8-Week Rough
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8-Week Rough

8 weeks   |   $25   |   Web, Text, Excel

This is an 8-week cycle that uses a lot of heavy singles and singles waves in the snatch and clean & jerk, and relies primarily on the competition lifts, power and hang variations, and squats. It includes technique primers each day, prescribed ab and back work, and will peak for competition or max snatch and clean & jerk testing at the end of week 8.

Good For:
  • Competition lift improvement
  • Competition preparation
  • A first time trying more frequent heavy single lifting
Notes: For heavy single snatch and clean & jerk, give yourself a max of 3 misses before stopping, and never finish on a miss - drop the weight and take a last single to finish on a make.

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Sample Week

Week 1 Day 1 Monday
Comments (16)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

Technique Primer: Press in Snatch - 5, 4, 3 (ascending weights)
  • Snatch - HS; (80%x1, 85%x1, 90%x1) x 2 (% of HS)
  • Clean & Jerk - (70% x (1+1), 75% x (1+1), 80% x (1+1)) x 2
  • Back Squat - 75%x3x6
-Weighted Back Extension - 3x10
-Hanging Leg Raise - 4 x max
-Reverse Crunch - 3 x max

Week 1 of 8

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 2 Tuesday
Comments (11)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

Technique Primer: Hang Muscle Snatch - 3x3
  • High-Hang Snatch - 70%x2x6
  • Power Clean + Power Jerk - 70% x 2(1+1) x 6
  • Snatch Pull - 85%x3, 90%x3, 95%x3, 85%x3
-Back Extension - 3x15
-Standing Plate Twist - 3x15/side
-Weighted Plank - 3 x 10-30sec

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

Technique Primer: Press in Clean - 5, 4, 3 (ascending weights)
  • Clean & Jerk - HS; (80% x (1+1), 85% x (1+1), 90% x (1+1)) x 2 (% of HS)
  • Snatch - (70%x1, 75%x1, 80%x1) x 2
  • Front Squat - 70%x3x6
-Weighted Back Extension - 3x10
-Weighted Sit-Up - 4xmax
-Crunch - 3 x max

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

  • Power Snatch - 70%x2x6
Technique Primer: Hang Muscle Clean - 3x3
  • High-Hang Clean + Power Jerk - 70% x 2(1+1) x 6
  • Clean Pull - 85%x3, 90%x3, 95%x3, 85%x3
-Back Extension - 3x15
-Jackknife - 3 x max
-Weighted Planks - 3x10-30sec

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 (11)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

Technique Primer: Tall Snatch - 3x3
  • Snatch - HS
Technique Primer: Tall Jerk + Push Jerk Bnk in Split - 3 x (3+3)
  • Clean & Jerk - HS
  • Back Squat - HS
-Weighted Back Extension - 3x10
-Ab Work of Choice - 6 sets

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.
Week 1 Day 7 Sunday
Comments (2)  |  Help  |  Programs  |  Exercises

Rest Day

Questions? Get answers here or post in comments.

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Oscar Sawyer
November 15 2015
Can you please explain what you mean by "technique primer"? Does it just mean I do it light before I go into the rest?
Technique primers are exercises to get you to feel a portion of the movement to prepare you to do the same movement when you perform the full lifts. Keep these light and work on making them all sharp.

Steve Pan
Patricio Frias
November 16 2015
What does "HS" means?
HS is Heavy Single and a description can be found here.

Steve Pan
Caleb Bostic
December 9 2015
Do you work up to the HS and then do the percentages of that? Or use the percentages to work up to the HS?
Work up to a HS and then it is followed by back off sets that are a percentage of the HS you set.

Steve Pan
Bryant Phelps
December 30 2015
What's a "Jack Knife"?
Leslie Friedman
January 11 2016
Can you please explain this rep scheme?
High-Hang Clean + Power Jerk - 2(1+1)
119 119
4 4
2(1+1) indicates two reps of 1 high-hang clean + 1 power jerk. There is paranthesis because they will be alternating (clean, jerk, clean, jerk in succession) rather than 2+2 which would be 2 high-hang cleans followed by 2 power jerks.

For more information on the notation please read here.

Steve Pan
Raul Arias
January 12 2016
Can you please explain this rep scheme? • Power Clean + Power Jerk - 70% x 2(1+1) x 6
6 would be the number of sets. 2(1+1) refers to the reps and will be 1 Power Clean + 1 Power Jerk two times alternating.

Steve Pan
Raul Arias
January 12 2016
Power Clean + Power Jerk - 70% x 2(1+1) x 6 how I do this? I don`t understand the "6" in here!
It means you do that complex for 6 sets. You need to read this!

Greg Everett
Jay Kill
January 13 2016
Hi, program is very nice but im little confuse about sets and reps.
I understant what is set and rep in Power clean + Power jerk (you answere it on comment, last number is number od sets), but for sure, other ex, back squat 75%x3x6 mean 3 sets with 6 reps?
Sorry for my english and thank you for answere.
Jay - 

75%x3x6 would be 6 sets of 3 reps at 75%. For more information on the notation please read here.

Steve Pan
Tanner Hoversholm
January 14 2016
When would you say it is okay to use straps? i am assuming during clean/snatch pulls?
It is okay to use straps for pulls. Make sure to have at least one day a week on the classic lifts that you are not using straps to maintain hand strength.

Steve Pan
Tanner Hoversholm
January 14 2016
When it says clean and jerk 1+1 does that just mean one clean and one jerk? but below on the spreadsheet it has a 2? So i am confused if that means two reps of clean and jerk then?
The spreadsheet calculates the volume so the 1+1 of 1 clean and 1 jerk counts as 2 reps toward the total volume.

Steve Pan
Ivan Vasquez
January 28 2016
What do you mean by "Press in snatch 5-4-3" or "Press in clean 5-4-3" ?
It will be 3 sets in order with 5 reps, 4 reps, then 3 reps. Each set you may take the weight up a bit.

Exercise demo for Press in Snatch and Press in Clean.

Steve Pan
Nate Hart
February 2 2016
Hi there, Great program Thanks so much for making it available and all the resources you provide... Im just ending week 2 and have a question regarding the Heavy Single - Ive read here but doesnt provide an answer im searching for - http://www.catalystathletics.com/olympic-weightlifting-workouts/help/#loadingSetReps

My question is what percentage of my 1RM should on average I be aiming for with a HS? 80%-99%? If I feel good can I go for a PR any time the programs calls for HS? Some days I feel completely beat up but my mechanics are good and I can easily reach 90%-95% of my max with okay form and not missing. I guess my real question is how hard do I push when this program calls for HS on both classic lifts twice a week as this level on intensity is completely new to me.

Thanks so much.

You have to listen to your body and adjust from day to day. On days you feel beat up after you warm up, getting to 85-90% is pretty damn good. The goal here is to give yourself shots at PRs when you feel up to it but also make sure you are being consistent in your movements at heavy weights. Don't go overboard on days you feel like shit, so that you get a chance to recover enough to take a shot at going up on the next workout that has Heavy Singles.

Steve Pan
Nick Bandini
February 10 2016
Would recommend this to a beginner-intermediate level lifter with established 1RM? And is it okay to add in extra pressing since there isnt much in the program
This would not be a good program for a beginner. If you have a decent amount of training under your belt and your lifts are fairly consistent you may be okay to try this program. You may add pressing as long as it doesn't interfere with your recovery to perform the rest of the program.

Steve Pan
Tim Graham
February 17 2016
How long should this be taking me each day?
1-2 hours depending on your pace and warm ups.

Steve Pan
Stirling Hall
March 3 2016
Question .
Got a competition in 3 months . Will start a 12 week program from here . Do you think possible to do it and smolov squat routine mixed in alongside it , or would recommend only doing programme
Do not combine programs. If you are looking to do a squat cycle and follow it with a competition prep there is a 12-Week Cycle that has 2 4-week squat cycles followed by a bulgarian style block.

Steve Pan
James Anderson
March 21 2016
On week three, Monday, it is programmed (80% x (1+1), 85% x (1+1), 90% x (1+1)) x 2. Is it supposed to be 2 waves 80, 85 & 90 x2 or 80 x 1+1 x 2, 85 x 1+1 x 2, 90 x 1+1 x 2?
It should be 2 waves of 80%, 85%, 90% and in each of those sets you will perform one clean and one jerk.

Steve Pan
Federico Reale
May 17 2016
Hi, monday i have skipped my training. How can i resolve? Can i do all 5 days skipping the rest? Or i should avoid one day?
You can try to take Monday on Tuesday and go straight to Wednesday (skipping Tuesdays workout). You can go 5 straight, but I would recommend taking it easier on the workout before Saturday.

Steve Pan
Hanna Benkert
August 22 2016
I am competing on October 23rd. What day would you suggest ending the program?
You would definetly want to start your backoff week 1 week out from your meet. You want to make sure you do not feel beat up on the day of competition. 

Alyssa Sulay
Hanna Benkert
August 22 2016
How many days should I give myself between the end of the program and my competition?
Based on how the last week of this cycle looks, it looks like you can do this program up to your competition. You would just have to time the days right, so since your meet is on a Sunday, you might have to re-arrange the days a little bit to fit that schedule and either make the saturday before a rest day or a light day, just to move the bar around a bit. The last week of the program is catered to taper you for the last day of the cycle to max out. So you can use that last day as your compeition day. Hope this helps!

Alyssa Sulay
Sheldon Victorine
September 7 2016
Most if not all of the programs have a monday-thursday, saturday regiment. How do I split up the training if I am only able to train monday, wednesday, friday and some saturdays? Thanks in advance.
Read this for some ideas. Basically you're going to have to cut out the least important pieces and reschedule the rest.

Greg Everett
Drew Bush
November 23 2016
If I already have the premium account why will it not allow me to view this and other programs?
If you can't view them, there is a problem with your account, which we can help you with if you email us.

Greg Everett
Arvin Parco
July 14 2017
Loved this program, first program I tried and imrpoved my snatch from 205#-220# Do you have a recommendation on a program to improve jerk strength? I have a clean/FS at 275#/310# respectively but have never jerked over 255#.
Arvin - There isn't a program that specifically targets jerks, but there are plenty of jerk exercises you can find here to incorporate as accessory work or technique primers that will help!

Alyssa Sulay
Elizabeth Morrison
August 9 2017
Could you do additional crossfit workouts with this program? If so how may would be okay.
Elizabeth - I wouldn't recommed adding intense crossfit workouts to the program. Adding additional workouts to this program could take away from the results of the program and my prevent it from working properly. It is entirely up to you, but I would just make sure you choose workouts that would work well with the exercises and the program itself. 

Alyssa Sulay
Tyler Lofgren
November 22 2017
For days with squats would it be okay to perform these in the morning, and then perform the rest of the movements later in the day?
Tyler - If your schedule allows for that, then that is perfectly okay!

Alyssa Sulay
Noah Rodrigues
February 8 2019
Could I go in on my rest days and do some Tricep work or do you think that would hinder results of the program
Noah - Of course! You can always go in and do some active recovery and accessory work.

Alyssa Sulay
Lefteris Gkogkas
June 20 2020
Can you explain to me the seventh day ? There are no reps or sets referred. I would also like to ask about the rest between sets... how much time should it be ? And how do I go to my maximum rep ? Do I have to start from lighter weights, until I go to heaviest? And then when I move to another exercise, for example if I finish with snatch and then I have to go to clean n jerk and then to backsquat, are my legs ready for the maximum rep or do I have to start lighter to heavier for separate exercise ? Lastly, the technique primer is weighted or not ? And is it between my workout ? Or after ?
See the help and info page - it explains the "HS" prescription.

Yes, you need to warm-up for each new exercise. Because you're "warm" from previous exercises, you will usually be able to take larger weight increases than otherwise.

Technique primer is shown exactly where it needs to be done on the workout - all exercises are listed in order. Weight has to be determined by feel - it may be an empty bar, or very light weight. It depends on your ability. See more about them here.

Greg Everett
Fran Hasija
January 23 2021
Which days could I incorporate strict presses (front or btn)?

Greg Everett
Amor Ibe
January 29 2024
I want to run this program for comp prep. I have 10 weeks to prep instead of 8. Would you recommend running weeks 7&8 twice?
I'd do a lighter version of week 1 first, then repeat week 3 w slightly heavier weights if you can.

Greg Everett