Weightlifting Programs

8-Week General Cycle


8 weeks   |   $25   |   Web, Text, Excel, App

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."

"Did this program and went from an ugly 175 lbs snatch to a solid 200 lbs, and from a shaky 245 C&J to a crisp, almost easy 265 lbs. Fantastic content on this site! Thanks!"
- Jason M.

"Snatch went up 30lbs, C&J went up 30lbs, Back Squat went up 40lbs, and Front Squat went up 50lbs." - Matthew M.

"My snatch went from 85 to 90 and the CJ from 105 to 115kg easily. My back SQ from 145kg to 150." - Jorge E.

"My back squat went from 85 kg to 95 kg( tested 2 days ago) frontsquat from approximately 73 to 80 kg. My clean went from 54 to 65 kg, powerclean from 64 to 68 kg. Jerk from 65 to 70 kg. Clean & jerk total from 57kg to 68 kg. Snatch went from 45 to 51 kg. Ohs from 58 to 69 kg." - Filippa A.

"This was my first Catalyst program and I am 100% sold. I have done other programs in the past and nothing has come close." - Brian C.

"Back squat from 145 to 157,5, clean 125 to 130, overhead squat 107,5 to 115. power clean 115 to 117,5. did not tested my Snatch but i did a power snatch with 90 (old power snatch was 85)." - Anil A.

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

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86 Comments
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Evan
August 13 2015
how exactly is one supposed to do the 3-position exercises when it says: 3-Position 60%, 65%, 70% x 4 sets?

Does that mean:
1 rep 3-Position at 60% x 1 set
1 rep 3-Position at 65% x 1 set
1 rep 3-Position at 70% x 4 sets

???
That is correct.


Steve Pan
Rudy b
August 14 2015
I've been looking on this page for the link to the spreadsheet program and can not find it. Am I missing it?
We are currently working on improving the spreadsheets. You will have to use the site workouts for the time being. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Steve Pan
Josh
August 17 2015
What kind of rest time should we be looking at in between the sets?
2-3 minutes on olympic lifts and 3-5 minutes on squats should be fine.


Steve Pan
Brett
September 8 2015
As a general rule if the weights feel light is it okay to go heavier or add reps? For example, front squats on day 3 felt light (for squats anyway) and looking forward to the powersnatches tomorrow it seems like those will be light as well. I know it's not supposed to be a max effort but if you just feel really good and want to add weight is that okay?
Brett
September 9 2015
Please disregard previous question. Not sure how I missed the answer clearly written in the program description. Sorry if I wasted your time. Love the programs. The 12 week cycle got my bs up #25to #360 fs up to #275 snatch up #10 to #205 and cj up 15# to #245. Thank you again. Cant wait to work through this one!
Mel
September 14 2015
What does front squat x 75% x2m mean?
A breakdown of the notation can be found here.


Steve Pan
Jonathan
September 15 2015
I see you've answered the question already, but do you mind clarifying for me to make sure I've got it right? For the 3 position you'd do all three positions(3 reps @ 60%), then add weight and do all 3 again at 65% and then add weight again and do them a 3rd time at 70% and those 9 total reps (3 at 60, 3at 65 and 3 at 70) would be your first set? Then you'd take the weight back down to 60% and do that again 3 more times for 4 sets (36 total reps)?
Thanks for explaining again!
J
Each one is its own set. So one set of 3-position snatch/clean at each percentage (one set at 60%, one set at 65%, and 4 sets at 70% on the first week). You will do 6 total 3-position lifts on Monday's workout.


Steve Pan
Mel
September 20 2015
Sorry, I still dont get what the m is. I understand RM but what is the m with a % ex. 70%x2m
This was an error and has been corrected. The "m" was a comma.


Steve Pan
Christina
October 2 2015
Is there a downloadable spreadsheet for the cycle or do I have to manually enter in all my 1 rm's?
The sheets are no longer available. You will have to do them manually for the time being. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Steve Pan
Jason M
October 5 2015
Did this program and went from an ugly 175 lbs snatch to a solid 200 lbs, and from a shaky 245 C&J to a crisp, almost easy 265 lbs.

Fantastic content on this site! Thanks!
steve
October 6 2015
hi, what does SLDL means and what is meant by a heavy single, is it trying for a new PR or just adding a bit of more weight?
SLDL is Stiff Legged Deadlift and can be found here.

Description for Heavy Single can be found in the section here.


Steve Pan
J Sheppard
October 7 2015
Are the percentages for variations such as power cleans based off the lifter's 1RM for the competition lift or that specific variation?
Percentage of the listed exercise unless otherwise specified. Power clean percentages will go off of the lifter's best power clean.


Steve Pan
Becca
October 7 2015
Generally speaking, if I fail a rep in my set, should I redo the whole set, redo just the one rep, or just move on and fight harder for the reps in the remaining sets?

Thanks in advance
Move on to the next set and try your best to correct what caused you to fail on the previous set.


Steve Pan
Steven Ma
October 12 2015
If I miss a day of the cycle, should I just make up the day I missed and continue from there or is there something else you prescribed for missed days?
Steven Ma
October 12 2015
For the 3-position Clean & Jerk, do you jerk after each position? For example at 60%: do a clean from the floor and jerk, do a clean from below the knew and jerk, and do a clean from above the knee and jerk? Or is it clean from the 3 positions and then one jerk?

Thanks
One Jerk at the end after the 3-position clean.


Steve Pan
Cassie Massey
September 7 2015
For each week, would you calculate percentages based on initial maxes?

So if you PR your snatch and/or Clean & Jerk in the heavy singles on Saturday, would you take 60% of the new figure for this session?

Thanks!
Calculate %s for the entire program on your true 1RMs at the start of the cycle. If you make a new PR during the cycle, use that new 1RM to calculate %s from then on.


Greg Everett
Matthew Martine
August 2 2015
I just fnished this 8 week cycle. Generally happy with the results. I had to break it up a bit due to other factors, so the 8 weeks was more like 11 weeks, which I feel inturupted my progress, but I still did well.

Snatch went up 30lbs, C&J went up 30lbs, Back Squat went up 40lbs, and Front Squat went up 50lbs.

Very impressed with Catalyst, and I'm definitely following more of your programing in the future.
Payton Owens
October 21 2015
Hello Catalyst Athletics,

First let me just say thank you for these programs! They are greatly appreciated. So I've read through all of the comments and understand 99% of this program. The one question I have comes from Day 17 when it says "3-Position Snatch (floor, below knee, above knee) - 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, max". For the Max is that meaning do a 3 Position Snatch with my 3RM weight off of my 1RM? Or am I finding a max for the 3 PS. Thank you again.
Work up to the best 3-Position snatch that you can make after hitting 80%.


Steve Pan
Brett Geyer
October 24 2015
I know each element of these programs is designed with purpose and is important. However, if a decision must be made is weight or rep scheme more important. For example on the 5x5 back squat if failure/near failure occurs rep 5 on set 4 and is not due to technique (as mentioned in comment above) or inadequate rest but rather fatigue should the lifter attempt a lower weight they know they can do for 5 in the last set or stick with the weight and try to get as close to 5 as possible.
You may take the weight down for the last sets if you are absolutely dying. It is prefereable to make good reps rather than taking a set that you will fail on.


Steve Pan
Mike Longo
October 26 2015
What warm up do you recommend for this workout? Do you have something generic that I can use for this cycle ?
The link here would be a good place to start.


Steve Pan
Jessica Napoli
November 17 2015
unfortunately i need to take a week off from training while i heal from a minor surgery; i'll have only complete the first week in this cycle. do i need to start back over or can i pick up on week 2?
Recover from surgery and I would recommend starting from the beginning again or even possibly taking a transition week lighter than week 1 and making sure you are good to go before pushing too hard on a program.


Steve Pan
Max Sawicky
November 19 2015
I'm in the first week, and my only question thus far is the difference between snatch high pull, high pull snatch and snatch pull.

On day 4, the program says to do 5 sets of 3 reps of 70% power snatch, then snatch high pull again at 70%. After looking up exercises , I feel I should be doing the high pull snatch at 70%, where as a snatch pull should be closer to 90%, like in day 2.
Could u please clarify
There are no High-Pull Snatches in this program. It should be Snatch High-Pull at 70%.


Steve Pan
Jorge Entrialgo
December 21 2015
I just fnished this 8 week cycle! My snatch went from 85 to 90 and the CJ from 105 to 115kg easily. My back SQ from 145kg to 150. Light volume of training for me but happy with the new RM but I adjust the program for ten weeks instead of 8, for get ready for my last contest of the year.
Filippa Andersson
December 31 2015
I Love the programme!
My last week and My body is very tired so i skip My max, i have got some Nice PRs during the programme.
My back squat went from 85 kg to 95 kg( tested 2 days ago) frontsquat from approximately 73 to 80 kg.
My clean went from 54 to 65 kg, powerclean from 64 to 68 kg. Jerk from 65 to 70 kg.
Clean & jerk total from 57kg to 68 kg.
Snatch went from 45 to 51 kg.
Ohs from 58 to 69 kg, and Much stronger Overall.

Been a crossfitter Almost 1,5 year, this programme was very fun high volyme.
Erin Clymer
February 1 2016
when it says: 70% x 3 x 5...

is that...
70% 3 sets of 5 reps

or

70% 3 reps, 5 sets

??
70%x3x5 would be 5 sets of 3 reps at 70% of the prescribed exercise.

Please read the section here for information on the notation.


Steve Pan
Brian Coleman
February 8 2016
Just recently completed this program and wanted to comment that it was phenomenal. I PRd my snatch by 7kg and Clean by 2kg. Missed the Jerk. However the Clean PR was with MUCH better technique and feeling then I have ever had.

This was my first Catalyst Program and I am 100% sold. I have done other programs in the past and nothing has come close. Great program and I am now about to start another!
Nick Bandini
February 17 2016
How heavy should we go on Single leg dead lifts?
You will have to feel out a weight that works for the rep range. Make sure your back stays arched through the entire movement. You should not lose posture or be grinding through the last reps.

Steve Pan
Benjamin Murray
February 23 2016
Hi, I just got off Cal strength bfs cycle and am extremely interested in your programming. My only question after reading it is in regards to core and bodyweight work. Where should we add GHR and Back Extensions into the mix. Thxs, Ben
You can add back and abs every day as long as it doesn't interfere with your recovery for the next workouts.

Steve Pan
Dan Schindler
March 12 2016
Opinions on making the "off days" W and Su instead of F and Su?
I would not recommend shifting the days, but you may try putting Wednesday's workout on Thursday and pushing the Thursday workout to Friday and taking it lighter on that workout to give you some room to push harder on Saturday. You will have to temper your expectations of the results of the program with adjusting the days, and you will have to make adjustments if needed as you go (monitor your recovery and play it by feel).

Steve Pan
Nicola Schraven
March 29 2016
Hi Greg!

Im into this cycle now and i really like it im confortable with a bigger amount of training and i read a lot on the page avout not combining programs. Is that meant just strenght programs?

Because im doing now this general cycle to push my strenght and lifts in the morning and 8 hours later im focussing on conditioning and gymnastics movement?

Sry i can imagine im number 1000 who is asking but im still wondering

Best

Nicola
Both programs will not work if you are going overboard with the volume (especially adding conditioning and gymnastics). This is meant for all programs on the site.

Steve Pan
Kent Bischoff
March 29 2016
For sets of more than 1 rep, do you recommend dropping the bar between reps or keeping a grip on the bar throughout the set?
You may drop and reset between reps. Do the sets within reason, don't touch and go and don't take 30+ seconds rest between reps.

Steve Pan
Kent Bischoff
April 17 2016
Thank you for answering my previous question. I have one more. If you set a new PR during a HS lift, should the new PR be used as the basis for the percentages from there on out? I set a new PR in a Clean and Jerk heavy single on one of the Saturday lifts. Should i go back into the spreadsheet and change my PR weight on the first page?
Once you set a PR you will take all percentages off of the new PR.

Steve Pan
Tyler Tung
May 22 2016
Hi Steve!

If we absolutely had to miss one day of training (i.e. the Saturday of Week 3 in my case) what should we do about it? Should I work it into one of the rest days with lower volume or just skip it entirely or something else?

Thanks!
You can skip this one and continue on with the next week or you can take it on your next training day and push the program forward. You will have to make a judgement call as to what will work with your schedule.

Steve Pan
Ashley Heil
June 14 2016
I got lifetime PRs of 5lbs on my power snatch, overhead squat, push press, and squat snatch. Not to mention my shoulders are stronger so I got first bee strict handstand push-up. I also hit this-year PRs on pretty much all other lifts. Finally, my form feels better than ever. Thanks catalyst!
Jonathan Flores
June 18 2016
please in Day 6.. Help What mean Heavy single? I dont understand Much English.. In the first part..
Mean: Snatch, 2 Set of 60% 2 Clean +1 Jerk..?,
2 sets of 70% 2 Clean +1 Jerk, 2 Set of 80 % 2 Clean +1 Jerk?? Please Help me in the part of Heavy single??
Jonathan - Heavy single means that you would go as heavy as you can for that day. You can find more information on the way things are written in our programs here

Alyssa Sulay
Mona Ibrahim
June 22 2016
Can I combine this program with cf please? So I will have days for CF other days for this program?
Mona - You can combine the program with CF, however, it will not be as effective as it would if you followed the program exactly.

Alyssa Sulay
Tessa Waters
October 11 2016
Should i establish all 1rm before starting the program>
Tessa - I would suggest doing the starter program first, that will allow you to establish your RMs before you begin this program. You can find the starter program here

Alyssa Sulay
Victor Birch
December 14 2016
General Question: If my heavy single is more than my original 1RM, should I adjust the spreadsheet 1RM for the upcoming weeks? Or does the program already take this into account?
John Wagoner
February 13 2017
On the heavy single days are supposed to start lifting and keep goin until we fail and find a heavy single, then base our 60%,70%,etc. off that or do we go off our max and then just lift for a heavy single afterwards.
You will work up to a heavy single, the base the percentages following off the heavy single you worked up to for the day. 

Alyssa Sulay
Jason Smith
June 4 2017
Quick question - on the HS Saturdays, the prescription is generally 60% x 2, 70% x 2, 80% x 2 then a HS, with the percentages before the HS increasing throughout the program. Once I finish the doubles, is the intent that I have 1 lift for a HS or is the intent that I work up to a HS, even if it takes me a few more reps to get from 80% up to a HS? As this would change the volume quite a bit on that day, I just want to clarify.

Thanks!!
Take as many sets after the prescribed weight to get to your HS - could be one, could be 5.

Greg Everett
Monttez Shackelford
June 28 2017
What should I do if I do not know my max to certain lifts? (i.e: overhead squat and push press.)
Monttez - for the exercises that you do not have a max in yet, do them by feel until you work up to a max in the program. 

Alyssa Sulay
RICHARD HILBURN
July 12 2018
For the 3 position lifts, are the prescribed percentages of 1 rep max or percentage or 3 position lift max?
Richard - it is of the 1RM. 

Alyssa Sulay
Iain Barrowman
February 25 2019
Hi,

Coming off the back of the starter program with classic cycle 1 bolted onto the back of it, after being out for a few months due to renovating a house.

Self taught from the 3rd gen book. Looking to bulid strength and power.

Would this program(8 week gen cycle) or Risers, Waves and Positions serve me best to move onto next, for building strength and power?

Regards
Iain - This would be a good one to start with, then you can move onto the risers, waves and positions.
 

Alyssa Sulay
Iain Barrowman
February 26 2019
Alyssa,

Thanks again.
I didn’t want to pester you with more questions.
🙏🏻
Anil Aydin
August 23 2019
On day 55 of the cycle i have a competition. Should i train the program 1:1 how its written or doing it like in the article „Meet Week Training: Your Golden Opportunity to Piss Away Months of Hard Work“?
The program is written to peak for competition, so you can do as written.

Greg Everett
Anil Aydin
September 15 2019
Great program.. i had a bad First competition but my preparation with this program was Great. I am a lifter in the 96 kg class. I had 5-6 mesocycles before this. So i Write down my old and new Numbers in kg. Back squat from 145 to 157,5, clean 125 to 130, overheadsquat 107,5 to 115. power clean 115 to 117,5. did not tested my Snatch but i did a power snatch with 90 (old power snatch was 85) .
Kaspars Markitans
March 17 2020
Hi, Guys. Please can you help me with this, 3RM in end of every exercise means - I going to do 70%(of 1RM clean) x 3, 75%x3, 80%x3 and then I go in to do 3RM? Or I have to do 3RM first and then I calculate percentage? And 3RM is touch and go? Thank you.
Kaspars - work up the the 3RM and it is not touch and go. Make sure to get set between each rep.

Alyssa Sulay