Help with strength programme

Here is my strength programme that I will perform after my track sessions in the preparatory phase (reps first sets second).(2 years strength training experience)

light day :75-85 % IRM, 53
medium day: 85-90% 1rm, 3
heavy day: 90-95% 1rm, 2*6

I intend to perform 9/10 sessions over a four week period distributed as follows

week 1: light, heavy, light
week 2: medium, heavy, medium
week 3: light, medium, light.
week 4: off, off, off.

2 exercises per session from the following: squat (parallel), power clean/snatch, bench press and deadlift.(I would usually combine 1 strength movement with either power cleans or snatches) Supplementary work would be stiff leg deadlifts and high box stepups.

Cuts in volume or intensity as appropriate after harder track sessions.

Is this too much volume?
Is the rotation of rep/set/light/heavy days appropriate?

Thoughts anybody?



When you refer to a percentage, is it the percentage of your old 1 rep max, or is it including what it is to improve by? For example, at the begining of a strength phase my bench press 1RM could be 100lbs. Therefore, at the end of the strength phase I want my bench press 1RM to be 110lbs. So are your percentages including improvement? And if so, what percent increase do you expect over the 4 weeks?

I think it looks pretty good. The number of sets might be a bit high, but you’re the best judge of that. However, I’ve never bought into the light, med, heavy stuff, particularly if the weight training is supplemental to something else. My advice would be to establish a general intensity/repetition range per training period (e.g., accumulation, max, etc.). Then, working within that parameter, I would simply go into the weight room after the track workout and lift whatever you feel up to on that given day. Since this is a supplement to what’s happening on the track, you’re going to get more variability in your lifting performance, which makes it harder to plan in advance what you will be able to lift in a given workout.

herb, I would expect to improve by about 2.5 % to 5% per training cycle depending on lift. I would then add this on after completing the current cycle to give me a new heavier weight to work my percentages for the next cycle.
Sometimes if feeling fresh I would test myself on one of the heavy days and use this new 1rm on the following cycle.

Flash, I like your idea for weights but I need to restrain myself when lifting weights as I enjoy it so much !:smiley:
Without set lighter days in the 75 to 80% range I would push myself too hard and be lifting up to 95% the whole time. My alternation of heavy/med/lighter days is flexible.

Herb, in the old forum I think you asked me for more info on D and L amino acids. I can post some more info if you want.:slight_smile:

Honestly I doubt you will improve that much with this program. Its better to start out at 70% with no rotation of light,heavy, medium. I know several top ranked powerlifters for bench press and one who had the best bench press for his bodyweight of 200pnds. I aslo worked at a golds gym in boston which had at least 20-25 guys over 400pnd bench presses. And God only knows how many over 300pnds. Basically go up 5 pounds every week. Taking week 4 completly off from lifting. Or as in their case since they dont sprint week 6 or week 8 off. So your progression might look like this

Example (70% for max of 275)
week 1 150 5x5
week 2 155 5x5
week 3 160 5x4
week 4 Rest

week 1 165 5x4
week 2 170 4x4
week 3 175 4x4
week 4 Rest
And so on and so on…
*note done explosively

A real of thumb if you can explode a weight say of 175 (go down slow slight pause explode at bottom of the lift) in practice you should be able to max out about 45-50pnds more for one repition.

Also you can play with the rep scheme but the basic idea should be the same of hitting your max and then starting at 70% and improving 5 pnds per week.

As the intensity (wght) goes up the volume should be reduced!!! (to lower reps say (3x2) 85-90% Its your call really. I would train year round with wieghts also.

Use the calculator is your best friend when it comes to lifting!!!


This looks a lot like the old 5x5 prog. that Bill Starr wrote about (which I like to a degree)

“Cuts in volume or intensity as appropriate after harder track sessions.”

I think that covers what flash mentioned. You judge your recovery and adjust volume (primarily) and intensity (secondarily), accordingly.

Why take week 4 entirely off? Why not just have a light light light week? I think that would prevent too much soreness from occuring when you jump back in again. Granted I don’t know what else your doing so you may need a full week off?

You also mentioned your in a prep phase, Have you had a recent lay off from weights? I would think that in a prep phase something like 5x5 might be more appropriate, leaving the heavier weights/lower reps fore a max str. phase.


I take week four off from lifting and plyos because it freshens me for start of the next cycle. Otherwise I doubt I would be 100% at the start of the next cycle.

I take week 4 off and increase my volume of bounds/plyos and med ball throws. I hope that this will leave me fresher for the next cycle. Also I would not expect to be sore upon my return.
Also, I suppose, this is more of a max strength phase to be used October to Jan and March to outdoor competition ( my prep phase consists of higher reps earlier in the year and is more hypertrophy based).

At the moment I am doing maintenance weights (1 set of 3reps and 2 sets of 2 at approx 90% 1rm).

I will return to my strength programme after the indoors.

At the moment I am doing maintenance weights (1 set of 3reps and 2 sets of 2 at approx 90% 1rm)

Doesn’t that seem a little heavy for maintenence? The volume is nice and low, but the intensity seems a little high for maintenence :slight_smile:

Is it 90% of 1rm, or did you mean 90% of 2 or 3rm? That would seem more appropriate to me.

I was performing a session like the following:

1 rm for power clean is 90 kg
I then performed 1 set of three reps with 72 kg (80% 1 rm) and 2 sets of two reps with 80 kg (90% 1rm).

Prehaps I could take things a little easier and go down a further notch in intensity levels.

I wasnt exactly sure how to get the best results for the least work in the maintenance phase apart from volume reductions.

Well, I guess it would depend on how you feel?
Do you feel over taxed by these workouts, or do you sail through them with ease? (relative ease : )

If the latter I would imagine your doing the right thing.