Most lifters overcomplicate their programs when they should be focused on the specific goals of their sport; increasing a powerlifter’s total for Powerlifting, increase a weightlifter’s total for Olympic Weightlifting.
The program should then reflect the goals and the class of the lifter; beginner, intermediate or advanced. For all programs, there is a heavy touch of choosing weights by Rate-of-Perceived-Exertion (RPE).
For beginners, there are 4 sessions a week, 3 of which is focused on doing the big 3 lifts, all capped at RPE 9, for about 3-6 reps for 1-5 sets. The final day is dedicated to doing back work, biceps, abs, some HIIT, and mobility work.
For advanced beginners, it features a 5-session week, with 2 days for the big 3 lifts, 1 day for an accessory big-3 session with paused squats, overhead press and GHR, and 2 days for the other exercises like back and bicep work.
For ‘last-stage’ beginners, squats and bench press will now contain backoffs, while 1 of the deadlift sessions will be a lighter session to accommodate recovery.
For intermediates, all attributes are still in focus per mesocycle. There are 2 intermediate phases, one for a transitioning intermediate where the program is like the last-stage beginner phase, and a ‘true’ intermediate phase where the deadlifts now have their own sessions instead of being together with the squats and bench. There are 4 sessions a week, with 3 featuring the competition bench press. 2 of these 3 bench press sessions will contain a competition squat in front, and 1 of it will have the competition deadlift. The last day of the week will start with Romanian deadlift, some overhead presses and some accessory work.
For advanced athletes, there are 3 blocks in general: hypertrophy, balanced and strength. There are now 6 sessions a week, each one dedicated to one competition lift. There is generally a slightly heavier single to be done for all the competition lifts once a week, with multiple sets of backoffs at higher rep ranges with more accessory work to be done. The RPE for the heavy single increases per block, working up to an RPE 8 at the end of the strength block for the squat and deadlift, and an RPE 9 for the competition bench.
- A consistent program that accounts for all strength levels
- Auto-regulated to account for bad days
- Too little back and accessory work for novices and intermediates
- Phasic structure comes too late for lifters going through the entire program