If you want to read about some of the principals and people this style of training takes its basis from then you should read the blog post for block 10. The final 3 blocks of your strongest year one are 3 mesocycles from the 12-week macrocycle that forms the last quarter of the year.
Block 11 of your strongest year is the middle period of time or the block 2/3 out of the last quarter of the year. We are terming it as strength block as we will be focusing on pushing up your numbers in what is normally termed as a “strength” rep range. For block 2 we will be focusing on 5 rep max strength. You should be in a good place to build after block 10. If you have had a good volume block you should have hopefully hit some 10 rep max or volume PBs.
The concentrated load
The concentrated load is used to denote the use of an intentional over reach somewhere in the program. The use of an over reach (training stress that prevents and above normal stress level and is difficult to recover from) will lead to super compensation and a spike in fitness later inb the block or in time. This can be termed as “functional” over reach or to put it in actual english the deliberate use of over training to gain a spike in fitness at a desired point in the program.
Mike stone was involved in some work with the American weightlifting team comparing the effect of training load and it’s affects on serum cortisol and testosterone. From this work they determined that by overloading with volume and intensity at one point in the program (week 1 of 4) and then allowing for a deload the week following (week 2) to reflect the decrease in testosterone and increase in cortisol there was a spike in serum testosterone in week 3 above baseline.
By manipulating the program in such a way where we go through a functional overreach/concentrated load in week 1 and then follow it up with a more recovery-focused week in week 2 we should be putting ourselves in a position to be able to realize a gain in performance in week 3, where we can push for a new 5 rep max.
Use of relative intensity in the block
|Volume (sets x reps)
|Volume load (Intensity x Volume)
|90-95% of best
|5 x 5
|85-90% of best
|3 x 5
|Stimulating / low fatigue
|95-100%+ of best
|3 x 5
|80% of best
|3 x 5
The next two blocks of training will be using the concentrated load to try and spike performance in the 3rd week of the block. We will be using a 1 up, 1 down, 1 up, 1 down scheme. With week 2 being a mini deload (still stimulating training) but compared to week 1 and 3 it should allow for some recovery, as in enough recovery to allow your endocrine system to catch up and hopefully provide a boost in performance in week 3. Week 4 will provide a more traditional deload and is allocated for recovery.
Block 11 the training block
As we have discussed we will be using a concentrated load a the start if the block followed by a recovery week, an intensification in week 3 and then a deload at the end of the block. We will be repeating this scheme for the next block as well.
The Micro-cycle (a training week)
- Day 1 – Lowers (squat focus)
- Day 2 – Uppers (bench focus)
- Day 3 – Rest
- Day 4 – Lowers (deadlift focus)
- Day 5 – Uppers (pause bench focus)
- Day 6 – Rest
- Day 7 – Rest
We will be focusing on the main variations of the lift (your strongest style of bench press, deadlift and squat) as we are looking to push the maximum weight possible during the next 2 blocks of training.
For assistance based lifts we will be using skill-based variations for squat and deadlift (to help you and try to make your movement more efficient or to target on a particular sticking point). They have been set as fairly generic lifts in the program however if you have specific lifts or assistance lifts you like to use to help you progress feel free to include those.
We again will be using a simple upper/lower split to try and maximise recovery over the following 8 weeks to put you in the best position possible to be able to perform on each of the individual sessions.