In return for helping out when they need me, I get to train for free at a gym in a fitness centre about a 10 minute walk from my house. I get the heavy weights to myself most of the time, and the opportunity to marvel at some of the training practices of the denizens.
On the downside though, the smallest plates they have are 2.5kg. After acheiving a new PR I can’t simply add 5kg next workout. It’s too big an increment for me. In response I’ve developed the following approach, based on wave-loading, that allows me more ‘exposure’ (I can’t think of another word) to my current/old 1-rep max while I work towards a new one.
If this is standard practice, I apologise for claiming it as my own - my only knowledge of wave loading comes from the ‘Neanderthal no More’ articles. I train 4 days in an 8 day week, using this protocol for only 2 lifts at a time.
Here’s how a typical 6 week training cycle might go:
Week 1 - Achieve a new PR using 3/2/1/3/2/1 wave loading.
Week 2 - Heighten exposure to Wk1 PR using 3/1/3/1/3/1 wave loading.
Week 3 - Attempt new PR using 3/2/1/3/2/1 wave loading.
Week 4 - De-load.
Week 5 - Heighten exposure to Wk3 PR as above.
Week 6 - Attempt new PR
Week 7 would be another de-loading week, and in week 8 I’d change lifts. If at any time I fail to achieve a new PR the following training session (unless in a de-loading week) would see me perform 4/3/2/4/3/2, and attempting a new PR the week after that. I’d classify myself as a begginer/intermediate lifter - 1.5xbodyweight DL, slightly less than that for bench, less still for squat - and this has worked better than anything else I’ve tried. I’ve added 15kg to my squat and 10kg to my bench in the last 5 weeks. I’ll be attempting a new PR on the squat tomorrow.
Anyone else who’s trained like this, either through choice or neccessity, please post your comments and results. And anyone with an alternate system please do likewise!