In this post I spoke about my initial flirtations with Linear Periodization. At the end of the post I said that I was excited with my results and would be moving forward with a full power program. I’ve just completed my first full power cycle and unsuprisingly I am extremely happy with my results. They were:
Squat: 485 (+25lb PR)
Bench Press: 285 (+5lb PR)
Deadlift: 540 (+15lb PR)
All told, I added 45 pounds to my total after 3 months of consistent, healthy training. Something I haven’t accomplished in a long time. Needless to say I am thrilled and will be continuing to utilize this training style moving forward. But how did I setup and utilize this program? Read on for in-depth details.
One of the most important aspects to setting up a successful program is choosing your accessories. For Deadlift, I’d already run a successful cycle utilizing Barbell Rows. I definitely intended to continue utilizing them. For Squats, I knew that working my quads would carry over to my Low Bar Squat. I’d utilized Front Squats in the past but they often bothered my upper back so instead I went with High Bar Squats. I also chose to utilize the Hip Thrust as my PT had said my glutes were under-developed. Couldn’t hurt to develop them more! For Bench Press, I’d utilized the Close-Grip Bench Press in the past so I figured it would continue to be useful. I also decided to Overhead Press for shoulder development.
Next I chose the numbers for my opening sets. I had taken time off of Squatting and Benching due to nagging injuries so I knew I had to start light with these. For Squats I went with the following numbers:
High Bar Squat: 190x10x3
Hip Thrust: 45x10x3
For the Bench Press:
Bench Press: 175x10x3
Close Grip Bench Press: 145x10x3
and for Deadlift (+10lb from my last, mini, cycle):
For this cycle I also determined I would experiment with a 1 time frequency for all 3 lifts. My Deadlift clearly responded well to this and so I determined that I would test how my Squat and Bench Press would respond. The jumps I would make from week to week were as follows: for bigger lifts like the Squat and Deadlift I would make 15lb jumps within the same rep range and 20 lb jumps when dropping reps. For smaller lifts like the Bench Press I would make 10lb jumps regardless. Also, when it came to the Press, prior cycles had told me that when in the 3s and 2s weeks I could only make 5lb jumps.
I began the cycle hopeful of the results! After the 4th week, however, it was clear that I had to modify the Bench programming. One time a week frequency and three movements was not enough volume to drive progress. I failed when attempting to Bench 205x8x3. The changes I made were as follows: on the main Bench day I would do Bench Press and Close Grip. I added a second day in which I would Pin Press as well as Overhead Press. Before the Pin Pressing began I would work up to a heavy single to practice technique. I dropped the Bench Press weight back to 195 as I began the 5s week. For the Pin Press, I began with 155x6x3. I determined that I would utilize a step periodization scheme I’d used in the past so as not to introduce too much volume or intensity too quickly.
From this point on I did not have to make any adjustments and ran the program as written. The results speak for themselves! The only mistake I could say I made was when testing my maxes I stuck too much to percentages vs. only adding the weight to the bar I knew I could handle. I tested all 3 lifts on separate days to ensure I was most fresh. I realize this might not transfer perfectly to a meet but I did not take a deload week between my last doubles and my test week so there might be some give there that would make up the difference.
Video of my results: