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Linear progression

Just a quick one,
Since a little bit of an Achilles issue, I've been trying to get my squat back up, I've been following 3x5 BS(M&F) and 5x3 FS(W)
I have stalled at a similar number twice in a row, I have a program to go back onto, that's more for WLers.. Though with some things going on I wonder if that has made me stall rather than hitting my limit
Eg- hit 3x5@135 pretty comfortable, then my daughter has been in hospital and I did 137.5 x3 then 0
Should I reset, switch program's or just ignore the session and resume again, (I will usually give myself 3 missis on a number before resetting)

Thanks in advance


Registered Rustler
Seems like a good way to make little progress IMO.
Try something like this:


Competition lifts + front squat + bro shit

Heavy pulls

Comp lifts

Upper back work

Then first two weeks for squat I'd do 5x5 high bar beltless, then 5x5 high bar paused beltless (breathe out at bottom if you want it harder)
Weeks 3-4 I'd add a belt
Then weeks 5-6 I'd do triples as well as the paused squats, weeks 7-8 singles removing the paused squats.
Weeks 1,2,3,5,7 I'd go nuts with the number of sets. 5x5 is a good start but add sets as the reps decrease.
Weeks 4,6,8 I'd go for the rep maxes

I'd finish off all squat workouts with some walking lunges, dumbbells or kettlebells to fatigue the quads after the heavy training. Some leg press or a 20 rep squat fairly light would be good also
The front squats I'd do at my max C+J, maybe a little more depends how good you are at front squats
Shouldn't have to tell you this I hope, but the squats should look like the bottom position of the snatch, don't be the dickhead that squats big but it looks nothing like his snatch. Next to worthless, IMO.

This is an 8 week cycle, made it short because it would probably suit you better, but you could easily make it 10, 12, 16 weeks by adding more blocks to it. A longer cycle would start at blocks of 10s, then 8s, etc. Should be a good template for you to play around with, I have no idea how often you need to train the competition lifts so I just put them in twice a week as the focus is on bringing the squat up
Don't take this the wrong way at all, but for the lifts I have program's for me..
And I have something to go onto once I'm ready for squats also, though given my squat went backwards quite badly from training through injury I just wanted to get it back up again.
Regarding the squat-snatch, there is no correlation between the back squat and the Olympic lifts. It's purely for leg strength which is needed, but won't really help you improve the lifts, if that makes sense..
Edit- like anything you can find plenty to say that the back squat is related, and plenty to say it isn't directly.. That's just what I've been shown/taught/told and I personally agree with it
Last edited:


Registered Rustler
Ignore the competition lift stuff, I just put that in as an example
Squatting how you receive a snatch is best, both for weightlifting performance and thighs hypertophy and strengthening which is what you're after. I've spoken to two pretty high level weightlifters here in SA about this. I think an increase in volume is needed, 6 sets a week + the fronts is really not that much at all. After my next meet next week I'll be doing a good 20 sets of squatting a week, no including other shit like leg pressing and lunges. If you're struggling with the weight it is really the only way, simply taking some weight off and making things easier isn't going to work no matter how nice it sounds


I've just restarted on squats.
Monday and Saturday are squat days. Monday is 3x8, Friday is 3x5. Just adding weight every week progressively. Deadlifts are Wednesday.
It's one of my oldest PL programs
When you say, "how you catch the snatch" you mean ATG? I get coached and have been coached by some of the best in the country, and I don't really know what your trying to say, unless you mean the obvious Olympic squat?

Most of the US team squats 10-15 working sets a week, given the load of the comp lifts as well, that's probably enough.. That said of had sessions with more than 10 working sets all above 85%, so I've gone down that road before too
Just out of curiosity, you seem to be a knowledgable lad.. Why are you so against basic linear progression, when the whole world seems to say to milk it for everything you can?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing, just wondering why?


Registered Rustler
OK one point at a time here.
By squatting like you snatch, I mean very upright and as deep as possible to get maximal range of motion in the knees and hips with good ankle dorsiflexion as well. This will be best for weightlifting and development of the thighs in my opinion. It's how I (attempt to) squat myself when I am doing high bars but am obviously limited by my current mobility but I strive for that position as much as possible.

The US team squatting 10-15 sets a week, two points the main is they are not squatting as much as other countries or doing as well. Lets not get into that. The other is that they have already developed a lot of the thigh hypertrophy that they need so simply do not need as many sets.

I don't have a problem with linear progress per say, just the way a lot of people set it up. There is simply no way that you get stronger by making your workouts easier. It just won't happen. You can taper off and realise this strength but it is needed to be developed in the first place with a lot of volume. If you're struggling with the weight, taking some off is needed obviously because you want the reps to be perfect but then you're just making things easier for yourself. If you're going to scale back 15% or 10 or whatever then at the very least do more sets or rep out the final couple of sets so that you're actually getting a training effect from your workout. You're squatting 135kg for a few sets of 5, not hating at all but no matter how high the bar is or deep it is you're going to be able to recover extremely well from this sort of weight so there is no real reason why you can't be doing a good 10 sets of 5 on your main squatting day.

If you were very far from competition I'd even be tempted to rack up sets of 12 and slowly move onto heavier and heavier weights as you decrease the reps
Fair enough, but I'm not training as often as I'm coming back from an injury, and I've never followed a program for WL that only has 1 main squatting day
Other than that, I get your point and I see it as a fair enough statement


Registered Rustler
Yeah it's a tough one. You could always add another squat day and have it lighter moving the reps fast. If injury is a problem then you can simply go lighter but do more volume and it will tend to not aggravate it. Most of the weightlifting stuff I see has a LOT more squatting than what I am seeing you do but you need to build up the volume slowly and not just for injury sake

At the end you need to decide if concentrating on the competition lifts or the squat performance is more important. It's tough to do both at once. I'm at the point where it's kinda SQUAT or DEADLIFT for me and it's difficult to keep both moving
Yeah it's annoying..

That suprises me that's all you've seen, I haven't really seen squatting done to the volume I get the impression you want it to be done.. I know the guys who will be heading to Glasgow, and I haven't seen them do massive volume, the Chinese do more, but still nothing crazy. Even Russians, they do lots of sets but I think it's lots of singles and doubles..

The Armenians, half of them don't even back squat, just front, plus the 2 lifts, wierd bastards


Registered Rustler
Just looking up a few quick ones, not "attacking" you in any way or trying to show you up... just providing the information that I have gathered

Smolov is a squat cycle made for bringing up the legs in beginner weightlifters (not an "advanced" powerlifting routine LOL) and that is a lot of sets BUT puts the competition lifts aside apart from some long pulls to warm up

A sample training - LiftHard Chinese style here, you've probably seen this. We are looking at 11-15 sets of 2-5 reps for squats and another 10-14 sets of 1-3 reps for front squats
http://lifthard.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Routine.png for a masters lifter, we are looking at at least 9 sets of front squats in the first 3 days of the week

From Pendlay:
A Training System for Beginning Olympic Weightlifters We are looking at 10 sets of squatting for a rank novice and 3 sets of front squats over 3 days. This is someone with no work capacity remember.

Going Russian:
Verkhoshansky Articles & Documents
"the volume of training loads achieved the limit of reasonableness. Today the professional athletes are training about 8 hours per day, 2-4 times during the day, near to 1,700 hours per year. It’s quite impossible imagine any further increase of load volume. We should look for models that assure a most rational use of the training loads over the year cycle" - The take home point here would be that volume increases until the limit of reasonableness which for you and I is simply time constraints.

An Interview With Sports Scientist Natalia Verkhoshansky | Bret Contreras - "The innovative idea of my father was to “concentrate” all the volume of barbell exercises, which was used by the athletes during the whole preceding preparation period, in an isolated training stage during which the athlete would not carry out other kinds of training loads (“strength block”). This “block” should be placed at the beginning of the preparation period and should be followed by the consecutive stages" - If you're far from competition, I think you should remain in the strength block as long as possible. In the above article from lifthard it is mentioned that as a novice more and more time is spend developing strength rather than displaying it until the strength level is suffice, but nobody really gets there until they hit elite so to stop worrying about it. Get your front squat up 20kg and your clean WILL increase at your level a lot faster than simply attacking the clean

Good quote here from Duane Hansen:
"I have found it useful in the long run to plan your heavy and light weeks of lifting. The plan that seems to work best is two heavy weeks (where you work as hard and heavy as you can manage) followed by an easy (or deload) week where you cut the total volume in half and rarely (if ever) lift a weight more than 80% of your best. The actual days during the heavy weeks have a bit of wiggle room. Some days you are on top of the world and can do anything. Other days will be not so good. The thing is to work hard enough each day during the heavy weeks (depending on how things are going that particular day) and force yourself to take it easy during the deload weeks." - Personally I think you won't need the deload weeks, you're simply not lifting enough! But it would be a good time to drop squatting volume and focus on the competition lifts more. For me I do a similar thing, I'll go nuts with volume for 2 weeks then drop the volume and up the intensity for 2 weeks. The main point is CONTRAST here, not "recovery".

Also on the Arminiens, however you spell their country name, like the Bulgarians it's important to see the development of the lifter. Yeah all they did was front squat the competition lifts and the power variations. But as a teenager they all did gymnastics and bodybuilding (I shit you not) and spend a lot of time doing a wide variety of different exercises to develop a complete motor map before cutting out exercises as they got more and more advanced

There is a lot more from sports outside of weightlifting but I wanted to keep it strictly weightlifting based here

Bench Polkov

Fuck I hate linear, it makes no fucking sense why people do it when there are so many more optimal programming options available.

/end useless input.
Progressive resistance is as old as dirt, thanks to the invention of the barbell.
[MENTION=5361]El Freako[/MENTION]; why does it make no sense to you?

is "linear progression" different?

When using progression, it slows down, it then wise to add in maintenance type workouts.

Bench Polkov

Progressive resistance is as old as dirt, thanks to the invention of the barbell.
@El Freako ; why does it make no sense to you?

is "linear progression" different?

When using progression, it slows down, it then wise to add in maintenance type workouts.

There are many forms of progressive resistance and I would call linear just one of them. Linear is easy to perform and understand but there's more than enough anecdotal and actual scientific evidence around now to suggest that its less than optimal for strength gains. Linear does work but there are better methods out there like undulating periodisation, wave loading, etc.
There are many forms of progressive resistance and I would call linear just one of them. Linear is easy to perform and understand but there's more than enough anecdotal and actual scientific evidence around now to suggest that its less than optimal for strength gains. Linear does work but there are better methods out there like undulating periodisation, wave loading, etc.

then, i would be correct in saying that more often than not, a learner is best suited to "linear" ?