Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Edit: Today is PR Friday too. Weight lifted, body weight gained, food eaten, etc. Post a PR to the comments.

Yesterday I mentioned a program that is a nice combination of barbell training and conditioning (there was not an emphasis on explaining the conditioning, but I digress). Today I want to highlight a very basic novice program that will not only help a novice to increase their strength, but their performance in the Olympic lifts as well. It looks like this:

Monday — Clean and jerk (heavy), Snatch (light)
Tuesday — Squat, Press, Chin-ups
Wednesday — OFF
Thursday — Snatch (heavy), Clean and Jerk (light)
Friday — Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift

The basic idea is that the Olympic lifts are done before the strength workouts so that there is not fatigue for the Olympic lifts. I like to put clean and jerks at the beginning of the week because after having the weekend to rest, the novice lifter should be able to consistently drive the weight up on this lift. The deadlift is done at the very end of the week because I do not want it to interfere with any of the Olympic lifting done earlier in the week.

The key here is that this is a novice program. It will not work for someone who has a more advanced state of adaptation because the days start to interfere with each other (for example, the pressing done on Tuesday will interfere with Thursday’s snatch workout). This set up works well with trainees who are learning the Olympic lifts as well as younger athletes who are still able to adapt to stress on a daily basis. If you guys remember the video of Bryan squatting 495x5x3 (and he has since done 505x5x3), he is on this particular program along with having two minor league practice sessions a week. A trainee will not be able to handle this workout for very long because eventually the stress will become to high to recover from.

Keep that in mind, because this will only work with certain people. We have been tinkering with it at the WFAC for about five months, and this should allow the novice to learn the lifts, and increase everything on a weekly basis. Certain days will require one of the Olympic lifts to be done light, and this should be taken seriously. Ten singles in the clean and jerk done every two minutes or 15 singles in the snatch done every minute would work well for the light workout. The key is to consistently practice good technique and the weight lifted is totally irrelevant. The slow lifts can be increased in a similar manner to the linear progression. Again, this is all dependent on the individual, so use your brain, or hopefully your coach uses his.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. If some of this post does not make sense, it is because I have been playing pool and drinking for a few hours in my mom’s basement. Sue me.


And here is an impromptu Merry Christmas from a few of us fellows at the WFAC dicking around:

Notice AC’s laugh at the end.

78 thoughts on “Merry Christmas

  1. Justin,

    Thanks for the post. Because I am one of those military dudes, I have to perform some tests that involve endurance and therefore, keeping those conditioning days are important.

    The barbell/conditioning hybrid program of yours has done me really, really well but I am getting the itch to start working in the Olympic Lifts somehow (even if only to practice them). I””ll toy around with this and see what happens, but if you have any advice on how I can combine all three (strength, conditioning, and O-lifts) into a program and still make progress, at least with the strength aspect, I am all ears. Merry Christmas!

    You can get by with one conditioning workout a week to maintain it. This is gonna have to be a serious event though. Think using the Prowler or 200 meter repeats.

    Remember that trying to do a bunch of stuff in training is not optimal. Depending on your job in the military, most strong people could not ever train for the PFT and get an above average score. Your training will not flourish without being focused.


  2. Awesomest. Fitness site. Ever

    Since the slow lifts are on a linear progression, are you using the 5×3 rep scheme for this? Is it the same for the conditioning program?

    Yes, the strength movements that are not pulled from the ground are three sets of five reps. Deadlifts are one set of five. Power cleans (in the conditioning program) are five sets of three.


  3. Not going to lie. I laughed like AC at that.

    Asked for extra large t-shirts to train in (to have some room to grow and all that good stuff) to which my mom told me she thinks they are too big. I just looked at her for a second before saying, “70””s big dot com” and grabbing my gallon of milk.

    Merry Christmas to everyone.

    Parents just don’t understand.


  4. Merry Christmas, y””all!

    Hope I wasn””t the only one whose family had seen lifting videos of them and sent clothes that are big enough to double as fitted sheets!

    On a side note, I have a tradition of eating chili around the holidays, and it made me realize that a chili post is much needed! I trust that you guys know real Texas chili and will do it justice.

    I’ve only been a Texan for a year. I will default to Gant on this topic.


  5. Merry Christmas.
    Currently on a linear progression since October, I plan on switching to a Oly training program once my 1 rep back squat reaches around 450-475. I”ve been on a modified linear program Justin e-mailed me to coincide with my Fire Dept schedule of 24 on, 48 off. I am going to have to change it I think, have been doing squats the first day off and when we are up all night, even with a nap, its tough. Going to try squats on the second day?? Thoughts? Would the above program be a good start to Oly lifting? Thanks for a great site guys!!!

  6. Justin – I”ve got faith in Gant after approving of his BBQ post. Maybe I”ll send in a rough recipe. Chili and tamales last night for dinner, chili with a fried egg and bacon on top for breakfast, now chili with cornbread for lunch…best Christmas ever.

  7. Merry Christmas, lads and lassies!

    Jacob, I can cook a decent pot of chili, but I claim no expertise. However, since it”s cold and since I have a beard right now, chili talk is probably mandatory. All I can say is no beans and lots of chili peppers.

    I also need to do a chicken fried steak post in the next week before I have to cut weight (from 230 [PR 1]to 205: yeah, we”ll have to talk about that).

    Decent training week. I hit 92kg in the power snatch [PR 2]. I also did a 3 lift total on Wednesday:
    425 squat [PR 3]
    215 press
    475 dead

    I had planned on doing 505-515 in the DL, but I red-lighted on 405 and 415 squats and had to repeat them. That made DL suck a lot.

    I got home and knocked back a quart or two of egg nog (found a use for Captain Morgan”s). Then, for no reason, I made a bowl of icing* for no reason and ate all of it [PR 4].

    This morning my wife made some Paula Deen French toast, and I went crazy on that.+ I know it”s Paula Deen, but even I looked at the recipe and said “damn, that”s a lot of butter.”

    Spent today playing in snow, watching the kids play, and eating snow ice cream.#

    Enjoy the holiday, stay safe, and keep growing.

    * 1 cup powdered sugar, some vanilla, 2 tbsp.+ of milk

    + AWESOME:

    # snow, sugar, vanilla, milk…pretty low tech

  8. Is there a gym that is actually open today?

    After trying to stay over 230 since Thanksgiving, I finally got to 240 after eating Mom”s cooking. Beat that Springer…

  9. Bodyweight PR is 215 lbs up from 170 in October and here is the last set of 5 at 310 lbs of 5 reps at 3 sets. Still working the linear progression. Merry Christmas.

  10. Happy Festivus!

    Squat – Fixed some issues with my elbows dropping which caused my chest to drop. PR”d 125kg 3×5

    Press – 60kg 3×5

    Dead – 145kg 1×5 light gonna go for 155 on tuesday.

    Bench – 85kg 3×5 Finally going up after injury and form issues.

    BW- 208

    Height – still the same 5”9

    And my girlfriend asked how much bigger I was going to get( having been 165 in may.) I told her being big is a by product of training to be strong and that until I was strong I would keep growing.

    Then I punched her vagina.

  11. Weighed in yesterday at 192.

    5”10″ still, no PR :(

    Squat 310x5x3
    Clean 175X3x5
    Bench 240x5x3
    DL 360x5x1

    I”m going to have to reset my press. Stalled at 160# 2 weeks in a row.

    Thank God for fried turkey. And sweet potato casserole.

  12. @micahdonovan

    Straight from the post – “ten singles in the clean and jerk done every two minutes or 15 singles in the snatch done every minute would work well for the light workout”

    Nothing about the heavy days though. I”d guess you”d work up to a heavy single, then maybe do a couple singles with 80-90% of that weight. This seems to be what Greg Everett likes for novices trying to increase the oly lifts.

  13. Anyone that likes Cream should check out “Them Crooked Vultures.”

    Fucking badass!

    Dude from Queens of the Stone Age on vocals, John Paul Jones from zeppelin on bass and Dave Groll on drums.

  14. no friday workout due to christmas, and gym is closed tomorrow too so i”ll play some hockey(live in canada, aka wasteland).

    just started starting strength again.
    monday squat 185lbs
    wednsday squat 200lbs(same effort brahs)

    obviously no prs in other exercises since only 2 workouts this week.

    gained 7lbs, NO FAT GAIN, though some of it was water weight

  15. Rip opens the gym every Christmas whether anyone comes or not (they usually don””t). Call him up at 940-696-0829 and sing him a Christmas carol. If you sing “Jingle Bells” to him, I”ll do you up a rack of ribs next time you”re this way.

  16. i also bought a kickass belt, a neck harness and new chuck taylor”s(well not real chuck taylor”s, airwalk kicks, pretty much a make up but its literally the same on every aspect except its 15$ instead of 45$

  17. I have a key to my gym. Have I mentioned how much I lofe it? Luckily, I shifted my normal MWF routine to TThSa this week so I don”t have to go destroy stuff without anyone around. It”s always more fun with people watching.

    Gant, you hit the nail on the head on chili, IMO. The batch I made this time takes the cake. I”ll try to sober up over the weekend and write down most of the stuff I tossed in it. Also, glad to hear I”m not the only poor sap around here trying to cut weight. 242, here I come. Right after this beer.

  18. Jacob as long as you focus on getting toned and have a nice six pack, it doesnt really matter how much you weigh. Don”t lift too heavy though, you”ll get bulky

  19. I nailed a 360# squat this week. In line with setting goals for the new year, I”d like to get 400 by the end of March, and a 200 press by the end of January. Both very attainable if I keep working.

    Hope everyone is having a great Christmas, especially you guys (and gals) deployed over seas.

  20. Great week. Squatted 3×5@408 (pr) on monday spent the rest of the week resting and eating. Will try out my new Inzer belt tomorrow, just came in yesterday. Girlfriend got me PP, Strong Enough, and a 70”s Big shirt. She is awesome. Merry Christmas everyone.

  21. New PR: Squatted 300lbs for 3 sets of 5 reps. Excited to finally crack 300, can”t wait to make 315 and throw on 6 plates.

    I”m cutting weight for the first time since starting the 70”s big quest. Is the 70”s big strategy for this as simple as curbing carbs, or is there more I should be doing?

    I have an urge to throw in some metcon, but don”t want to f with recovery.

  22. @Justin

    To answer yesterday”s question, I am usually pretty tired the day after conditioning. By the time I get to DL or PC (final lifts) on my lift days, I am spent. Form suffers by the last set so I usually cut the warm ups in half. I may change to what Eric mentioned a couple days ago: Monday squat/press/chins, Tuesday power cleans/con, Thursday squat/bench, Friday deadlift/con, Sat Game, Sun Rest.

    I hit a terrible PR this week. Least work done.

    What a waster of a week. My gym was closed all week. It opens up on Sunday, so I”m going to get in a great workout before going out of town for NYE. Weighed in at 172 tonight, weight is starting to climb as my stomach grows.

  23. Gant, a chicken fried steak post sounds delicous.
    LaHabra, I almost shit laughing when I read your post. You showed her. I plan to checkout that band too, they sound sic.
    Jacob is working on getting jacked and tan, haha

    so did anyone call and sing to Rip?

  24. Finally get to post some PR”s…

    BW: 177 (from ~160)
    Squat: 295x3x5 (previous 1RM is 313)
    Press: 140x3x5 (previous 1RM is 165

    Still not eating enough, though. By the way, anyone else keeping up with Don”t Shave December? I heard Gant say he”s got the beard going. Mine is weak, but I”ve definitely got a beard PR right now…

  25. PR”d on eatng venison. Got 20 squats at bodyweight (87.5kg) the other day, but a couple of days of relentless eating and boozing has pushed me up to 89, so will have to do it again!
    I”ve got a key to my gym too, but bollocks to training on Christmas day. Timed it so it was a much needed recovery day.

  26. I am on a cut also as I am trying to go from a malnurished pig to an adult male!

    PR”s 275 1rm Bench
    435 1rm Dead w/belt
    380 5rm Dead w/belt

    I had ate a lot the previous week! Really helps!

  27. Feels like I”m starting to get close to the end of my novice program. It”s been a great ride!


    Weight: 182 lbs PR

    Squat: 295x5x3 PR (10 lbs over previous 1 rep max)

    Press: 142.5x3x5 PR(2.5 lbs over previous 1 rep max)

    Thanks 70sbig and Starting Strength!

  28. @ Springer

    I am planning on dropping out of school just to keep up with you. Even though I only have one semester to complete a BS in Chemistry. School will always be there, but the weight gain competition between you and me will not.

  29. Crossfit total
    Back squat 350 (pr!)
    Shoulder press 165 (pr!)
    Deadlift 405 (pr!)
    Total: 920 (pr!) prev 780 on 10/21/09

    10 weeks of gomad & linear progression = 140# increase. I think it works, although my gut has increased with my numbers (bw 209 – started @ 180)!

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