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Old 10-20-2012, 11:12 AM   #730
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Max Brawn

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: U.K
Posts: 5,514
Training Exp: 12+ years
Training Type: Powerlifting
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How about that! This thread has been running for a year, what a trip it's been!

I've been doing some thinking, pondering, deliberating if you will about what to do next. This year has been fantastic in terms of evolution of training. My recent 3 months of WSB training has been somewhat disjointed from the overall year but even so it's been a good learning experience. I thought I would summarise the year in it's 3 distinct phases:

Phase 1:

First time Steve and I started to discuss the ideas in the Chatbox. We were talking about deloads, specificity, varying percentages, varying exercises and the beginnings of what would serve as periodisation for both of us for the next year. What started off for me was a weekly schedule which would encompass 6 sessions, 3 push and 3 squat/pull. The rep schemes were mostly 6-8 sets of low reps with planned variety across the week.

Something like this:

Monday: Push 8 singles
Tuesday: Squat 8 singles, Pull 6 triples
Wednesday: Push 6 triples
Thursday: Squat 6 triples, Pull 6 triples
Friday: Push 6 triples
Saturday: Squat 6 triples, Pull 8 singles

At this point I was doing a lot of geared work. Heavy singles in full gear etc on a weekly basis. Later on we talked about morning sessions and additional work. However that was done alongside the work stated rather than instead of it and wasn't really a major departure in terms of the basic routine.

At this point I started to mess with the rep schemes a little. The constant battering of high sets and low reps was getting to be a bit much so I varied things by working up to a daily max followed by back off sets.

Daily Max upto a top single
90% of that for doubles
80% for triples

Something like that. The tri-weekly schedule was something like this:

Week 1: Heavy
Week 2: Heavy
Week 3: Light

And so on.

Strength and mass was rising, albeit inconsistently. Elbow and knee pain was rampant here from the constant equipped battering and probably poor selection of correctional work.

Phase 2:

At this point, a few months later I decided to up the frequency, come back to full body routines and introduce a more planned variation of reps/sets. The idea was to perform specifically singles for equipped assistance and higher reps for raw work. As well as that I introduced the idea of top end and bottom end work. Something like this:

Day 1: Full Body, fully equipped with multiple singles. Top end.
Day 2: Full Body, raw, higher reps.
Day 4: Full Body, partially equipped with multiple singles. Bottom end.
Day 5: Full Body, raw, higher reps.

This was great because I got to vary reps a lot during the week. But my joints were still taking a hammering and with the increased frequency and lack of variation I had constant knee/elbow/inner thigh issues leading up to the Nationals. But I did get strong.

The lack of variation, constant single work and constant work in gear was tough on the body.

Phase 3:

I switched to WSB early summer and my gains were great right off. I've written a lot of things about WSB and while it was a complete departure from the previous 10 months in terms of control I picked up things which could work.

Box Squats - Properly done are the dogs for increasing hamstring/hip strength and general squatting power. The only negative here being that we're talking mainly of heavily geared squats, as the width of the stance makes raw and singleply squats somewhat inconsistent for depth.

Speed work with heavy band resistance - Love this. Properly performed this is immense for building strength for geared work and stability for both raw and equipped work.

3 week cyles - All credit to Mark Bell and Donnie Thompson for these. I love these 3 week cycles, they're in the same vein as my own deload weeks which also stretch to 3 weeks. A typical 3 week wave would be:

Week 1: 10 sets
Week 2: 8 sets + working up in doubles
Week 3: 6 sets + working up in singles

Then starting a fresh again. A fantastic way to vary speed and intensity across 3 weeks without the need for a specific deload. Varying work and intensity in this way allows for other days where maximal work is done and resulted in some nice PR's and zero joint/injury issues. I was strongest at this point, however this also accompanied by weight gain upto 104kg at my heaviest, as well as that I was 'peaking' the volume built by previous work in the summer so it's not as simple to say WSB was the best routine.

Anyway, based on the above I'm going to work out how to continue this evolution. I just wanted to get all this in one place.

Last edited by Fazc; 10-20-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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