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Jonnie Candito 6 Week Strength Training Program

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Experience: Beginner, Intermediate
Days per week: Five, Four, Three
Equipment: Barbell, Bench Press, Squat Rack
Great for: Everyone, Powerlifter
Focus: Full Body

Introduction to the Candito 6 Week Strength Program

The Candito 6 Week Strength Program is a new routine gaining popularity throughout the YouTube community. This strength program has been created, and used by Jonnie Candito, the creator of Candito Training HQ. More information regarding the 6 week strength training program can be found in Jonnie Candito’s 6 Week Strength Program PDF. As the name of the program suggests, this is a 6 week program that can be used to peak for a meet, or for training in a general sense.

Is Candito’s 6 Week Strength Program  for you?

Each week of the 6 week Strength Program is broken down into a different focus. This is called periodization, and according to Jonnie is great for beginners. Jonnie says that the benefit of a program using periodization is you prevent weaknesses before they even arise, and it allows beginners to greatly improve their focus.

Candito 6 Week Strength Program Explained

The Candito 6 Week Strength Program is a 6 week training program built using periodization. Because of this each week will be different. You will train either three, four, or five days per week depending on what week of the cycle you are currently on. Each week of the program effects the other.

6 Week Set-Up

Week 1Muscular Conditioning
Week 2Hypertrophy
Week 3Linear Max OT
Week 4Heavy Weight Acclimation/Explosiveness
Week 5Intense Strength Training
Week 6Deload (optional)

The program is focused on the three main lifts; squat, bench press, deadlift. The weights you use each lifting day is based off of your current 1 rep max for the squat, bench press, and deadlift. You will be lifting using several different set and rep ranges throughout the 6 week program.

As you move through the weeks, your training will become more strength oriented. The percentage of weight you train with will continue to increase from week to week, and your volume will drop. During week 5 the intensity is high; working at 97.5% of your max, and volume is low; 1-4 repetitions.

Since this is a 6 week training program, Jonnie provides lifters with three options to choose from for week 6.

  1. Skip Week 6.  Just use projected one rep max from last week’s 1-4 rep set.  Start next cycle.
  2. Use projected max for next cycle, but take a deload week (repeat week 1 but skip last upper workout).
  3. Take this 6th week to actually find your 1 rep max.  Then either deload or start new cycle the next week.

You will choose three of your preferred upper body accessory movements. One back accessory, one shoulders accessory, and one biceps accessory.  These accessory movements are required, and will be performed on each upper body day.

Jonnie intentionally does not provide you with specific weights, and/or percentages for your accessory movements. This allows you to focus more on the main three lifts, and allows you to choose your weights based off of how you feel that day.

Just try to increase the weight gradually over the course of the weeks. The intensity should always be relatively moderate so if you are hitting failure or coming close to it, then you need to lighten the load. This moderate intensity also applies to the deadlift variation which is the only required movement on certain lower body days.

There are no required accessory movements on lower body days. You do have the option to add two optional exercises at the end of your lower body workout, but these are not required.

Upper Body Accessory Movements

Dumbbell RowSeated Dumbbell Overhead PressDumbbell Curl
Weighted Pull-UpsStanding Dumbbell Overhead PressBarbell Curl
PulldownsMilitary PressDumbbell Hammer Curl
Machine RowLateral Dumbbell Raises (Suggested as an optional exercise)EZ Bar Curl
Exercises involving pulleys/machines (Suggested as an optional exercise)

Optional exercises provide you with a little flexibility, and control. These are optional from workout to workout, and allow you to add an additional exercise(s) for a particular workout. Jonnie states any optional exercises should be geared towards isolation, and should act like a cooldown.

4 sets need to be performed on optional exercises, and this includes any warm-up sets. You do not want these exercises to have a positive effect on recovery which is why you want to limit the number of sets.

Optional Exercises

Upper Body Optional ExercisesLower Body Optional Hypertrophy ExercisesLower Body Optional Explosive Exercises
Lateral Dumbbell RaiseCalf Raises on Leg PressBox Jumps (jumping full intensity, need high box)
Incline Chest FlyAny other form of calf raiseJump Squats (use low weight, if confused don't do them)
One Armed Tricep ExtensionLeg CurlPowercleans (need decent form)
Bicep Cable/Machine MovementsLeg Extension (can be useful to alleviate knee pain as a cooldown)Deep Squat Jumps (Jumping but descending to squat depth before launching)
Preacher CurlIsolation Glute ExercisesSingle Leg Box Jumps
Skull CrusherSingle Leg PressMed Ball Throws
Hammer Curl (if not used as main accessory)Single Leg CurlExplosive Single Leg Press

*No accessory lifts, or optional exercises are performed during week 3 of the program.

Full Candito 6 Week Strength Program

Below is the full routine, and a link where you can customize, print, or download to your device. Just plug in your max, and let it do the calculations. Bring a pen to the gym, and scribble off the days/sets as you go!

To edit the spreadsheet customized to your lifts, click HERE. You can also print, or download.

Jonnie Candito 6 Week Program


You want to make sure you are warming up with light weight. Generally Jonnie warms up for heavy squats as the following:

  • 10 rep warm-up with extremely light weight
  • 1-4 rep sets until the working set, moving from a set of 4, to 3, to 2, to 1.

The warm-up should be the shortest, most efficient route possible to allow you to start the actual workout.

Progression and Gain

Follow the prescribed routine, and you should see progress. This program is designed for repeat use allowing you to continue to make progress for several cycles.

I want you to come in the gym on a mission.

If you are a beginner, and your workouts are too easy, Jonnie strongly recommends giving his linear training program a try.

Deloading and Failing Sets

If you fail any rep, or set, Jonnie suggests finishing what you can for that workout. Then drop your max on that lift by 2.5%, and start your next session with your new max.

Moving Into Intermediate

Jonnie’s linear training program can be used for beginners, but is also very useful for more experienced users. It allows for a little bit more flexibility than the 6 week strength training program.

Main Exercise Substitutions

The program is designed around the three main lifts, but if for some reason you are unable, or unwilling to perform the three main lifts, Jonnie provides some possible substitutions.


  • Nothing! There are no substitutions for the squat.

Bench Press

  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Incline bench press


  • Snatch grip deadlift
  • Deficit deadlift
  • Ignore the deadlift, and only enter your squat max into the spreadsheet. Then perform the stiff legged deadlift as an optional exercise


Nutrition is a huge part of making progress with any lifting routine. Jonnie suggests you do three things for nutrition.

  1. Track calories (eat more to gain weight, eat less to lose)
  2. Track protein intake
  3. Eat a high amount of protein realtive to calories (one gram or more per pound of bodyweight)

A few other suggestions from Jonnie are to drink water frequently throughout the day, eat high fiber foods, and if you do not track protein drink three whey protein shakes per day.


The Candito 6 week strength training program outlines the way Jonnie Candito has trained for several years. He continues to train using this set-up, and continues to make strength gains.

This program isn’t a creation, rather a formal description of how I train.

Candito 6 Week Strength Program Video

  1. Sagar More

    its a great schedule, i am playing powerlifting last 20 years , but i think this schedule its little different. Thank you

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