T Nation

How Long Do You LIft Heavy?


I am not a strength athlete, but I thought this question would be most pertinent here.

My training is formed into a sort of linear periodization, finishing with very high intensity and as close to peaking as a non strength athlete would go.

This time around, I'm actually having trouble finishing the block because my joints are crying from the beating they are taking from frequent quasi-maximal loads. I can't wait to deload and then scale back the intensity.

So, how long do you guys find you're able to hit more intense weights frequently without it taking its toll?


For me it's like anything else. The more you do it the better you get at it. I use near maximal weights year around. Any joint pain I get I handle outside of the gym with stretching and foam rolling.


3 weeks heavy, 1 week deload...

Get enough rest, and separate your days so that no two muscles conflict, you should be good...


I've never had joint problems, but I am young, I take fish oil, and I foam roll. Maybe you just need fish oil, maybe you need more pre-hab/mobility work, or maybe you need a deload.


Every week, every year, without problem. Smart training negates most overuse injuries.


Pretty much all year here too. I will have some off-weaks here and there, but they are due to scheduling most of the time, and not pain. +1 for smart training.


I'm with STB - as soon as I started following a Westside template, I stopped needing the de-load.

Note: This includes the re/prehab work and extra workouts - which are both essential to recovery.

If you want more info on Westside, look at StormTheBeach's thread - it explains it better than Louis Simmons does IMO.


You need to give more info if you really want a helpful answer.

Do you mean you are a competitive athlete in another sport.
Or are you just trying to get lean?
What is frequent quasi max loading?
What joints?
Whats your training program look like.


as much as possible.


This is what I do. My three weeks take four weeks calendar wise, then a week deload.


I used to do a lot of heavy full ROM work and that led to overtraining for me. Now i do mostly supramaximal work using bands, chains, board, partial ROM..etc. I find that it doesn't beat me up like the full ROM work did with maximal weights. As a result, i don't ever take deloads.

Also of note is that i only train three times a week and take a full week between bench, squat, dead and overhead press days.


no more than 4-5 weeks in a row. My training has skyrocketed since I read this article...



How do you keep your strength off your chest so strong if most of movements are so oriented on the the top half of the range of motion? Whenever I focus on top work my strength off my chest disappears it's really annoying.


Personally I always train in the 70-85% range and it works great for me. Some people wouldn't call these heavy weights but when you lift very high volume/frequency then these weights are plenty heavy. I personally train sq 3-4/week, bench/close grips 4-5 times a week and deadlift/variations 2-4 times a week.


Interesting... I've never tried training like that. I'm going to have to give this a shot at some point!

What kind of rep ranges and number of sets are you using on each of your lifts?


Obviously I dont know what he is doing but most of the time it will not be too different than in terms of sets and reps, the percentages and higher volume is where the strength gains come from. Alot of the Soviet research was done around sub maximal loading with higher frequency. I would do something like start around 70% for 3-6 sets of 2-4 reps, bump up a few pounds a week for a few weeks, then either retest and reset the percentages or adapt the program if you got nothing from it. IMO, Dan John's and Pavel's most recent book Easy Strength is one of the best on this type of training. It's not a programming book with alot of preplanned training systems, they talk about alot, but it is more of a rules to the road and basic philosophy for lonfg term strength training foor a variety of goals.


Most of my sessions are 80% 5-6x2-3. Others are 70% 4-5x4-5 or 85% 3x2 or something along those lines. Basically, prilepins tables with almost nothing over the 85% mark.


most of my training is still full ROM but what i do is flatten out the strength curve by using accomodating resistance. i used to use mostly boards for benching and elevated deads for supramaximal training basically out of necesssity. i didn't have the equipment that i needed. now i have everything i could want and prefer to go full ROM but with the accomodating resistance.