Basic Strength Cycle
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Basic Strength Cycle

6 weeks   |   Free   |   Web, Text

This is a basic strength-emphasis phase to push squat, pull and pressing strength while still getting regular exposure to the classic lifts, and testing the snatch and clean & jerk at the end.

"Improved my snatch from 70kg to 88kg and my clean and jerk from 95 to 105." -Ivan K.

Notes: Accessory work can be done as written for some conditioning, or at a normal pace if you're not interested in conditioning.

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Sample Week

Week 1 Day 1 Monday
Comments (14)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back squat - 75% x 4 x 5
  • Push press - 70% x 5 x 5
  • Snatch pull - 90% (of snatch) x 5 x 5
  • Weighted sit-ups - 3 x 10
Week 1

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 2 Tuesday
Comments (17)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Snatch high-pull + muscle snatch - 70% (of MS) x 4 sets
  • 3-position snatch (floor, knee, mid-thigh) - 70% x 5 sets
  • Power jerk + jerk - 75% (of jerk) x 4 sets

For time:
Kipping pull-ups - as many consecutive as possible
Row - for as many calories as pull-ups in this round (up to 25)
Repeat until reaching a total of 60 pull-ups or a max of 8 minutes

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 3 Wednesday
Comments (2)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Front squat - 75% x 3 x 5
  • Snatch push press - 73% x 5 x 5
  • Clean pull - 93% (of clean) x 5 x 5
  • Hanging leg raise - 3 x 15
  • Back extension - 3 x 15

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 4 Thursday
Comments (15)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Muscle snatch - heavy single; 90% of that x 1 x 2
  • 2-position clean - 65% x 5 sets
  • Jerk - 70% x 3; 75% x 3; 80% x 2 x 3

3 rounds for time:
50 m sprint
10 walking lunges
2 rope climbs

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


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 6 Saturday
Comments (5)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Snatch - heavy single
  • Clean & jerk - heavy single
  • Back squat - heavy single

5 rounds for time:
8 kipping pull-ups
8 box jumps - mid-thigh+

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


Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.

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Balal Jabbar
April 20 2016
Hey Greg, should i also add AB and back work to this cycle, or just Go with the program. I see there is some AB and back work all ready.
You can add ab and back work on the days that don't have prescribed work.

Steve Pan
Ryan Carver
May 23 2017
Hi Greg, what movement should the percentages be based on for the Snatch Push Presses? For example, Week 1-Day 3 Snatch Push Press - 73% x 5 x 5. Is this 73% of a 1RM Snatch Push Press? Or is this 73% of another movement like Overhead Squat or similar? thanks-
Ryan- you can base the percentages off your OHS max. 

Alyssa Sulay
Nicole Feliciano
August 12 2019
Hey Greg, what if i missed heavy single day, should i skip it all together and start mondays work or try and complete those lifts?
Nicole - I would move on to Monday's workout.

Alyssa Sulay
Marco Drews
October 13 2019
Hey Greg,
is this recommended to lifters who finished your starter program?
Marco - This would be a good program after the starter program.

Alyssa Sulay
Benjamin Evans
November 4 2019
what should the rest be between sets roughly on all lifts
Benjamin - 1.5 - 2 minutes.

Alyssa Sulay
Sean Coe
November 25 2019
Hello, I don’t have a row machine, climbing rope or sand bag.

Looks like I can replace the row with a jump rope and would a gada/mace or KB be a good replacement for sandbags?

And what about the climbing rope?

Thank you
You can sub a KB for sandbag, and do rope pull-ups for rope climbs.

Greg Everett
KJ Phipps
January 16 2020
About what rpe should the squat single be?
9 - 9.8... As heavy as possible without failing.

Greg Everett
Pablo Rubilar
May 5 2020
Hey Greg. Question, how can I replace back extensions, as I dont have a GHD machine and I train alone. Cheers!
You can just do superman holds/raises on the floor.

Greg Everett
Ryan Holderread
May 7 2020
Thanks Coach for the free program
Jaimie Hughes
October 11 2020
Hi, what would be the best alternative to kipping pull ups?
Real pull-ups... But I'm going to have to assume you're asking because you don't have a pull-up bar or can't do pull-ups, so you can do bent rows.

Greg Everett
Mahdi Roohnikan
October 12 2020
Hey man, when is a good time to do strength cycle?
When you need more strength...

Greg Everett
Ivan Kaitazoff
October 13 2020
i was doing crossfit before. Did this program and improved my snatch from 70kg to 88kg and my clean and jerk from 95 to 105

Greg Everett
Zachery Howell
July 9 2021
Loving the program so far, apologies for the potentially dumb question, in the complexes such as muscle snatch -> heavy single snatch, is it back to the floor between movements or from hang/knee?
That's not a complex - it's just a heavy single muscle snatch.

Greg Everett
Zachery Howell
July 9 2021
Sorry for the dumb question, on the muscle snatch -> heavy single and similar complexes, do you go to ground between them or is it a knee/hang for the second movement?
Carol Burns
October 24 2023
Starting today. No better time than the present.
Carol - YAY good luck and have fun!

Alyssa Sulay
Bryce Gan Siong Yi
February 2 2024
Hi Greg, if i can only train 4days per week, would you recommend compressing the program based on the guide you posted on CA or it is better to spread out the program over a longer period of time?

Catalyst Athletics
February 4 2024
Hi! Best way to compress/modify a program can be found here: