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Strength/Skill Circuit Starting with 85%?

Hi CT,
Question on the Strength/Skill Circuit routine. You suggest starting weight be around 85% 1RM. Which into my first week it has been good, but Im interest on how the sets should feel in terms of execution.

Ive watched your video of the circuit, and you seem to be using weights to achieve a more performance base execution.

For me, the sets have been strong but also tough so, more strength lifts…

  1. Should the execution of sets be more performance type (ie Look like Bodybuilder, Perform like Athlete description) or more strength type. Want to get my weights right.

  2. Also, how lenient can you be with the 85%. I understand strength/skill is best achieved between 80-90%, so could I use 80% and get a more performance execution in my lifts, would this have an equal effect? Or 82.5-85% Upper Body lifts and 80% Lower Body/Olympic Lifts?

  3. On that, Im running the program 6 days a week (low stress/work from home), so would in fact I be better off using a bit lighter weight (80%) as I will be moving through the progression model quicker? Prevent stalling to quickly?

Thanks for the help,
Mike P

Well, first and foremost you can’t really judge how hard a set is by looking at me lift. I’m fast-twitch dominant and a rep could be close to my limit, and feel hard as hell while I do it, but if I watch the video it’s super smooth, even fast.

With me, it either goes up fast or it doesn’t go up at all. A few years back I filmed a bench press set at Biotest’s HQ and I did 425lbs x 2. The video was posted in a live chat called the livespill that we used to have an people commented that I could have gotten 2-3 more reps… but it was an all out effort for me.

I’d say an in-between (yeah, I know, this answer sucks). It doesn’t have to be fast but it should not be a grind either.

“Strength-skill” refers to a high quality of execution, being in control of the weight despite having to produce a lot of force.

I’m really not a percent guy. I did give percentage guidelines to have a good starting point. But I actually don’t calculate myself or with the athletes I work with. I use an RPE system and fro strength-skill we want to be at around 7 - 7.5 (leaving 2, maybe 3 reps in the tank).

I would start lighter and slow down the progression (waiting more workouts to add weight).

Hi CT,
Thanks for the replies. I actually have just finished my first week of Strength/Skill and after much excitement about doing the program, completely deflated after this first week haha. I read you mentioned different individuals respond differently to the program with 1 client making great progress the first 6 weeks, but also, I think you mentioned your wife, only lasted 1 week, did not respond to it. Thats me!

So I am looking to run ‘Built for Battle’ for another 12 weeks (3 - 1 performance/ hypertrophy setup) as I respond to that program very well, fits me neurologically. The blueprint of the program fits me perfectly with the high frequency of lifts, wave of intensity levels throughout the week & working towards the hard Friday session (gives me the idea of working towards something each week).

  1. So on that, is it ok the repeat ‘Built for Battle’ for another 12 week run? Its been 3 weeks since Ive finished my first run on the program. Will ‘Monotony’ be a problem in this scenario? Does the 1 week hypertrophy/bodybuilding work counter this problem?

  2. Also, this might be a dumb question, but hey I’ll put it out there, could implementing 1/2/4/6 loading scheme in for the 5/4/3/2/1 scheme in the ‘Built for Battle’ program be effective? Mirror up the wave of intensities throughout the week. An idea to allow to use the same blueprint but counter the effect of ‘Monotony’ if that is a problem.

Thanks again for the help,
Mike P