T Nation

Wave Loading: Rest, Load, and Progression?

Hi thibs. I am interested in building some size and strengh. I have read about wave loading from you and then from Poliquin and Josh Bryant and others.
It looks to me that 7/5/3 waves could suite me.
I have understood as well that 2 waves should suffice your needs for that volume.
I don’t understand a few things
-Rest times. Poliquin would have you rest 3-5 minutes. I saw that you reccomend Just 2-3 minutes even at higher %. Is that ok?
-Load. I have done my math and It looks like poliquin and Josh had someone leave one rep in the tank (about 2-3% less than their max weight for that Number of reps) and then set a 3 rm on your 2nd wave. Is that ok? I Just might be wrong but your approach (even though the only % i found were based off a 3-2-1 wave) looked more conservative
-How do I progress from workout to workout? Should I base my % for the successive workouts off the new max I set on the previous workout? Let’s Say i have done 102% of my 3rm on my previous workout… Should I try to beat that for a new 1-2%? Or should I Simply start a cycle and add 2.5-5lbs every workout? Or am I Simply overthinking?
Thanks in advance

PS i have similar doubts about about 1-6 principle where poliquins says that on each wave you should go to failure (doing a 6rm 4-10 minutes after a 1 rm and then repeating two other waves increasing load by a 2.5-5 lbs -he says that usually your single poundages go up every wave) while your approach is not to overkill yourself on the first waves.
https://thibarmy.com/the-1-6-loading-scheme-for-strength-and-size/

It depends on the exercise. 2-3 minutes for upper body movements, 3-4 for lower body ones. Potentiation peaks at 2 minutes and is maintained to some extent for 5 minutes. At 3 minutes it’s still very high, a 4 its moderate, at 5 it’s low. However with big lifts there is still some fatigue at 2 and even 3 minutes and fatigue will mast potentiation. These are the best rest intervals that offer a compromise between potentiation and fatigue.

1 Like

1st wave is conservative, it’s almost like a preparatory wave. Leave 1-2 reps in the tank.

2nd wave is demanding, leave 1 or zero reps in the tank

BTW, percentages are only guidelines. Depending on how you are feeling a certain day, on how much you slept on how demanding your days was, etc. 80 % might actually represent 90% of your maximum that day.

1 Like

You can’t really use percentages as I mentioned earlier. In an ideal world your second wave of workout 1 would become the 1st wave of workout 2 and you would go slightly heavier in wave 2. I cannot tell you how much weight to add because we all progress at different rates. Use the 1st wave performance to know how much you can add for the 2nd wave.

1 Like

Potentiation is good and will increase performance, but not to the point of hitting a true 1RM, then doing a set of 6 to failure and then being able to go up in weight for the next wave. It looks cool on paper, but it’s doesn’t work in reality.

Furthermore, with the 1-6 principle, the work sets are the sets of 6. The sets of 1 are only there to potentiate the nervous system. And by using 90-92.5% (again, percentages are just a guideline) for your sets of 1 is more than enough to get the potentiation you want.

The 1st “wave” is conservative (1-2 reps in the tank), second wave is challenging (1 rep in the tank or less) and the third wave would constitute a new 6RM if you hit it.

1 Like

How would you periodize those systems?
I was thinking about running a 7/5/3 mesocycle followed by a higher volume-lower intensity meso with sporadic foray in the 4-6 range maybe, followed again by a 1-6 wave mesocycle (each mesocycle lasting about 4-6 weeks).
Then maybe repeating with a slightly different exercise selection (maybe as Little difference as changing grip, stance etc).
I mean, I want to get bigger and stronger but I don’t care about peaking my strenght: to be even more precise i want to get bigger WHILE I am getting stronger.