nIn case you haven’t been paying attention to some of the Deep Barbell comments or remarks on max week then you likely haven’t noticed many lifters were short of their PR weights this weekend or did not hit the numbers they thought they were capable of.
Anytime a coach writes a program they have to ingest the results and look at the average results not necessarily the extreme ends of the bell curve. The reality is that as a group we are stronger and as a group we are more capable of hitting numbers that we just couldn’t hit this week. I think there are two reason for this and both point back to the programming.
1- The 18 weeks prior to starting this cycle we saw MASSIVE gains. Combine the results of the FS/BS cycle with the results from the 6-week Bulgarian cycle and you can look back to huge improvements. Most of you saw a FS and BS PR after the squat cycle and many of you saw weekly PRs during the Bulgarian cycle (despite feeling like you got hit by a truck). The reality is, after 18 weeks of that kind of loading and that kind of success there has to be a drop off or at bare minimum slowed progress. Your body has to recover, rebuild, rest a bit to come back stronger. I knew this to be true which is why the squat cycle was pretty easy and the lifting was never overly-taxing. This likely had some contribution to us not quite reaching our potential on max day.
2- We deloaded too much. I don’t know why I felt we needed to or why I felt like it was best to shy away from heavy weight for a week and a half but we did and it cost us. I assumed you needed the rest and your body needed to recover (likely because of point 1) and we just did it too much. The proof is to look back at the results from the Bulgarian cycle. When our bodies were primed and used to heavy load we succeeded on max day. I think I de-stimulated (if that’s a word) your central nervous system so drastically that when we needed it firing at 100% it was in hibernation. The deload was probably a good thing for your body, we just needed another week after the deload to “turn the CNS back on.” My high school weightlifting coach has always said that heavy weight leads to heavy weight. If we aren’t used to heavy load we won’t be prepared for heavy load on max day. In this case that principle is dead on. I was asking your muscle fibers, which was only producing enough force to move 70%, to contract at its full potential after being relatively dormant for 10 days. That’s my fault. Trust that mistake will not happen again. The best are always lifting semi-heavy, pulling heavy, and squatting heavy close to competition. Plan on that in ten weeks.
The next 10 week cycle will be comprised of multiple different phases for the lifts, pulls, and squats. The first 5 weeks will be lots of strength and positioning work followed by a mini-Bulgarian prep cycle into max week. The squats will follow the same style: five weeks of strength into 3 weeks of maximal work into a max effort week. Remember this cycle is designed to have you competing June 7th in a last chance National Qualifying meet.
My bad for the taper but trust that you are stronger and more capable now than you were 10 weeks ago. Expect that work to show in this cycle.