TSA 9 Week Intermediate Program | LiftVault.com
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To make your own copy: Log in to a Google Account --> Access desired sheet --> File --> Copy) *full details here* - Thanks, Lift Vault
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INSTRUCTIONS
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begin here
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We wrote this program as a nine-week program for an intermediate level powerlifter, with the goal of strength and proficiency in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. You will work using progressively heavier loads week by week toward a testing week at the end of the cycle. The program is designed to work on many of the shortcomings and inefficiencies we see in common intermediate and beginner level lifters. Namely, underdeveloped posterior chains, lack of technical practice with the competition lifts, control off the floor in the deadlift, and upper body hypertrophy.
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BEGIN
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1Enter your current 1RMs or a recent low-rep, high load set (sets under 4 will give more reliable numbers to populate the loads) in the highlighted boxes on the MAXES+CHART page. Do not enter theoretical maxes, or desired training outcomes. It is not needed to enter in a 90% or 95% of your maxes…simply your maxes will do.
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2Look over the cycle, familiarize yourself with what is to come. We suggest running the plan without modifications the first time through before attempting changes. Refer to our guide on RPE included for the best results
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3Read through the FAQ below, and if you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask via email to eric@thestrengthathlete.com or hani@thestrengthathlete.com
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4If you'd like, donate at www.thestrengthathlete.com/freebies
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Q:Give me some stats on this baby.
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A:Ok! For most of the training cycle, over half of your training weekly volume will come from bench press and variations, with the next highest chunk coming from squats. Bench generally responds well to a higher volume approach than the other lifts. Volume will rise over the first 5 weeks (as will intensity), before both gradually taper toward the end of the cycle. Actual per-lift intensity rises, but the relative intensity drops.
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Q:What's that lsRPE column? What's lsRPE?
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A:That stands for last set RPE, a measure of how hard you are training. Its simply the RPE of your very final set. It allows us to see how hard the training ACTUALLY is versus how hard we planned it to be. It’s a good idea for you to get in the habit of rating each movement
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Q:Why did you use RPE on assistance work?
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A:Using rep ranges are a fine way to go too, but otherwise we have no concrete way of pushing progression on a movement where we have no 1RM data, and it would be pointless to get. It allows us to target a specific subjective difficulty.
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Q:How would you characterize the periodization?
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A:Well, this is a daily undulating approach (DUP) with a more linear pattern at the weekly level. No need to be fancy for the general intermediate lifter with complex weekly loading schemes.
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Q:What do I do before and after this to maximize progress?
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A:We have built in an intro week, which allows athletes to begin immeidately. If you completed the approach and want to run it again, we suggest a one-week deload before beginning again.
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Q:Can I use this for a meet?
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A:For sure. Although you will have to change the last week so that all of the tests line up on your meet day (Saturday, usually). I'd suggest either practicing openers on Monday or 1-3 x 1 x 85% and 3 x 3 x 70% on Wednesday for just squat and bench. Rest for the remainder of days and kill it at your meet.
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Q:Why 9 weeks?
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A:An intermediate level lifter can probably see measurable progress over 8 weeks. We added an extra introductory week at reduced volume and intensity to ramp into the main work.
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Q:What's all that other stuff on the MAXES+CHART tab?
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A:Don't worry about it. It’s a way to adjust loads for athletes who are either high rep dominant or low rep dominant, but I wouldn't worry about it. Play with those values at your own peril
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Q:Can I swap X for Y?
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A:Sure, but keep in mind we designed this so that you can progress. If you want to add, change, or remove things, we won't stop you. But we also don't suggest it the first go-around.
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Q:How can I ever repay you?
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A:Aw shucks. Just progress well on the approach, share it, and if you want to contribute to more things like this in the future, we have a donate button at www.thestrengthathlete.com/freebies
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Q:For my testing at the end, what should I shoot for?
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A:We suggest small PR attempts of 5lbs on upper body and 10lbs on lower body. If you are successful, you are welcome to go up until you reach a weight you cannot do, or is an RPE 9.5! It is better to start manageable than to shoot too high and end on a bad note. Small progress over time amounts to large progress. For instance, +10/+5/+10 on your lifts every 10 weeks amounts to a giant 125lbs to your total in a year
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