Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More on base building type work for those that want to get strong as fuck

From an interview over at Bret Contreras...........

Just to steal some high level points..........

we don’t really need to focus on the percentages of 85% of 1RM and above; second, the sticking point is not, usually, due to muscular imbalances, as we used to think and therefore address the matter, rather it is a lack of intermuscular coordination.

So, if you want to be really strong in your squat, bench and deadlift, stop going to failure as some gurus suggest or using percentages of 90% and above like some others do (if you are able to do 6×3@90%, you either have very low neuromuscular efficiency, or your strength and recovery are artificially enhanced), rather always use strict technique, lift explosively, and avoid the loads that make the sticking point appear.

It’s been proven by eastern European powerlifters (the strongest in the IPF federation, the largest and not so geared federation in the world) that mostly explosively lifting loads between 70 and 80% of 1RM (what’s called “Zone 3” in Soviet literature or “Zone 4” in Sheiko’s own scale) with perfect technique and no sticking point gives the highest transfer for 1RM loads improvement, especially in the medium and long term.

I think that to get good results with that system in powerlifting you really have to focus on technique and sticking point avoidance, which means sacrificing the loads, especially at the beginning. That is not something Americans are usually inclined to do.

In all seriousness, I get pretty happy when I find more and more anecdotal evidence that supports paths that I find myself going down.  This just happens to be one of them, and I've had many in my training life.  

By all means, if you think that maxing out and grinding reps and weight is required then do so.  I just don't think it is anymore.  It's not me being dogmatic, it's me pointing to evidence for guys who are frustrated and want to get better.  I will continue to be "douchey" in that kind of way.  


  1. That percentage range basically puts you in the 8-12 rep range on most things in seems, correct?

    Or, are you suggesting that you use a weight you can do for 8-12, but only do it for 5-8 (or maybe 7-11 to stay just 1 rep shy of failure) with explosive, perfect form.

    1. Volume. Sets of 3-5 for the most part. He's saying there to become efficient in the lifts and "avoid the sticking point" which means NOT to grind.

  2. From the follow up comments. Also sounds familiar to LRB readers?

    "Although I don’t use Sheiko’s program specifically, I always use the methodological concept of “buffer” when training for maximal strength, i.e. the reps are explosive concentrically and the sets are almost never taken to failure for the key exercises. For instance, 4 reps reps could be done with 50% to 60%, 3 reps in the 50-60% zone or the to 70-85% one, 2 reps with 70% to 85%, 1 rep with 85% to 95%."

    1. Exactly, Matty. LOTS of time spent in that 70-85% will build all of the strength one needs.

  3. Hey Paul,

    I am running a program where I do 2 Compound lifts per day and I want to begin implementing the "overwarmup" you talk about here and in SLL. Would you do the Overwarmup single before the lower intensity sets of each lift or just the first lift?