Is 'cycling' really necessary?

Once one is well on the way down the road to greater strength, are continued gains more or less only possible through the cycling of the training load?

I have always hated having to cycle back down to 75- 80% of my best before building back up again. I often see the time as wasted when using weights as light as that, because it is training time that could have been spent engaged in better quality training.

If one does not train close to failure, attempts pbs only once per month say, includes light days here and there when one is not up for heavy lifting, and trains using a ‘buffer’ of say 10%, is it really necessary to cycle? In other words, if you prevent the overtaxing of the body, can you avoid having to cycle by doing so? Can similar (or better) and continued progress be achieved without having to cycle?

Was cycling invented/introduced as a training solution for those trainees who through ignorance, habit and/or nature couldn’t help but thrash themselves every time they trained because they thought that the harder they worked the better the results they would get?

For those of us who train sensibly, does planned and deliberate cycling waste too much of our precious training time?

Over recent months I have emphasised very tight cycling of intensity. whilst maintaining volume, as measured by no. of lifts >75% 1RM. Being OLifters my guys do only doubles or singles on pulling movements. Only two workouts per 4 week macro are >90%. Intensity therefore only varies over the majority of the cycle by 12%, increasing by 2.5% every second session. This way the stimulus is changed frequently and there is a psychological benefit of building toward one’s maximum without actually ever nearing failure. THe results have been outstanding…

As long as you push every rep fast, I don’t see what the problem is with moderate weights around 70%. Your still working strength, and you get speed/power benefits as well.

hey davidw,
i was wondering if you would post the cycles (reps/sets/intensities)
youve been working with lately. interested to find out about these progressions…