Kara's 9 Weeks of Heaven
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Kara's 9 Weeks of Heaven

9 weeks   |   $25   |   Web, Text, Excel

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

"Great program. Followed this and snatched 123kg (national record)." - Kyle M.

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

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Sample Week

Week 1 Day 1 Monday
Comments (28)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 60%x4, 70%x4, 75% x 4 x 3
  • Snatch - 60%x4, 70%x4, 75% x 3 x 3
  • Clean & Jerk - 60% x (3+1), 70% x (3+1), 75% x (3+1) x 3
  • Snatch Deadlift - 85% x 4 x 4
  • Press - 4 x 5
Week 1 of 9

This is a cycle adapted from a program by Bob Takano. Lots of volume, so be sure to make the extra effort on recovery.

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 2 Tuesday
Comments (12)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 60%x3, 70%x3, 80% x 3 x 2
  • Power Snatch - 60%x4, 65%x4, 70% x 2 x 3
  • Power Clean + Jerk - 60% x (4+1), 65% x (4+1), 70% x (2+1) x 3
  • Clean Deadlift - 80% x 5 x 4
3 sets; no rest:
15 Pull Ups
20 KB Swings

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 3 Wednesday
Comments (7)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 60%x4, 70%x4, 75% x 3 x 3
  • Snatch - 60%x2, 70%x2, 80%x2, 85%x2
  • Clean & Jerk - 60% x (2+1), 70% x (2+1), 80% x (2+1), 85% x (2+1)
  • RDL - 80% x 4 x 5 (% of clean)
  • Push Press - 60%x4, 65%x4, 70% x 2 x 2

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 4 Thursday
Comments (13)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Front Squat - 60%x4, 70%x4, 75% x 3 x 3
  • Power Snatch - 60%x4, 65%x4, 70% x 3 x 3
  • Power Clean + Jerk - 60% x (4+1), 65% x (4+1), 70% x (3+1) x 3
  • OHS - 60%x3, 70% x 3 x 3
  • Press - 4 x 5

3 sets; no rest:
12 DB Push Press
12 DB High Pull

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 (9)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Back Squat - 60%x4, 70%x4, 80%x4, 85%x3
  • Hang Snatch - 60%x3, 70%x3, 75% x 3 x 3
  • Hang Clean - 60%x3, 70%x3, 75% x 3 x 3
  • Snatch Deadlift on Riser - 85% x 4 x 4
  • RDL - 80% x 4 x 5 (% of clean)

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.

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August 10 2015
How much weight for the press on day one
Feel out a good weight for the rep range, it shouldn't be super hard or a grind on any reps. Make sure there is room to go up on the following weeks.

Steve Pan
John Quinn
July 16 2015
Hey guys. Where it says "clean and jerk", is that a power jerk?, the same as when it states "power clean AND jerk" in the notes? Or is it a split?

Greg Everett
Travis Lay
April 15 2015
Should we test everything before starting the cycle (at least snatch, clean and jerk and squat) or use lifetime PR's to base percentages?
You need to have accurate 1RMs, so get that done before you start any program with % prescriptions.

Greg Everett
Ryan Fuller
February 17 2015
Started this cycle about a week ago. Loving it already. Looking forward to passing on my results at the end of this
January 21 2015
Quick question.. If I feel that during this program I am getting stronger.. Should I re-enter maxes?? Or should I just stick with the numbers I entered before starting?
You should be getting stronger - the program takes that into account. Unless you feel like your 1RM has increased dramatically, don't change anything.

Greg Everett
Crystal Balm
September 25 2014
I just wanted to say this one looks very spicy! Holy shenanigans welcome to the big leagues.
Tommy Malone
September 11 2014
How many, if any, WOD's could I mix in before dimishing the returns of this cycle? I operate at pretty high volume now. 3 days on 1 day off/2 days on 1 day off with 3-4 doubles and 5 strength training sessions before the WOD's. Thanks
I would do zero. If you want to do CF, choose a lower-volume cycle.

Greg Everett
Danielle Stetzel
April 7 2014
When doing snatches or cleans, are all reps finished in the standing position or is it all about receiving the bar in the bottom position? Are all lifts supposed to be stood up?
Yes, the lift is not complete until you're standing again.

Greg Everett
Mike Massie
October 15 2015

Firstly, I would like to thank you for doing this for people. Secondly, whoever writes these programs is a genius. I am at the end of this cycle (second to last week) and am seeing great results. Lifts are much more consistent at higher percentages. My question is, can I just repeat this cycle over again or will that diminish its effectiveness? Should I try something else, any other program you might recommend for the next cycle of training.

You can try repeating it after a light rest week, but make sure you increase all weights at least slightly, even if they are %s of lifts that did not increase (or you didn't test).

Greg Everett
Sven Reichelt
October 16 2015
Hey guys. i've been looking for a new cycle and found my way to catalystathletes. all the programms are looking real nice but i'm wondering what rest range i should use between sets and exercises? any recommendations?
2-3 minutes between oympic lifts and 3-5 minutes between squats/pulls should be good unless otherwise specified by the program.

Steve Pan
Samuel Lopez
October 20 2015
Should I do strict or butterfly pullups?

Steve Pan
Samuel Lopez
October 22 2015
When you say no rest in the accesory workout, I guess you mean unbroken too right?
If possible, yes.

Steve Pan
Shora Rezaie
November 7 2015
When it says 85% snatch deadlift - is it 85% of my snatch or of my prlift in snatch deadlift?

Thank you for sharing this program:) I'm finish with my first week now and I'm really motivated!
85% of your best snatch.

Steve Pan
Stelios Apostolides
November 10 2015
I am finishing week 2 and starting the day with BSQ or FSQ it feels like affecting my snatch and C&J. If i change the order of the exercises, lets say if i do my squats at the end, what would be the effect of this? Thanks great programs!
Keep the order of the exercises the same and you will adapt to the work over the next weeks.

Steve Pan
Carrie Kelsey
November 20 2015
When plugging in my 1RM into spreadsheet does it have to be in kilos, or does it also work if I plug in pounds?
They are working on percentages, so whatever denomination you use will be displayed in the same units.

Steve Pan
Tyler Watson
November 24 2015
What kind of KBS we talking? And what type of weight should be used? Thanks
KB will be kettlebell. You can feel out a weight that is appropriate for the day. Don't go overboard as this program is very aggressive in general.

Steve Pan
Omar Cervantes
November 25 2015
Why do you have % for push press and not for press ? Wich is the diference?
Press and Push Press

Push press you should have a max that you can go off of for the percentages. Press you may have a max, but we leave it open for you to feel out what works for that particular day.

Steve Pan
Nick King
December 28 2015
I don't know if it's useful to come back and add this comment, but if you're looking for a cycle, this maybe helpful to you. I've done this cycle 3 or 4 times over the last couple years. I feel really accomplished doing it because it's so much volume I FEEL like i'm getting that workout I want...but if this is really about performance, here's what I've noticed: I NEVER peak well coming out of this cycle. The first time I thought I did something wrong. The second time I injured my lower back. The Third time I thought I did something wrong. and then this last weekend when I couldn't even pull 95% of my max well, I realized that this style doesn't work well for me. I feel like I peak about 6 weeks in, and then the last 3 weeks just grind me down.

In contrast, the OTM cycle (12 weeks) has really worked well for me, as has a focus on squatting and pulling, with minimal full lifts.

just my 2 cents. I'm sure it's a great program, I just don't respond well to it.
This is EXTREMELY high volume... I try to warn people away from it... Works well for a select few, but for most, it's just too much.

Greg Everett
William Green
January 18 2016
Hi just a quick question. On day 2 for the power clean and jerks, what does 4+1 and 2+1r3s mean?

4+1 refers to the reps in the order of the exercises listed so for the power clean + jerk it will be 4 power cleans and 1 jerk for those sets. The (2+1) x 3 would be 3 sets of 2 power cleans + 1 jerk.

Steve Pan
Riley Wilson
February 14 2016
I was wondering is it acceptable to break up the workouts in two seasons? I.e. Squats and pull in the morning and main lifts in the afternoon? I have my first meet in nine weeks so just curious thank you!
That is okay to split up the workout over 2 sessions.

Steve Pan
Carson Sander
February 24 2016
What lifts should we all test before beginning this program. From looking at it I see CJ & Snatch, BS/FS/OHS and Push Press (not strict press). Is this all the lifts we will be basing percentages off of?
If you don't have good maxes set for the lifts in this program, I would recommend against using this program. I would not recommend testing these lifts and then going into the program. The lifts you have listed above and power snatch/clean/jerk will be required.

Steve Pan
Kyle Micallef
March 21 2016
Great program. Followed this and snatched 123kg (national record) and clean & jerked 148kg at 85.15BW. Looking forward to the next cycle and more gains. Keep them coming
John Westbrook
April 13 2016
This may be a dumb question- but when it says 5x2 or something similar, is this supposed to be touch-n-go reps?
Never touch and go. Always reset between reps and make good movements.

Steve Pan
Idan Oknin
April 27 2016
thenks for the progrem
does adding 1 ab exercise in the end of the workout is allowed ? thenks
Adding an ab exercise each day is good.

Steve Pan
Federico Reale
June 6 2016
Can i use the % of jerk in p. press? I have not tested my max but with 110 kg of clean e jerk i dont think the max is over 100, doing 4 reps with 70 kg is a little easy or they have to be easy? Thank you!!
Federico - I would stick with the prescribed percentages. This is a really tough cycle so you'll appreciate the lighter days later in the cycle. 

Alyssa Sulay
Idan Oknin
June 7 2016
hello greg im a crossfiter im about to finish the progrem great progrem really like this one
im going to get back to crossfit after i finish the 9th week i did this progrem to up mi strength and my olimpic lift (i struggled geting out of the clean)
i used to low bar squat for along time and dicided go try the high bar 3 mounthes ago
my qustion is is it rcomended to get back to the low bar as long as i front squat
the same amount of should i stike with the high bar
i want to low bar becous it alows my to dead lift less (im a very strong puller)
or the high bar and front squat are enough as long as i invalve pulls in complexes
thenks it could realy halp my if u answer
Idan - It really just depends on what your goals are. The olympic squat (high bar) squat works well with the olympic lifts because of the position it puts you in. You have to maintain a stable and erect trunk, while in the low bar back squat your hips are pushed back and your chest is forward. So it really just depends on what you hope to acheive. Here is an article to take a look at that might help. 

Alyssa Sulay
Isabel Keim
August 21 2016
Hey guys, can I use this program as a competition preparation? Thanks in advanced. Isabel
You can, but I wouldn't do this program for the first time right before your competition it is a great program but it's also one of our toughest!

Alyssa Sulay
Sean Rogan
November 2 2016
Just signed up today for this plan. A couple quick questions-

I read below no TnG. Is that also true for movements with 2 cleans + 1 jerk? I assume drop after the jerk, but what about after the first clean.

It looks like there are minor differences between the Excel and program below. EX: W1D1 is 70-75%x3 Excel but 60-70-75 below. W1D2 has a finisher below but not in Excel. Am I missing something?

No TnG is going to be true for all movements, you want to make sure you get set properly before each movement. As for the differences in the web versions and the excel versions, get the percentages off of the excel sheet. 

Alyssa Sulay
Sean Rogan
November 4 2016
Thank you, Alyssa. A lot of squatting, but this is a great program. The complex in the middle is a butt kicker.
Cyrielle Petit
January 10 2017
Hey guys. Some weeks are about 4 sessions/week, then 5/week for others. What if we have opportunity to train more days on the week? Thanks a lot
Cyrielle - On the weeks that you hace the opportunity to train more days a week, I would spend those days working on your recovery. This is a very tough cycle so you need to make sure you are getting enough rest so your body has time to recover. 

Alyssa Sulay
Kamil Ogorek
July 29 2017
Does this program end with a competition peak? Or would it require an additional taper week after?
It peaks for competition.

Greg Everett
Amanda DeVall
February 11 2018
Week 7, Day 4 Front Squat+Jerk...I feel like it should be based off my jerk, not my front squat...is that right?
Amanda - that is correct. Based off your jerk.

Alyssa Sulay
Becker Seifert
October 13 2018
Week 1 looks like a transition week with the lighter percentages. I just finished the AO Cycle on Friday, could I start this the following Monday since the first week percentages are lower, or wait a week?
Becker - You can start this right away.

Alyssa Sulay
Daniel R
June 13 2019
Is this meant to be done in 1 session? If we were to break it up into morning and afternoon what would be the best way to split it up?
Daniel - yes, it is meant to be done in 1 session. If you were to break it up, do your squats and pulls in one session and the rest in another.

Alyssa Sulay
Carmen Fung
February 22 2020
During week 8 on the days where we go up to 95% snatch and C&J, can we go for a max if they feel good?
Carmen- I would stick to the program as much as possible. Especially this one because of how difficult it is.

Alyssa Sulay
Julia Lundberg
January 13 2021
Hi! Is it any specifik reason why the rest days are fridays/sundays? Or can you for example switch rest day from friday until thursday for example?
You can try it but you'd need to re-order the days. Move Thursday to Saturday and Saturday to Friday.

Greg Everett
Ross Mcwatt
May 2 2021
If I can only train 3 times a week which sessions should I do?
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Greg Everett
Robert Lis
October 22 2023
Can I go heavier than 90% on week 7 if I feel good?