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Advice on Projecting a 12 Week Goal

Hey guys, I was wondering what a reasonable goal would be for a 12 week strength cycle in regards to poundage. I know “it depends”, but just asking in general terms. Is putting 40 pounds on your deadlift and squat typically doable or is that too much?

I’ve been lifting a few years now, early intermediate I guess. My technique seems fine to me, I’ve been steadily progressing, but I want to push the envelope a bit. I mainly train the big lifts (only exception is I only do SSB squat) one day a week (following Marty Gallagher minimalist training) and do dips, back raises and pullups on a second day body weight only.

I’ve always followed a program, mostly 531 up until switching to my current once a week program, and have never really figured out my own program so I’m not sure what’s reasonable in terms of goal setting. I just finished 12 weeks of this style of training and love it so far, but I only worked up to my old 1rm’s that I knew I could get just to get used to the program. So now that I’m ready to start the next 12 weeks I’m not sure where to set my sights.

Any thoughts would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

You should be able to look through your training history and see what 12 weeks of great progress (and also poor progress) looks like for you. If you don’t track it then you should be able to make an educated estimate.

Unless you are advanced, the difference between an optimal program and one that works well is not as great as some would have you believe - if your application is great and the programs aren’t complete trash.

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Without knowing your current maxes, I’d say +10% would be phenomenal progress for a 12 weeks.

See here’s the proof of my inexperience when it comes to planning. I have logs going back to the beginning yet I didn’t think to do this. Thanks.

My current 1rm’s are:
Deadlift 410
Bench 275
SSB 300 (low bar squat was 365 but I only squat SSB now and have been working up so I think it’s actually more than 300 that’s just what I had programmed for this cycle I just finished).

My thought was to try for:
Deadlift 445
SSB 345
Bench 290

When I use 531 I typically assume I’m going to hit 5 reps on the +1 workout. This leads to a 2.5kg / 5lb increase in the training max.

Its modest. But its consistent.

However - for a few weeks I ran upper body and lower body 531 work outs in an ABA BAB style with no deload. So every 6 weeks I hit 3 cycles of 531.
This was hard work. But between this and another programme I managed to add over 30kg to my front squat in 5 months. So the results are pretty good.

That’s great progress, maybe I just needed to hear someone who has done it. I’m gonna give it a go and see what happens.

What are your thoughts on deloads since I’m only lifting once per week. I didn’t feel like I needed one these last 12 weeks with a week in between training days but then again I was only lifting moderate loads.

Deload are an absolute requirement when working hard and often. It’s not possible to train hard 3-4 times a week indefinitely.

Training 1 day a week - you’ll not need a deload. Training 2x a week you can get away with out one for ages. Bodyweight just is not as hard on you as external load.

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There is no spoon

Can’t guarantee a particular number or progress. There’ve been times 12 weeks have resulted in greater than 40 lbs on a lift and other times less for me. 40 lbs is quite a bit if you are advanced or stalled but never say never.

Your exact amount of progress is not within your control exactly because rate of adaption is variable. All you can do is train well, sleep/eat and recover as best you can to produce the most gains.

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I like the concept, and I recognize you qualified it here by saying you didn’t know current maxes, but my only thought is this scales in reverse: the stronger you are the bigger your progress would be

For sure.

200 => 220 in 12 weeks seems possible
700 => 770 in 12 weeks seems unlikely.

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For sure, but I’m assuming a 700lb squatter wouldn’t post this on tnation, so I kinda guesstimated. To be pedantic, I did say phenomenal… not possible Haha. And 700-770 would be phenomenal, no?


That’s a solid touché

How long did it take you to get from 370 to 410?

Longer than it should have. Looking through my logs last night was eye opening.

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