intensity tolerance
  • Less experienced lifters
Notes:
  • This is a relatively "light" training cycle - use it if you don't recover well from more intense, higher volume programs
  • The cycle is good for beginning and intermediate lifters, BUT you may have to adjust the weights, as your 1RMs are likely inaccurate. If certain lifts feel too easy, increase the weight.

Download Excel Spreadsheet
Kara's 9 Weeks of Heaven
9 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a very high-volume 9-week cycle adapted from one of Bob Takano's programs that is similar to what I used for Kara Yessie going into the Arnold Classic a couple years ago. If you don't handle volume well, don't even bother with this one. This cycle is NOT appropriate for new lifters.

"Results from Kara's 9 Weeks of Heaven - Snatch 75kg to 87kg; Clean & Jerk 100kg to 110kg; Back Squat 125kg to 150 kg; Press 60kg to 70kg; Deadlift 175kg to 200kg." - Pedar L

Volume: Very High
Intensity: High

Good For:
  • Experienced/advanced lifters
  • High volume needs
  • Leg strength
  • A lot of classic lift reps
Notes:
  • This is NOT appropriate for beginner or intermediate lifters

Download Excel Spreadsheet
Double Day Squats & Heavy Weights
13 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week cycle (with a first week that acts as a rest or transition week, making it 13 weeks total). You will be squatting heavy every day - often twice a day.

It will use weight selections based on feel for most sets. This first week will be a transition week to prepare you for very frequent squatting and heavy lifts. Try completing all workouts without sitting down. Rest only as long as needed.

This cycle should only be used by athletes who are conditioned for frequent, heavy lifting - it is not a good beginning program.

"The double day squat program by Greg Everett was the hardest program I've done. But my back squat went from 405 to 485 and my front squat went from 325 to 395." - Ryan K.

"Following the Double-Day squat program in my garage, my front squat went from 315 to 375. My clean and jerk went from a struggling, pressed-out 235 to a solid and easy 286. My snatch went from an ugly power/muscle snatch of only 165 to a snatch of 196."
- Brian P.

Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Very High (but adjustable)

Good For:
  • Leg strength
  • Max and near-max classic lift experience
  • More experienced lifters with good training foundations
Notes:
  • This program does not need to be done in two workouts per day - "double day squats" refers to the two squat sessions per workout. However, it can be split in two if you want.
  • This program can beat you up badly if you're not smart about choosing weights and recovering.
  • Push the weights hard, but generally try to avoid actual failure - this will allow more long term progress and prevent becoming totally destroyed.
  • Each workout, make the goal to beat the best weight you've done to date on that exercise in this program by at least 1kg - do this by setting it up in your warm-up sets, e.g. warm-up with 1-2 kg more on each set than you did on the day you're trying to beat. Don't keep warming up with identical weights and continually do the exact same weight each day.
  • %s that follow HS or RM are of that HS or RM; e.g., HS; 80%x1x2 means you work up to a heavy single, then do 2 singles with 80% of that heavy single
8-Week General Cycle
8 Weeks  |   Comments

This is an 8-week cycle using 3-position snatches and cleans, power snatches and power cleans, and plenty of pulls, squats and classic snatch and clean & jerk.

"Snatch went from 100kg to 110kg, squat went from 160kg to 180kg. Have not retested my front squat yet but my old 1rm was 145kg and this week I hit 150kg for a double. My deadlift also went from 192.5kg to 205kg. Over all I have had some great strength gains, and my technique and stability, in c&j and snatch has improved tenfold."

I'm finishing up week 7/8 and I have hit some amazing PRs already. My previous 1rm c&j was 275#. I just hit 285# on Wednesday for a 2+1."


Volume: Moderate-High
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • CrossFitters or other athletes who want to emphasize strength and weightlifting temporarily while not losing a lot of conditioning
  • Beginning to intermediate lifters
Notes:
  • Some days have conditioning work - this is optional and only for those who want to maintain conditioning for activities/sports other than weightlifting during the cycle
  • If you're a newer lifter, your 1RMs are likely not accurate, and you may have to adjust the prescribed weights up if they feel too easy
12-Week Traditional Cycle
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week, 3-mesocyle training cycle with two four-week blocks of fairly high volume and high rep lifts and squats and a final 4-week competition mesocycle. It uses simple progressions and is a good, basic program for a wide range of athletes.

Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Newer and intermediate lifters
  • CrossFitters or other athletes who want to emphasize strength and weightlifting temporarily while not losing a lot of conditioning
Notes:
  • The cycle is good for beginning and intermediate lifters, BUT you may have to adjust the weights, as your 1RMs are likely inaccurate. If certain lifts feel too easy, increase the weight.
  • Some days have conditioning work - this is optional and only for those who want to maintain conditioning for activities/sports other than weightlifting during the cycle
  • Heavy single, (90%x1, 95%x1, HS) x 3 means that you work up to a heavy single, then hit 90% of that, 95% of that, then try to hit that HS again, and repeat this wave 2 more times.

Download Excel Spreadsheet
5-Week Front Squat Emphasis Cycle
5 Weeks  |   Comments

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."


Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Leg strength (especially front squat specifically)
Notes:
  • 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.

Download Excel Spreadsheet
6 Week Back Squat Emphasis Prep Cycle
6 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 6-week preparatory cycle that emphasizes back squat improvement and tests a max back squat on week 6.

Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Leg strength (especially back squat specifically)
Notes:
  • 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.


4-Week Leg Strength Block 2
4 Weeks  |   Comments

This is another 4-week heavy squat emphasis training block. It can be used alone, or after the 4-Week Leg Strength Block 1 cycle.

Volume: Moderate-High
Intensity: Moderate-High

Good For:
  • Leg strength
  • General strength
Notes:
  • This cycle uses a wide range of reps (10-3) to work on squat strength
  • Accompanying training is pretty light to allow for maximal squat training
  • This is one mesocycle from the 12-Week Complete Cycle

Download Excel Spreadsheet
4-Week Leg Strength Block 1
4 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 4-week block of heavy squat strength emphasis.

"25lb PR for me over my last 1RM test!! Thanks for the program Greg!" - Nick

"That is a 30 lb PR from a previous best. The percentages and volume was just right for my body. Thanks for the blog, Greg." - Brandon

"352 BS, a PR by 30. That's at bw of 168, 49 y/o. Very pleased with the cycle, the volume was managable and was able to be 100% compliant for all 4 weeks. Looking forward to the next cycle." - David

"BS went up 30lbs. C&J went up 25lbs!!!" - Stefan

Volume: Moderate-High
Intensity: Moderate-High

Good For:
  • Leg strength
  • General strength
Notes:
  • This cycle uses a wide range of reps (10-3) to work on squat strength
  • Accompanying training is pretty light to allow for maximal squat training
  • This is one mesocycle from the 12-Week Complete Cycle


Download Excel Spreadsheet
12-Week Complete Cycle
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week cycle with 8 weeks of preparatory work focused primarily on leg strength, and 4 weeks of competition preparation with a Bulgarian-style structure. (This cycle is in 3 different Excel files listed in order)

Volume: Moderate-High
Intensity: Moderate-High

Good For:
  • Leg strength
  • CrossFitters or other athletes who want to emphasize strength (especially squat strength) and weightlifting temporarily while not losing a lot of conditioning
Notes:
  • Some days have conditioning work - this is optional and only for those who want to maintain conditioning for activities/sports other than weightlifting during the cycle

Download Excel Spreadsheet (1)

Download Excel Spreadsheet (2)

Download Excel Spreadsheet (3)
Basic Rep Cycle
6 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a basic cycle that uses a lot of triples and doubles in the classic lifts along with plenty of squatting and pulling strength work.

"30lb snatch, 25lb clean & jerk improvement from 6 weeks ago." - Sean M.

Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Beginning to intermediate lifters
  • Lifters needing a lot of exposure to classic lifts
  • CrossFitters or other athletes who want to emphasize strength and weightlifting temporarily while not losing a lot of conditioning
Notes:
  • Some days have conditioning work - this is optional and only for those who want to maintain conditioning for activities/sports other than weightlifting during the cycle
  • If you're a newer lifter, your 1RMs are likely not accurate, and you may have to adjust the prescribed weights up if they feel too easy

Download Excel Spreadsheet
Block & Pull Cycle
6 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 6-week cycle that uses a lot of lifting off the blocks and has an emphasis on pulling strength and power.

Volume: Moderate-High
Intensity: Moderate

Good For:
  • Beginning to intermediate lifters
  • Lifters needing a lot of exposure to classic lifts
Notes:
  • You will need blocks for this cycle that can be adjusted to place the bar at mid-thigh and just below your knee.
  • The notation "2+1" means you will do 2 reps of the first exercise and 1 rep of the second in each set (for a total of 3 reps in that set). For example, "Push Press + Jerk - 65% x 2 +1" means 2 push presses, then 1 jerk in each set.
  • The notation "75% x 2(1+1)" means you will do 1 rep of the first exercise, then 1 rep of the next, and repeat that one more time. For example, "Clean pull + Clean - 75% x 2(1+1)" means you will do 1 clean pull, 1 clean, 1 clean pull, 1 clean in each set.

Download Excel Spreadsheet
Quick & Classic
4 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a quick 4-week block that focuses on the snatch and clean & jerk and goes for maxes on the last Saturday. Plenty of work on the classic lifts, but still doing pulls, powers and hang lifts as well.

"Snatch went from 80# to 85#, C&J from 105# to 115#, and front squat from 145# to 150#. I have my first weightlifting competition in two weeks and feel much more confident with these gains."

"Awesome program! C&J went from 180# to 195#, Snatch from 125# to 135#, Front sq from 195# to 210#"


Volume: Low-Moderate
Intensity: Moderate/Adjustable

Good For:
  • Lifters with limited training time each day
  • Lifters who don't have accurate 1RM snatch and CJ
  • Lifters who need to focus on the basics, i.e. competition lifts, pulls and squats and not much else.
Notes:
  • This is a short cycle that is adjustable based on feel day to day - only some lifts are prescribed with percentages, and they are adjustable in most cases.
3-Phase Cycle
18 Weeks  |   Comments

This is an 18-week program that runs through 3 distinct phases: the first emphasizes squatting and pushing strength; the second emphasizes pulling strength; and the final emphasizes classic lift performance, finishing with a peak for max snatch and clean & jerk attempts.

Volume: High
Intensity: Adjustable

Good For:
  • Intermediate to advanced lifters
  • Lifters without accurate 1RMs
  • Overhead and squat strength
Notes:
  • This is a tough program, and is not suitable for beginning lifters.
  • Conditioning work at the end of some workouts is optional
Strength by Feel Cycle
9 Weeks  |   Comments

9 week strength emphasis cycle using less prescribed percentages and more weights according to feel. Well-suited for athletes without well-developed classic lifts.

Volume: High
Intensity: Adjustable

Good For:
  • Intermediate to advanced lifters
  • Lifters without accurate 1RMs
  • Overhead and squat strength
  • CrossFitters or other athletes who want to emphasize strength and weightlifting temporarily while not losing a lot of conditioning (minimal conditioning work included)
Notes:
  • In this cycle, % prescriptions following any "RM" are percents of the weight used for that rep maximum; e.g. "Jerk - 4RM; 90% x 4 x 2" means you take the jerk up to the heaviest set of 4 you can manage, then use 90% of that weight for 2 more sets of 4 reps.
Classic / Position Cycle
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This cycle focuses on classic lift performance with an emphasis on position, posture and pulling strength.

See the video demonstrating the warm-up series for this cycle here.
10 sets of 3 Squat Cycle
9 Weeks  |   Comments

This program is built around a 10 x 3 squat cycle and its focus is building leg strength. Read this! The squats are NOT 3 sets of 10 reps!
Classic Cycle
5 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 5-week cycle that focuses on snatch and clean & jerk PRs, with an emphasis on pulling strength.
General Cycle
8 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a general training cycle - no emphasis on any particular elements
Russian Squat Cycle
6 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a training cycle based on the Russian squat cycle
Advanced 2-Phase Cycle
10 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 10-week cycle based on the Advanced Two-Phase cycle from Olympic Weightlifting by Greg Everett. It begins with more of a strength focus and finishes with a Bulgarian-style classic lift focus.
Classic-Squat Wave Cycle
9 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a cycle w 3-week waves with a squat emphasis, including some pause squatting, but plenty of classic lifts at pretty heavy weights.
Strength Cycle
5 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a quick 5-week strength emphasis cycle, but with regular heavy snatching and clean & jerking.
Classic Cycle
4 Weeks  |   Comments

This is actually a 3-week cycle with a transition week to start. Heavy snatch/CJ emphasis.
Strength Development Cycle
12 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 12-week cycle based on the strength & power development cycle in Olympic Weightlifting by Greg Everett
Strength Cycle
6 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a quick strength-emphasis cycle
2-Phase Cycle
10 Weeks  |   Comments

10 week cycle starting with more strength emphasis and moving into more classic lift emphasis
4-Block Cycle 4
16 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 16-week cycle of 4-week blocks, alternating between strength emphasis and classic lift emphasis.
4-Block Cycle 3
16 Weeks  |   Comments

This is a 16 week cycle of 2 each alternating 4-week blocks of strength and classic lift emphasis.
4-Block Cycle 2
16 Weeks  |   Comments

Classic CA 16-week cycle.
4-Block Cycle 1
16 Weeks  |   Comments

The first cycle we ever posted
Get Our Newsletter
Sign up free to get training tips, news, sale notifications and more!

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

Workouts Menu

Workouts Home
Read This First!
Workouts Help & Info
Exercise Library
Training Programs
Starter Program
Tomorrow's Workout
Text Only
Custom Program Design


Training Programs


View by Date





Advertise With Us
Subscribe to the Performance Menu Magazine