T Nation

How Do You Peak for a Comp?


#1

I like to train strength for about 9-10 weeks, then do a separate peak cycle for about 3 weeks, then have a meet.

Everyone's peak cycles are different, along with their training, but here is mine:

9-10 weeks of training is set the same:
Monday squat up to a set of 5
Tuesday Bench up to a set of 5
Wed deadlift up to a set of 5
Thurs add 5 lbs from Tuesday bench and do a set of 3
Friday add 10 lbs from Monday and do a set of 3

Then, week 2, I use the weight's I used for the set of 3 on Thursday and Friday, and simply do a set of 5 on Monday and Tuesday. Deadlift I just add 10 lbs from previous week.

This has proven to work for me for about 9 weeks (minus bench, but I have bone issues which are being looked into). At about the 8-10 week mark, it starts getting really hard for the set of 5.

That's sort of my call to start a peak cycle for 3 - 4 weeks, either do a competition or a mock meet at home, then repeat.

My peak cycle, however, has no real program, but it sort of like this:

Mon: work up to a set of 2 on squat. Starting weight is 20 lbs over my last set of 3
Tues: Work up to a set of 2 on bench. Starting weight is 10 lbs over my last set of 3
Wed: Work up to a set of 2 on deadlift. Starting weight is 20 lbs over my last set of 5
Thurs: Work up to a set of 1 on bench, add 5 lbs from Tuesday weight.
Friday: Work up to a set of 1 on squat. Add 10 lbs from Monday weight.

I then follow the same layout as my 9 week cycle, just with sets of 2 and 1 opposed to 5 and 3.

Week of competition I do the following:
Mon: squat, work up to a set of 3 of my planned opener
Tues: Bench: work up to a set of 3 of my planned opener
Wed: Dead: Work up to a set of 3 of my planned opener
Thurs: Do some light squats, light bench, and light back work. If I rest too much, I lose a lot of strength. Nothing taxing here, all around 50% max at like 4-5 reps

What do you guys do, and do you like my peak cycle?


#2

How well does it work for you and do you always hit PRs when using that method? Personally I would hit the openers the week before for more recovery time.

I’m still experimenting with peaking cycles to figure out what works. The programs I’ve used to peak so far are 5x5, 5/3/1, Smolov and Sheiko. I’ve used Sheiko (#32) for a planned peak of all three lifts in my past two meets and it didn’t go well. As a 4 week cycle, it had me hitting openers on week 1 (90+%), doing med intensity (80%)/med volume for weeks 2 and 3, and warmup work the week of the meet. During meet day the weights felt heavy and the only lift that felt good was deadlift.

In the past I’ve always felt better lifting heavy leading up to a PR. I spoke with a lifter who had much more Sheiko experience and he had the same problem and told me to hit openers the week before. I’ll be doing a mock meet to experiment with the following peaking cycle: med intensity (80%)/light volume for week 1, med-high intensity (85%)/high volume for week 2, high intensity (90+%)/med volume for week 3, and warmup work the week of the meet.

I read up on peaking by Michael Israetel and Greg Nuckols and it made sense how they explained to taper volume and intensity. Bigger and/or stronger lifters typically take longer to peak (2-4 weeks) while smaller and/or weaker lifters typically take less time to peak (1-2 weeks). I think that Sheiko #32 cycle was designed for people a lot stronger than me. Hopefully what I came up with works a lot better.


#3

3 weeks out, drop volume and all assistance. Focus on moving heavy singles w/ good technique fast and smooth, no grinding. Work up to the heaviest single you can while still maintaining speed. Train all the way up to the Wed of meet week.


#4

[quote]lift206 wrote:
How well does it work for you and do you always hit PRs when using that method? Personally I would hit the openers the week before for more recovery time.[/quote]

For squat, yes, pr after pr, but my max is only around 550-600 right now, I tend to get around 50 lbs per cycle so far on this routine.

Bench, no, not at all, but I dont’ know if that is routine or my bone issues I have in my left bicep area, doc says give it 6 weeks rest, I start that rest in April.

Deadlift, again, hard to tell. I’ve still yet to perfect my form here and I attribute my failures to form 100%. For example, last week, I did 465x5, this week, I couldn’t do 475x1. And, for a guy that can squat damn near 600 lbs, I should be able to do a hell of a lot more than I can.

One other thing I like to do is the last lift I do before I start my peak cycle is max out on my lifts. Then, those are what I try to get in a meet, or more. Meet PR’s are generally always lower than gym pr’s, so I try to match my meet PR with my gym PR I hit one month prior.

My recent cycle starts like, results from a meet in middle November:
Weight: 320
Squat: 529
Bench: 319
Dead: 485

I will max out next Saturday, and hope to get the following results:
Squat: 585
Bench: 315
Dead: I have no fing idea. If I can do a set of 5 at 465, then I should upwards of 525, but I couldn’t even budge 475 last week, so hell if I know. Let’s shoot for 495 as a goal, be nice to get that 5th plate. But, if I had form right, then that would be about a 40-50 lb jump, which is about right.


#5

You made some good gains for your squat. What was your max when starting this program and how long have you ran it for? Seems like your deadlift should improve pretty quick once you figure out what’s wrong.


#6

529 was my meet in middle November for Squat. I actually hit 545 in the summer, but, my depth was suspect for about, well, my existence of powerlifting haha, so I took a step back and focused on hitting depth. 529 is legit from a meet, and my lifts now are legit for the most part.

Ya, you don’t know how frustrating it is to see these little shits (no offense to anyone smaller than me, you guys are ripped, I’m fat) pulling 5-700 lbs and they weigh 180-240, I’m 330, jesus, I need to pull more!

My next deadlift program is going to focus on form, much like my squat did, I think. My reps won’t be touch and go, they will be full drop, reset, pull again to focus on form. As it is now, my first rep is damn near impossible, but every rep after is so easy. My 5th rep is about twice as easy as my first generally.


#7

[quote]dzirkelb wrote:
529 was my meet in middle November for Squat. I actually hit 545 in the summer, but, my depth was suspect for about, well, my existence of powerlifting haha, so I took a step back and focused on hitting depth. 529 is legit from a meet, and my lifts now are legit for the most part.

Ya, you don’t know how frustrating it is to see these little shits (no offense to anyone smaller than me, you guys are ripped, I’m fat) pulling 5-700 lbs and they weigh 180-240, I’m 330, jesus, I need to pull more!

My next deadlift program is going to focus on form, much like my squat did, I think. My reps won’t be touch and go, they will be full drop, reset, pull again to focus on form. As it is now, my first rep is damn near impossible, but every rep after is so easy. My 5th rep is about twice as easy as my first generally.[/quote]

No offense, I don’t know what you look like but do you think that a possibility for a weak relative deadlift is due to an inability to get into a good deadlift position if your gut is in the way? Are you limited by lower back strength?