1RM - Linear Progression for Novices ?

Although this isn’t entirely specific to sprinting, there are a number of members on this board who are highly qualified to comment on strength training topics, so I thought it might be worth posting here.

Apologies if this has been covered before.

I was given a linear progression table by a power lifting coach recently, which outlined a linear progression toward a Bench Press 1RM , with increasing intensity and decreasing volume, as follows;

3 x 10 (54%)
3 x 8 (59-68%)
3 x 6 (71-79%)
3 x 5 (80-86%)
2 x 2 (89%)

The percentages in brackets equate to the percent of 1RM, taken from lifters who had followed this program.

This progression should allow the athlete to restrict increases in weight to 5kg or less, to avoid technique breakdown, psychological factors, etc, which I agree with.

But I’m skeptical of the volume prescribed in the last three workouts. Is 4, 15, and even 18 reps for a primary movement able to sufficiently tax the CNS of a novice-intermediate lifter?

Typically I would have followed something with higher volume - 3 x 8, 4 x 6, 6 x 4, 8 x 3, 6 x 2?

i think the volume is too low in the final week, i have done a linear setup back in the day - somthing like this for the bp:

61x8, 64x8, 67x8,70x8

64x5 70x5 76x5 79x5

64x5 70x5 76x5 82x5

64x5 70x5 76x5 85x5

64x5 70x5 76x5 82x3 88-91x3

64x3 70x3 76x3 82x1 88x1 begin 1 rep max

Have you read Practical Programming by Rippetoe and Kilgore? If not… READ IT!

I think the volume is fine for reaching a pb, but what next?
A return to a MUCH higher volume at beginning of next cycle? That in itself, could increase chance of injury. Also, The sudden BIG increase in volume could decrease the quality of the session.
That is why, even during the speed enhancement phase of my sprint training I will TRY to keep some kind of balance between speed/intensity and volume, or in your case, intensity and volume - gym work.

I’m assuming you are reffering to GPP phases and pre-competition phase.
The only time to go really low on volume of power work would be before an important competition in my opinion.

This particular level of athletes are going to see massive increases regardless of the means used. Anyone who gives you a chart with sets/reps and percentages on how to make athletes increase strength, RUN the other way because it’s BAD advice. Only YOU know your athletes and YOU should make adjustments in thier program based off of their current state.

I don’t think the volume is too low. The last day is 89% of your expected max, and you’re doing it for a double, twice. That will seriously tax the CNS if you’re doing any kind of weight. If your not lifting big weight, less CNS strain, but still OK.

Like someone else mentioned, the volume is too high in the early stages. For powerlifters, there’s really no need to go over 5 reps in any set. If you want hypertrophy in the muscles used in the bench, use accessory exercises, after you bench, in sets consisting of 8-10 reps.

do the math the volume in the final week is too low. 2reps at 90% isnt bad but for only 2sets thats nothing.

I always assume these are work sets. When I tell someone I’m doing 2x2, that means after I work up to that level. That would be the absolute minimum for full work sets, but I don’t think it’s way too low.

Example: my last PR was 425. If I wanted to set a new PR of say 435, using the above percentages and my rep scheme, the last week before I tried to set the new PR would be…

2 x 10 @ bar
2 x 10 @ 135
1 x 5 @ 225
1 x 2 @ 315
1 x 2 @ 350
2 x 2 @ 387 (89% of 435)

For powerlifting, these last two sets are the only ones that really impact limit strength, so that’s what is usually referenced. I would probably go at least 390 myself, because I like to hit at least 90% of max, but I’m not sure I can double 90% for 2 sets everytime.

I also think everyone assumes there is some kind of pyramid up…no sane person walks in cold and does two reps at 90% of PR.

I don’t use this type of rep scheme exactly, because I like to use board presses at 3 x 110% to 120% of my expected PR when I’m trying to move up. But I will work up to 85% - 90% on days when I’m not shooting for a PR, and let me tell you, 4 reps at 85%-90% of your PR, after several warmup sets, is plenty of volume for powerlifting. Maybe not hypertrophy, but plenty if you’re looking for strength gains. These guys he’s talking about don’t seem to be experienced, so 85%-89% of PR is a good range, with occasional (every couple of weeks) into the 95%-100% range.

ok i understand where u coming from, but i was thinking something like 5x1x90%.

2x2 = 4 total reps = “Nothing”
5x1 = 5 total reps = “Adequate for tamfb”

Nitpicking over 1 rep?

im not nitpicking over one week, im looking at what he did the previous week. also the 5x1 was just an example bc if i was doing 90% i would probably go 2reps. with the 2x2 setup i was thinking about myself which would be nothing esp if i am in a max strength phase. “But I’m skeptical of the volume prescribed in the last three workouts. Is 4, 15, and even 18 reps for a primary movement able to sufficiently tax the CNS of a novice-intermediate lifter”? he has a very good point maybe if he was a advance lifter 2x2 may be enough to tax the cns. i think his higher volume setup look better. - 3 x 8, 4 x 6, 6 x 4, 8 x 3, 6 x 2.

I wasn’t really talking about the actual total number of reps; just it’s relation to the set/rep scheme that you said was “nothing”. I was simply curious to see why you thought 5 total reps was superior to 4 total reps by such a margin.

I might agree that in general, more volume could be used compared to a more neurally efficient and/or cross-sectioned athlete…

However, more context is needed (athlete’s resistance training history, PBs, what sports they play) and obviously everyone responds differently. These are guidelines for powerlifting, and the athlete’s specific training has not been taken to account yet. And then you think about organism strength, etc. There are many factors to think about when adjusting such GUIDELINES to fit the athlete’s needs. No set/rep scheme is perfect…maybe not even Prilipin’s chart… :eek:

It is always safer to do too little than too much. Adjust later as necessary.

Maybe it’s best to leave the last week a bit open ended regarding the sets X reps. Just plan on 2-3 sets of of 2 reps or sets of 2,2, an POSSIBLY 1-2 reps for the last set(if you choose to do it). If the first two sets are not too taxing and you have another quality set in you, perhaps you go for it. As mentioned above, your actual background, since only you among those on this board know exactly what that is would likely dictate if that is something you could handle and would benefit from at this time.

BTW, this response is actually directed more to the first post of the thread.

Volume also depends on what phase of your cycle you’re in. I sometimes ramp up to (after pyramiding up) 4 x 3 at as close to my 3RM as possible. But this beats me up so I very quickly drop the volume way down and start the cycle over. As someone said earlier, these kids will probably do well with any rep scheme that has them working up to 4 - 8 total reps around 90% of 1RM or above. The real keys are getting them in the gym every workout and getting them to lift with intensity every workout.

Excuse me what are others books,e-books,sites and…for taraining for limit Strength(1RM) and for Powerlifter?Thanx

I like the articles at Westside Barbell and Elitefts. Be advised, many of the training articles are written for/by people who juice, so adjust volume and training intensity accordingly. However, many of the top lifters discuss their training on these sites, and good information can be found.


For drug free training methods, you can go to…

Hope that helps.