8-Week Weightlifting Competition Prep Program

 In Stand-Alone Programs

8-Week WL Program

The following program is an 8-week weightlifting cycle that is geared towards culminating in a single day max-out for the snatch and clean and jerk. This program can be followed 8 weeks out from a lifting competition or simply used as a way to test and re-test maxes after a period of focusing on developing the lifts.

Week 1

Day 1
1) Clean pull + clean + jerk: Build to heavy, then 1 set @ 95%, 1 set @ 90% of heavy
2) Back squat: Build to heavy triple (does not have to be a PR; build until speed/position deteriorates)
3) Press into split (strict press; once bar reaches forehead level, drive underneath and finish the jerk): 4×4 moderate weight
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 2
1) OH squat: 3×4 @ 105% of max snatch
2) Push press + power jerk, 2+2: 4 sets at 90+% effort level (don’t necessarily max it out, but push hard through these sets)
3) Snatch grip BTN strict press: 4×4 heaviest possible (same weight across all sets)
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Snatch balance with 3-second pause in bottom of squat: Build to heavy triple in 4-5 sets, then 3×1 at triple weight
2) Clean: Build to heavy triple touch-and-go in 15 minutes, then 1 set @ 95%, 1 set @ 90%
3) Front squat: 5 sets of 2.1 (rest 10s in front rack between set of 2 and set of 1) heaviest possible but same weight across all sets
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 4
1) 3-position snatch (above knee, below knee, floor): Build to heavy, then 1 set @ 95%, 1 set @ 90%
2) Snatch deadlift from deficit (standing on plates): 4×4 @ 100% of 1RM snatch
3) Pause jerk (3s pause in dip): 4×3 @ 80-85% of 1RM jerk
Accessory: Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7, alternating with, GHD sit-ups: 4×15-20

Day 5
1) Power snatch: Build to heavy double, 1×2 @ 95%, 1×2 @ 90%
2) Weighted lunges (back-racked): 4×8 (4 each leg) heaviest possible across all sets
3) Good-mornings: 4×8 light/moderate to stretch out back
Accessory: Stretch/mobility

Week 2

Day 1
1) Clean + front squat + jerk, 2+2+1: Build to heavy in 15 minutes, then 1 set @ 95%, 1 set @ 90%
2) Back squat: 4×3 @ 90-95% of last week’s weight (go off the weight you failed last rep on)
3) Press from split: 4×5 moderately heavy (this is a strict press from your split jerk receiving position)
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 2
1) Muscle snatch + 3-position OH squat (quarter + stand, half + stand, full + stand): Build to heavy in 4 sets
2) Push press: 4×4 @ ~70% of 1RM Jerk
3) Snatch grip RDL: 4×5 @ 100% of snatch (use straps)
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Snatch balance with 3-second pause in bottom of squat: 3×3 heavy — 15 minutes
2) 3-position Clean (mid hang, below knee, floor): Build to heavy in 15 minutes, then 1 set @ 95%, 1 set @ 90%
3) Front squat: 5 sets of 2.1 (rest 10s in front rack between set of 2 and set of 1) heavier than last week
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 4
1) Snatch: Build to heavy double, then 1×2 @ 95%, 1×2 @ 90%
2) Snatch deadlift from deficit: 4×5 @ last week’s weight + 5#
3) Pause jerk: 4×3 @ 80-85% of 1RM jerk
Accessory: Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7, alternating with, GHD sit-ups: 4×15-20

Day 5
1) Power clean: 5×3 heaviest possible across
2) Tempo Front squat @ 24×1: 4×3 @ 65-70% of 1RM
3) Good-mornings: 4×8 light/moderate to stretch out back
Accessory: Stretch/mobility

Week 3

Day 1
1) Clean + jerk, 2+1: Build to heavy in 15 minutes, then 1 set @ 95%, 1 set @ 90%
2) Back squat: 4×3 @ last week’s weight + 5-10#
3) Mid hang snatch high pull: 4×5 moderate (focus on keeping elbows high and engaging back part of shoulder)
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 2
1) Muscle snatch + 3-position OH squat: Build to heavy in 4 sets
2) Push press: 4×3 @ 215 for all sets
3) Snatch grip RDL: 4×5 @ 255 (use straps)
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Snatch balance + OH squat, 2+3: 4 sets heavy
2) Clean: Build to heavy single, then 2×1 @ 85% of heavy
3) Front squat: 5 sets of 2.1 (rest 10s in front rack between set of 2 and set of 1) heavier than last week
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 4
1) Low hang snatch (just below knees): Build to heavy double, then 2×1 @ 85% of heavy
2) Snatch deadlift from deficit: 4×5 @ last week’s weight + 5#
3) Pause jerk: 4×3 @ 80-85% of 1RM jerk
Accessory: Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7 weighted, alternating with, GHD sit-ups: 4×25

Day 5
1) Power clean + push jerk, 2+1: 4 sets heaviest possible across
2) Tempo Front squat @ 24×1: 4×3 @ 65-70% of 1RM
3) Good-mornings: 4×8 light/moderate to stretch out back
Accessory: Stretch/mobility

Week 4

Day 1
1) Clean and jerk: 6 sets @ 75-80% of predicted max
2) Back squats: 4×2 @ 405
3) Strict press: Build to heavy single
Accessory: Weighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 2
1) Tall snatch: 4×2 moderate for speed focus
2) Snatch pull: 4×3 @ 100% of predicted final competition lift
3) Snatch-grip RDL: 4×5 @ 245 (keep the weight this light)
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Power snatch: Build to moderate double without pain
2) Clean pull: 4×3 @ 100% of predicted competition C&J max
3) Front squat: Build to heavy single
Accessory: Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7 weighted, alternating with, GHD sit-ups: 4×25

Day 4
1) Snatch balance: 4×3 @ PS double weight from yesterday
2) Tempo Front squat @ 24×1: 4×3 @ 65% of yesterday’s max (Even if this number is lower than your true 1RM)
3) Good-mornings: 4×8 light/moderate to stretch out back
Accessory: Stretch/mobility

Week 5

Day 1
1) Clean and jerk: Build to max
2) Clean pull: 3×3 @ 100% of Part 1
3) Strict press: 3×3 @ 80-85% of last week’s single
Accessory: Unweighted back extensions: 4×15

Day 2
1) Snatch: Build to max
2) Clean: 6 singles @ 80% of C&J weight from Day 1
3) Back squat: Build to heavy single (does not need to be maximal)
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Tall snatch: 4×2 moderate
2) Jerk from racks: 6 singles @ 80% of C&J weight from Day 1
3) Front squat: 5×2 @ 85% of heavy from last week (focus on speed out of the bottom)
Accessory:Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7, alternating with, Weighted GHD sit-ups: 4×8-10

Day 4
1) Power clean: Build to heavy single
2) Power snatch: Build to heavy single
3) Push press: Build to heavy single
Accessory: Stretch/mobility

Week 6

Day 1
1) Snatch: Heavy single for the day, then 2×1 @ 90%
2) Clean and jerk: Heavy single for the day, then 2×1 @ 90%
3) Front squat: Heavy single for the day, then 2×1 @ 90%
Accessory: Unweighted back extensions: 4×15

Day 2
1) Snatch pull + tall snatch, 3+3: 5 sets moderate
2) Clean pull + tall clean, 3+3: 4 sets moderate
3) Push press: 3 singles at 85% of heavy from last week
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Muscle snatch + snatch balance: Build to heavy for the day
2) Clean pull: 4×2 @ 105-110%
3) Press into split: Build to heavy single for the day, then 1 @ 90%, 1 @ 95%, 1 @ 90%
Accessory: Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7, alternating with, Weighted GHD sit-ups: 4×8-10

Day 4
1) Snatch: Build slowly and hit 3 singles at 85% — 20 minutes
2) Clean and jerk: Build slowly and hit 3 singles at 80% in 20 minutes
3) Back squat: Heavy single for the day, then 2×1 @ 90%
Accessory: Stretch/mobility

Week 7

Day 1
1) Snatch: Heavy single, 1×1 @ 90%
2) Clean and jerk: Heavy single, 1×1 @ 90%
3) Back squat: 1×3 @ 75%, 1×2 @ 80%, 2×1 @ 85%, 1×1 @ 90%
Accessory: Unweighted back extensions: 4×15

Day 2
1) Snatch pull + tall snatch, 3+3: 5 sets moderate
2) Clean pull + tall clean, 3+3: 4 sets moderate
3) Tall jerk (just push under from shoulders): 4×3 moderate for speed and lockout
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Power snatch: Work up to 70-75% of max snatch
2) Power clean + push jerk: Heavy single, 1 set @ 90%
3) Clean pull: 1×2 @ 90%, 1×2 @ 95%, 2×2 @ 100% of 1RM
Accessory: Weighted Glute-ham raises: 4×5-7, alternating with, Weighted GHD sit-ups: 4×10-12

Day 4
1) Snatch: 1×2 @ 80%, 1×2 @ 85%, 1×2 @ 90%, 1×2 @ 95%
2) Clean and jerk, 2+1: 1×1 @ 80%, 1×1 @ 85%, 1×1 @ 90%, 1×1 @ 95%
3) Front squat: 1×2 @ 70%, 1×2 @ 80%, 1×2 @ 85%, 1×2 @ 90%, 1×2 @ 95%
Accessory: Lateral plate raises (full overhead): 4×10

Week 8

Day 1
1) Snatch: Build to opener
2) Clean and jerk: Build to opener
3) Jerk from racks: 4×1 @ 85%
Accessory: Unweighted back extensions: 4×10

Day 2
1) Snatch: Build to opener
2) Clean and jerk: Build to LAST WARM-UP before opener (probably ~5kg under opening weight)
3) Front squat: 4×1 @ 85%
Accessory: Cross-over symmetry, Light plate/DB external rotations 3×10 each arm, Light band internal rotations: 3×10 each arm

Day 3
1) Power snatch: 4×1 @ 60-65% of snatch
2) Power clean and split jerk: 4×1 @ 60-65% of C&J
3) Clean pulls: 3×3 @ 105% of Part 2
Accessory: Mobility/10-minute LIGHT recovery row or bike
NOTE: Hit this session the day before hitting Day 4/the competition day.

Day 4
1) Snatch MAX
2) Clean and jerk MAX
NOTE: This would be your competition day at the end of the cycle.

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