Program for 1 RM

Olympic lifters have disproved your assertion going on 4 decades now.


well im a relative begginer in the weightroom…i havent done much lifting above 85% but when i have it has really fatigued me but yeah i am only lifting a few mths…could you post a example cycle of squat workout you would pescribe…

You are correct.

60-85% of competition max/highly psyched training max


70-90% of 90% of your last recorded maximum is all you need

The bulk of percentages over the course of an annual cycle falling between 70-75%

This is more than substantiated in the overseas literature, my personal lifting and coaching experience, as well as that of my most respected colleagues.

Possibly U.S. lifters, who rarely medal, and we are not talking Olympic lifts. Westside, and dozens of other powerlifting gyms, have proven it to be true.

Do you know of any major powerlifters (we’re talking squat and bench) who DO NOT rely on heavy triples, doubles and singles?

If you are a beginner, almost any program will improve your max strength. Bill Starr’s 5 x 5 would be a good place to start.

In Mesocycle of Accumulation (For MaxStrength)is better…

A) Progression with more reps
Week1) 7x1-2reps with 100 Kg(bench)
2) 8 sets x2- 3 //100Kg
3) 9 x 3-4 //100 kg
4-Deload) 5 x 3 reps/100 Kg


week1) 4 x 6 (buffer 15%-weight)/Example Bench- /100Kg
2) 4sts x 6//buffer 8%…more weigth tah 1th week!!!)/Kg 104
3) 4 x 6 //buffer3-4% /Kg 107
4)deload-2x6 buffer 0-3% /Kg110


yeah thats actually what im doing now…


Westside has never medaled in a real worlds competition.

Ed Coan, Kirk Karwoski, Fred Hatfield, Shane Hamman


what set/rep scheme would go with that? Would you then simply follow linear progression to increase the weight the athlete uses, ie 200 x 6, add 10 lbs go for 6 and add 10 lbs again as soon as this is accomplished?

Is important Buffer in Progression?

I’m not sure what you mean by a ‘real worlds competition’ but Westside has more elite lifters than any gym I’m aware of. I’m not a Westside spokesperson, but there is absolutely no question Westside, and Lou specifically, has had a huge impact on the sport of powerlifting, and strength training in general.

And, none of the lifters mentioned above trained at <80% of 1RM to the exclusion of higher load lifts…they all lifted heavy on a regular basis.

I’m still waiting to read about a club, team, or group that has produced elite lifters in powerlifting or olympic lifting that does not include at least 10-15% of all lifts in the >85% of 1RM range.

It truly depends upon the context of the strength training in the sport training process.

My ideas for a powerlifter, for example, are different than my tactics for a weightlifter, and different then my tactics for other athletes.

My ideas for a powerlifter, for example, are different than my tactics for a weightlifter…AND WHAT’S idea for Powerlifter?Thx

Further criteria within the context of powerlifting is strength preparation and tolerance to CNS intensive loading.

Generally speaking, the early stages of training must consist of more multi-lateral development via complex-parallel training. In this case, multiple morpho-biomotor qualities (ergo strength, flexibility, suppleness, mobility, muscle cross-section, etcetera) are addressed per single training session or training week. A distributed loading scheme is utilized and the load may be accumulated for longer durations.

Once higher training stages are attained I subscribe to a block model; however, the peculiarities of the block strategy differ relative to an equipped lifter and an unequipped lifter as well as, again, the lifters trainedness and tolerance to CNS intensive stress.

  1. Accumulation Mesocycle Period for Strength/Powerlifter Athletes
    Frequency: Each basic movement structure* being trained 2-3 times per week.

Volume (sets): The volume should be moderate, around 6 to 9 sets per movement structure.

Volume (reps): Also moderate, in the 6 to 8 reps per set range for the most part.

Intensity (%): Moderate, 75-85%. Once past the intermediate level, never go below 70% (unless doing explosive work).

Training techniques: Straight sets, medium rep cluster, overcoming isometrics for time, Olympic lift variations, superslow eccentrics.

Rest intervals: 2 to 4 minutes depending on training technique.

*Movement structures: upper body push, upper body pull, hips dominant, quad dominant, whole body.

2. Intensification Meso for Strength Athletes
Frequency: Each basic movement structure being trained 3-4 times per week.

Volume (sets): The volume should be low, around 3 to 6 sets per movement structure.

Volume (reps): Low, in the 1 to 5 reps per set range.

Intensity (%): It should be near-maximal, 90-100%. Once past the intermediate level, never go below 80% (again, unless doing explosive work).

Training techniques: Straight sets, pure cluster, overcoming isometrics for intensity, Olympic lift variations, manual eccentric overload (or weight releasers).

Rest intervals: 2 to 4 minutes depending on training technique.

IS O???Thx

or…Mon: (heavy) work up to 100%, then 92% 3x2
Wed: (light) work up to 100% -5kg, then 92% -5kg 3x2
Fri: (medium) work up to 100% -2.5kg, then 92% -2.5kg 3x2

On all days I moved from 85% and higher with 2.5-5kg increments to get 5-6 singles over 85%.

Yes they did. Coan and Karwoski used a linear periodization program (and Westside hasn’t touched their strength levels) that began with loads less than 80% for several weeks. Hatfield and most European lifters, past and present, used a preparatory or hypertrophy phase with lighter weights.

10-15% is a HUGE difference than “relying on” +90% weights. Of course maximal weights must be used to peak for competition. However I personal make much better strength gains with 75-85% weights and testing a 5RM instead of 1RM. Since sprinting involves an endurance component, training exclusively for a 1RM doesn’t make sense.

You have outlined one of many logical and effective block strategies; however, the question is whether this particular strategy is appropriate for the individual in question.

Personally, I favor lower training percentages in this type of structure, relative to what you’ve written. the exception is if the training percentages you listed are based off of a sub-maximal load to being with (ergo 70-85% of 90% during accumulation) and (90-100% of 90% during intensification)

Again, this is in the context of powerlifting.

You completely miss the point. I’ve never said that weights in the 75%-85% shouldn’t be included. If you look at the setup I first posted, it includes more than 50% of reps BELOW 90%. What I’ve said is that for optimal improvement of max strength, lifts in the 85% and higher should be included. Actually, there is not a huge difference between “relying on” and 10-15% of lifts. Let me give you a sprinting analogy.

A CF follower might sprint twice per week at >90% intensity. For arguments sake, lets say he does 750m at 10m/s twice per week. So volume is either 1500m or about 150secs at >90% intensity. For argument’s sake lets say this same sprinter does 8500m of extensive tempo per week spread out over three sessions. At 7.0m/s, that’s a little over 1200seconds of extensive tempo.

The volume of the >90% work is either 15% (1500m/10000m) or about 11%, if you go by time. Either way, the volume of high intensity track work is much less than the volume of low intensity track work, but I would argue that the training, at least if the goal is to improve maximum velocity, “relies on” the high intensity sprinting, not the extensive tempo. I don’t think most sprinters would be able to improve their max velocity if all they did was run at 70%, regardless of volume, unless they were a rank beginner to sprinting. The same holds true when the goal is improving max strength. Even though there is a greater volume of lower intensity reps, the systems ulitmately relies on the high intensity reps to push the max strength envelope.

If Coan, Hatfield, whoever, excluded the lower intensity lifts, they could still improve max strength, just not as effeciently as they could with a more well rounded system. But if the EXCLUDED the >90% reps, they would not get stronger, period.