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Thread: Increasing Intensity + Deload Frequency

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    Increasing Intensity + Deload Frequency

    Commonly whenever its asked "when should you deload" either the person is told "when your body needs it" or "every 4-6 weeks". Now remembering some old articles on how Team China trains and going through the Russian Weightlifting Forum thats linked wayyyyyyyyyy back in an old thread there seems to be belief of 3 weeks then deload on the fourth week (at least for males). Now profesionals obviously train at a great total volume and overall higher intensity than the average population and even the trained population. But I think the principle of "train a lot then recover" is applicable to at least an intermediate lifter.

    So I'm welcoming a discussion on shorter more intense blocks with more frequent deloads, either in context of your own experience or in theory.

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    The most extreme case I know of comes from an interview with Mohamed Ehab reported in All Things Gym. He reportedly works on four week cycle--week 1 70%, week 2 80%-85%, week 2 70%, week 4 max. I'm not sure if what I said for week 2 is totally accurate, but the gist of true.

    By the way I hate the word "deload." I first saw it in Bompa's book long ago. Back then it seemed to me just another word for "easy." Deload makes it seem more scientific (which it isn't).

    As an old man, I do two weeks of relatively heavy followed by one week of easy. Don't know if that's optimal, but I like doing it.

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    I use deload because its the agreed upon term for a lighter week. But yeah the Ehab story falls more in line with what I put forth.

    I also want to mention that the LSUS program as its traditionally spread around is made up of three-week blocks at the different rep ranges.

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    Now remembering some old articles on how Team China trains
    Actually, I want to say it's 2 weeks+, start the 3rd and deload for a few days til Friday. So train Mon and/or Tues, then take off Wed, Thur which is usually a rest day anyways and come back for Friday or Saturday. The women use 3 weeks I think instead of 2 or 4.

    I also want to mention that the LSUS program as its traditionally spread around is made up of three-week blocks at the different rep ranges.
    I think it's actually 4 week phases with a rest week on the 4th week. Which means a full cycle is 16 weeks not 12.

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    But I think the principle of "train a lot then recover" is applicable to at least an intermediate lifter.
    I think if there isn't a competition coming up that will be peaked for in some regard, this is generally fine.

    OTOH, it lacks a structure of periods and phases. Mentally, it can be a grind since it's basically the same ole shit on repeat. But for beginners and intermediates, it doesn't really have to be that fancy. It's when progress has slowed down that periods and phases start to make sense. Or a competitive season to peak for.

    I want to say since Thanksgiving, I did 3months of working in the 5's range for squats and pushpresses and RDL(for10), then switched to a month of 3's and started adding some DL for 3s the last month after playing with working to a single for a few weeks before that (because my Sn/CnDL are pathetic atm). RDLs went down to 5 when I did them. Pullups and dips were initially 10r then 5s because I frankly just was too tired at the end of the day to hit them for sets of 10 anymore. I only did pulls for triples sometimes to a single if so inclined and same with FS on a few days mainly because anymore triples weren't gonna happen. I basically switched to 3's because I was sick of 5s. During Sept thru Thanksgiving, I worked out 2-3days a week often doing 10rep sets in squats and pushpress.

    On some Fridays which would have been day4, I took the day off giving me 2 days off in a row, and came in on Saturday for SnCJ and the regular sat shit. I think I also gave myself a weekend off a couple times which meant Th-Sun off so twice as many rest days. I now on occasion, I've started training for the week on Monday and Tuesday and then taken off Wed until Friday or Saturday. So I start off giving myself 1 day off, then 2 then maybe 3 or 4 if need be. Basically stalling a full deload until I have to which is generally just take some days off instead of cutting volume by 50% and limiting intensity to 80% which is sort of a traditional deload/backoff week.

    I was intending to peak for a competition the 3rd week of May but I will probably just train with a short deload at the end of this month. If I decide and can compete in May, I'll take a light week off or maybe just thru until Friday or Saturday and train for 2 weeks until said meet.

    TBH, since I'm not a sponsored FT athlete that means shit in life comes up. Some days, I may not sleep well for a night or few days or get off work late/have to work extra hours or a weird shift or I get sick or my right knee starts acting up (much better lately since it's just an alignment issue I've figured out). End of the day, it all works pretty much.

    This week, I'm playing with just singles which I intend to do for 2 more weeks if I manage. I've done 3 days this week with another tomorrow because I took off Monday on account of being lazy and tired. Next week I'll do 5 and the week after that 6 sessions. While initially this week was going to be 2 waves of FS sandwiching the lifts and adding extra waves next week and the following, I'm not so sure that's gonna be doable. I've tried something like 3 waves for 3 days and 1 for 3 days for a week twice now (5-6sessions in a week) but those 1st and 2nd waves were often not as heavy as they were this week. I've hit numbers I wanted to this week with no desire at all or the energy to probably do another wave and these waves are super short being only 4-7 lifts per wave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blairbob View Post
    I think if there isn't a competition coming up that will be peaked for in some regard, this is generally fine.

    OTOH, it lacks a structure of periods and phases. Mentally, it can be a grind since it's basically the same ole shit on repeat. But for beginners and intermediates, it doesn't really have to be that fancy. It's when progress has slowed down that periods and phases start to make sense. Or a competitive season to peak for.

    I want to say since Thanksgiving, I did 3months of working in the 5's range for squats and pushpresses and RDL(for10), then switched to a month of 3's and started adding some DL for 3s the last month after playing with working to a single for a few weeks before that (because my Sn/CnDL are pathetic atm). RDLs went down to 5 when I did them. Pullups and dips were initially 10r then 5s because I frankly just was too tired at the end of the day to hit them for sets of 10 anymore. I only did pulls for triples sometimes to a single if so inclined and same with FS on a few days mainly because anymore triples weren't gonna happen. I basically switched to 3's because I was sick of 5s. During Sept thru Thanksgiving, I worked out 2-3days a week often doing 10rep sets in squats and pushpress.

    On some Fridays which would have been day4, I took the day off giving me 2 days off in a row, and came in on Saturday for SnCJ and the regular sat shit. I think I also gave myself a weekend off a couple times which meant Th-Sun off so twice as many rest days. I now on occasion, I've started training for the week on Monday and Tuesday and then taken off Wed until Friday or Saturday. So I start off giving myself 1 day off, then 2 then maybe 3 or 4 if need be. Basically stalling a full deload until I have to which is generally just take some days off instead of cutting volume by 50% and limiting intensity to 80% which is sort of a traditional deload/backoff week.

    I was intending to peak for a competition the 3rd week of May but I will probably just train with a short deload at the end of this month. If I decide and can compete in May, I'll take a light week off or maybe just thru until Friday or Saturday and train for 2 weeks until said meet.

    TBH, since I'm not a sponsored FT athlete that means shit in life comes up. Some days, I may not sleep well for a night or few days or get off work late/have to work extra hours or a weird shift or I get sick or my right knee starts acting up (much better lately since it's just an alignment issue I've figured out). End of the day, it all works pretty much.

    This week, I'm playing with just singles which I intend to do for 2 more weeks if I manage. I've done 3 days this week with another tomorrow because I took off Monday on account of being lazy and tired. Next week I'll do 5 and the week after that 6 sessions. While initially this week was going to be 2 waves of FS sandwiching the lifts and adding extra waves next week and the following, I'm not so sure that's gonna be doable. I've tried something like 3 waves for 3 days and 1 for 3 days for a week twice now (5-6sessions in a week) but those 1st and 2nd waves were often not as heavy as they were this week. I've hit numbers I wanted to this week with no desire at all or the energy to probably do another wave and these waves are super short being only 4-7 lifts per wave.
    I guesss I should be specific in saying I;m not against specific phases here but in fact talking about just upping those phases in intenisty and decreasing duration. So, still strength blocks, still posititional blocks, classic, hypertrophy etc. But instead of doing a longer 4-6 before a deload you do a quick three then deload. Theres nothing stopping a person from doing two back to back blocks of the same type either.

    I still believing in having some guidance to training, but was getting bored with traditional formatting and was looking around at other programs and countries to see how they broke it up.

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    We pretty much already know the Soviet models. We just dont have the specifics of how the Asian countries train besides Kaz (Soviet model into Bulgarianesque upon elite status).

    Probably the only Americans doing something novel compared to the standard American models might be Broz and Glenn and Mash. Mash is still figuring out his system Id say as he keeps tweaking it.

    It does seem that Ray, CJ coach is doing something a bit different but hard to say without an example of their programming.

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    You can just monitor your recovery. There are different ways of doing it. I have been experimenting with heart rate variability. Once you notice consistently lower readings, then just back off until it returns to baseline for a few days.

    Reducing intensity by 5-10% and volume by 30-40% every 4th week should work fine though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blairbob View Post
    I think it's actually 4 week phases with a rest week on the 4th week. Which means a full cycle is 16 weeks not 12.
    Yes the fourth week of rest is what I'm referring too. 3 weeks of increasing fatigue for a set goal or rep range than the fourth week of rest. Its only three weeks blocks at the rep ranges tho as the deloads aren't generally written out in any program I've seen online.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Erdman View Post
    You can just monitor your recovery. There are different ways of doing it. I have been experimenting with heart rate variability. Once you notice consistently lower readings, then just back off until it returns to baseline for a few days.

    Reducing intensity by 5-10% and volume by 30-40% every 4th week should work fine though.
    Yeah thats what I'm going with. I've noticed on longer program blocks (4-6) I tend to be bored in the first week or so and too tired by the last week so shorter blocks should really work for me. My light weeks tend to follow that pattern so I'm keeping with it during my new program.

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