When it comes to getting athletes STRONG and POWERFUL, we have developed a 13-week program that has been proven to really push the athletes and deliver some amazing results. Over the course of the 13 weeks, we mix the sets and reps up OFTEN and include a lot, and I mean A LOT of additional routines in to fix weak spots, form issues, endurance problems, and overall, just build our athletes into top lifters.
Below are my favorite sets and reps for the STRENGTH based athletes. These 3 weeks of the program are some of the most important weeks and are the leading factors in the training that has taken our athletes from newbies to Top Ranked USA Lifters. They aren't for everyone and should not be used too often but over the 13-week period of our training program we will not only use these 3 set/rep days to make the athletes stronger but also to gauge where they are at and how far they are from their next MAXOUT DAY.
#1 - My favorite
10 sets of 1
This is a brutal day with a rest period of around 3 minutes per set (more if needed) and will completely drain the CNS while testing the athlete's ability to hold their form together for a long barbell routine that is guaranteed to leave the athlete 100% finished. It is not rare for some of our athletes to hit their previous PR around set 7 followed by a new PR during this workout. The goal isn't to hit a PR on this day but if they walk in with a 500lb deadlift from a previous maxout day and are hitting 485lb like it's nothing, we will have them go for a 505 to see how their form/speed holds up. Post this, it will be at least 3 weeks before they even have the option to go into a full blown MAXOUT.
#2 - The deadliest
5 sets of 2
This day will really push the athlete HARD. What I love about this routine is that if they slip up on form during rep 1 they will have a chance to correct it. By only going for 2 reps the athlete can put more focus on form than just moving the weight around like they would on a 5-15 rep workout. There is no room for laziness or sloppy movements. Much like the 10x1 week, many athletes will be breaking their 1RM during this phase, except this time they are hitting a 1RM for 2 reps. We won't allow them to go for a 1RM just yet, but now we know that they are more than ready and MAXOUT week is going to be HUGE for them.
#3 - Very beneficial but not as draining as the other 2
5 sets of 3
This is where we can start to see how their endurance matches their strength. Yes, I know 3 reps is not "Endurance" but 3 reps at 88-90+ % of a 1RM is a tough one to handle. The rest period for this day is typically shorter (unless they need more time) and it is not rare for set 5 to be 3 straight reps of their one rep max. Depending on how the athlete looks and feels at this point, we might allow for a small increase in weight for a 6th set of 3. The key factor is, only let this happen if you feel the athlete can safely and efficiently get 3 more reps. There is no point is draining the CNS to the point where they need weeks to recover or risking injury. None of these days are actual MAXOUT WEEKS and it is very important to understand that. That being said, High School athletes can develop FAST and if an athlete is crushing their program and gaining strength fast, I am not going to slow their progress down by holding them back. It's a fine line and knowing when to agree to an increase in weight will take a long time to fully understand. This isn't "Ego" lifting, but if an athlete is ready to increase the pounds and it is definitely time, I will be more than happy to allow them to crush their old record for a solid 3 reps.