Things I Thought I knew

As I get older in the sport of Powerlifting a lot of assumptions and beliefs I had seem to be invalidated. Here are a few that have changed lately. Remember, they are specific to ME. YMMV.


  • You need a fair amount of volume to sustain strength during a peak

I’m the past I thought I knew what a peak was. I thought dropping too much volume was a recipe for losing strength. Subsequently I never experimented with substantially lowered volume during a peak. Because who wants to risk it when you’ve got a meet coming up? Recently my peaks have consisted of a heavy double per exercise. That works out to a much lower volume load than I had used in the past. And I’ve been doing that for two weeks straight into a peak.

  • You need to push the volume to make progress

In the past I used to do 8, 10, 12+ sets per body part per week. I really felt I needed this much volume, after all most programs included that level of volume. Now I’m doing at most 6 sets per week, 3 per exercise. Much less than before and making better progress. More isn’t always better.

  • Higher frequency is better

Related to the above point, I used to think I needed 3x a week frequency on Squat, 4x a week on Bench to make good progress and retain good movement patterns. I’m currently making great progress on 1x and 2x frequency for squat and bench. Maybe I needed the higher frequency earlier maybe I’ll need more in the future but not for the moment.

  • You need to autoregulate; there’s no way to perfectly plan out a 12 week cycle without missing reps

All signs so far point to the opposite.┬áBy starting light and making smart jumps in weight I’ve been able to progress from week to week without missing reps. Start to heavy or take to big of jumps and progress stalls very fast.

Those are the points that come to mind at the moment. Likely to be more in the future. Never hurts to challenge your existing notions about what is possible.

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