T Nation

'Ride the Wave?'


Bench press:
1 and a half reps@105lbs lol. Talk about fail. But wait, it gets better!

0reps@185lbs (that was an EPIC FAIL!!!)

Okay, so I need some advice. Today was the first day I did the "ride the wave" method of weight training (see the rep scheme on the first two exercises I did above to see what I mean.) and I don't feel like I was able to pull it off very well. You're supposed to add about 5lbs to your two rep max on the last "wave". I wasn't able to do this.

By the time I got to the last two reps at the end of the second wave for the deadlifts, my hamstrings and gluts were completely fried. It took me forever just to get the 135lbs back onto the rack after I deloaded the bar to that point. My ass still hurts.

Is this the way it's supposed to go? Is it alright to fail at the last set when doing waves like this? For the record, I started at weights that I felt were pretty easy to manage four reps at. Suggestions?


This looks like something you would do with percentages rather than using set poundage increments and hovering around 90% of 1RM. Looks suspect, even then. Considering your 2RM is probably =>95% of 1RM that seems a lot of reps to be doing in that range without having conditioned yourself up to the workload. And ought not to done very often, either, maybe.

But I'm no expert.


1) I'd say that failure to get the prescribed # of reps dictate the end of a wave; IMO, yours has been a good workout;

2) Next time, use the same weight and try to get all the reps.

Just to give you a few ideas:


http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_best_reps (Scheme #3, on page 2)

Anyway, the "potentiation effect" of wave loading is hampered by cumulative fatigue, so take consequent rest period (3 min worked best for me) and mabye try higher weight jump (start lighter and add 10lbs). Doing so, I did a couple of good WOs with a 7-5-3 wave.


Your bench went the way it was intended to, next workout try the same weight i guarantee you'll get it!
As for your deadlift, you got the easy part out of the way, I think you could of pulled 185. If you think you wont get it drop all the dl's by 5lbs and pass that wave then attempt this wave again next time. Imo the second 4 is always the hardest so if you get that you should have no problem!

Edit: also, id take a longer rest period than 3 minutes, you trying to gain strength not loose fat or gain size. its your 2 rep max, rather make sure you hit it with a longer rest


if it was your first time don't sweat it so much. it's all about trial and error baby! the body will learn to adapt as well.

don't think about quitting. keep up the efforts!


exactly what skidmark is saying. youre doing too many working reps to be able to hit any PRs. 5 pounds isnt a lot of weight to go from 3 reps to 1 as in your 180x3 to 185x fail

ramping is the way to go.

theres a reason successful PLing methodology (5/3/1) and successful BBing methodology (DC, Dorian, almost all pros) use a ramping style.

but also to reiterate what skidmark is saying, youre probaly using faulty percentages and just off the top of my head im guessing your lower reps are going to be in the 75% percent range.


This is why wave loading should be for low repetition strength sets only. There is minimal muscular fatigue compared to higher reps. And of course, higher intensity = more dependence on CNS...

I personally think that Wave Loading should only be done with nothing more than 4 repetitions. Maybe something like 4 3 2, or 3 2 1...


This actually is a 4,3,2 rep scheme if you look at it. I got it out of a book by John Berardi.


4,3,2 is the rep scheme I was using.

I was also taking a 3 minute break between each set.


See what the guy below you wrote for an idea of what I was doing. It was basically a 4,3,2 wave (or ramp if you want to call it) repeated twice (so not that many reps total, and far less than the 5x5 sets I've been doing up to this point).

I am sure that I could have gotten the 185 had I just been going for a 1rm PR. I was just surprised by how much so little volume kicked my ass.


Thanks, and I agree that I could have gotten the 185. I'm sure I will next time, as I plan on starting with the second wave of my last workout. I also agree that more than 3 minutes might be a good idea, especially for the last two sets of the wave.


first, never listen to TYPE2B

second, i have no idea what youre talking about. go for it, ride the wave, hang 10


How long have you been training? What are your goals?

I know these are questions people ask typically. I ask because I remember when I first started lifting, I would do different routines a lot and depending how long I had been training for (in years, typically), different type or routines would work or absolutely fail.

As well, how long have you been doing this routine? First time, right? Don't sweat it. If you don't fail, its too easy. :wink:


It was the first time, although it was part of a program that I've been doing for the last month.