T Nation

Some Training Progressions

2 athletes in my gym are on a bet. They both squat 275x3 (in pounds), and they will use 2 different progressions to see who reaches 275x12 first. Whoever wins gets a lot of free beer. Lol.

Anyway, the first guy apparently reads T-Nation but isn’t a member, and he’s bragging about the intensity techniques he would utilize from this site. He will train his squat twice a week. Here’s what he plans:

-For 5 sets, perform 275x5 w/ 10 seconds rest between reps (cluster set)
-Decrease rest between reps until he reaches 5x5 (completing all 25 reps) w/o rest between reps
-Change to 5 sets of extended 5s until he reaches 5+3+2 reps on all sets
-Decrease rest per “mini-set” until he can do 5 straight sets of 10 (never exceeding 10 reps per set while completing all 50 reps)
-Increase reps per set to 12 (completing all 60 reps)

That was a little complicated, but the other guy is a bit crazier. He plans to train his squat thrice a week with a double progression (increasing weight AND reps simultaneously), and it looks like this:

Week 1: 5 sets, 275x3
Week 2: 5 sets, 280x4
Week 3: 5 sets, 285x5
Week 4: 5 sets, 290x6
Week 5: 5 sets, 295x7
Week 6: 5 sets, 300x8
Week 7: 5 sets, 275x12

I don’t know how they get these ideas, but they seem pretty cool. So, who do you think will win?

The guy who trys harder and eats more.

Edit:
I want to add to this. Instead of cluster sets and double progressions etc the two guys who both can apparently do multiple sets of 3(indicating it’s more like a 6-8 rep max)could just strap on a pair and gut it out for an all out set of 12. Put enough money/pride on the line and I would bet one of those guys would get it.

If there’s no time limit on the 12 reps you’d think they would just do breathing squats every other day and build up their strength/endurance levels.

Actually, although it may not seem like it, the point of this thread is to show some training progressions I find interesting.

Why didn’t you just say that instead of making up a bet? haha.

Both are using way too much volume for guys who can only squat 275x3.
Hard to say, maybe the first guy? Perhaps you should step in and set them straight!

Maybe the first guy, though I agree with Radjxf that both of their plans seem like “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” progressions. LOL.

Guy 1 is using too much volume IMO. Why not just work up to your 5RM (if he can get 275x3, he can probably get 265x5), do one all out set with it and add weight the next week? Or, if he’s hell bent on doing clusters, why not do a 12 rep cluster set (or something similar to DC’s RP format)? Then just build that up until you can either do well over 275x12, or once you get to 275x12, then use his idea about density.

Guy 2 is just blowing smoke up his own ass. Increasing weight and reps every single week? Good freaking luck (unless he’s a total beginner or really can do much more but just doesn’t have the balls to push himself harder). Still, I think he seems to understand the concept of progressive overload better.

Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
Why didn’t you just say that instead of making up a bet? haha.[/quote]

Coz it would catch more attention, I guess. I could be wrong, though…

[quote]Radjxf wrote:
Both are using way too much volume for guys who can only squat 275x3.
Hard to say, maybe the first guy? Perhaps you should step in and set them straight![/quote]

Well, they’re intermediate athletes. They’ve been doing nothing but squats since they bet. No benching, no pullups, no assistance exercises and what not, so I think their systems can handle the volume.

The first guy can do 275x5 now. The second guy is doing 280x4.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Maybe the first guy, though I agree with Radjxf that both of their plans seem like “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” progressions. LOL.

Guy 1 is using too much volume IMO. Why not just work up to your 5RM (if he can get 275x3, he can probably get 265x5), do one all out set with it and add weight the next week? Or, if he’s hell bent on doing clusters, why not do a 12 rep cluster set (or something similar to DC’s RP format)? Then just build that up until you can either do well over 275x12, or once you get to 275x12, then use his idea about density.

Guy 2 is just blowing smoke up his own ass. Increasing weight and reps every single week? Good freaking luck (unless he’s a total beginner or really can do much more but just doesn’t have the balls to push himself harder). Still, I think he seems to understand the concept of progressive overload better.

Should be interesting to see how it turns out.[/quote]

I asked guy 1 the same thing. He said he’s doing different kinds of high-intensity techniques as his progression so that he doesn’t stagnate in any one of them. Clusters would teach him intensity, while rest pause will teach him some strength-endurance, although I think he’s misusing the term, but I get his drift.

Guy 2 is kinda crazy, but considering that they both train squats only since the bet, I think they’re not overloading themselves too much.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:

I asked guy 1 the same thing. He said he’s doing different kinds of high-intensity techniques as his progression so that he doesn’t stagnate in any one of them. Clusters would teach him intensity, while rest pause will teach him some strength-endurance, although I think he’s misusing the term, but I get his drift.
[/quote]

First, things like clusters/RP (which in reality isn’t RP, it’s DC’s version of DC, the original protocol for RP is the same as clusters) aren’t supposed to be used with high volume (5 sets would be too much IMO). They’re supposed to be just one single ball busting set.

Guy 1 is likely to burn himself out, or at least greatly hinder his progress doing that much volume of clusters/RP.

[quote]
Guy 2 is kinda crazy, but considering that they both train squats only since the bet, I think they’re not overloading themselves too much.[/quote]

Well, then in that case it’s possible that guy two might be able to handle that progression (though I still doubt it) simply due to “newbie gains” on squats.

How often are they training?

As for clusters, I know many people who do 5x5 cluster style as some sort of platteau buster with great success (perhaps they avoid failure). BTW, as mentioned, guy 1 squats twice a week while guy 2 squats thrice a week. Just 10-15 sets a week. It seems like they really wanna win the bet over anything else. And I think you’re right about the “newbie gains.” They’ve only trained light to maintain their squat for 2 months before the bet.

Guy 1 is doing 275x5+1+1. Guy 2 is doing 285x5. It seems like Guy 2 has the upper hand, but we’ll see.

Some updates:

-Guy 1 is already 275x5+3+2.
-Guy 2 is kinda behind schedule, still at 285x5. He wasn’t able to handle the progression (haha), but he does say that 285x5 got a lot easier.