Use Training Cycles To Prevent Injuries and Get Stronger

| June 5, 2014 by Truth Seeker |

How do you get stronger? By putting more weight on the bar? Well, it is not that simple.

A lot of people are familiar with the story of Milo Of Kroton who was a wrestler in the 500s BCE. According to the legend, he used to lift small newborn bulls until they grew into fully developed animals. As the bulls were growing, Milo was becoming stronger too.

milo-of-kroton-training

While this is probably the earliest representation of what Mark Rippetoe calls linear progression, life is not that simple. It’s obvious that linear progression has to stop somewhere or otherwise, Milo would have started lifting dinosaurs.


You can keep adding weight to the bar only for so long before a stall or an injury occurs. This is where smarter programming needs to be implemented.

The simplest way is to follow training cycles that include a deload phase.

Let’s say that your best deadlift is 270lbs for a set of 3. You can use the following linear cycle to improve your strength.

Week 1

Begin your training cycle with a weight that you can comfortably lift for 10-12 reps. Usually, that weight is about 60-65% of your 1 RM. Let’s say that in our case the number is 200lbs.

The first workout would look like this: Warm-up; Work set – 200lbsx12

Note: Since the exercise of choice is the deadlift, one work set is sufficient.

Week 2

Warm-up; Work set – 210×10-12

Week 3

Warm-up; Work set – 220×8-10

Week 4

Warm-up; Work set – 230×8

Week 5

Warm-up; Work set – 240×8

Week 6

Warm-up; Work set – 250lbsx8

Week 7

Warm-up; Work set – 260lbsx5

Week 8

Warm-up; Work set – 270lbsx5

Week 9

Warm-up; Work set – 280lbsx3 {feels like hell}

This is where you end the cycle and begin a new one with a number a little higher than the previous starting point.

What are the benefits of training cycles?

The main benefit of training cycles is that the body has time to recuperate.

Summary: Start with a light weight. Build up to a personal best. Start again with an initial weight that’s a little heavier than your previous starting point. Profit.

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