T Nation

Wave v. Block Progressions


#1

Coach,

Apologies if the question is answered elsewhere, a cursory search did not yield what I was looking for.

What are some factors involved in whether you choose a wave progression versus a more block-style progression for a lifter?

E.g.,
week 1. ramp to 5rm/backoff sets
week 2. ramp to 4rm/backoff sets
week 3. ramp to 3rm/no backoffs
week 4. ramp to 5rm/backoff sets
etc…

versus
weeks 1-3. ramp to 3rm + backoffs
weeks 4-6. ramp to 2rm + backoffs
etc…

I see some of your loading prescriptions lately have been closer to the latter. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

Thank you


#2

Honestly it’s more of a matter of what is the person’s goal. If he is training for a strength competition or athletic event, etc. I prefer a more block-like approach… although a block like approach could also be:\

BLOCK 1: more focus on hypertrophy, technique work and fixing strength leaks
BLOCK 2: more focus on strength while continuing to hypertrophy weak muscles
BLOCK 3: more focus on power while continuing to work on strength
BLOCK 4: more focus on speed while continuing to improve power and maintain strength

The undulatory approach is in many cases the best option, but mostly for someone who simply want to be more muscular and stronger without any specific objective