I wanted to create a program for myself that incorporated Olympic weightlifting exercises once or twice a week without sacrificing time on bodybuilding and powerlifting movements. What initially started as a simple training split, developed into a well-rounded program for general strength, hypertrophy and athleticism. This program is by no means beginner-friendly; it requires you to have at least some experience with compound exercises (bench press, squats, deadlift, dips, overhead press etc) and Olympic weightlifting movements (power snatches, power cleans). In this blog post, I will do an overview of the whole program and highlight the details and nuances of each training mesocycle.
- MONDAY (Full body): Olympic Lifts w/ Front squats, Abs
- TUESDAY (Upper body): Chest, Back, Biceps
- WEDNESDAY: ACTIVE REST
- THURSDAY (Lower body): Lower body with quadricep/squat focus
- FRIDAY (Upper body): Shoulders, Chest, triceps
- SATURDAY (Lower body): Lower body with posterior chain focus, Back
- SUNDAY: Rest
- Weeks 1-3 is considered a high-volume hypertrophy block
- Week 4 is an active rest/deload
- Weeks 5-9 is considered a strength block (with Week 9 being a back off on volume (not a full deload)
- Weeks 10-12 is a power and conditioning block
- Unlike a typical bodybuilding bro-split, frequency is moderate - high to ensure muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is kept above baseline for each body part throughout the whole week
- The moderate-high frequency done in this program is also good for motor learning/technique-acquisition and improvement, as well as neuromuscular efficiency (with the exception of the Olympic lifts, which I will address in the final section of this post)
- Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings are all being hit 2-3 times a week throughout the whole program
- Chest and triceps are being hit at least twice a week
- Back and pulling movements are being done at least twice a week
- Shoulders (specifically the lateral head of the deltoid) are only being hit once a week, but it should be noted that the anterior (front) and posterior (back) delts are stimulated on other days via pulling and pushing exercises anwyays
- Ab exercises are included in the program at least once a week
Placement of Rest Days
- Rest days are placed strategically to mitigate muscle soreness (delayed onset muscle soreness - DOMs) and ensure adequate muscle recovery
- Wednesday's rest day is to ensure the lifter is recovered before 3 back-to-back sessions (Thursday, Friday, Saturday).
- Monday is definitely the most technique-intensive day out of the whole program, therefore adequate muscle recovery (reducing DOMs) must be made during Sunday's rest day in order to reduce injuries and increase skill acquisition.
- Adequate rest in between 2 sessions that stimulate the same muscles (eg: Chest is being stimulated on Tuesday, then again on Friday. Wednesday and Thursday gives a chance for the chest to recover; right when MPS of the chest drops back to baseline on Thursday, Friday's session will increase it once again up until Sunday/Monday)
- Lower volume works requires less time to recover from (Thursday's posterior chain work is pretty low volume, therefore the posterior chain can be worked again on Saturday without any decreases in performance)
- Spacing muscle groups out evenly throughout the week is essentially taking advantage of the Stimulus-Recovery-Adaptation curves of each muscle (concept taken from NSCA, Dr. Yuri Verkhoshanksy and Dr. Mike Israetel).