Doug likes to take 12 weeks to peak, but it could vary a little because of an injury or something but this is the basic cycle he likes to follow. The first four weeks he uses 4 sets of 6 reps in the bench press. On the 4th set he goes limit. He uses each rep as a 5-pound indicator for his next workout. He starts the cycle at 400 lbs.
Example ? 400 x 6, 400 x 6, 400 x6, 400 x limit (e.g. 10)
So, from the last set, five pounds for each rep over six would work out to
(10 reps minus 6) 4 times 5 (five pound for each rep over six) equals 20 (pounds more next workout).
Example (next workout) ? 420 x 6, 420 x 6, 420 x 6, 420 x 8.
Many 4-20?s! Then, by following the same plan ? 2 reps more than 6 in the last set equals a 10 lb. weight increase at the next workout.
After 4 weeks Doug goes to a double program. One workout is the same 4 sets of 6, and the next workout is 5 sets of 3. This runs for 4 weeks or up to 4 weeks before the meet. At that time he does only 5 sets of 3 for 2 weeks. 2 weeks before the meet he goes to 5 sets of 2, timing it where he gets three workouts in but rests for five days before the meet.
In the squat and deadlift, Doug likes to use a 5-set program on a 5-4-3-2-1 sequence. This was an old York program used by Steve Stanko to become a National champ before Doug was born, and it indicates that solid, basic programs remain solid years later.
There is one variable. Doug uses the first set as weight increase indicator. So, while in theory it is 5-4-3-2-1, it is actually limit-4-3-2-1. He uses each rep over 5 in the first set as a 10-lb. indicator. He usually starts this cycle at 550 and jumps 25 pounds per set.
Example ? 550 x 8, 575 x 4, 600 x 3, 625 x 2, 650 x 1.
Three reps over 5 at 10 lbs. per rep equals a 30 lb. increase next workout.
Example (next workout) ? 580 x 6, 605 x 4, 630 x 3, 655 x 2, 680 x 1.
This is hypothetical but it?s the way he would do it. It would probably run more on the order of 10-lb. improvements or he?d obviously peak well ahead of the contest. Doug uses his peak set of 5 as a contest indicator. He usually goes 100 lbs. over his peak set of 5 in the cycle for his second attempt. If he was up to 620 x 5 in the cycle, his second attempt would be 720 at the meet, with a third attempt based on conditions at the meet. For some meets, however, he does a limit double seven days ahead (his last squat workout) and uses that as his indicator rather than the set of five. He usually adds 25 lbs. to that double. so a 700 x 2 would indicate a second attempt at the contest with 725.
The deadlift is roughly the same but he stops this 10 days ahead of the contest. There is another variable in the deadlift. Sometimes the duration of the contest makes it hard for Doug to beat his training best and sometimes he goes all-out for a big one to get a certain total. If he is well ahead he gets one total he wants on the second attempt, then shoots the works on the last attempt for another total he has in mind.