Just looking at this, it would appear to be more of an “accumulation” period. Do you guys alternate periods of accumulation with intensification? Some thing like:
Week 1-High 3x3 or 8x3
Week 2- Medium 2x3 or 6x3
Week 3- Very High 4x3 or 10x3
Week 4- Low 1x3 or 3x3
with the first example obviously being a more intensive phase than the second. Also, what does the other day of training look like, generally? If you’re accumulating the squat as in the top example, would the other lower training day be something like:
some movement efficiency drill
some speed/plyo movement
unilateral movement in fucntional hypertrophy zone posterior chain work
prowler/sled conditioning work (if necessary)
That’s what I’m guessing based on what I’ve seen.
Or maybe I’m way off and you guys stick in that absolute strength/hypertrophy zone most of the time. Thanks a ton. I like a lot of the things you have to say.
If using 8x3 for intensification, for accumulation I personally would go to a 4x6 or even 3x8. Your training volume rep wise is the same, but you are more toward a power/hypertrophy effect due largely to the training load being signifcantly diminished intensity wise. Thats just my take on it though. Perhaps an over simplification on my part.
to manage too much CNS exposure at different times. I use more of a WSB approach to weights with my american football players. There is a lot of debate whether one system is better than another. I find my athletes have realized tremendous strength gains, speed , and a good deal of hypertrophy utilizing this method. I think the number one reason I would get my guys away from too much heavy weight is injury potential. When working in those low rep ranges, joints can take a pounding. I also find that sticking too long to exercises tends to lead to this effect. I really have found that by changing to higher reps(6-10), my athletes get a gain in muscular cross section via either myofibrillar or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy which tends to allow them to gain even more strength. I have not seen a performance decrement in my athletes when reps go up for a microcycle.Hope that clears up my thought process for you.
I guess if you were going to bring tempo into the discussion, it could cloud things. Whenever I have athletes using 3 reps or below, my usual tempo would be 20X. If I were using higher reps(8), I would maybe prescribe perhaps 312. Total difference of 32 seconds TUT. That would be a significant difference. With athletes, I try to keep their movements fast. I simply don’t want to turn them into bodybuilders.
I think the example posted in the OP is a solid example for an intermediate trainee who will stick with the same movement for an entire A/I cycle (8 weeks). Cycling the weights through the microcycle (5x5->4x5->6x5>1x5) is just a good way to periodize the training stress week to week and keep gains coming on a weekly basis.
I feel (right now, that is, could change tomorrow) that for most intermediates, the best way to progress with the weights is some from of accumulation->intensification, although, I’d do more intensifications than accumulations. (Maybe something like accumulation->intensification->more intense>accumulation or restoration).
For someone more advanced, they would probably progress better staying in a intensification-type scheme most of the time, while changing max-effort movements on a weekly basis to assist in avoiding some form of burnout a la Westside. And even then, a lot of the Westside guys will every once in a while drop it down a notch for a few weeks and stay strictly in the hypertrophy zone before getting back to the usual intensification 3/1 sequence. So, even then, they’re accumulating->intensifying.
Basically, use hypertrophy zones to raise your ceiling, and relative strength zones to get closer to your ceilings. Alternating between both on a regular basis based on your current needs and what you’ve been doing the last few cycles will keep your gains coming for a very long time.