Weightlifting Programs

Alyssa's Heavy Single Nightmare

8 weeks   |   $29   |   Web, Text, Excel

This cycle focuses on heavy snatch and clean & jerk singles, but also includes heavy squat singles 1-2 times daily along with back-off rep squats in some sessions. It also uses on-the-minute lifts in the first phase, and then waves after heavy singles in the second phase. This is a nasty program and will take a lot out of you, but will produce some excellent snatch, clean & jerk and squat results if you can handle it.

"Awesome program. Used this as meet prep for Masters Nationals. Went 6/6 with a snatch pr and meet total pr." - Lacey K.

"Front Squat: 145kg => 160kg (+15kg), Back Squat: 167kg => 176kg (+9kg), Snatch: 103kg => 108kg (+5kg), Clean & Jerk: 130kg => 135kg (+5kg), Clean: 133kg => 137kg (+4kg), Jerk: 140kg => 142kg (+2kg), Total: 230kg => 240kg (+10kg). What a fun cycle it was!" - Kamil O.

Good For:
  • Max single squat improvement
  • Competition lift improvement
  • Competition preparation
  • Frequent heavy single lifting
  • On squats, you'll work to a heavy single, always aiming for PRs, but first trying to beat your last squat session by at least 1kg.
  • After heavy single squats, you'll then drop the weight for the following multiple-rep sets, the goal of which will be to work to a maximal effort on the final set and try to beat your all time PR or at least your previous training session with those reps
  • OTM - "On The Minute". Each set begins 1 minute after the last - NOT 1 minute rest. Weight changes need to be done within this 1 minute period as well.

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Idan Oknin
May 2 2016
Is it possible to do the progrem 3 days on 1day off 2 days on 1 day of
(On on on off on on off)

And is this good progrem for peeking after karas 9 week of heaven which is a volume progrem
I would not structure this program different from how it is written. You may run this after the Kara program.

Steve Pan
Ted Gunhamn
May 20 2016

Im just wondering what you think about a program more bulgarian like this in comparison to a more volume based program like the most of the other catalyst program? Which of them do you think would create the most progress and do you think it would change depending on how advanced a lifter you are? I know there is a huge individual component to it but how do you think about it in generall ?

Sincerely Ted
More heavy single oriented will usually be better for more advanced lifters, but it does vary a lot among lifters. Some will not respond well to it at all, and others will make huge progress.

Greg Everett
Frank Thissen
June 8 2016
My snatch is a disproportionately high percentage of my clean and jerk- 93%- and am wondering if switching the training days can help modify this? My rationale is that working on Cleans or Jerks when relatively fresh in the week will enable me to work with more volume. Does this make sense or will switching days be detrimental to the overall purpose of the program?
You can try it, but if it's at 93%, it's going to take more than just reordering your days.

Greg Everett
Gabriel Poulin
July 3 2016
For the OTM Olympic lifts, when it says build to a HS, after the percentages, is that also supposed to be OTM or should we take more rest in between lifts, for the quest of the HS?
Thanks so much!
You can take more rest in between the sets up to the Heavy Single, but you want to keep the rest periods no more than 2 minutes.

Alyssa Sulay
Michael De La Cruz
August 21 2016
are there any drop sets after the HS for snatch/clean/jerk? or just that HS for the day?
Michael - Unless it specifies otherwise, you would just go to a HS for that day. 

Alyssa Sulay
John Smith jr
October 17 2016
What is the guideline for the percents on the work after the HS on squats?
For the back offs, unless there is a presecribed percenatge, you want to do sets that are challenging but aren't a huge grind. The should be completed easily, but you should be tired towards the end of the set. As the weeks go on you can look to beat the previous week's back off sets. 

Alyssa Sulay
Carlos alberto De la torre manteca
November 11 2016
hi, what % after heavy single i have to use?
Take the % off the heavy single you worked up to. 

Alyssa Sulay
Josh Flowers
December 1 2016
So jerk-1x5 OTM. Would that mean 5 reps in 1 minute at 65%, or 1 rep per minute for 5 minutes? Thanks
Josh - it is 1 rep per minute for 5 minutes.

Alyssa Sulay
Lacey Kraft
March 13 2017
Awesome program. Used this as meet prep for Masters Nationals. Went 6/6 with a snatch pr and meet total pr.
Sheldon Victorine
March 29 2017
Can I complete this program in 7 weeks by cutting the first week?
Sheldon- You can do that, but if you have the extra week then I would recommend starting at the beginning. 

Alyssa Sulay
Pantelis Georgiou
April 3 2017
If day has front squat and back squat i should do two sessions right?
Pantelis - Not necessarily. The squats are placed at the beginning and the end of the workouts, so doing the workouts as listed in 1 session is okay. 

Alyssa Sulay
John Emerson
July 11 2017
How many misses do I allow myself on snatch and cj heavy singles before I move on?
John - You should keep the misses to a minimum, but no more than 3.

Alyssa Sulay
Dylan Varner
January 16 2018
New to weightlifting. Where is says just work up to heavy single. Is that working to failure?
Dylan - HS means to work to as heavy as you can go for the day, Ideally with out failure. 

Alyssa Sulay
Dylan Varner
February 20 2018
on the 24th of feb. I will be one month out from a meet, and i have one more week of this programming after this, what should i do for meet prep?
That's tough timing... I would use the last 3 weeks of a program that has worked well to peak you before, or one of the programs here that peaks for max snatch/CJ (all of them except squat-specific cycles). You may need to cruise the first half of the first week to get a bit recovered, but you should be fine to get through another 3 weeks.

Greg Everett
Dylan Varner
February 20 2018
Okay, what would you recommened then? I like these simple programs of lots of intensity, I havent missed a single snatch but also havent quite been able to go past 100% hoping to open at least 105/135
Well if the last day of this cycle gets you PRs, you can re-use the last 3 weeks of it. Otherwise, John's American Wide Open has OTM snatch/CJ and HS to prep in the last weeks, which may work well for you.

Greg Everett
Kamil Ogorek
March 6 2018
What’s more accurate? Excel or text/web?
Asking because there are some differences between them.
Eg. Excel misses pulls on day 1 or web/text includes HS based %, where excel uses 1RM.
Kamil - Use the excel spreadsheet.

Alyssa Sulay
Kamil Ogorek
March 31 2018
Should I change my PRs page every time I make one, to keep all % based sets updated? Or should I keep it the same for a whole cycle?
Kamil - update your PRs everytime and make sure the %s are always up to date. 

Alyssa Sulay
Afonso Henriques
September 9 2019
can i split into 2 training sessions in some days ?
Afonso - Yes, you can do that.

Alyssa Sulay
Afonso Henriques
September 9 2019
I have another doubt this program is suitable for medium or advanced lifters?
More advanced

Greg Everett
Kamil Ogorek
March 7 2020
Aaand it's done!

Weight: 85.5kg => 85.7kg (the same at the end and +/- 2kg throughout the cycle)

Front Squat: 145kg => 160kg (+15kg)

Back Squat: 167kg => 176kg (+9kg)

Snatch: 103kg => 108kg (+5kg)

Clean & Jerk: 130kg => 135kg (+5kg)

Clean: 133kg => 137kg (+4kg)

Jerk: 140kg => 142kg (+2kg)

Total: 230kg => 240kg (+10kg)

What a fun cycle it was! The first 5 weeks were great, but starting week 6... damn, I just wanted to get it done and go home. It was grueling, especially double-squat days. But hell it was worth it! I have so much better technique at higher intensity now. I was able to hit 90% on any lift almost every single day and even 95% for front squats, which was my weakest point. I'm now much more confident when I approach the bar, because I know I lifted given weight tens if not hundreds of times.
Kamil - Great job!

Alyssa Sulay