T Nation

Long Term Plan

Hi guys,

I am training for about 7 years now-tried lots of approaches some worked,some not.
My goals are size and strength in that order.
I drive best with whole body-so chad was the deal for me.

AOW worked great,but with TBT I lost my strength for bench.
i am sad that there doesn?t exist a periodization scheme by chad.
There are lots of cycles you can do,but no long term approach.

So i want YOU to aks about the guidelines for a long term plan with the mentioned goals.

I have also read lots of books (supertraining,brawn,ptp,darden…)
but I am not able to write a long term plan which works.
Cause the guidlines vary that much.(linear,conjugate…you know the stuff)

My thought was to rotate between the Power to the people workout by paveltsatsouline (max strength) whith waterburys set rep bible for mass.

PTP is in the range from 80-100%of1rpm.
Only 3 compounds- 3-5x the week.Low reps.Low volume(2 sets of 2-5 reps)
Such a cycle would last approx.4 weeks or 5.(so long until you achieve your new record but thats approx the time)

After it I hought of the set rep scheme of 36-50 per session with 70-80%of 1rpm.(chad bible)and sticking to reps of 6-12.
I will do it so long,until habituation is completed.

I know about fex 10x3 but i want to seperate the cycles as good as possible-10x3 will start with ones 80%1rpm which will be too high in a hypert.cycle after doing a max cycle with 80%-100% before.
It has some kind of character with acc.and intensif.phases-thats the sense.

I will rotate this over and over(sure with different exercises etc.)-do you see any drawbacks or what are the components/rules to follow for a long term plan with my goals?

Is it good to do a cycle like mine until you stagnate or should you stick to 4 week cycles-and if yes-why?

Will the max strenght phase (if lasting 6 weeks) reduce some of my mass-cause of the reduced volume?(I know the muscles get rest and the cns will be powered and vica versa-but when I think of thibs articles,the mass.strength phases-were in a set rep scheme-which fits in waterburys bible for mass.So the volume wasn?t that low and still stimulating some hypertr.-functional one)

Or will it be better to cycle chads bible. MEans between 24-36 and 36-50/set reps?
But I think the first approach is more variable and the better one.(regarding reps volume,weight)This will be too similar.

Also i have a belly and want to get rid of it-i also earn the diet article-but i like simple approaches.

Isn?t it a possibilty to slowly reduce caloric intake over time?
Means i would eat as normal but only 3/4 of my portions.

the weight will drop.Then after some weeks i will eat again less and so on.
i think if you do it in a really slow way,that you don?t have to change your train( lower volume in hypertr.phase fex) cause the body gets used to it-if you are not too fast in reducing.

i am sorry of my bad structure-if some dude has the time to read and answer it,i will appreciate it.
Regarding the long term question,I NEVER got a true answer…

thank you
science

come on guys-no clue?
How do you plan your training properly?

I never plan workouts further than a few weeks in advance. Its one of those thing that I’ve found works better if you take it day by day.

As long as you are pushing yourself each workout, listening to your body and not skipping workouts, you’ll reach your goal.

Make a list of your muscle groups weakest to strongest and then focus your workouts accordingly. Next make a list of your lifts strength-wise weakest to strongest and structure your workouts to those goals. Hopefully some of the goals will coincide, but not all will, which is ok, just look at your list and act accordingly.

Make sure however, after a certain amount of time to make new lists as your body proportions and lifts change. If you would like to look at some longer term sequencing and planning I suggest you read up on Ian King’s articles as he talks about it to some degree and if you are further motivated check out his how to write strength training programs book. Best of luck.

Read up on dual-factor theory. Once you understand it, you can apply the principles to any training style that appeals to you. Of course, using something like Waterbury’s set/rep bible makes using dual-factor theory easy because of the simplicity of the calculations. It is easy to go from 36 reps 3x/wk @ 80-85% to 24 reps 2x/wk @ 85-87.5%, for example.

But you can apply dual-factor to any kind of training, so long as you track your volume and know how long to load before unloading. Many self-trained athletes have a knack for doing this instinctively by taking one or two easy weeks when they are starting to feel rundown. If you are already doing this then fine, but in my experience, it is best to plan ahead.

Good luck.

Science, I had a similar problem for many years. I would have a great 3 week cycle and then go on to another cycle I would regress a back. I was very focused and would hit it hard every time and never miss a workout.

Finally, several months ago I began to discover some things that worked for me. The big changes that helped me were increased frequency, cycling of intensities from week to week, wave loading and a back off week after three weeks.

My focus in strength primarily. I train full body 5-6 times per week. Usually 4 of the sessions each have a squat movement and a deadlift movement and I never repeat an exercise in a week. I incorporated a back off week after reading Jack Reape?s article.

I find that wave loading especial when working on 90%+ 1 rm keeps me motivated. I usually do two waves of three sets. On my back off weeks I usually focus more on unilateral work and higher reps and leaving plenty in reserve. At the first part of the week I?m dragging. By then end I?m excited again to hit the bigger barbell weights. The articles I suggest you read are:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=546953
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=741658
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=579577
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=06-017-training

Good luck.

hi guys,

thank you for your helpfull time!
i will read again through your porsts and also the articles.(thanks lifter!)
i will write back on this thread soon.
Thank you!
yours sciende

Dear settle lifter,

Thank you for the links I read through them.

Also Pavel tsatsouline favours wave cycling it is a cool method.

But I am still confused on the topic.
Don?t you think a cycling between the mentioned above will be sufficient?
And when not WHY? Where is the drawback of rotating Waterbury with PTTP?

I want to keep it really simple even if its not perfectly working but i had enough complicated stuff done over years (even sitting with the calculator in the gym…)and is there no simple approach for mass and strength on a long term basic? Do i have to work in the laborotry to build muscles?

help me please!

I don’t really design my program, it designs itself. If I don’t get gains, I change it. If I don’t get gains in a certain area, or one area slows, I make changes to that area. If I feel worked hard then I ease up, If I feel not worked enough I add intensity and or volume.

Sure, I use a template. For the most part it is 3 day per week split, using low reps high/weight while constantly pushing the weight factor. The # of sets/exercises can vary as can adding intensity such as post fatigue, super sets, giant sets, etc.

But for the most part my program evolves. I rely largely on feeling. I can pretty much feel whats working, whats not, what can be improved, and go from there. May not be the best way to go, but it is the best I have found in my years of experience.

I kind of think when you have done something before, done something enough, you know how to feel and it is best to trust the feeling.

I haven’t tried a “cookie cutter” program that was laid out by someone else in a long time. I may try one after February 2007, but I’m happy with my evolving workout till then.

[quote]science wrote:
Dear seattle lifter,

Thank you for the links I read through them.

Also Pavel tsatsouline favours wave cycling it is a cool method.

But I am still confused on the topic.
Don?t you think a cycling between the mentioned above will be sufficient?
And when not WHY? Where is the drawback of rotating Waterbury with PTTP?

I want to keep it really simple even if its not perfectly working but i had enough complicated stuff done over years (even sitting with the calculator in the gym…)and is there no simple approach for mass and strength on a long term basic? Do i have to work in the laborotry to build muscles?

help me please!
[/quote]

I suggest you try your idea first. If you make good progress, stay with it. If progress goes slower than you want than some things you might consider:

Some people need a back off week where the training sessions are non taxing. Not a lot of articles are written about back off period because I believe many people have natural back off periods due to other things in their life and placing a lower priority on training. However some people don’t miss workouts and have a personality where they are always trying to exceed previous performance. For these people, I think they do better by having planned “breaks” or back off weeks.

Another point, as a person gets more and more lifting experience they usually require higher training % of 1RM. I think many of CW’s training percents are better suited to a person with 0-4 years training. With more training experience (7 years) you might find better success on CW programs by dropping the rep ranges and increasing the weight.

Either way I would still try using wave loading on CW programs.

As far as not wanting to deal with complicated stuff I certainly don’t think it’s necessary. Usually during my back off week I will list out exercises I want to do in my next 4 week cycle. Then usually on the fly of the first week I choose those exercises for that day. By the end of the week I have written out my workouts for the next two weeks. You can adjust your target reps for each exercise the first week depending on how the movement feels.

What do you think? Feel free to ask more questions or bring up other ideas. I love this stuff and learn from each discussion I have.

[quote]Seattle_Lifter wrote:
science wrote:
Dear seattle lifter,

Thank you for the links I read through them.

Also Pavel tsatsouline favours wave cycling it is a cool method.

But I am still confused on the topic.
Don?t you think a cycling between the mentioned above will be sufficient?
And when not WHY? Where is the drawback of rotating Waterbury with PTTP?

I want to keep it really simple even if its not perfectly working but i had enough complicated stuff done over years (even sitting with the calculator in the gym…)and is there no simple approach for mass and strength on a long term basic? Do i have to work in the laborotry to build muscles?

help me please!

I suggest you try your idea first. If you make good progress, stay with it. If progress goes slower than you want than some things you might consider:

Some people need a back off week where the training sessions are non taxing. Not a lot of articles are written about back off period because I believe many people have natural back off periods due to other things in their life and placing a lower priority on training. However some people don’t miss workouts and have a personality where they are always trying to exceed previous performance. For these people, I think they do better by having planned “breaks” or back off weeks.

Another point, as a person gets more and more lifting experience they usually require higher training % of 1RM. I think many of CW’s training percents are better suited to a person with 0-4 years training. With more training experience (7 years) you might find better success on CW programs by dropping the rep ranges and increasing the weight.

Either way I would still try using wave loading on CW programs.

As far as not wanting to deal with complicated stuff I certainly don’t think it’s necessary. Usually during my back off week I will list out exercises I want to do in my next 4 week cycle. Then usually on the fly of the first week I choose those exercises for that day. By the end of the week I have written out my workouts for the next two weeks. You can adjust your target reps for each exercise the first week depending on how the movement feels.

What do you think? Feel free to ask more questions or bring up other ideas. I love this stuff and learn from each discussion I have.

[/quote]

Thats cool,i also love discussions about that stuff.
Regarding PETEDACOOK its a good thing to train with the instinctive principle.
i also thought once in doing this-but my head is that overfloaded with information,that its hard for me to only listen to my body,there are too much voices in my head-if you know what i mean.:wink:
Sure its a possibility to make programm and switch only the things which don?t work-but i see some drawbacks regarding this:

fex:you are doing whole body 3x a week with the pattern 10x3 4x6 4x10-12
On the 10x3 you make flat bench on 4x6 decline and 4x10-12 incline.

lets say your progress stalled for bench with 10x3-so best is to choose a different exercise and/or rep scheme-lets do both:
from flat bench to bench with close grip and another rep scheme like 4x8-10
thats a good contrast to 10x3.

So you have following scheme:
4x8-10 4x6 4x10-12
You see that the rep scheme one and three are quite similar to each other-thats the point.
Regarding chads recomm.you should choose a rep scheme with at least 2 reps difference than done before:

For switching from 10x3 to 4x8-10 is it the case-but not compared to the other scheme(4x10-12)on the tird day.
Sure its a bit higher but not THAT different and that is the point.
If you only switch the exercises you stagnate in and also changing the scheme-there is the possibility that the schemes during the week become too equal.

And if you want quite different rep ranges related to each other,there are in my eyes only three to stick with:
3reps 6 reps 10 reps 15reps.
Sure you can also do 2reps 7 reps 12 reps 17 reps-but thats not the point.

The point is.that through the broader variation of rep schemes in a cycle-the cycle will achieve quite long gains-but the problem is afterwards-which rep schemes you should choose the FOLLOWING one,which also should offer a wider spreaded rep range.

If you did
10x3 4x6 4x10-12
each switch will be not different enough related to this scheme.
Lets say you try 3x15-well its quite similar to 12 reps.
lets say you go for 5x5-too similar to 4x6…
Do you get me?
Sure if you go for 5x5 you can argue that it its different from 4x10-12-SURE but it is too similar to 4x6.
The only possibility is,to go to wilder ranges like 1x24 and stuff-but then the strength focus drifts away.

Another option would be to organize the whole body programms like splits:
one week 3x the week 4x10-12(each day different rest and exercise)
Then fex 5x5 3x the week till you stagnate
then 2x15 etc.

The big point is,that variation through such schemes is much easier to handle regarding different cycles.
BUT WITHIN the cylce there is a big lack of variation and it will not last long cause the schemes are too similar and habituation will set in.

i hope i make my point clear-this is why,in my eyes its so difficult to do it the freesytle way-but perhaps there is an option-i would really appreciate it,cause it will be my prefered way to train.

i would like to hear your opionion on this!
regards science

I need to add sth to the %of rpm and training age.
i think its a point-but there are lots of powerlifters who also train with 60% of 1rpm (fex Stephan korte)so each intensity range serve its purpose.

How would you wave? i know how it works,but i never read which %of 1rpm to use.
And also the wave must going to be heavier over time-or not?

i am curious on your answers;)

Whoa, Science man your killing me.

Seriously, I have never made it that difficult and scientifically analyzed load. For the most part, I just go in, bust ass, and adapt.

For the most part I dont do the same exercises week to week. Basic movements like flat bench I always do with either bar or DB, but for the rest of hitting chest I mix it up week to week. incline, decline, flyes, DB work, pec dec sometimes, grip width on bar, try a hammer strength machine, etc.

The only exercises that are constant, for now, are squat, and deadlift. Everything else is dynamic, so long as it hits the target body parts. I may even chose an exercise because it works another body part inadvertantly.

So lets say my chest is lagging. I hit chest harder adding intensity in the form of giant sets, or post fatigue work. Might even add some chest work on back day. Might add an arbitray exercise after my normal routine is done for the day.

When working Triceps, I might do dips, or decline reverse grip bench, etc. I continue with this scheme literally blasting my chest until I feel it has been worked sufficiently. Then I can back off.

But for the most part, I identify problems before they get anywhere. For example, before my bench started lagging due to a few weeks(months?) of under/or over training it, I would feel it when I left the gym as soon as the problem began and I would hit chest again the week I felt the inadequacy, or lighten up the next week and avoid exercises that encompass chest the rest of the week.

One problem I do have with this way of doing things are my legs. My legs have always been skinny. My body peak was 200 pounds 6’1" and very lean. I never really made it over 200 while lean. Fat, yes, lean and muscular never over 200. People say I was light and unable to break 200 due to my legs. I agree with that.

So, when I try to hit legs harder it just freaking kills me and I can only do so much. Dam squats hurt, but what really gets me is how it taxes my energy. Leg press also, just taxes my energy and I can only hit my legs so hard. Can’t catch my breath, sweating, exhausted, weak legged have trouble walking out of the squat station :slight_smile:

But could not get mass on my legs like upper body. I keep trying to figure out how to make these things grow. This is an area I have not ever had success with, so I honestly don’t know what feeling I am looking for to make them grow. I have burnt them, not burnt them, hell I even injected test. in them cause someone told me the muscle you inject in wil get bigger. It didn’t work.

Maybe I will need to examine changing rep/set schemes 1-2 years from now, but heck right now I am gaining from muscle memory. On average I have been adding about 10 pounds to flat bench every week.

I think one thing that helps me out is that I seldom do the same exercise 2 weeks in a row. I have never done the same routine the same week, 2 weeks, month, and I may go as far as to say since I started training like this I have never done the same routine, which is years.