T Nation

Training Methods - Sheiko, WSB, And Others - Discussion, Arguments



I don’t understand you, you don’t know in which movements an explosive strength is used and you are able to write that I don’t understand the text… However, it’s clear that the raw lifter needs to prioritize maximum strength (raw strength).


I didn’t make calculations off the chart myself, I just followed Louie Simmons’ guidelines. But he explained how he worked it out.

Non-Maximal Day is
24 squats x 80%
24 deadlifts x 80%
This is the high volume day.

Maximal Day is 3 attempts over 90%, working to a new record on some variant lift. You just do singles, so even though you lift heavy, the total volume (or maybe enol?) is only one quarter of Lighter Day.

Number of lifts on both days are based on some chart or something. Both days you don’t do the maximum number of lifts, you do the mid-range, “optimal” number. The loading stays pretty flat, and you never kill yourself with tons of barbell work. The volume on barbell stuff doesn’t change much.

After that, you do a bunch of assistance exercises. They are totally auto regulated, so you do as much as you feel capable of that day. You’re supposed to work on lagging areas and build muscle mass. The auto regulated assistance stuff rapidly increases in volume as max strength and rate of force development are slowly developed with barbells.


From what I understand it’s a modified version of Prilepin’s chart. 90%+ on Prilepin’s chart is 4-10 reps and 7 optimal but that’s too much for powerlifting for sure. On bench don’t they usually do 3x9? That’s over the range. Speed deadlifts were mostly done for singles, and like 6-10 which is below the range.

Where do you find something saying to use 80% for speed work? Everything of Louie’s that I have read says to use much lighter weights but the also add bands and chains.


Yeah, it’s a little different than the Russian chart, but Louie says his data was collected from his 80+ dudes who squatted 800+, so that’s good for me. That number doesn’t include that Vlad dude, because he was only part time Westside.

I think 3 lifts on ME day is for powerlifting specificity.

I think bench was technically supposed to be 8 x3, but when you use the 3 grips, nine sets works smoother.

Number of deadlifts has changed over the years. At one point it was 8-10 cluster reps. Now, its 24 reps, just like squats, because “that’s what the Russians do.” I believe he was talking about Boris. The deadlifts are almost always off blocks or out of the rack, or using accomdating resistance, so they aren’t as strenuous as regular floor deadlifts.

80% is the average number everything is based off of. If you use bands/chains you average 55% bar weight + 25% accomodating resistance to add up to 80%.


Speed day is about maintaining volume and perfecting technique. Not about overload.

To avoid accommodation, the weights change every week, so your brain gets a little change 75%/80%/85%. Or 50%/55%/60% with 25% bands/chains.

If you believe in the Wave, it doesn’t really matter what order the weights go. You can build up for 3 weeks, or step down for 3 weeks. Or you can combine them.

Squat, 3 weeks up

Deadlift, 3 weeks down

That way, each workout is more Average. The volume stays steady, and the cycle keeps you even and flat. And you don’t get a Period. When one is more difficult, the other is less difficult. But you never skip the difficult part, and the easy part is never too easy. It’s like cheating!


That makes sense with accommodating resistance, if you are using straight weight then 80% sounds like too much to get that many reps with 1 min. rest.

I see them using 5x5 sometimes instead of their old set/rep scheme.


That’s why Louie hasn’t cycled off in over 30 years.


Straight weight is heavy! It gives hellacious conditioning. It’s only 3 weeks, then you change something. And if it’s too heavy, your can just use less weight! The only draw back of going lighter is a More Effective speed day. Again, like cheating. Related, I think Sheiko average is closer to 70% average intensity. And I saw that Pinky dude do 3 x 5 with 80%, or 15 reps instead of 24. So maybe Louie is too high. Westside guys used to always get hurt. Matt Wenning says to use lower weights, specifically because he saw old westsiders injured and overtrained. I cheat and start with 70-75-80 too. So, I guess numbers are just guidelines. Principles remain!

Everybody gets bored with all the low reps sets. You’re right about 5x5 for squats. I don’t know about deadlift. Louie says higher reps are cool if the bar still moves good. I still do 2’s. I love that approach. I’ve seen Matt Wenning do 10 or 11 reps on Speed bench.


Dynamic Exercises Executed with Different Movement Rates

Special Strength Training Manual For Coaches, Verkhoshansky, Section

In 1975 some Russian Guy made 169 lifters do 720 lifts, over 16 weeks, with 80%. Some moved slow, some medium, some fast. Everybody gained, but medium speed gained the most.

In a follow up experiment, they got 5 groups. Fast, Medium, Slow, Very Slow, 4 speeds in equal Proportion.

4 speed group made the most squat gains. Followed by medium speed group. Then very slow group, then slow, then fast group.


What lifts were they doing in the first study?

One thing to keep in mind is that with CAT you are supposed to move the weight as fast as your technique allows, if you are using shitty technique to move the weight faster then you are doing it wrong and you can expect that to have less of a positive effect.

It seems odd to me that the “very slow” group got better gains than the “fast” group, the only times I ever tried slow squatting it totally fucked me up for the next session. Were these groups all using the same %1rm?


First Experiment was Snatch/Clean and Jerk/ Squat. They don’t say how they sped up and slowed down the only lifts.

2nd experiment doesn’t mention any percentages. I assumed they stayed the same. But it did go for 45 workouts, and they measured increase in 1 rep max every 15 sessions. Going slow didn’t get the most dramatic gains, but the gains continued, slowly, for longer. Real fast and real slow both worked, but didn’t work for as long. Medium had good gains and gains continued awhile.

Fun Experiment!


Excellent Skepticism!

I looked at the graphs again. This study is cooler than I thought. They kept using methods after they stopped working, and kept using them, even if the lifter went backwards.

Going slow worked for 15 sessions, but after that, it started pushing 1 rep max down. And that’s like an average. So some dudes must have started getting worse, faster than that.

Fast and even, regular, Medium execution started working against the lifters if they used them long enough.

Low rate made overall gains because they didn’t go backwards as far as other groups. Here are net gains.

Everything works. Nothing works for ever. If it feels bad, it probably is. If you’re stale, make a change. Don’t do crazy stuff too long.

Interesting about going slow. Dramatic training effect, that throws off your lifts quick. Is that why we don’t repeatedly bench press into heavy bands, like we talked about 200 posts ago?


I was talking about intentionally going slow (which is what I believe this study was about) rather than loading that limits bar speed.


Speed Strength Curve

Maximal force can only be developed against a slow moving, or stationary object. If it’s too light, and you press harder, it “flies away.” Like throwing a ball. If the object moves slower, you can develop maximum force against it. Like leaning into a big ass truck and really digging in to push and move it.

Here’s a guy squatting on an isokinetic machine. No matter how hard he pushes, the bar speed stays the same, Slow. As a result, dude has time to push harder. He’s not trying to go slow. He’s pushing as hard/fast as possible.

Here are Westside dudes doing “Circa Max.” Tremendous band tension, to slow the bar down. Super grueling and tough squat. These guys do this 3 weeks before a meet. Only twice a year.

Here’s an isokinetic deadlift. But these jokers are more concerned with their fancy screen that filming the lift.

If you jump to 2:00 you’ll see a guy in red short Deadlifting on a different isokinetic machine. The barbell stops at his knees, for a 3 count. Dude keeps pulling, into the stationary barbell, developing Maximal force at the sticking point. Then the break is released, and the bar goes through the “end” of the lift really fast.

Some skinny geeks, trying bench press isometrics.


So you’re on the ARX payroll now?

“Slow moving” is an arbitrary description. As you know, force=massXacceleration so there would be a range between 100% and some lighter weights (I can’t give you a number, you would have to figure that part out) where acceleration is higher but the weight is sufficient to achieve maximal force. My guess is that once you get to or close to ballistic movement then force will decrease.

I have seen and heard people quote Fred Hatfield on several occasions saying that maximal force is produced at 78% and up, I have never seen the original article or anything directly from Hatfield though. What does this really men though? I’m sure the exact numbers will vary from person to person and force production will not remain constant throughout the range of motion. Do you automatically produce maximal force at 78%? Can you intentionally produce maximal force at lower percentages by using CAT?


Aren’t you the guy who is excited to hit up some bench press isometrics? That’s as slow as you can get. A special technique, for a certain time, to get those little special gains. Not something to do every lift, all the time. A dramatic training effect, used for a short time.

Another way to practice developing max force. Not more effective, but another way to go forward, when the basics are getting stale.

I thought you and Blaine Sumner would get a kick out of that Westside Isokinetic machine.

Anyway, you mentioned max force at 78%. That’s pretty close to Louie’s 80%.


Isometrics actually seem like the most effective way to hit sticking points in the mid range, the problem is that they cause a lot of fatigue and they stop working after a few weeks. You can develop max force without isometrics, but supposedly isometrics (maximal isometrics, not isometric holds in case anyone is confused) allow you to produce up to 15% more force than you can against a moving object.


Yes! Just like the commie graphs, and everyone’s experience says!


A nicely written article with a scientific study. I have to admit…

RPE vs. Percentage 1RM Loading in Periodized Programs Matched for Sets and Repetitions



So are you changing your opinion on RPE now?

The problem with a percentage based program is that is doesn’t take into account varying rates of progress, the weights can become too heavy too fast or not challenging enough to continue getting the maximum results. Of course if you have a good coach or you yourself know how to adjust things then you can work around that. Also, RPE is not really effective for determining weights if you mostly use submaximal work like 75% for sets of 2 (or something similar).

Personally, I use percentages as a starting point but progression is determined by performance. Also, RPE is not really effective for determining weights if you mostly use submaximal work like 75% for sets of 2 (or something similar).