Jonnie Candito’s 6 week program is a powerlifting peaking program. It consists of several short training blocks dedicated to muscular conditioning, hypertrophy, strength, linear weight increases, acclimation to heavy weights, intensity, and testing. It is held in especially high regard for improving the one rep max of the squat, though it programs all three lifts.
Based on personal experience, I highly recommend the Candito 6 Week Strength Program for squats. I’m able to run this repeatedly and continue to see gains of 5-10 lbs per every 5 weeks. It’s a solid choice for deadlifts as well, but I’ve had minimal success running this program for bench press. I’d recommend a bench specific program to help complement the Candito 6 Week Program. Alternatively, someone did combine this program with the Candito Advanced Bench Press Program: Candito 6 Week + Advanced Bench.
Candito 6 Week Program Spreadsheet
Jonnie provided a written summary of the program, which can be viewed in this PDF.
Note on Optional Exercises
From Jonnie’s PDF summary of the program, here are some notes on optional exercises.
- They are optional, and do not need to be completed.
- They should be done when you have the energy after the main work.
- They should be low impact in order to not negatively impact recovery from the main work.
- Use light weights in the 8 to 12 rep range.
- They can be done on a workout to workout basis. They can change whenever you’d like and do not necessarily need to progress in any particular way.
- They should probably be isolation accessory exercises (i.e. they work a single muscle/muscle group at a time, like a tricep extension or bicep curl).
- They are personal to you and should be tailored to your individual weaknesses.
Here are some examples of optional upper body exercises provided by Jonnie:
- Lateral dumbbell raise
- Incline chest fly
- One armed tricep extension
- Bicep cable/machine movements
- Preacher curl
- Skull crushers
- Hammer curl (if not already a main accessory)
Here are some examples of optional lower body exercises provided by Jonnie:
- Calf raises on leg press
- Leg curls
- Leg extensions
- Isolation glute exercises (e.g. barbell hip thrust)
- Single leg press
- Single leg curl
And here are some optional explosive lower body exercises:
- Box jumps
- Single leg box jumps
- Med ball throws
- Explosive single leg press
- Jump squats, deep squat jumps
- Power cleans
Explosive lower body exercises should be done for 4 reps each set so that each rep is truly explosive.