T Nation

Critique Routine


What do you guys think of this routine?

Any things that could be added or substituted?


What are your current lifts? What do you FS?

Remember everyone has their own opinions on training schedules etc.

Just my view.
-8 exercises per session, wtf?! This will take you a huge amount of time to do...well over 3hrs imo...
-Too much non classical lift stuff way too deep in to the programme,
-drop the assistance stuff at least 2 weeks before the comp. You don't need to be donig the other stuff imo all the way up to comps

What issues do you have in your own lifts?

This is for an intermediate lifter. If you can't Sn bodyweight with reasonable technique you are not an intermediate lifter and need to focus more on learning the lifts and getting consistent technique. % won't mean jack sh!t until you have steady technique.



My current bests are a 72.5 snatch, a 92.5 clean and jerk and a 123 front squat. I have a body weight between 67 and 68.

I did plan on cutting it down to only power cleans/cleans, power snatch/snatch, front/back squat and one other assistance lift per session.


Well in that case I'd do this

FS to heavy single, drop 10-15kg and do 2reps x 2sets
Sn to heavy single
CJ to heavy single
FS to heavy single, drop 10-15kg and do 2reps x 2sets
Any strength exercise you want, pull ups wide grips or dips

Repeat 3-4x a week, aim to edge 1kg every 2-3 weeks. You will go on a hot streak and hit like 2-3kg sometimes :smiley:

If your feeling beat up then PS or PC and normal Jerk.

This is pretty much how I programme all of my lifters once they can lift with consistent technique then I make a few adjustments to their own needs, e.g. one needs to work on getting under the bar better I'll have him do a few hang lifts at the end of his CJ.

Post a video of your lifts so it's easier to see what you need to work on.



What would be a considered a good weight to aim for percentage-wise on the heavy single?
And front squat twice a session?


90% on any given day
91-95% on a moderately good day
95% on a good day
PB on a really good day

The drop down for the squats drop 15kg first and as you get use to it you can drop 10kg and hit a 2 doubles. Aim to increase everything by 1kg every 2-3 weeks.

Yes front squat twice a session. This is a hybrid of the Bulgarian System. Front Squating is your assistance exercise :slight_smile:

If you can't FS 220kg+ you will NEVER CJ 220kg...so you better get on it! :smiley:



Is there anyway I could fit back squat in? Maybe replace the second front squat a couple times a week?

Seriously thanks for all the advice so far :), Iv'e really been kinda lost as far as whats a good routine to use.


I completely agree with Koing, simplicity trumps the complicated every time. I tend to use the back squat, but the key is to make sure that it's perfect. Heavy but smooth reps trump daily grinders and it's much easier to get perfect reps with the front squat (hence the max for day suggestion). I've used a few different templates with success but the one Koing has set forth is perfect. The back squat isn't completely necessary and can even become detrimental if you start letting that ego creep in and tell you weight is better than perfect/smooth reps. The way I use it right now is to hit a heavy single then hit 10 reps (anyhow, 343, 532,2x5, 5x2, or 6x1). Drop the number of singles to 6 cuz it's usually at a higher percentage. Slightly lighter and faster > heavy grinders.


How many times a week can you train?

I'd think about doing it 1-2 if you have to back squat. But REMEMBER where is the bar when you receive a Clean?

You may have to do more doubles at the end of your session so instead of 2 3 or 4 but this is COMPLETELY DEPENDENT on how many times a week you train.

If your Jerk sucks I'd throw in some rack Jerks twice a week, but apart from that you can just hammer out the programme and focus on your issues when you lift.

Some days it will suck and you hit NOTHING at all. This is more likely if your training 10x a week then say 3-4 but the main thing is you keep training and you will see results.

Technique is key but ultimate front squat strength whilst lifting heavy often is fundamental.



Koing question for you.....I'm sure you've had guys that have started out just front squatting, are their squats going up consistently? I went front squat only for a while and found I didn't necessarily gain the strength in the squat as fast as if I employed a mixture of back and front squat while focusing on the front. I've switched out the back squat with the safety bar back squat (coaches experiment, as the camber puts you more upright, and the weight is closer to the back squat) which has worked really well, but I was curious as to the kinds of results you were getting w/ yourself and newer athletes in the sport w/ front squat only.


DeepSquat (Regieski) 18months
OxMan 18months
Ninearms 7-8months?
JamesVaughn (Chad) 25hrs coaching?

Oxman and DeepSquat alternated front and back for the first year but in May this year I switched out their schedules. They are not beginner lifters anymore this is why. Beginners get a different schedule to intermediate lifters.

Beginner : Reps, get volume in, build up the squats
Bar work : Altenrate Sn and CJ sessions on A and B days
Gradual lifting from floor
Squat : Alternate FS and BS

FS to heavy single, 2 x2 drop down
Sn to max for day 3-4-5 failures
CJ to max for day 3 failures or more if they can do it
FS to heavy single, 2 x2 drop down
Any strength work or non if they decide

When they can Sn about bw with good form they are not beginners anymore. It's more important for a beginner to get the body ready for what they will take a good beating at the Intermediate stage.



I started training with Koing mid June. First session I think I did 130. Last week I did 147, and a close miss at 150 on Monday this week. I can hit 142 every session without having to try too hard. I'd say pick a squat and focus on it. Front squats I find easier to recover from though.


So you would recommend that I choose either front or back as opposed to both? How much of a negative impact would focusing solely on back squat have? As I have other athletic activities I think the back squat would be more effective with.


I don't have anything against the back squat. In fact, when I started training with Koing I tried to convince him to let me back squat only. I love the back squat. However, I think you should do as little work as possible to get results, and in my experience front squats require less work than back, allow greater intensity to be maintained over long periods of time, and are easier to recover from.


Principles from uncle:
It's sport specific.
If you PL DO NOT FRONT SQUAT if you want to the the very best you can be at YOUR SPORT

It all depends on how dedicated you want to be in your sport.

I am in the mind set that we are weightlifters so we front squat. No back squats for us. You get good at doing something often, so how often is often? How many times do you train a week? Why introduce another stimulus? The bar is no where near your back when you squat.

I now take a very purisst view on coaching and training.

My mate David Woodhouse tried to make me do something like this about 4yrs ago. I dismissed him LOL even though now he is a visionary! It only took the most successful weightlifting coach in history to convince me to do it...don't waste time. Go against the herd and just do it for 10 weeks strictly. You will get results. I'm not even charging you money!

Another lifter

Sn 50-60-65 in the space of 5hrs with me
CJ 75-82.5 in 5hrs with me
Fs 105-107.5 : this may not seem huge but it's significant seeing as how many lifts he has actually done and anyway, the FS is an assistance to a bigger Sn and CJ.

But if you have to BS I'd try at 20% of the time and see how you get on. The most important thing is to LIFT HEAVY AND TO LIFT HEAVY OFTEN PUSHING ALL THE TIME.



My squats definitely went up the fastest when I was just front squatting, but doing that 5-6 days a week compared to when I was mixing in front and back. When I ditched the back squat I averaged about 1kg increase on my front squat every week for about 15 weeks, then I tested my back squat and hit a +20kg pb!


thanks for the beginner phase thing. Sounds great. Im kinda doing a pl/oly lifting hybrid (well going to start anyway) giving up benching lol. Will affect total when i go to compete in PL but i dont care. But i love olympic lifting more than benching. Just was wondering how i would incorporate the two.

If you are working with Powerlifting (max/dynamic lower body) and are clean + jerk/snatch with above 90% or so do you think this will have a negative effect on the max effort/ dynamic days & CNS or will your body feel fucked for the first 3 - 5 weeks and then adapt? Ive read and heard from word of mouth that is it extremely hard to overtrain doing olympic lifting. Just would like to get an olympic lifter/trainers opinion on it.

Also for your beginner phase do you have your athletes do multiple reps for cleans, snatchs etc ? Ive been told from a PT (probably not best source) but he is quite knowledgeable and different from most PTs that i cant keep the explosiveness needed after around 6 reps.

thanks for your time Koing & anyone else who wishes to reply.


I'd probably do the DL after the Sn, probably get in 3 DL over a 2 week period.

CJ: 2reps x 6sets
Sn: 3reps x 6sets, you can break it down so you can do doubles and singles as well. The whole point is to get the reps in. Your technique is A LOT better by the time you get to about 500reps. You can do that by doing loads of doubles and singles. Same for CJ, just get the reps in.

You would never do more then 3 and more often then not 1-2rep range but more sets.



Thanks for the reply. Will definitely do.
Just to save further questions & save you the trouble of needing to explain things youve already explained countless numbers of times. Is their any texts/articles/websites with valuable infomation ?


I actually tried this routine and it knocked the cr4p out of me. Bear in mind that I'd been training for approx 5years at the time and could sn 105kg, clean 140kg (let's not mentioned jerks cos I'm rubbish at them) at a bodyweight of about 87kg, so I wan't anywhere near a beginner.

I even removed the assistance exercises but just found the overall volume too much. From week 6 your doing 100% 1RM front or back squats pretty much every session!!! It just caused me to start missing lifts which then was compounded by having to do the same weight to 100% the next session. WAYYYYYYY to intense for my liking.

Then again, I was 34 at the time so probably past my prime as far as weightlifting goes. Maybe it's easier for the younger guys to handle the workload?