T Nation

Experiments in Wave Loading

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!

[quote]Jonny James wrote:
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! [/quote]

i really like wave loading for strength training. i’m no expert but i think it really benefits the cns to work this way. you won’t see so much hypertrophy doing it but depending on your goals/level, wave loading is a great way to up the poundage and start moving some weight. the more you can move comfortably the better your hypertrophy goals will come along. lastly, you could always buy some small plates and bring them in your bag.

That, or you could get your own 1.25kg plates.

I bought 2 ringmagnets, about 300gr each. I use them for low weight exercises like external rotation.
I should have bought 4, but they only had 2 in stock at the time. They fit nicely over regular and olympic bars. And I can even attach them to the girlie weights (since they’re magnetic).

Yeah… 1.25kg plates. I should have said: they just won’t let me. Their equipment is decided by head office for reasons, apparently, of Health & Safety. There’s no arguing with them.

I probably could sneak some in, but there’s one guy there, a hideous metrosexual jobsworth who’s never been happy with me training for free, who’d be sure to kick up a fuss. Seeing as I’m saving myself about ?40/month on memebership fees I’m not that keen to go rocking the boat.

And besides, wave loading works a treat! When it stops being effective, then we’ll see.