T Nation

Strength Parameters & Methods


Hey Everyone,

I would just like to "see" which methods and rep/set schemes you guys have experimented with, that has yielded good strength gains.

I'm gonna go ahead and start it off by posting some rep/set schemes, and methods that I feel are great strength builders.

-Cluster Sets
-Negative Eccentrics
-3-2-1, 5-3-1, 3x3

So feel free to add any you feel are "good" at developing maximal strength. This would also help give me ideas for my ME Orientated Block.

...& yes I have been lifting.

-The Truth


i have a theory i'm not sure many will believe however i've converted all of my former training partners.
i like to stay with high reps ,15s. i do go down to 8 reps for a bulk off my off season { football } but i feel that once ive built my base i'm strong enough.
i would start beginers with this style as i'm sure many of you would too.i would then spend all those years lifting 6s and 3s and negatives but i've already put my time in.
for me ,i like to push big weights for lots of reps.i feel if i'm benching 315lbs x 15 then i'm training safe and i'll be strong in the fourth quarter.
remember, its called STRENGTH endourance.


Man - you just do not stop. I want a copy of the finished programme when its done bro!

second vote for 3x3!


Haha, yep, never!

Thats a will do when I get finish!


2 questions: Do you bench 315 x 15, or was it an example? And, if you do, how did you get there? 6's, 3's and negatives isn't that specific, and I'd be really surprized if you did it by lifting only in the 8 and 15 rep ranges.


30x1 with 2 minutes rest. Works for overhead squats, that's for sure.


I think the wave-loads (5/3/1 I like) work well. Basically anything with low reps in a set and a lot of rest. You aren't going to develop maximal strength as well if you are only going 60-90 seconds in between sets.


One more thing to add...

I find that after I have worked up to my heavy set (usually 3RM) for the day, if I take a 3-minute rest, do an explosive set of about 5 reps with half the weight, and take another 3-minute rest I can duplicate my performance at the very least. I find that using this potentiation method, I can often get 2-4 sets at or above my max.

I really feel like potentiation methods and wave-loading parameters are going to be the big thing you'll hear from a lot of the top coaches in the next few years. I think it is just hard sometimes because the methods are largely dependent upon the individual (their CNS state, fiber-typing, etc), so it's hard to broadly prescribe.


to yoda-x
you got to put your time in.i always did strength training , never bodybuild.
i assuming you do the same.?

a great way to build STRENGTH endurance is tempo's in early phases. (4-0-2) w/ high rep 10-15. Do this for 4 weeks.
b/c it is high rep...don't lift light. the key is to lift as heavy as possible for your 15 reps.

I am stressing high rep w/ good heavy weight.

And yes i do 315 for 15 reps on the bench.


Thanks for giving the fuel to fire a long thread argument with complete bull.


True knowledge. Read the last few articles by King, Cosgrove, Poliquin, et al. Changing bar weight and/or reps every set is extremely effective. Working like crazy.

Ignore at your own risk.


For strength 5/3/2/1 or 3x3 or just singles

For size i really like a super set such as 5x3-5reps and then immediately drop weight on the same exercise and do around 10-15 reps.

I believe thats called the "post fatigue" method.

I like a conjugate based schedule because it really helps me to build everything... i feel it is more "athletic" but when i want to get good at one specific lift that doesn't really have "special" exercises for it. Such as overhead squat (olifting in general) then I use more specific rep ranges.


very true, i believe someone posted about the 6/1 wave set that polquin or king had wrote about years ago

and dude made leaps and BOUNDS in strength.


what is the potentiation method please, and how does it work


I must admit that I'm a little confused.I've read this site off and on for a while now and I've seen many people speak of great feats of strength. Those who sound like the local 19 year old juice head , I've ignored.

However there are people who have made intellegent comments on training that proved to me there are people who know what they are talking about.

Am I getting bashed for my set / rep comment or because of the numbers I do on the bench.I say please gentlemen, I have been one of the strongest guys on each team I've played on. Also I've been lifting from about 10 or 11 yrs old.

If you think those bench numbers are good I have more lifts that I feel are more impressive.
- behind the neck push jerk 315 x 10
- single leg squat 275 x 25
- hang clean 275 x 10
- 4.53 40 yrds

please feel free to comment...



You are narcissistic.
And if by 'each team' you are implying pro level football then 315x15 doesn't put you as the strongest guys on many teams.
Or did you infer flag football?


The only thing that I think is out of this world is the single leg squats. The other lifts are great, but not quite world-class. If you are doing 315 for 15 reps, that would probably put your 1RM around 500 pounds, which is an incredible raw lift, but certainly achievable. The single-leg squats boggle my mind though. I don't doubt that those numbers are achievable and if you are putting them up, keep on doing what you're doing. However, there are tons of doofus 16-year olds on here who make ridiculous claims and a lot of people immediately will probably lump you into that category.


OK I don't get it, first he gets called a liar for his benching numbers, and then they are not that great anyway?

At the highschool where I work, we had a state champ unlimited weight wrestler who also played football who I saw do 10 reps at 315 on several occasions. His goal was to get 315 x 12 and he actually always had to stop because his hamstrings cramped up.

In 1988 (I know its a while ago) Jim Ryan, a 225 pound linebacker for the Broncos came to my school and he told us that he had the Broncos bench record of 405 at the time. 315 x 15 has to be about 225 x almost or about a 465 max. I remember reading that Reggie White had the Packers team record at 455 a few year ago, although the story went that some young guy topped it with 465, and he walked in, added 2 plates and did 555 on the spot though.


Anyway, for strength, I will do 5 x 3 usually all at the same weight, try to complete all five sets in a 10 minute time frame, and add 5 pounds every 3-5 days. The BEST is to start with my 5 x 3 weight for a triple, and then add 10 pounds and triple again and keep adding 10 until I can't complete 3 reps. This is more taking though and I would only do it for 2-3 consecutive workouts and then switch back to the 5 x 3. As I have grown stonger, I have switched to 4 x 3 instead of 5 x 3. for the squat-same except 4-6 x 2. For dead sets of 5 lifting and dropping using rubber weights. Add 10 pounds, and continue with 5 fast reps until the reps get slow.


Yeah, any articles on these "potentiation methods and wave-loading parameters" and what its about..or anyone here have some knowledge about it?