Need to know!!!

I have 1,5 years general weight training experience. Soccer player. 190 cm 84 kgs. Lean. Pretty thin, maybe structural deficiencies.
Should I be doing max strenght work with bench squat etc now or do as Ben Johnson: get more muscle with using hypertrophy before using power lifts low rep/high int.
Need to know!
Thanks to all helpful people!!

I’m sorry, I’m really bad with the metric system(as are most Americans). Can someone convert those figures to ft/in and lbs? What are your current PB’s in the main lifts(squat, bench…). The purpose of hypertrophy phases are to increase strength to weight ratio. If your current PB’s are relatively weak then some hypertrophy may be needed, but you also have to take into account limb legth when determining this. I think we are the same age, but I have an extremely extensive background in sports and am pretty muscular so I dont think that too much hypertrophy would be necessary for me.

190cm= approx 6’3
84 Kgs= approx 185

Current PB squat: below paralell: 200 lbs
Bench: 200 lbs
I’ve played soccer fulltime since I was 5 y. o

Your weight seems to suggest that hypertrophy is not needed, but your squat is relatively weak. Are your legs pretty long in comparison with your torso?

Yes I have long legs… Started training squat 1 year ago.

I have found that low rep squats 2-3 reps, have done more to jack up my poundages than high rep squats. Try this;

Mon - Squat 2 x 2 reps, with max training resistance. (MTR).
Stiff leg deadlift. 2 x 4 (MTR)
Wed - Squat 3 x 3 reps, (MTR)(Rest 4 secs at bottom of each rep,
before pushing back up.)

Fri - Squat. work up to true 2 rep max.(unless u have game on saturday, if so then do 2 rep MTR.)
Stiff leg deadlift. 2 x 4 (MTR)

Notes; 1) MTR means max training resistance. This is NOT the most u can do, but the most intensity u can comfortably use without physching yourself up. Any more and you’re over training.

2)If u can only do squats 2 x per weak, then do 1 more set on both sessions.

3)NEVER do max reps on stiff leg deadlift, respect the exercise and it will
add to your squat poundages.

thanks… now I have ppl saying I should do hypertrophy and others(like you goose) do low rep work…

Originally I had a program that contained 2 max strenght phases like this:

4 weeks accumulation weights - focus on sprinting (finished with that)
7 weeks max strenght 3-1-3. (supposed to start with that now, but I don’t know now.)
4 weeks weight maintenance - focus on sprint
7 weeks max strenght 3-1-3
maintenance again before season starts…

What I am thinking now is to change that first max strenght cycle into a cycle where I use slightly higher reps, 5-6 for limit strenght exercises and 5-8 for other. Wouldn’t that give a nice balance between hypertrophy and power? so that I can add some muscle mass on my legs, but at the same time develop some power.
And at the end of off season I will do a pure max strenght cycle.
Advice are appreciated thanks

You are still sprinting during the max strength phase right?


Of course!! because of the max strenght training my speed probably only will be maintained (or even improved if I’m lucky).
That’s what I’ve read.

The problem with ectomorphs (myself included when it comes to the legs) is that we can get over obsessed about building mass.

U don’t have to be as stocky as Ronaldo or Mo Green to reach your potential or perform well in soccer or track. Why would one want more strength?
a) To improve athletic abilities. (good reason.)
b) To prevent injury. (pointless for runners to do it for that reason as
many injuries have been sustained in the gym.)
c) To look good.
d) If playing American football/gridiron, wrestling etc… need the armour
for impact absorption.

So look at “A”.
U need power, strength and strength endurance in terms of your muscle conditioning qualities.
u know what the best rep range is etc… to achieve those objectives
and u also seem to have a grasp on how the differant gym focuses may
influance your sprinting on a cycle basis.
Therefore, think about muscle “conditioning” rather than muscle “asthetics”.
With ectomorphs, you’ll be suprised as to what might actually build muscle anyway. For example, squats have been no better at building mass for me than some other types of training but they’ve been the best so far for strength gains.

Good points Goose…

But I dont know how I should set up a 4 month squat & bench program with sets and reps…(I’m clear on other exercises I think.) can anyone help me with the general setup?
As I have said before I don’t think max strenght phases will be the best, because of my lack of muscle mass. But at the same time I dont want to train pure hypertrophy so that my strenght and power will suffer.
I have wondered about this in a month now so I have to get things started!!!
Would be nice if David W or other experts on strenght can help me out with this.

Do not make things too complicated for yourself. Given your training information, your goal should be to create a functional platform from which to build upon. Stick to compound lifts which target proximally (close to the core) located muscle groups (i.e., squats, deadlifts, chins, dips, overhead presses, supine presses, rows, etc.)
Focus on increasing relative strength levels (i.e., 70-85%1RM 4-8 repetitions/set.)

A simple 3X/week split would be a squat based session MON a bench based session WED and a deadlift based session FRI.

After each core lift perform a few assistance lifts that target the prime movers of the core lift. Keep it simple, three to four lifts a session.

Hammer the abdominals/obliques and muscles of the posterior chain (hams, glutes, spinal erectors, upper back), as these are the primary muscle groups that are active in power development athletics.

Keep in mind that beginners, far too often, concern themselves with hypertrophy and end up building a virtual physique, in contrast to a functional one. Focus on myofibrillar hypertrophy before you get carried away with aesthetics. You can’t flex bone.

Check out some of the training that Christian T has posted on there is more than enough to get you going. Remember, keep it simple.
James Smith

Great reply, thanks!

“Focus on increasing relative strength levels (i.e., 70-85%1RM 4-8 repetitions/set.)” Should I start with 6-7 reps and move down to 4 or the other way? same with sets.
4 month setup:

1.month 75 % 6 reps 4 sets
2.month 80 % 5 reps 4 sets
1 week unloading 80 % 3 sets
3.month 85 % 4 reps 4 sets
4.month 87,5 % 3/4 reps 5 sets

Think I will hit the squats and bench every workout, maybe change squats with deadlift once per 1.5 week.

would you change anything here? Hope to make big progression in strenght with this programme.

I say stick to your original plan. You could make any necessary changes between the two max-strenght phases.
It will be easier to gauge progress that way.

The more frequently you train a specific motor pattern (i.e., back squats) the more accurately you must wave percentages very precisely(i.e., soviet six week peaking programs). Again, it seems that you are a relative beginner, thus a sample rotation might look as follows:

Note: guage supplemental and assistance lifts by feel, don’t worry
about percentages on these
If you have access to a glute ham raise device, these
can be performed daily
Back Squat - 70% 4x6
Low back- weighted back hyper extensions
Hamstrings- glute ham raise
Abs- weighted decline situps

Bench press- 70% 4x6
Shoulders-over head press
Back-weighted chins
Abs- russian twists

Deadlift- 70% 4-6
Quads- lunges
Hamstrings- glute ham raise
Obliques- weighted side bend

If you are doing a gradual percentage wave make sure to deload every fourth or fifth week.

Follow A.S. Prilepin’s Table for the main lifts, with respect to power development

% reps per set optimal total repetitions rep range
55-65 3-6 24 18-30
70-75 3-6 18 12-24
80-85 2-4 15 10-20
>90 1-2 7 4-10

Note- 55-70%=speed strength
70-85%=strength speed
>90%= limit strength
Test for 1RM every 6-8 weeks at the end of your mesocycles
Remember to keep it simple. Once you develop appreciable levels of strength than you can start getting more creative.

The Prilepin percentage table does not seem to come out right when I post it. If you have trouble interpereting the table you can go to click on the power development icon and click on the article entitle The Russian Conjugate System of Periodization Applied to MMA Training. The table is presented there in easy to read format.
James Smith

Thanks, really appreciate your help!
Gonna take a closer look on this when I have time.

Good articles on MMA at your site.

VG, glad I could provide some assistance.

101pro, thanks. Are you a fighter?