In week 1 skip the first 4 sets and look at sets 5-10 (90-100%). Why did the Bulgarians use Waves in structuring their program? For that matter why does anybody use Waves? I don’t understand the concept behind it? Why not warmup and then do this instead,
I have a feeling it has something to do with taking advantage of the high percentage of recruited muscle fibers (from the higher load) and using them to produce more force or improve RFD in the preceding lighter load. That’s my hypothesis.
Using a wave loading approach might stimulate more muscle fibers. I was just reading Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance by Stuart McGill. He was saying that not all muscle fibers respond even to a maximal isometric deadlift. Therefore, he recommends taking off some poundage and then exerting more force and speed in an effort to stimulate a whole new set of muscle fibers.
As do you, I know that most of the info on “Bulgarian” wave loading came from the Bulgarian olympic weightlifters.
That being said, remember that the wave was also set up to deal with their version of “max effort” training. As far as I know, wave loading for them was only used in the classical lifts…
They would work up to a 1 rep max for, let’s say the snatch, and then wave back up to it again. It was their max for that training session, and not necessarily a true 100% max…
All lifts were then based off of that day’s max, and the wave would begin again.
While I do not have the info at my disposal right now, I too believe the CNS responds rather kindly to this method, as it needs a break from 100%weights for every set.
O.K. To lessen the confusion the Stuff in Red is my suggestion. I have gotten some answers from the previous posts so thank you for that. Now in my original post I am asking 2 questions,
The sets not in bold in week 1, are these sets just for warmup or are you trying to increase RFD or force output in these early sets? Or are they for both warmup and maximum force output?
1x5 @ 50%
1x3 @ 60%
1x2 @ 70%
1x1 @ 80%
The stuff in bold, why would I do this wave-like loading as opposed to my method in the Red?
BTW I warmup with 60% then 80% then I do whatever I want whether it be 90% or 100+%. I have never experienced injury and perhaps this is totally individual; however, suppose that everybody could do this. In that case is my method in RED feasible and is it better then the stuff in the bold?
I believe I got some answers but I wanted to clear up the confusion and perhaps get answers as to which set/s do what? 1 hint I think I have is that WSBC does DE on seperate days then ME so I believe the sets in week 1 are warmup sets preceding the sets in bold.
After hitting a 400lb bench press my bench stagnated, I know there are a few things I can do to increase my bench. One of them is to increase the volume like the Bulgarians did. Also, my volume definition is somewhat different then the common definition of volume which is based on tonnage.
Vol 1 = 95% and Higher
Vol 2 = 85% and Higher
Vol 3 = any %
I will be Primarily Concerned with only Vol 1 for MxS, CNS and other reasons, although all 3 Vol definitions will be counted. In my next 2 mesocycles I will only operate in this range. I will increase the Vol (i.e. Vol 1) over the next 8 weeks and attempt a new max. I am basing my model loosely on WSBC/CF/Bulgarian training methods and protocols. My RI will be anywhere from 5-10min depending on exercise and % . I am taking this approach with the RI’s from what I have learned from CF and I might even increase RI’s to 15min and maybe even 20.
P.S. I know I can change exercises and blah blah blah and I will but for right now this is my current method of attack and I believe it is an important one!
I am pretty darn sure, that the sets not in bold on week 1 are not DE sets. Not to say that the weight shouldn’t be moved decently fast but the concentration is not maximum speed, but to get the lifts in and get warmed up.
On elitefts.com Jim Wendler plays around with methods like your plan in RED and the Bulgarian method as you can see in his training logs.
I’ve never tried the Bulgarian wave like that, as I usually do 6x1 @ 90%. With that said, I actually do feel stronger/faster, around the 4th or 5th set. So maybe the Bulgarian protocol takes advantage of this with more heavy warmup prior to the actual PR set. Even so, I would rather just go all out or “light” (i.e. a PR or 90%). Anything in between increases the probability of a miss, or poor bar speed, especially over the duration of many sets.
If I had to choose though, I would do your protocol in RED with a capital r, e, and d. It seems more auto-regulatory since you’ll know your status from the first lift and you can adjust from there. With the Bulgarian method, especially if the lifter lacks experience, they won’t know their status until the last lift. By then, they’ve already done a bunch of heavy lifting when you possibly should not have.
Ingenious, this way you know what your true 100% max is every session and once you hit it you can design your program for that day to the perfect %. But then why do the second wave? Why not then go 100+%, 95%, 90%? Answer, Look Above and Below in RED
In response to #1, that is a good hypothesis and makes sense but any evidence or heresay from other authors to back that up (I hope you do bc now I am starting to buy into the program!)?
In response to #2, that also makes sense except how much speed can you generate at 90%? If the following set was at 60% then that would make more sense; well, I guess you could still stimulate a whole new set of muscle fibres at 90% but I don’t think speed is the reason why, just the sheer volume of doing the second wave. I believe Zatsiorsky talks about this in using the repeated effort method (I don’t have the book in front of me but I will take another look in 1 week).
I think understand #3 but is #3 the same as #1 and #2 combined? Or is there something more to #3?
Great discussion so far, but let’s see if we can’t expand on comments 1 and 2 above or at least get some more examples/authors.
The second wave, at times, did go to 100+%.
I see nothing wrong with your proposed scheme, other than many people will need more warm-up sets than you posted…
For example, I have seen many lifters go
1x100 (keep going up until lift not made sucessfully)
1x102 (keep going back up until the lift not made)
then back down to do either more waves,or a prescribed series of singles in the 85+% range…
In olympic lifting, I see many athletes fail because of some technical flaw near their max attempt, then back down 10-15%, make/practice the correction needed, and then get a better lift than the original attempt.
I’m sorry I haven’t had any authors to quote this weekend; all of my good olympic lifting stuff is in my office!