Up until this meet I did regular linear increases on all lifts. If I did 3x3 at 315 week 1, then I’d do 320 on week 2, and 325 on week 3.
However, I have reached my peak using that type of training, as everyone will eventually.
So now my programs generally start with a 3-5 week bodybuilding / hypertrophy phase of lifting, depending on how far away my next meet is. During that phase I generally do little isolation work, but more compound movements. For example, I’ll bench to failure using a bodybuilding style stance (no arch, flat back, etc), instead of flys to failure. I never squat to failure, but I’ll do the leg press to failure in it’s place (safer).
During that initial phase, I identify what I feel my weak points are. Example of my last meet I felt my shoulders were very weak, so I focused hard on them during my hypertrophy phase. My bench went from 330 to 365 in a couple months (that is not normal mind you, I’ve had injury issues that I just now learned how to train with), but also a big part of it was my shoulder training.
Also during the hypertrophy phase, I will squat with sleeves on, no wraps.
Once the hypertrophy phase is done, I assess where I feel my weaknesses are, and build a program. I still do some sort of linear progression, constantly adding weight every workout, but it may be a little different in the form of adding a rep instead, or reducing reps and adding weight, etc.
I NEVER do multiple working sets, but that is just me. I work up to a single set of 3-8 reps, and that’s it for that movement. Sometimes I’ll program in a backoff set.
Often times I will do set to failure after my working set. So, for bench as an example, I’ll do a set of 3 of my working set at 335, then I’ll do 275 for reps. Once I can get 15-10 reps at 275, I’ll up it to 285, repeat each week.
After I do my main movement, I do hypertrophy work to fix my weak areas. Again, removing isolation work, but doing compound movements instead whenever possible.
I wouldn’t rate my programs any better than any out there, probably worse for the masses, but I have to lift certain weights on certain days. I have to bench on Monday, and squat on Tuesday, as I need a full week for my arm to heal from squatting.
simpler is always better in my opinion