Weightlifting Programs

4-Week Leg Strength Block 1


4 weeks   |   $15   |   Web, Text, Excel

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

"Started with a 335x3 345x1 back squat PRs and finished with a 395 back squat. Also added 5# to my snatch to 240# and went from 275 to 285 on my clean and jerk." - Jacob D.

"Awesome program. Went from 135kg to 150kg." - Blaise M.

"7 kg PR from this cycle." - Noel N.

"Added 7.5kg to my Back Squat, 2.5kg to my Snatch, as well as multiple rep PRs in just 3 weeks." - Kamil O.

"Added 10# to my back squat in just 4 weeks. Finally broke a long mental and strength plateau." - Amy L.

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

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Sample Week

Week 1 Day 1 Monday
Comments (33)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 65% x 10 x 3
  • Block (or hang) snatch (mid-thigh) - 65% x 3 x 5
  • Halting Snatch Deadlift (hip) - 80% (of snatch) x 3 x 3
  • Overhead Squat - 65% x 3 x 5
Week 1 of 4 (1 of 12)

This will be a short 4-week cycle with a lot of work in the first 3 weeks and a lot of rest in the last week. The emphasis is on leg strength. It can be used as a standalone training block for leg strength primarily, but it will also be the first 4-week mesocycle in a 12-week macrocycle.


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 2 Tuesday
Comments (10)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Jerk behind the neck - 70% x 3 x 5
  • Push Press - 75% x 5 x 4
  • Jerk dip squat - 80% (of jerk) x 5 x 3
3 sets; no rest:
2 min jump rope
15 pull-ups

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 3 Wednesday
Comments (10)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 75% x 5 x 5
  • Block (or hang) Clean (mid-thigh) - 65% x 3 x 5
  • Halting Clean Deadlift - 80% (of clean) x 3 x 3
  • SLDL - 60% (of back squat) x 5 x 3


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 4 Thursday
Comments (6)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Power Snatch - 65% x 3 x 4
  • Power Clean - 65% x 3 x 4
  • Power Jerk - 65% x 3 x 4
  • Snatch High-Pull - 70% x 3 x 3
3 sets; no rest:
600 m row
15 DB push press

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 5 Friday
Comments (2)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

Rest Day


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 6 Saturday
Comments (8)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 80% x 3 x 8
  • Snatch - 70% x 3 x 2, 75% x 2 x 3
  • Clean & Jerk - 70% x 3 x 2, 75% x 2 x 3
  • Snatch High-Pull - 70% (of snatch) x 3 x 3


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 7 Sunday
Comments  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

Rest Day


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.




18 Comments
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Marc
August 30 2015
Kinda disappointed because I only increased my max by 3kg. I am new to weightlifting and really need some leg strength (My Power Clean 1RM equals my BS max...) Should I add another 2kg to my BS max for the next 4 weeks? Otherwise the BS for week 1 and 2 will be the same as in week 2 and 3 of the first block.
It should be okay to add a little to the max for the next block, but make sure it is not so much that you have any failed squats.


Steve Pan
Wilbert Noyola
September 6 2015
I had amazing results with this cycle. I was looking for the Excel file to plug in my numbers and I cant find them. Have they been removed?
They were temorarily missing while I did some site upgrades.

Greg Everett
Jacob Dickinson
January 12 2015
I have now ran 2 rounds of this, and got excellent results. Started with a 335x3 345x1 back squat PRs and finished with a 395 back squat. Also added 5# to my snatch to 240# and went from 275 to 285 on my clean and jerk.
Blaise Miller
April 21 2014
Awesome program. Went from 135kg to 150kg. Actually worked of a hypothetical 140kg. Found the 1st and 3rd week the hardest. Thanks Greg and Catalyst athletics for sharing these programs. Next 4 weeks have my own programming then back on the Leg strength Block 2 after that.
Noel Nocas
March 24 2014
7 kg PR from this cycle. Really tough the last week, but the legs are feeling strong.

190 ---> 197

200 is close!

Thanks guys
Jarred Neff
June 8 2015
Hi Greg and Co.,

Was having some definite leg strength issues comparative to my classic lifts.

Finished week 4 Saturday and decided that I could push my Snatch this week. Ended with a 5.72 pound PR @ 225.72 lbs weighing 85kilos Looking forward to FS PR's thanks guys!!!
Alex Wagner
November 3 2015
I am looking to begin this program but I can only make it to the gym 4 days a week. How could I make this program fit into 4 days a week?
Prioritize the Mon, Wed, and Sat workouts. You can combine the Tues/Thurs workouts and put that between workouts 1 and 3, but make sure that you don't go overboard on this day. Give yourself a rest day between workouts 3 and 4. You will have to temper expectations with the results of the program with this modification.


Steve Pan
Eva Alfaro
October 4 2016
Hi! Do you recommend combining programs?
In order to get the best result from a given program, I would recommend doing the program as written instead of over complicating things by adding exercises that may take away from the purpose of the programs. 

Alyssa Sulay
Kamil Ogorek
December 23 2017
Added 7.5kg to my Back Squat (160 => 167.5), 2.5kg (100 => 102.5) to my Snatch, as well as multiple rep PRs in just 3 weeks (had to skip taper because of all gyms closed during xmas and some hiking plans).
Thanks!
Amy Lease
October 1 2018
Added 10# to my back squat in just 4 weeks. Finally broke a long mental and strength plateau. Looking forward to the next few mesocycles within this block. Thanks Greg!
Melissa Cowie
April 5 2020
What does this mean - Clean and Jerk 3(1+1) ?
Melissa - you will do 3 clean and jerks in one set.

Alyssa Sulay
Jake Duncan
May 20 2020
Day 23 calls for "Squat jump" with no weight percentage. Is that just a squat and a jump?
Yes. You can do it as vertical jump or a box jump.

Greg Everett