Yuri Fedorenko - Prep & Comp Cycle - Sheiko

In principle, many American lifters lack patience, willpower, diligence, and ability to think better in longer-term training sessions. They are trying stupidly every week about personal records (see Westside Barbell).

On the other hand, the Russian philosophy of all sports in this respect is absolutely the opposite and much better. I know that the Russians in powerlifting are paying careful attention to scientific knowledge. They count the total number of lifts, average and relative intensity, average and daily tonnage, and they work with charts. As I have already written, powerlifting in the USA lacks diligence, consistency and, in most cases, logic.

PS: I am not a Russian, nor not do I come from Russia, so I have no reason to exaggeratedly support one or another philosophy. However, I only mention the facts.


Don’t worry man, it’s cool. I’m not going to take it personal, I asked for your opinion.

I agree that many in the US aren’t very patient. If there was 4 step training plan, many would skip right to step 4.

The more I learn about and use the Max Effort Method, the more I think it’s really mis-understood.

Here’s a Max Effort move, demonstrating the athletes power, timing and coordination. No pyscological pressure, because he’s a high jumper, and this is just some silly, arbitrary challenge. But jumper guy gets to “win” in the gym and feel great about his training, and know he’s a bad-ass.

I think I’m confused about the composition of the training program. I recommend that you begin to study authors such as Sheiko, Zatsiorsky, Verkhoshansky, Dyachkov, Medvedev, etc. Then, build a reasonable periodization (personally, I carefully use the modified block periodization with focusing on the bench press, see my log).

In my periodization, I pay careful attention to logic and detail, so I record the daily number of lifts, the weekly number of lifts, daily average intensity, weekly relative intensity, daily tonnage, weekly tonnage, daily average weight and weekly average weight. Unfortunately, this very ideal training system is used by very few people.

I love keeping track of lifts! Blocks are fun, but I call them “waves.”

Who is Dyachkov?

How does the progressive overload work in that sort of program? Do you start by increasing weekly volume and then later on reduce volume and increase average and peak intensity? Do you base weights off your 1rm at the start of the cycle for the whole cycle or do you ever increase your maxes based on performance or PRs set in training. I know you don’t go for PRs regularly, I’m just curious if there is any sort of testing other than a 1rm test or competition at the end of the cycle.

I use block periodization with wave characteristic.

Dyachkov was a sporting Soviet scientist and one of the fathers of conjugated and block periodization.

In this interesting text Verkhoshansky mentions Dyachkov…

"You asked me to express my opinions about Luis Simmons’s “conjugate periodisation” and not about the coach Luis Simmons, for whom I have no doubts, he is a grate coach.

I am afraid we are pointing to different meanings for the used terminology. May be this is the most important problem for the East-West communication. For this reason, it’s difficult for me to understand what is the “conjugate periodisation” and consequently I had some difficulties to express my opinion about it.

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In East Europe sport training methodology, the word “periodisation” means the subdivision of training process in periods related to the different training’s tasks. There is also the conception of Training Periodisation of L. Matveev, that is based on his particular principle of training’s process planning, different from my conception of “Training Programming”.

But from what is in my knowledge, I can suppose that in the West the word “periodisation” is synonym of “training’s planning” and the conception of Matveev’s Periodisation has named “Linear periodisation”. My conception of “Training Programming” is often wrongly associated with word “programming” that is the general activity to define the training programs.

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May be also the word “conjugate” has been used in the West with another meaning.

For example, I am not sure that the Conjugate Method of Luis Simmons is the same Conjugate Method that I know.

In the article of Simmons “The Conjugate Method” has been reported that this method was invented in 1970th by weight lifters of Dynamo Club (USSR): “They were introduced to a system of 20-45 special exercises that were grouped into 2-4 exercises per work-out and were rotated as often as necessary to make continuous progress They soon found out that as the squat, good morning, back raise, glute/ham raise, or special pulls got stronger, so did their Olympic lifts. When asked about the system, only one lifter was satisfied with the number of special lifts; the rest wanted more to choose from. And so the conjugate system was originated.”

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The Conjugate Method that I know was invented in 50th by my teacher, the famous high jumpers coach V. Djachkov. It was a brilliant idea to use the special strength exercises for improving the technique of athletes. For the first time in the Sport Training Methodology was introduced the idea that to adjust the competition exercise technique is necessary to increase the strength level expression in determinate movements.

At that time I and Djachkov elaborated together this method and I suggested him to name it “conjugate” because the strength exercises have to be “conjugated” with the technical issues of the athletes. After, I introduced the Principle of Dynamic Correspondence to select and elaborate adequate special strength exercises on the base of the biodynamic structure analysis of competition exercise.

Often, in USSR the Conjugate Method was used also as “the execution of competition exercise with overload”.

So, the original idea of “this” Conjugate Method is not simply “the rotation” of the same group of special exercises during the preparation period, but it is the “conjugate” use of special physical preparation exercises and technical exercises in the same training session.

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In 60th, I started to use the special strength preparation exercises and technical works not in the same training session, but in different sequenced training sessions, and later, in different sequenced training stages.

When I elaborated the structure of special physical preparation in speed-strength disciplines, I understood that also special strength work consists in different types of exercises, that can be conjugated from them in sequence (can be used in different training sessions and in different training stages).

This idea was utilised in my Physical Preparation Training Methodology where I introduced:

the Conjugate-Sequence System of training loads organisation, the Principles of Concentration and of Superposition of different training loads and the Block System of training.

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Therefore, now in the East Europe sport methodology there are two different models for the use of different types of loads in training process: complex-parallel and conjugate-sequence.

In the first case these loads are used together with “continuous rotations of the same special exercises” during all preparation period.

In the second case these loads are used in the sequence, one type of loads after another, everyone concentrated in a special training stage.

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_ If the conjugate periodisation is another name of complex-parallel model of training loads organisation and you wish know my opinion about it, I can answer very shortly._

The complex-parallel model is much more simple than the conjugate-sequence because it doesn’t need the exactly quantitative model of training load distribution during the preparation period.

It’s better use the complex-parallel model for non expert athletes who have a not stabilised technique and a low level of physical preparedness (in any case when the coach doesn’t know very well the training experience of the athletes).

The complex-parallel model can be used also for high level athletes:

- in the first phase of preparation period, before they start the concentrated physical preparation work,

- when they don’t need to increase radically their physical preparedness level, but they need to “conjugate” their high level physical capacities with the technique ( it’s particularly important in some sport disciplines).

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In generally, the conjugate-sequence model is much more effective that complex-parallel for high level athletes with high level of physical preparedness.

In the sport disciplines where the sport result is strictly related with the increase of the physical preparedness level these athletes need to increase further their level of physical preparedness. In this case the training programs have to be elaborated very carefully.

There are many other aspects about this issue but it need too much time to explain all the aspects involved.

I hope this post will clarify, at least, the main arguments.

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Yuri Verkhoshansky"

That’s part of the Westside system of training, they use max effort, repetition effort, and dynamic effort. That is in contrast to some forms of both linear and block periodization where the focus would vary from one phase of training to another between hypertrophy, “general strength” (for lack of a better term, basically ability to do reps with heavy weight), and peaking where the volume would be very low and weights close to max. So-called “western periodization” models usually include a power phase but this is totally inapplicable to powerlifting (despite the name) because the weights are too low too close to competition. At Westside they always train for hypertrophy, always train for speed, and always do max effort.

I have the following fundamental divisions:

A) Accumulation block (9 months; gradually increasing the load and the training volume; a medium number of accessory exercises; “peaks” are in this block once in 12 weeks in sets with 90-92.5% of RM. )

B) Transmutation block (2 months; medium load and training volume; a high number of accessory exercises)

C) Realization block (1 month; deload; the peak - test PR; a lower number of accessory exercises)

So testing the PR is only in the last month of the year.


This is one of the major problems of Westside Barbell. They don’t realize that the powerlifting is not a sport of speed because you don’t develop the maximum strength at high speed (as mentioned by mentor Zatsiorsky in the book Science and Practice of Strength Training). Simmons mistakenly believes that the lack of strength of his lifters will overcome the speed, this but is an absolute bullshit.

The Max Effort movement is used to develop the “Slow Strength.” The weights are heavy, the barbell slows down, and as a result great force can be developed against the slow moving object. They also use accomodating resistance, to add “weight” to the barbell during the lift, over the Range of Motion to slow the bar down even more, and allow for greater force production.

Sometimes I use isometrics, or no movement. I just push or pull on a static bar for true, maximal force.

One training session for Speed, to overcome lack of strength. But one whole other session for strength, to practice overcoming the lack of speed that happens when you move big weights.

When you use non competition lifts for Max Effort movements, you get all the benefits of developing max force against a slow object(training heavy) without the Negative consequences of “testing PRs.”

It’s interesting that Verkhoshansky mentions the Complex Parallel and then the more personalized Conjugate Sequence.

Even in Russia, you follow cookie cutter programs, learn some lifts, see how they effect you, what you’re naturally good at, etc. Then, you can start to put together a real training plan.

If you use the Max Effort Method during the Complex Parallel stage of your training, you could evaluate the effects all your special exercises are having on your body. Like, I did Tricep extensions with dumbbells for 4 weeks, then my close grip bench went up. Dumbbell triceps are good! You wouldn’t have to wait till the end of the year to know if you were getting anywhere.

Also, that text from Verkhoshansky was interesting. Thanks for posting it up. I don’t mean to try to convince you of anything, or “prove” anything, I just think this is a fun discussion.

It will be useful if you create a new topic, otherwise this discussion will be lost.

The Max Effort Method is the best for intramuscular and intermuscular coordination, but I always prefer rational periodization (mix block and wave periodization).

Still valid, The Max Effort Method or The Dynamic Effort Method are designed for athletic disciplines or rugby players, baseball players or American football players, but not for raw powerlifters.

It can’t be generalized like this. If you are an advanced athlete, you need to have personal records tests very rarely. Advanced athletes do not improve strength as often as they begin or intermediate athletes. For example, mentor Boris Sheiko testing personal records for advanced lifters every four months (3 preparatory mesocycles = 3 months, 1 competition mesocycle = 1 month).

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It’s alright. Reasonable opinions and reasonable discussion are appreciated. But it will be useful, as I already wrote, if you create a new topic on this discussion.

In week 18, of the bench program you posted, there is a day to test and hopefully PR. Would you use the new PR for the remainder of the program? Or continue using the original number you began with?

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Complete you the program with the original PR even when you recording a new PR.

Note: I don’t complete this program because unfortunately I made two gross mistakes. I am currently completing the first week of modified block periodization with the focus on the bench press (tomorrow in my log I will publish the first week and his detailed summaries).

Awesome. I’m interested to see what the mistakes were.

(see https://forums.t-nation.com/t/gaelic-log-bench-press-occasional-athletics/237220/53)

The second mistake can only apply to me. You can use the Prilepin’s table to the number of reps.

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The sort of advanced lifters that Sheiko is referring to are world class lifters. If you look at the sample programs you will see that there is a “skills evaluation” about a month out from the meet, you are supposed to work up to your previous 1rm and if it moves well then go for a small PR. He said (on his forum, I believe) that he doesn’t get advanced lifters to do this because any increase will be small and there are more risks involved and so on. He has also said that four month blocks were found to give the best results. I am curious as to why your training cycles last an entire year, can you explain?

About dynamic work, I agree that the way it is done at Westside doesn’t make a lot of sense for raw powerlifters because the bands and chains will make it heavy at the top and the bar weight is too low at the bottom. However, anecdotal evidence of lifters getting good result with this method suggest that there might be something to it still. For equipped lifting it makes more sense, and multi-ply in particular, because the gear is so tight at the bottom of the lift. Speed absolutely does matter in that case because the faster you can move out of the bottom the faster the bar will be moving at the sticking point. Also, you can see what Blaine Sumner said about his recent trip to Westside. He mentioned that the band tension they use is much more than people think, their speed work is not light and easy at all. The percentages of bar weight may be low, but combined with accommodating resistance it isn’t that much different from the submaximal work that you do yourself.

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