January 17, 2024 3 min read

By Shane Robert

Last week, I shared a training template that harkens back to the type of training that was done in the “golden era” of training (1960’s to mid 70’s). That template is great to run for 4-6 months while focusing on simple progressive overload. I laid out a few different ways to do that in the previous post. 

This week, I want to share how I like to transition that template into a meet cycle or, if you don’t compete, a peaking period to test new maxes. The same format is followed with all warm up weights, starting at 60% and making 5% jumps before starting working sets at 80%. This stays the same throughout the cycle and doesn’t need to progress. The heavier top end sets are the focus. The added benefit to this warm up protocol is that you know exactly what to do when at the meet or maxing out. 

Before we get to the plan, let’s discuss the concept of “training max,” since this is what we will base our training around. A training max is a weight that is lighter than a true max. It is something you could do pretty much any day of the week, regardless of training period. For a lot of people this might be a weight that is their best 3 reps. An easy way to figure this out is taking 85-90% of your best and calling that your “max.” The benefit of doing this is you ensure all of the reps will be completed with no misses.

SQUAT AND BENCH (based on training max or 85-90% of best) 
60% x10, 65% x8, 70% x6, 75% x4, then:
  1. 80x3 85x3x3 (Lifts: 12 AI: 83%) 365
  2. 80x3 85x3 90x3 85x3 (Lifts: 12 AI: 85%) 375
  3. 80x3 85x3 90x3 92.5x3 (Lifts: 12 AI: 86.8%) 381
  4. 80x4 85x3 90x3 85x3 (Lifts: 13 AI: 84.6%) 372
  5. 80x4 85x3 90x3 90x3 (Lifts: 13 AI: 85.7%) 377
  6. 80x4 85x3 90x3 95x3 (Lifts: 13 AI: 86.9%) 382
  7. 80x5 85x3 90x3 85x3 (Lifts: 14 AI: 84.2%) 370
  8. 80x5 85x4 90x3 90x3 (Lifts: 15 AI: 85.3%) 375
  9. 80x5 85x4 90x3 97.5x3 (Lifts: 15 AI: 86.8%) 382
  10. 80x6 85x4 90x3 100x3 (Lifts: 16 AI: 86.8%) 382
  11. Openers x1, possibly up to second attempt for bench if you need that, then 85% of opener for 2-3x2
  12. Meet week
DEADLIFT (based on training max or 85-90% of best) 
60% x6, 65% x6, 70% x6, 75% x6, then:
  1. 80x4 85x3 90x2 (Lifts: 9 AI: 83%)
  2. 80x5 85x3 92.5x2 (Lifts: 10 AI: 84%)
  3. 80x6 85x3 95x2 (Lifts: 11 AI: 84%)
  4. 80x6 85x4 97.5x2 (Lifts: 12 AI: 84.5%)
  5. 80x6 85x5 100x2 (Lifts: 13 AI: 85%)
  6. 80x6 85x5 90x3 (Lifts: 14 AI: 83.9%)
  7. 80x6 85x5 92.5x3 (Lifts: 14 AI: 84.4%)
  8. 80x6 85x5 95x3 (Lifts: 14 AI: 85%)
  9. 80x6 85x5 97.5x3 (Lifts: 14 AI: 85.5%)
  10. 80x6 85x5 100x3 (Lifts: 14 AI: 86%)
  11. Opener x1, 75% of opener 2x2
  12. Meet week 
As you can see, we slowly increase volume and intensity but don’t ever really exceed an average intensity of more than 86% or so oftraining max. This will allow for heavy training with minimal recovery issues and what should be perfect technique. Make no mistake, however, this is still very intense training and you should take recovery seriously. You can keep the weights lighter like this, and still reap massive benefits if you move the bar with speed and power.

Despite the above, in my experience many lifters do better psychologically when they can handle the heavier loads that they will use in competition. For this reason, you can include one heavy overload set for each movement with the following progression:

(based on training max or 85-90% of best) 
  1. 100×1-3
  2. 100×2-4
  3. 100×3-5
  4. 110×1-2
  5. 110×2-3
  6. 110×3-4
  7. 120×1
  8. 120×2
  9. 120×3
  10. No overload after week 9
This is one area where you’ll have to figure out which overload movement works best for you, but I find the best to be:
  • High box or pin squats (2-4” above comp depth)
  • 3 board or 6” pin press
  • Block pulls from 6-8” for conventional pullers and 4-6” for sumo
Next week, we will conclude this series by going over the changes that will be made to the assistance work and discuss attempt selection.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.