Singles Training - Need Advice

Hello Coach and all Forum Users

Need advice in setting my program. From some time I am all sold to singles training. Especially kind of traning like Russian Strength Skill. Unfortunately I can train 3 days a week not 5 as it stands in plan. Than I would like to ask you guys (and maybe coach CT also will take a llook at my post) for help in building idea of my training.

It looks like this:
day 1
Front squat - ramp to heavy single
Deadlift - ramp to heavy single
Chins - amrap in 10 minutes
Curls - Hepburn style
Weighted carry

day 2
Power Clean - ramp to heavy single
Standing press - ramp to heavy single
Deadstop rows - 4x6 / 5x5… something like this
Dips - like chins - amrap in 10 min
weighted carry

Day 3
Manual labour day

I have got problem here - what to do after ramp to heavy single. What then? In oryginal program it stands 5-10 singles than 1x3… But in my case - there is no such frequency and I guess I should be do something more… So would be grateful for your ideas and help.
Age - 42
Goal - building general strength with little bit mass:) as byproduct of strength training.

1)2s not singles but this works great…

2)Not what you want to hear but back to back weeks of heavy singles over 40 is pretty much a guaranteed recipe for injury

Thanks for your answer. Well, considering singles - Kubik or Hepburn examples say little bit different. Whatsmore I am talking about heavy singles not maximum ones.

Yesterday I tried 1/6 constrast loading for whole of my Monday training (like Poliquin adviced in his 1-6 principle). Looks interesting and I think I will give it a try for some time for Mon and Wed training sessions. Friday will try to keep the same - 20 - 30 x 1 as labour work.

For strength ramping to a technically solid 1RM (RPE 9, not 10) is ok. But if you want strength and size 5-7 x 1 @ 90-93% is better

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I’ve made some awesome gains in the past using your recommended 6-10 singles starting with about 87.5%.

I’d do at least 6 singles with 30 seconds rest between each. If I got more than 8 I’d add weight to the bar the next session. Super simple strength progression, but never too maximal since the rest periods were short.

Coach CT, Guys - thank you a lot for your adivce.
Following that I have modyfied my training a little bit.
It goes now ABA BAB

Front sq followed by Anderson front squat 5-7x1 (if I make 5x1 on squats I do 7x1 on Andersons etc. Always counts to 12x1)
Deadlift followed by rack pull 5-7x1 (same rule as above)
weighted chins

Standing press followed by push press or pin press 5-7x1 (rule like for squats and deads)
Rows 5x1 (pendlays) then 5x5 (dead stop rows)
weighted dips

Finishers are: Mon - goblet squat followed by ab sit ups, Wed - Farmers walk followed by laterals, Fri - Zercher hold followed by curls.

Do you think such way of overloading movement (like press followed by heavy pin press) is beneficial for building strength in long run?

I find this training fun, love singles, they make me “feel” training. Whatsmore I do not feel drained and tired as it happened before when I was forcing myself to train in higher rep ranges. I guess it is the biggest advantage of such routine (at least for me).

Nice, I’ve actually been doing two or 3 exercises lately and doing 5-8 sets of singles at around 90% max. Then i cut the weight to 50-60% and do 3x3 as fast and explosive as possible. Wasn’t sure bout mass gains but sure seems to increase my strength quickly.

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It should work. You need a minimum of 15 maximally effective reps per muscle to trigger optimal growth. A maximally effective rep is a rep where you are recruiting all the recrutable muscle fibers, including the fast twitch fibers that have the greatest growth potential.

This happens when the load is at least 80% of what you can lift at that moment. Not 80% on the bar; if you have 70% on the bar by rep no.4 you are over 80% of your potential at the moment due to fatigue and from that point on all the reps are maximally effective.

With singles, doubles and triples you are in that zone to start with.

8 singles give you 9 maximally effective reps. The explosive work might not get you to 15 though. Yes the acceleration increases FT fibers recruitment but it’s not the type of work that fatigue those fibers. But adding 3 sets of 3 reps at 80-85% or one set of 3 @ 85% and one set of 5 @ 80% would do it.


Thx coach! Will try 3x3 at end at 80-85% as u suggest.

This is interesting I have never heard this before. So you could do 2x8 with 80% and stimulate some growth. This fits me good with low volume

Morning Coach , Guys.
Very appreciate your advices in this topic. I have been training for about 6 weeks with this singles plan and I am very happy about that.

I have decided to make some adjustments beginning today. I am going to make all big lifts from floor - so Zercher squat from floor instead of front sq, deadlift will remain the same. I am going to clean my press. Deadstop rows also no changes. And I will see how it goes.

I find these changes can be more difficult, fun and more “life adapted” although I do not carry or lift anything heavy in my everyday activity. Will inform you in some time how I find this.

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I got couple training sessions with zercher from floor. Painful for legs because of bar resting on thighs. Will change them for bottom position pins zerchers. And will See how they go.

Good morning Everybody
So Zercher squats from pins feel great! I am going to incorporate them for longer time.

I had a thought yesterday about cluster sets. I am thinking about incorporating them (it has been 8 or 9 weeks on singles) to my training for main lifts.

I am thinking about such template:
1 training 3x3(1-1-1)
2 training 3x4 (2-1-1)
3 training 3x5 (2-2-1)
add weight and start from beginning.

How do you find that ?
Woud appreciate your opinion.


Good evening to All.
Question - one day training on singles. Let’s say Mon and front squat 5-8x1 at about 88-93%.
I am doing squats on Fri as well in 5x5. Question is - can you give me any ideas about what % to use on 5x5 day?
Thanks in advance

Depends what your goal is, but probably 65-75%.

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You’re starting % should be such you’re able to progress (add weight) week to week. The worst thing you could do is set it so high you start missing reps in the first few weeks. According to Prilepin’s chart, starting percentage could be as low as 57% with maximum percentage for 5 rep sets 77%

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Thank you a lot Guys. I got a picture what to do now.

I love the Doug Hepburn way for singles, though I may modify things. Not quite the 3 or 5 singles building to 8, but more like hitting say, 15 to 20 singles with a weight, add weight next workout, and get as many singles as possible with that new weight, and repeat that program. 1 single every 2 minutes. But not to failure. I knew my body. After a 2 minute rest, I knew if I could do the next single. Fell in love with them lol. Ever since doing singles, doubles and triples, I finally hit my goal of a 315 pound bench. Lower reps are definitely for me. But when I was stuck at a 290 bench, I dropped to 235 for 6x3 one day, then my second bench day i would add 10 pounds ( 245 ) and do 8x2. Next time I’d minus 5 pounds ( 240 ) and do 6x3, then next bench day add 10. As it got heavier, I was forced to drop a set, reached 275 for 7x2, ( before that, i could not do doubles with 275, only singles ) then on next workout, tested my bench for fun. After 305 for 3 singles ( the first 2 felt lighter than the previous 290, I benched 315 just to see if I could do 1 proper rep ). I believe I could have done 320 had I not done the extra 2 singles with 305.

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I’ve made some awesome gains in the past using your recommended 6-10 singles starting with about 87.5%.. .

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As did I, myself. Singles are amazing, and so are doubles and triples. I remember hitting 23 singles in the Bench with 255, but after adding 10 pounds the week after, I could only do 13. God I was let down. But I tweaked things. 6 to 10 singles is good. I don’t think 23 helped me but possibly burnt me out without knowing it. Feeling it, anyways. So I modified a Doug Hepburn routine with singles, 2s and 3s. Good luck, brother!