T Nation

Peaking Strategy Discussions

Thought it may be fun to get some ideas on how some of the competitive lifters on the forum train to peak.this also includes strong man as I’m very interested in hearing how you guys peak considering the changing variables contest to contest. So length of peak, load progression, how your volume decreases how you taper etc. I’m currently in a peaking cycle and curious how everyone here works it for themselves. I’ll
Post my personal peaking cycle below in the discussion a little later on.

Sounds like you want to know too much. Start writing checks and I will talk.


Check my log starting mid February this year, or start following along from next week.

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I’m starting my peak next week and I’m essentially just using a modified version of the Bulgarian method.

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I don’t really peak, I just take my heaviest squat about a month out, deadlift 3 weeks out, and bench 9-11 days out.

I still go heavy but I limit my self by removing gear, reps, etc and not going RPE 10

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That’s interesting method. I don’t lift geared or anything it’s classic raw. Just wraps on squats belt. I’ve always worked up to highest single abot 2 weeks out and then 1 week out hit singles around 80% for technique and this time week of just some really low technique sessions early I tube week. I heard about this from JtS and wanted to try it this round. They say goal here is singles with lowest weight you can be forced to have perfect form with for technique.

My bench session felt kinda poor this morning but my bench set up was different today. (Actual bench not lift set up) a weight I tripled last week easily moved slow as my first single. I think it was outside stress though. Some stuff came up this week with my son that’s been kinda hard to swallow.

When doing RAW I still usually do a taper with my heaviest lifts 2-3 weeks out. With deadlift being the furthest.

There’s a ton of ways to “peak”, just have to find what works.

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THis is pretty much peak week for me. Peaking started a few weeks ago and I went from 5’s a month ago, to 3s until last week and the week before, now doubles this week. Then deload.

I wish I had longer to peak or could peak mid-meet prep just to get my numbers up. It wasn’t for a meet, but I like Modified Bulgarian to bust throught plateaus

Awesome good luck to you! I personally like to have a couple weeks of progressing singles

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Yeah, I might try self-programming for one meet and try that out.

How high is the intensity in the doubles?

98% of my old Bench, but like RPE 7 (only session I did so far - 2x2 at 260,265 from 270 in December
94% of my old deadlift PR, which will probably be RPE 7- lookin at 395-405x2 from 429 in December
and squats (in wraps) are 101% of my old squat (in sleeves). 97% felt like RPE 6 for a triple. - Looking at 410x2 from 402 in December.

Old numbers are from 5 months ago

Nice looks like your strength is going up! What weigh you compete at?

  1. My lifts are still mad poverty but I’m coming close to some Classic Raw records because drug tested is so new in USPA

That’s awesome! Yeah I’m gonna cut weight after this I’m sitting on 217 bw at the moment gonna lose to a good point I can cut to 198. That’s my next goal but as of right now not happening.

What do you guys think of Bulgarian? Working up to a training max, then backing down for some doubles, triples and trying to increase that each week, while decreasing the number of sets?

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Why are your numbers mad poverty.

This is the internet. Reality numbers will always be poverty compared to internet cyberspace.

Because there are 148 and 165 class lifters in my gym coming close to what I’m doing, but progress is progress after all.

I did it last summer and it felt great. I got sick of 5’s for volume, so it was really refreshing. I had all sorts of aches so I made slight changes like SSB squat and duffalo bench, but it carried over well when I tested my 1RMs. I used a bar speed tracker to decide when I’d call my top single or to decide if I’d continue with back off work.

On this, I think it’s fine a lot of ppl do similar things to this. I’ve spent the better part of the year working up to top sets of 2,4,5,6 and doing backoff sets based on that daily weight using different lift variations. My deadlift and bench have greatly improved squat has too but not as much.

How does it progress the training max? Is it like 5/3/1 in 5-10 lbs per cycle or is it a little more aggressive?

It works for some people, but only for a short period and those people are usually small, young, and not incredibly strong. The main issue is that it’s unnecessarily high frequency.

People have a bunch of different variations, but the real Bulgarian method as devised by Ivan Abadjiev was all about working up to a max single. Unless you fail or it’s an all-out grind it’s not a max. And this was done several times a day, every day. At first he had them doing front and back squats, as well as power cleans/snatches, and doing down sets but eventually he cut it down to nothing but the comp. lifts and front squats. Max Aita has a video talking about his experience with Abadjiev.

Something like this as a peaking cycle could work, and apparently the Polish weightlifting team was (and perhaps still is) training like this to peak while doing regular submaximal volume work the rest of the time. The thing is that most powerlifters don’t live in a training camp and still have to do things other than lifting weights so this sort of strategy can have some major issues. If anything, you could try a block of this style of training far out from a meet and if it goes well then you could use it to peak. There was a guy named Eric Talmant who used the Bulgarian method for PL but only trained 3x/week, Mike Tuchscherer was doing essentially that at one time for his peaking phases as well. Keep in mind that almost nobody trains like this for PL, if it is so great then why not?