If you’re not interested in hitting some new PB’s, that’s cool, feel free to skip reading this.
Let’s say you are interested though, keep reading.
Below you’ll find a simple protocol to help you improve on one or multiple lifts.
This is not something you’d find in body building very often, it’s for people who chase strength.
The information in question is a favourite of many a Russian athlete oddly enough and one I’ve done many times to hit new heights.
I first learnt of this from reading older writing by Dr Fred Hatfield, if you’ve not read any of his books you should, they’re amazing resources.
As you may have guessed I quite like the Russian methodology.
Here is the premise:
– 80% 1RM is starting load, 105% is the end game
– Double Progression is applied
– Intensity is increased incrementally
– Train a 2-3 times per week
– Rest as needed
– Stay tough and you’ll reap the rewards
– Don’t get greedy, follow the protocol
This is how the classic program looks based on 3 days training per week (Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Thur-Sat):
*All 6x sets are at 80% 1RM, % changes will be listed below.
^^ If you don’t know yours or your clients 1RM, use an RM calculator to establish an estimated one and go from there.
– 6x2x80% 1RM*
– 6×3* (the volume progression begins)
– 5x5x85% 1RM
– 2x2x100% (old 1RM)
– 1x1x105% (aim for a new 1RM)
Week 7 Deload
Congratulations, a new PB to help you drive up old RM’s and add some much sought after muscle/strength.
Thats the typical way to do it, however if you’re short on time then this may be of use.
The new twist for those short on time –
If you with to do this twice per week the cycle will end up being 10 weeks long (9 with the last being a deload).
Week 9 – Week 10 Deload
– 1x1x105% (aim for new 1 RM)
From experience you can pair two lifts together when doing this and PB on both so long as they don’t interfere with each other.
It’s also good because you get a heavy day and a light day each week meaning you can really go for it each heavy session as it makes the overall progression far more manageable.
DL & Press (or weighted dip)
Squat & Pull Up
Bench Press & Row
You’ll find that some token accessory work of say 30 reps per accessory lift is enough to help the other lifts keep up and maintain some form of muscular balance.
Here is how I planned my sessions using the twice per week training schedule. I was forced to train this way because of upcoming events and life doing what it does best, however I hit new numbers and intact made progress.
Sometimes less really is more.
Lifting Day 1 & 2:
A1 – DL – sets/reps as above
B1 – Press – sets/reps as above
B2 – Chin – 5 reps each set
C1 – Squat 1×10-20
- I would add in perhaps some postural work and make a few sets for smaller muscle groups if I had time
- You can also add in some CV training (sprints etc) a couple of times per week that don’t require you going to a gym
The funny thing with this is it’s so simple people will ignore it.
We live in a world where people think that unless they’ve destroyed themselves they haven’t had a good training session.
This is not true.
Especially when you look at MRV (maximum recoverable volume) vs MED (minimal effective dose), however that’s for another day.
Give the above a go and see how you fair.
Train smart not hard.
A classic line.
Let’s look at why training hard is training smart.
In the world of lifting it’s common for people to use the phrase ‘train mart not hard’ and it’s quite easy to see why this is said.
This isn’t going to be technical.
Just a simple way of looking at it all.
Before we go on here is what people typically think about hard/smart training.
– Lifting Heavy
– A lot of volume
– Keeping everything on the nerve
– Toughening up & pushing past old limits to force adaptation
– Having a solid plan of progression
– Knowing your periods of pushing & backing off
– Listening to ones body
– Training specifically for the goal
Okay, if you look at both the concepts and how they’re typically perceived, you will see there is some similarities.
A lot of similarities.
You often find people who just preach ‘train hard’ are all about intensity.
Those who say ‘train smart’ are all about the planning.
The fact is that training hard is training smart because you can’t have one without the other.
If you have the right plan with no intensity it doesn’t matter how good it is, you won’t progress because you’re not putting in any real graft.
The same is true for aimlessly lifting heavy things and killing yourself without a plan, you just end up spinning your wheels, burning out and getting hurt.
So you see you can’t have one without the other.
Here is what Smart & Hard Training looks like:
– Planned accumulation, intensification, reduction periods
– Overall progressive overload/fatigue management
– Pushing each session and hitting all the numbers
– Listening to the body and doing more if the day feels good, less if it doesn’t
Does your training look like one or the other?
To get the most optimal progress possible you need to not only train hard, you need to train smart as well, they’re intrinsically linked after all.