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5 Barbell and Strength Training Programs to Get Seriously Strong


Who does it work for?

People with time! Training sessions can least 2 hours or more.

Lifters with a “Burgener” Style. Lifters that prefer other methods (Catapult etc) can struggle with this.

Coach Mike Burgener’s generic beginner program is the starting point for most of Mike’s programming for his own lifters. Exercises will change on a daily basis to fit what the lifter most needs to work on and to take into account individual variation.

crossfit girl emom workouts outside beachSource: RX'd Photography
Stay strong!


Four days split

  • Day 1 largely devoted to the Snatch and derivative exercises
  • Day 2 to the Clean & Jerk
  • Day 3 to power snatch and assistance exercises

Day 4 as a max out for the competition lifts.

Mike Burgener strength training programSource: alltheheavylifting
The breakdown for each day

One aspect of Burgener’s program that sets it apart from other beginner programs is that it makes use of 3-position snatch and cleans. It also includes assistance exercises like snatch-grip shrugs. Burgener heavily emphasises the “jump and shrug” in his preferred technique.

Sets and reps generally involve five sets of triples for the main lifts and power variants and five sets of five for most of the strength lifts.
Weights used are left to the lifter/coach. Coach Burgener says that he often increases the load one week and drops it back a bit the following week before increasing again.

  • Front Squats are performed on Day 1 at 3×5 and back squats on Day 2 at 5×5.
  • Overhead squats are done as part of a complex with snatch-grip push presses on Day 3.
  • Max back squats may also be performed on Day 4.

Coach Burgener’s template is very much a jumping off point for individualisation and exercises will generally vary from week to week depending on the trainee’s needs. However, he notes that many lifters and coaches have seen impressive gains just sticking to the generic program as laid out.

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