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Old 02-24-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
Dave Van Skike
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,708

honestly, i wouldn't call it a strength cycle because there's a bunch of other stuff in there. looks like a shopping list. unless the numbers you listed have been arrived at after 3-9 months of pure 3 day a week lifting, I don't think you need a "cycle" per se. You need a goal and a plan.

Here's a strength cycle. It's a simple plan for getting Strong in the course of 12 weeks. This one is from Jim Wendler but the basic arrangement of percentages and reps is very old school.

you squat, bench, deadlift and press. you're doing one big lift each session and no more than two assistance lifts. Wendler actually suggests just doing a ton of back off sets with the main lift. So, if you squat 3x5 working up to 85% this means 5 sets of 10 afterward with 50% of your max. it's hard but it works.

Week 1. Warmup, 75%x5, 80%x5, 85%x5
Week 2. Warmup, 80%x3, 85%x3, 90%x3
Week 3. Warmup, 75%x5, 85%x3, 95%x1
Week 4. (deload) - 60%x5, 65%x5, 70%x5

this is essentially four waves.

Each wave has 4 workouts:
A. Squat + assistance
B. Bench press + assistance
C. Deadlift + assistance
D. Military press + assistance

Week 1: A1, B1, C1
Week 2: D1, A2, B2
Week 3: C2, D2, A3
Week 4: B3, C3, D3
Week 5: A4, B4, C4
Week 6: D4, etc. ...

You're working up to a big but gettable top set each session. the key is to start with reasonable numbers and on the top set of the day, go for the max # of reps you can get. don't stop at 5 reps if you can get 6, rep pr's are very good mentally.

base the percentages on 90-95% of your actual (tested) 1RM. so if you back squat 405 you base the percentages on 90% of that, 365. after each 4 weeks, add maybe 10-25 pounds to the squat and dead numbers and no more than 10-20 to the press and bench.

repeat 3 times and that's a 12 week cycle. there about ten jillion other ways to do this but I've seen first hand this arrangement work with 20 year old D2 football players and 60-70 year old women.
Practical Strength
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