T Nation

Max Strength & Power with Minimal Volume?


Dear CT, in your Article "How hard do you need to Workout" you mentioned the Olympic Athlete who totaled 6-8 Sets per workout, yet being incredibly strong. How did you organize his training to maximize his strength & power with such low volume? I`m very curious in the programing of an athlete who tolerates such a low volume.


I'd be interested to hear about this also. Is it possible to explain the parameters of how you suggest such an individual trains? I believe I'm in a similar boat and my capacity for volume/work sets is quite low.

Is there anything particularly different in strength ratios? For example, my 2rm in the deadlift is only 165kg without my form slipping, while I know I can pull 195kg for 1 on any given day of the week with the same form. Same goes for most lifts, even down to curls, while a set of ten sometimes feels impossible above ~60%.


Dude, that was almost 15 years ago. I don't remember the specifics. I remember the 6-8 work sets since this is the lowest I've ever had to take someone's volume down.

What helped somewhat was that he was a fast activator, meaning that he didn't need many sets to be fully turned on.

From my recollection he lifted 4 days a week, 2 lifts per day, 1 upper and one lower body day.

Knowing how I worked back then it was probably something like:

Back squat
Power clean from blocks

Bench press
Barbell row

Romanian deadlift
Power snatch from hang

Push press

With 3-4 work sets for each movement with reps periodized on a monthly basis (I used 4 week blocks back then).


Thanks! How would you organize the Training today with your current knowledge and experience?
I`m asking, because I currently coach an Athlete (Cycling Track & BMX) with a similar constitution.
He loves HFT stuff and Squats!

My basic programming is Squat and PowerCleans done 4-5 build up Sets of 3-5 Reps then hit a daily very solid 1-3RM. If he is still doing fine we may add a Push Lift like Bench, Pushpress or BTN Powerjerks and some Pullups/Chins. Gym work is 3-5 times per Week. Currently his Olympic BSQ is stalled at 190 kg for a double.