I get a huge volume of messages and emails asking for program recommendations, and it’s impossible for me to respond to them anymore, so this is going to henceforth serve as the Official Guide to Catalyst Athletics Program Selection.
Program or Online Team?
First, you have the option of using a training program or joining an online team
. This is simple: Choosing a program gives you complete control over what kind of training you’re doing—you can choose something most suitable for yourself, and you can start any time. Joining a team means you’re on the same program as everyone else—the benefits are being part of a community and having their feedback, and a bit of occasional coaching from me on your posted videos. Currently I offer 2 weightlifting teams: 5 days/week
and 3 days/week
. Same program otherwise. Choose based on your schedule.
Choosing a Program
What Level Are You?
I have programs appropriate for day 1 beginners to national+ level competitors. If you still need to learn or re-learn the Olympic lifts, start with my Learn the Lifts
program. If you've learned and want to start training the lifts, I have a series of 4 programs (Weightlifting Level 1-4)
that will progress you to being ready for the rest of the programs here. If you're not sure where to start, you check where you land on these skill levels
What Do You Need?
Determine what you need most to work on. Leg strength? Pulling strength? Overhead strength? Lift technique? Or nothing specific? Use the program tags to select what you want to focus on.
How Much Do You Need?
Next, you need to determine how much volume works best for you. Programs range from low to extremely high volume. Generally speaking, the older you are and the more non-weightlifting training or activity you’ll be doing in addition, the lower the volume you’ll want. Select the volume amount from the dropdown menu.
How Heavy Do You Need It?
You can select an intensity level from the dropdown menu for a loose control of how heavy the lifting will be. Most of the time you can skip this step.
How Long Do You Need It?
If you need to prepare for a specific date, like a competition, select the appropriate duration from the dropdown menu.
All programs except squat-specific cycles peak at the end for max snatch and clean & jerk, and can be used for competition. If you want to make sure you don’t accidentally pick one of the squat cycles that doesn’t peak for the competition lifts, select yes on the Competition Peak dropdown menu.
Not all programs have accessory work included (e.g. back and ab work and similar). If you want all accessories prescribed, select yes in the filter. If you prefer doing your own accessory work, you can skip this and add your own (or replace existing as desired).
Website or App?
Some of the programs are available on the Train Heroic app as well as on the website in web and spreadsheet formats. If you strictly want an app program, select the “app” tag in the filter.
I offer some of the programs for free. If you insist on that, you can select Free. Otherwise you can skip this and risk throwing me a few bucks for a program.
All programs will show you a sample week (week 1). Check this to get a sense of the exercises used and what equipment you need and whether they’re suitable for you.
I have a lot of programs, but I don’t have one that perfectly matches every single possible combination of criteria. If you’re getting zero results, start undoing a single criterion at a time, starting with the lowest priority, until you get results.
Still Learning the Olympic Lifts (or Need To?)
All of these programs assume at least a basic skill level with the snatch and clean & jerk. I’ll have a new program for actually learning the lifts from step 0 soon, but until then, you can learn with my Learn the Lifts Program
or my Complete Guide