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Thread: 'Wave' loading vs ascending vs back-off sets

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    'Wave' loading vs ascending vs back-off sets

    Is there a reason why some people do the loading in waves, while others go in an ascending order, and yet some others work up to their heaviest weight and then do back-off sets (or sets at lighter weight and higher reps)? For example, suppose your workout for the day was to hit 3 doubles at 80%, 3 singles at 85%, and 3 singles at 90%. Is there any reason for or against doing this in the following ways (for example):

    (wave) 80/2, 85/1, 90/1, 80/2, 85/1, 90/1, 80/2, 85/1, 90/1

    (ascending) 80/2, 80/2, 80/2, 85/1, 85/1, 85/1, 90/1, 90/1, 90/1

    (back-off) 80/2, 85/1, 85/1, 85/1, 90/1, 90/1, 90/1, 80/2, 80/2

    I have almost always followed the ascending route, occasionally using back-off sets to back load some volume. But now I'm thinking of trying out this wave approach. Any thoughts?

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    Waves are fun. I think it's just another tool to provide variety in training and create new stimulus. It forces athletes to stay a little more focused as well instead of getting complacent at a certain weight for working sets that day.

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    I find with waves you can mentally sneak and inadvertently in more volume with the higher percentages. Also with the concept of post-activation potentiation the subsequent sets after dropping back down become easier.

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    Perhaps my technique is still rather inconsistent, but I find that I am almost guaranteed to miss my backoff snatches unless I back off to like 70% and work back up. Backoff clean and jerks feel like the heaviest lifts on the planet.

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    but I find that I am almost guaranteed to miss my backoff snatches unless I back off to like 70% and work back up. Backoff clean and jerks feel like the heaviest lifts on the planet.
    Ehh, I find the same thing. If you look at my log (which I abandoned since August or so because of life and haven't cared to log since post mid August meet) I often will work to a snatch of 80-84 sometimes towards 91; but I almost always start my ascending backoff at 70. A few days I didn't but 1)I hate starting over less than 70 and 70 is just over 70% of my 1rm though not daily 1rm. CJ are pretty similar too. Work up between 100-105 and start around 80.

    Otoh, last Saturday I started my backoff with 75 for a double and they felt like a ton. Somehow I made it to 91 for a single after 88.5/#195 for 2 but I'm not sure because they felt super heavy.

    Tu I hit a sketchy 84 snatch with some pulls to 91, moved to 70/3 bumped to 75 and died. I tried 73 and got a high pull and just decided to move on. I think this all has something to do my back being tight and a cold I can't shake since I still have coughing fits and the fact that I probably didn't eat enuff too. I'll usually do around 5 ascending sets but I've done 8 before and sometimes only 4 and then hit some pulls.

    My backoff sets done after a heavy single always feel heavy as fuck. I played with doing them from the hang or block but that didn't seem to go anywhere. Ghetto blocks take time to build and reset and hangs suck. What's funny is when I get really close to my heavy single of the day with a triple or double. Snatch like 84 and do a double or triple to 82. CJ to 100 and double or triple 95. Or hit 105+ and get to 100. Same thing on rack jerk days.

    I've tried doing heavy triple, double then single (even 5-4-3-2-1) back in early 2016 but it didn't gowhere. I'm going to next try where I just do singles to maybe 70% and then start triples to a double to a single next week and see how that fares.

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    [QUOTE=

    (wave) 80/2, 85/1, 90/1, 80/2, 85/1, 90/1, 80/2, 85/1, 90/1

    (ascending) 80/2, 80/2, 80/2, 85/1, 85/1, 85/1, 90/1, 90/1, 90/1

    (back-off) 80/2, 85/1, 85/1, 85/1, 90/1, 90/1, 90/1, 80/2, 80/2QUOTE]

    I can see doing the waves when you are anticipating you will be faced with a long(er) wait between attempts at your next competition. Otherwise, get your top weights in while fresh, then back down and get some work in.

    Ascending makes no sense to me, except if your attempt or set is poor and you wanted to do a better lift/set prior to moving up. But I do not get the point of doing extra volume prior to working with your top weights.

    Back-off makes more sense, work up to your top weight for the day, then back down to get some volume work in.

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    Member Blairbob's Avatar
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    Ascending makes no sense to me
    I think it's acceptable for beginners and intermediates to solidify their technique. "Earn your heavy weights as they say."

    Also if I don't want someone to go really heavy, make them do heavy triples doubles then a single to limit what they'll eventually hit. I've done that myself before.

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    I like to use waves within the intensity level chosen for the day ie. if I want to work in the 80-90% range I like to go: 80×2,82.5×2,85×2,82.5,85,87.5,85,87.5,90. If the weights feel easy I may add 1 more wave of 87.5, 90 and 92.5 if I haven't missed any lifts.

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