Greg Everett 2014 American Open Cycle
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Greg Everett 2014 American Open Cycle

12 weeks   |   Free   |   Web, Text, Excel

This is a 12-week cycle very similar to what Greg Everett used to train for the 2014 American Open. It uses RMs and back-off sets with much of the work to allow a lot of flexibility in loading and very hard work if you're ambitious. It also has a good amount of positional strength work for the lifts and training for leg explosivess. The cycle finishes with a full 4-week competition mesocycle with plenty of heavy single snatch and clean & jerk for max testing or competition.

"Total went from 232 to 254kg." - Dan L.

"I increased my competition total by 13kg!" - Jonathan A.

"By week 10 I've added 20 pounds on my snatch and 25 on my C&J" - Alex

"Just finished the program and I have to say it worked very well. Snatch: 88kg to 98 kg, C+J: 102 kg to 111 kg, FS: 125 kg to 129 kg." - Rudy

"This program has been great. Increased my snatch already by 7.5kg and more importantly my confidence and consistency in numbers." -Kelly L.

"Snatch went from 102kg to 107kg, Clean and Jerk from 113.5 to 120kg, and Front squat from 120kg to 127.5kg." - Deece R.

"Here are my lifts improvements: Clean&Jerk: 78 kg --> 86 kg, Snatch: 60 kg --> 70 kg, Back Squat: 90 kg --> 97 kg, Front squat: 78 kg --> 86 kg, Power snatch: 54 kg --> 57, Power clean: 75 kg --> 80 kg" - Lucas D.

Good For:
  • Squat strength
  • Pulling strength
  • Overhead strength
  • Leg explosiveness
  • Unilateral leg strength/stability
  • Turnover strength
  • The percentages that follow an RM are of that day's RM. For example, 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5 means that you work up to a 5RM, then do 95% of that for 5 reps, and then 90% of it for 5 reps.
  • Rep prescriptions like 3+1 provide the rep count for each exercise in the complex in order. For example, Segment Clean (knee) + Jerk Drive + Jerk - (1+3+1)RM means that for each set, you will perform 1 segment clean, then 3 jerk drives, then 1 jerk.

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Sample Week

Week 1 Day 1 Monday
Comments (37)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Push Press + Pause Jerk - (5+1)RM; 95% x (5+1), 90% x (5+1)
  • Back Squat - 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5
  • Weighted Lunge - 3x5/leg
  • Back Squat Jump - 20%x5x3 (% of back squat)
Week 1 of 12

Find weights by feel. Do not go to absolute max on first week as you will try to add weight each week for weeks 2 and 3.

Percentages after RM are taken off of the RM for the exercise/complex.

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 2 Tuesday
Comments (18)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Snatch High-Pull + Power Snatch + Hang Snatch (knee) - (1+1+1)RM; 95% x (1+1+1), 90% x (1+1+1)
  • Halting Snatch Deadlift (upper thigh) - 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5
  • Snatch Long Pull - 3x5
  • SLDL - 3x5

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 3 Wednesday
Comments (8)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Snatch Push Press + OHS - (5+1)RM; 95% x (5+1), 90% x (5+1)
  • Pause Back Squat - 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5
  • Jumping Quarter Squat - 50%x5x3 (% of back squat)
  • Press - 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5

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

  • Clean High-Pull - Power Clean + Hang Clean (knee) - (1+1+1)RM; 95% x (1+1+1), 90% x (1+1+1)
  • Halting Clean Deadlift (upper thigh) - 5RM; 95%x5, 90%x5
  • Clean Long Pull - 3x5
  • Good Morning - 3x5

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

Rest Day

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 6 Saturday
Comments (9)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

  • Segment Snatch (knee) + OHS - (1+1)RM; 95% x (1+1), 90% x (1+1)
  • Segment Clean (knee) + Jerk Drive + Jerk - (1+3+1)RM; 95% x (1+3+1), 90% x (1+3+1)
  • Front Squat - 3RM; 95%x3, 90%x3
  • SLDL - 3x5

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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Mark Lisica
July 31 2015
Played sports all my life. However, it was not until college where I took my fitness training seriously and over that course I learned to truly love the journey of getting stronger. Over the last year, I have been meaning to stick to a program but just could not. I am a full-time engineer, a part-time coach, a volunteer at a physical therapy clinic, a recent husband and I even blog for 4thlinehockey.c om/blogs/blog.

Been hopping around programs but I am committed to finally following this one. Its simple, its efficient and I am really learning to love the sport of weightlifting. I am day 4, and just keeping myself on this track. Not an easy thing with the honeymoon around the corner and it being a beautiful summer, but I am devoted.

Catalyst Athletics has helped me grow, and if you wish to follow my journey you can follow my comments on each WOD's page below or check out my instagram for constant updates: B1Marrow or Mark Lisica. Idk.

I encourage all others on this program to write down their goals and show me your progress.

My goal: is to complete this program in full, on time and with a smile on my face. So far so great!

Sharyn Millis
August 28 2015
Is there a way to download the programming to Kindle? Thankyou!
We don't currently have an option to export to Kindle, but you may have a web browsing option that may view the cycles.

Steve Pan
Maggie Snyder
October 19 2015
If you have a competition planned around the end of the cycle, should you try to match it up so comp day is the last Saturday of the program? I've only done a couple of competitions and am not very familiar with the deload week before a comp and how it should look. Is week 12 a deload week? Thanks for the help and all the great information!!
I would suggest trying to get the end of the program to fall on the same weekend as the competition. You can then adjust the last week accordingly to get it to fall on the day of the competition.

Steve Pan
Ananth Vnkateswarlu
October 28 2015
hey steve , need ur advise regarding choosing a best routine which vl help me favoure my sport specific leg explossion n strength? plz do let me knw ..:)
Steve Pan
October 28 2015
I recommend reading the article here, deciding what your needs are, and choosing a program based on their descriptions in the page here. Read the section here before you begin.
Ananth Vnkateswarlu
October 28 2015
ya steve i read it all, n i just followed the words of strength n eplossiveness n i can c d workouts for explossions, i olready started being on the 4th day today, felt good, i was confused coz in d basic cycle i used to get ftigued, n in this routine d sets n reps r low, so a difference made a confussion so needed ur conclusion as u r xpert in dis :), so finally i think i shud do dis routine for my improvement in vertical jump n also my whole body strength... still plz give ur final words on dis
Thanx steve..
Lucas Hale
December 29 2015
So, weird question, when you have reps and sets prescribed do you have them reps x sets or sets x reps? Thank you in advance
If there is a weight prescription then it will be reps x sets. so 70%x3x5 would be 5 sets of 3 reps at 70%. For more information on the notation read here.

Steve Pan
Sean Pritchard
February 24 2016
In week 5, Monday - Power Jerk + Jerk 1 RM complex - can this be done on the blocks or should the athlete re-rack on shoulders only.
If you are comfortable re-racking your top weights it should be good to lower them, if not it is okay to take the safe route and go with the blocks. I would recommend taking the safer route.

Steve Pan
Adam Leong
February 25 2016
When it say weighted lunges is that back racked or dumbbell ?
Barbell on back.

Steve Pan
Edyta Blaszczyk
June 1 2016
Are there any alternative movements I can do instead of any deadlift movements? I have bad SI joints and anytime I attempt to do any deadlift movements like in this programming it makes it worse. My physical therapist told me not to DL for three months to let it cool off. Just wondering what I can do instead? Thanks!
Alicia Oberholzer
June 7 2016
how heavy should accessory movements like the weighed lunges, deadlifts, and good mornings be?
Alicia - The accessory work should maintain a light-moderate difficulty. 

Alyssa Sulay
Orri Tomasson
June 17 2016
Does it make much difference if I train 3 times/week during the deload weeks to safe time.
Orri - That should probably be okay to do if you're trying to save time. 

Alyssa Sulay
Bradley Smith
June 22 2016
What kind of accessory work should I do with this? And how should I schedule it? Thanks!!
You don't need to do anything other than ab work. If you want to add something beyond that, you'll need to schedule it in a way that doesn't interfere with the base program, e.g. if you're doing bodybuilding work, you would want to do something like put upper body pressing work on a day in which you've done jerks, push presses, etc rather than the day before it.

Greg Everett
Jonathan Almaguer
July 1 2016
Just finished this program. I used it to prepare and peek for Juggernaut Training Systems Grind lift off where I increased my competition total by 13kg! Thanks again for continually putting out great programs and content!
Anthony Martorano
July 21 2016
When it says hang clean or snatch at the knee is it a power or full
Shawn Frost
August 15 2016
Would I be able to use as a strength builder, then add in sprinting after some rest at the end for sport performance?
Shawn - That should be fine. Just make sure you are focusing on the explosiveness of the sprints and that you aren't doing too many causing them to be counter productive to the program. 

Alyssa Sulay
Ralph Gomez
September 18 2016
I know this a stupid question, but I need to be sure before I do it is the exercise abbreviation sldl stand for stiff legged deadlift???

Alyssa Sulay
Eric Bastian
September 20 2016
I downloaded the spreadsheet, but it only seems to go to week 6. The text version goes through week 12. Am i missing something?
Goes to 12 weeks for me.

Greg Everett
Steffyn Hunt
September 23 2016
Does the spreadsheet generally work on iPhones or do I need to download an app? I just get directed to a page that says "unable to read the document" when I click the spreadsheet link
Sam Gornez
February 11 2017
Signed up for my first meet which is in 4 weeks. Is it possible to just do the last 4 week mesocycle on its own? Also, looking ahead, the last max lift and HS front squat would fall on a Friday based on my schedule with the meet being Sunday, should I still stick to going for maxes even 2 days out?
Olivia Hockman
March 1 2017
When it said weighted lunges is that on your back or front or dumbbells?
Olivia - You can do them with a Barbell on racked behind your neck. 

Alyssa Sulay
Ben Freeman
April 20 2017
I am thinking about a meet that starts in 10 weeks. Could I use this program and cut out the first two weeks?
You can try it. May be fine, but it will probably feel pretty rough.

Greg Everett
Ben Freeman
April 20 2017
forgot to add that have been doing a strength based program the past few weeks and I am not a beginner lifter although it would be my first competition.
Dan Lee
June 14 2017
I lifted in the American Open Series in February, finishing with a 232kg total. I just returned from the 2017 Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championship in Dominican Republic. I won a gold medal in the m40 94kg class with a total of 254kg. This was a fantastic program and I must give some credit to Catalyst for the improvements I made over 12 weeks. Cheers!
Matt Gibson
July 22 2017
For the Saturday work in week 5-7 it says snatch + OHS on the site but the printout has segment snatch like the first microcycle. Just wanted to see which one it should be.
Matt - Go off what the spreadsheet says for the cycle. 

Alyssa Sulay
September 21 2017
Is 50% of the jumping quarter squat from the pause back squat or my best back squat.
Gerardo - it is of your best back squat. 

Alyssa Sulay
October 5 2017
On weeks 1-3 Is the snatch push press front rack or back rack.
Gerardo - The Snatch Push Press will always be performed from the back rack. 

Alyssa Sulay
Liam Bailey
December 16 2017
How long do workouts last on average?
They should be about 2 hours or so

Alyssa Sulay
Alex Bossert
December 27 2017
Thanks for the awesome program. So im in the last block of the program and started taking the heavy singles (and have been setting PRs). Moving forward for percentage work do I update my weight (with the new PR) or do I keep my working weight the same (woth begining numbers) throughout the session.

By week 10 Ive added 20 pounds (255) on my snatch and 25 (300) on my C&J so it effects weights pretty significantly.
Alex - Great job! You will want to update your weight to your new maxes. Keep up the great work!

Alyssa Sulay
Deece Rower
March 17 2018
Results from 2014 AO cycle:
-Snatch went from 102kg to 107kg
-Clean and Jerk from 113.5 to 120kg
-Front squat from 120kg to 127.5kg
-Back squat went from about 140kg to an estimated 150kg
19 YO male. Body weight 85kg.
Solid cycle, thanks guys.
Rafal Smutek
May 10 2018
How many sets should I do when working up to a 5RM and then doing 95%x5,90%x5?
Rafal - There is no set number of sets when working up to a 5RM, it really depends on how many you typically need (differs from person to person). My advice would be to warm up as much as you need to without making your legs too tired to complete the 5RM. You do not have to do sets of 5 all the way up to the number you are shooting for, for the RM. 

Alyssa Sulay
Lucas Deraedt
July 19 2018
I really like this program! I liked that it went of going max effort on an exercise instead of percentages.
Here are my lifts improvements:
Clean&Jerk: 78 kg --> 86 kg
Snatch: 60 kg --> 70 kg
Back Squat: 90 kg --> 97 kg
Front squat: 78 kg --> 86 kg
Power snatch: 54 kg --> 57
Power clean: 75 kg --> 80 kg
Lucas Deraedt
July 19 2018

As you can see from the numbers my weakest part is my squat strength. I wonder what program of catalyst athletics I should do next, I just want to find something that really focuses on gaining strength in my squats, cause I feel like that will help me the most in the long run. (19 yo, lifting almost 2 years, weight: 155 pounds)

Lucas - Have you had a chance to take a look at any of the leg strength programs? Here is one you can check out, it is the classic squat wave cycle. 

Alyssa Sulay
Devon Hill
August 27 2018
I have been training my squat in the low bar position for the last few years. Should I focus more on training the high bar position for this program?
Devon - For these programs, I would deffinately recommend performing the squats not in the low bar position. Instead get that bar on top of your traps, this will transfer better into the olympic lifts because it will put you in a better position and allow you to maintain your posture.

Alyssa Sulay
Jonathan Corona
October 12 2018
Quick question. when doing the clean deadlifts, clean snatches and pulls. Is the percentage prescribed comes from the the actual clean and snatch pr or from best deadlifts?
Jonathan - you will base the percentage off your snatch or clean.

Alyssa Sulay
Jake Humphrey
December 26 2018
Is a snatch long pull, or clean long pull, essentially a muscle Snatch or clean?
Jake - It is a variation of the muscle movements, except you don't use the hookgrip and you do not want to allow the bar to make contact with your body. You can find examples of these movements in the exercise library.

Alyssa Sulay
Jake Humphrey
January 11 2019
Kind of a different question, but if I wanted to add some bench press in somewhere for this program, what day do you think would fit the best with affecting the program the least? Thanks
On Monday or Wednesday after the push presses.

Greg Everett
Adolfo Pulido
April 22 2019
Im in week one. In the Push Press + Pause Jerk - 5+1 (% of RM). At 95% 6RM are 5+1, its a only set?
Adolfo - You will work up to a RM for the complex, then you will do 2 back off sets. One at 95% of your RM and the second at 90% of your RM.

Alyssa Sulay
Diego Borras
October 21 2019
Great program. Really enjoyed it and got me into the nationals I PR 5 kg on my C&J. Thanks so much, and keep up the good work
Yan Zilberberg
January 12 2020
What is SLDL?Week 1 day 2.
SLDL means stiff legged deadlift.

Alyssa Sulay
Joshua Clayton
March 4 2020
Hey, So first I want to say I’m in week 5 and am loving the strength and explosiveness I have gained. Cleans and Snatches fill so much easier, and the growth with my accessory lifts, my 3RM are exceeding my old 1RM. I do have a downside I’ve developed some left wrist soreness on my 2nd metacarpal. It effects my snatch and Overhead squats. The soreness is compromising my ability to lock out my left elbow. Cleans are fine and jerks up to about 90%. My gym doesn’t have any jerk boxes or frames so I think trying to control my descent with heavy loads put to much strain on my wrist. I would hate to stop this cycle because it feels so good but I can’t do any heavy snatch/snatch grip overhead work. What’s your opinion? I’m thinking of just cutting out the overhead work and replacing with supplemental exercises till it heals and then start back up. Thanks!
You can remove anything that's hurting it temporarily, but I'd do some kind of alternative wherever possible, such as replacing snatches with snatch pulls/high-pulls.

Greg Everett
Surya Chintalapudi
July 10 2020
Good day, I am a crossfitter and looking for a program to improve my technique in all the oly lifting movements and simultaneously get heavier. Do you think this is a program that I can start with ?
Thanks so much,
Yes, but if you're still doing CF full time, you'll likely need to reduce it a bit and/or cut down some of the work in this program.

Greg Everett
November 1 2020
My 1RM back squat is 315#. Is this suggesting i start the first three weeks, where day 1 is 315#x5x3?
No. Day 1 explains -

"Find weights by feel. Do not go to absolute max on first week as you will try to add weight each week for weeks 2 and 3.

Percentages after RM are taken off of the RM for the exercise/complex."

If it says "RM", you are working up to an RM that day, then doing subsequent sets at the 5s OF THAT RM. So your 5RM BS day may be 295; you'd then do a set at 280 (95%) and 266 (90%).

Greg Everett
Fabrizio Gigante
November 9 2020
is this good for a beginner?
It may be a bit much for a true beginner but if you're smart about how hard you push and cutting down on some of the work if you're getting to beat up, it can work.

Greg Everett
Rudy Chong
December 18 2020
when working up to the working sets are we supposed to perform the full 5 reps/complex?
If you handle/respond to volume well, yes; if not, you can do fewer reps as you work up.

Greg Everett
Dominika Makosova
December 25 2020
I am doing this program second time now and love it. Getting so much stronger. Can you recommend other program similar to this (free or paid) that I can do after just to get a bit of change? I have done some but have not find anything that I could commit to like this one.
Strength By Feel would be the most similar. The other option would be to use this same cycle but swap out some exercises with different variations.

Greg Everett
Rudy Chong
March 5 2021
Just finished the program and I have to say it worked very well.
Snatch: 88kg to 98 kg
C+J: 102 kg to 111 kg
FS: 125 kg to 129 kg
Yeah I'd say 10kg on snatch in 12 weeks is pretty good...

Greg Everett
Justin Negrete
March 6 2021
How are RMs for Snatch Pulls (Week 5, Tues for example) determined?
With good judgment. All of the pulling/DL weights need to be chosen within the boundaries of proper position and balance, and for pulls, reasonable speed. They won't be super fast, but you need to be able to accelerate and get into a complete extension position well.

Greg Everett
Hilmy Dani
January 2 2022
Can i add some conditioning at the end of each session??
Sure but be smart about the total training volume because this is a pretty demanding program.

Greg Everett
Amir Khan
January 19 2023
Loved this program, made great gains! Is there a program you’d recommend following this one? Perhaps with a little more variation?
No, just depends on what you need to focus on. Use the filter to find something most appropriate.

Greg Everett
Gustav Andell
February 27 2023
Jumping quarter squat, % 1RM of back squat or % for that training day?

Greg Everett
Sam Gottschalk
August 7 2023
After working up to a RM for the day, should I still hit 90% and 95% of the RM even if I hit those numbers while working up to the RM?
Yes - they're back-off/drop sets.

Greg Everett
Rafael Lagace
September 4 2023
Hi there,

I have a competition in 2 months, but I’m only at week 7 of this program. I was just wondering if it would be a wise idea to maybe skip week 9-12 to not peak too early and hop on another 6-8 weeks program before the competition.

The first 7 weeks did wonders so far, so I’m wondering if you’d advise me to finish this program, or to maybe skip the competition mesocycle in order to not peak too early.

What do you think? & thanks!
Since it's been effective for you, I'd suggest filling the extra time with a repeat of more of weeks 1-8, then do the final 4 week phase to peak for the meet date. So work back from week 8 of the program (eg if you have 7 extra weeks, do week 2-8 again) - just increase weights relative to the first time through. Anything you've PRed, increase accordingly for %s; for other things, add 2-3kg or so based on your best judgment.

Greg Everett