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Thread: Increasing Intensity + Deload Frequency

  1. #11
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    I've learned that I need to change things more often too. More so for physical adaptation than psychological reasons.

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    For me as coach it is a constant dilemma how much to load (how much and how long) and when to take it easy and for how long. We are pushing to put on the last 10kg onto a total (lifter is F 63kg) to get to the International Master of sport level. It is IMO irrelevant what professional Chinese national team members do (training over 30 hrs/wk vs our ~12 hrs /wk) or what Ihab does. Perhaps the best advice I heard in the last few weeks was from a lecture from Mike Conroy (USA), at some stage a coach must say “what am I going to do” instead of what would coach X do?

    As usual Gary (He's very smart) I think comes close to my very general recommendation; that is 2wks load 1 week unload. But it can be contextual (it can depend on many variables), prep cycle vs competition cycle, age of lifter, yrs experience, classification or level of lifter, or even perhaps whether the lifter is a mutant (they exist but I’ve never had one in my gym). I tend to change it a little throughout the yr, the same loading/ unloading pattern can have different results in the year depending on current work capacity. The same exact loading /unload pattern throughout the yr is probably a bad idea.

    There is probably nothing wrong with 3 +1 (Abadjiev BUL) in a 19 yr old stud with 9 yrs experience and lifting at an elite level. But might be totally inappropriate for a 31 yr old female with 4 yrs experience lifting at a lower level.

    The Hungarian coach Tamas Fehr (I look at all things olylifting in the global context) in all JR. age groups recommends 2+1 across the board ages 10-20 except the 19-20 yr group can load 1+1 (very interesting). This last group would be elite lifters as his scheme is based on a developmental model. I have noticed in the competition period for the high level lifter I coach ~10 days load followed by ~ 5 days unload may work well when really pushing exclusively the oly lifts in competition period. That is somewhere between 2+1 and 1+1. After observing well over 1000 sessions you get an acute sense of how a lifter responds to various loadings and exercises. It is more about observing the response of a weeks loading than working out intricate future programming on an excel spreadsheet. Looking at mood, motivation, strength in squatting, talkativeness, bar and body speed in snatch CJ,ect) It is my view that in higher level lifters you are programming basically week to week. Fehr suggest at the higher levels 2-3 days! In a beginner you can write out an 8wk program with linear progressions. No matter how you plan the content of each workout of a microcycle depends on the the previous sessions, on the sessions that will follow it and on the type of rest.

    In essence is boils down to Session to session I typically prescribe the load -deload for almost the whole year. Ie. Hard-easy-hard-easy-hard DAYS. It doesn’t get more frequent in short blocks (grin). Nothing wrong with 2-3 heavy sessions in row, but you might need it to be followed by 2 very light sessions.

    Hard is typically max intensity singles or sub-max for doubles during many cycles . We are mainly interested in developing/maintaining maximal and elastic reactive strength with speed. The minimum threshold is ~ 80% several times a week over almost all the year (not every exercise in the week). Wts 80% and greater have the greatest impact on the high level lifter I coach, but even the very best Soviet lifters did wts through the entire range 60-90% (8% of the volume can be below 60%)much of the Soviet literature goes to great length to reinforce this concept. What work is done in the range 90-100% is done almost totally between 90 and 92.5%. I don’t mention over 90% as it is very small and I’m not sure it always plays the significance that some think. A bigger key IMO is the quality of movements sn and cj between 80-90% IMO.

    Easy is low intensity ~ 65-75% intens with low to moderate volume or a rest day, strategically placed rest days play a major role in the training plan
    Generally the biggest stressor and the one I want to manipulate in OL is intensity (the best measure of quality training ). It’s the factor that I end up adjusting almost exclusively (if I trained a full-time professional wtler it would be different, there would be time for more sessions which = more volume). A possible benefit is I am regularly adjusting only one variable, monthly volume tends to be fairly flat across the yr but as you zoom in ever closer month to month and week to week there is increasingly more fluctuation.
    I am not suggesting that any of the above is a roadmap to success or that I know what I’m talking about.

    PS
    A 16 wk Egyptian program (1990’s?) from designed from POL BUL ROM info
    Shows volume
    Month1 = 2164 reps
    Month2= 2067 reps
    Month3= 1973
    Month 4=1684
    The weekly volume throughout also has minimal variation (max 594reps lowest 419 2nd to last week) taper wk not included = 157 reps
    This is at odds with the Soviet approach of manipulating weekly volume (loading) via typically close approximations of 35%, 28%, 22%, 15% Not necessarily in that order

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  4. #13
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    Forgive me if this is dumb, but I thought the whole idea behind the recommendations from Medeveyev, Roman, and the other Soviet sports scientists was that by training with the correct NL, percentage ranges, and volume variants, one didn't "de-load". Is this wrong? Just glancing through the books of Roman and Medvedyev, along with Medvedyev's example program, there's no mention or resemblance of de-loading. Sure, volume and percentages fluctuate (and drop/increase during competition phases), but you don't see any kind of pattern happening every 3-4 weeks.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PVCPipe View Post
    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.
    Is the thread with the link still available?

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillicl View Post
    Forgive me if this is dumb, but I thought the whole idea behind the recommendations from Medeveyev, Roman, and the other Soviet sports scientists was that by training with the correct NL, percentage ranges, and volume variants, one didn't "de-load". Is this wrong? Just glancing through the books of Roman and Medvedyev, along with Medvedyev's example program, there's no mention or resemblance of de-loading. Sure, volume and percentages fluctuate (and drop/increase during competition phases), but you don't see any kind of pattern happening every 3-4 weeks.
    Not dumb. Somewhere along the line you will need to slightly back off in some way. Like 2 weeks of "hard (subjective)" training 6 sessions/wk followed by 1 week of 4 sessions (unload)
    Real world example, week 6 is this week (relative unload)
    Wks out - reps - load - ave intens - K
    8 - 229reps - 19,400kg - 84.7kg - 43
    7 - 218 reps - 19,000kg - 87.6kg - 45
    6 - 166reps - 13,500kg - 81.0kg - 41
    weeks 8 and 7 had six sessions and week 6 has four sessions. It is a reset (transition) so to speak as we more into the competition period (next week) where there is more snatching and CJ lifts across all intensities with skewing to the higher end (BUT not necessarily a large # over 90% reps). I as opposed to Medvedyev have decided it is necessary ( and yes it is a subjective judgement call)
    Next week 5 sees the volume rise to 241 reps now just 5 sessions/wk
    Last edited by robo; 04-14-2018 at 01:53 PM.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillicl View Post
    Forgive me if this is dumb, but I thought the whole idea behind the recommendations from Medeveyev, Roman, and the other Soviet sports scientists was that by training with the correct NL, percentage ranges, and volume variants, one didn't "de-load". Is this wrong? Just glancing through the books of Roman and Medvedyev, along with Medvedyev's example program, there's no mention or resemblance of de-loading. Sure, volume and percentages fluctuate (and drop/increase during competition phases), but you don't see any kind of pattern happening every 3-4 weeks.
    As robo states I'm just using deload to talk about lighter weeks that are required by all athletes after "whatever: amount of time. The thread and link are still available but I do not remember the name of it. Its way in the back though so if you do what I did and just start at the last page and move forward its somewhere..... I know thats not helpful at all but understandably I'm not gonna go do that again.


    To Robo specifically I love the post and the ideas within it! Appreciate the feedback though I feel like I should specify that I was talking about this programing within the context of me as an athlete that I understand. Not a wide open approach to be used by all athletes, because like you say different people have different needs and different reactions to stimuli. Currently I believe I train better under shorter but more intense loading phases so I want to try it out and just wanted to see what a consensus on the forum was because its always fun to talk programming on here and we need more communication on here.

  8. #17
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    Thanks for that. You are on the right track, give it a go. The proof in any programming is its realization (the competition performance)
    Last edited by robo; 04-14-2018 at 02:43 PM.

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillicl View Post
    Forgive me if this is dumb, but I thought the whole idea behind the recommendations from Medeveyev, Roman, and the other Soviet sports scientists was that by training with the correct NL, percentage ranges, and volume variants, one didn't "de-load". Is this wrong? Just glancing through the books of Roman and Medvedyev, along with Medvedyev's example program, there's no mention or resemblance of de-loading. Sure, volume and percentages fluctuate (and drop/increase during competition phases), but you don't see any kind of pattern happening every 3-4 weeks.
    The Soviet system is volume based. The intensity would vary significantly day to day, but not much from week to week on average. However the weekly volume would vary significantly. 100% represents the highest weekly volume. So it might look like this:

    Week 1 - 80%
    Week 2 - 100%
    Week 3 - 65%
    Week 4 - 90%

    Week 3 could be seen as a deload week, but they didn't call it that. The average intensity would be similar for weeks 2 and 3.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillicl View Post
    Forgive me if this is dumb, but I thought the whole idea behind the recommendations from Medeveyev, Roman, and the other Soviet sports scientists was that by training with the correct NL, percentage ranges, and volume variants, one didn't "de-load". Is this wrong? Just glancing through the books of Roman and Medvedyev, along with Medvedyev's example program, there's no mention or resemblance of de-loading. Sure, volume and percentages fluctuate (and drop/increase during competition phases), but you don't see any kind of pattern happening every 3-4 weeks.
    Go to page 111 in Roman's book and you will see the table that lays out the different weekly volume patterns. The weeks with 16-20% of the monthly loading are the unloading weeks. Generally each month has a light week, a light-medium week, a heavy-medium week and a heavy week.

    I'm pretty sure he also mentions the reasons for including the unloading weeks and where best to place them in the book as well.

  11. #20
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    These lighter volume weeks you are both mentioning are coming from the “volume variants” that the poster mentions. Having the “correct volume variants” has a backoff week built in, but, as the poster said, no change in intensity or frequency. So, the planning is the same, you just have differing volume to work with, and you are not doing anything special every 3-4 weeks.

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