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Barbell Adding a third step in a deadlift step cycle, push on, or regressing to a wave cycle?

guardian7

Level 7 Valued Member
I need to decide to repeat a step, push on, or wave a deadlift cycle.

My current cycle is a two step, step cycle which I have calculated to peak at the TSC Oct. 39 for 155 to 160 KG. I have one week of slack built into the programming in case something comes up as it always does. 160 is my goal and 155 would be a PR that I would be satisfied with.

I am training a basic PTTP template but only once a week as I am looking to regain rather than make big progress. My snatch and tactical pullup are more of a concern right now.

My previous PR a couple years ago pre-covid was 150KG. Bodyweight now 80kg, age 53.

I have been doing a step cycle, 130,130, 135 135, 140, 140 went well. However, today the second 140 had a bit of shaking and I was a little tired. It may just be how I feel after today but I don't feel ready for 145 given today's form. I reset after each lift from the floor.

How do you know whether you should extend a step to a third workout or introduce a flexible wave or just push on? Is it just a gut feeling? My choice is repeat 140 , push on to 145, or go back to 135 and come back to 140 in two weeks.

I was not in danger of failure and locked our properly. But it was a bit of a grind after rep 3 and a little bit of shaking but I pushed through which was a good experience for attempting a PR on TSC day, but I am not satisfied with today.

I reread PTTP and Deadlift Dynamite but there are only options rather than guidelines. I worked backward from my peak goal and the fact that I am rebuilding a previous PR, but I might have started my cycle too high.

It is not a big deal whatever I do, but I am starting to get interested in and need to learn more about cycling when I continue this. I plan to keep a once a week deadline schedule and let the process take care of itself after I meet this goal. I want my double bodyweight lift back as I gained 5KG, almost all good weight since the virus. I am fairly patient. The PTTP linear and then step cycle got me to this point without a lot of time investment, and I am not prone to ego lift but work my plan.

Any advice?
 

Ap0c

Level 5 Valued Member
I think when you consider what you stand to gain from pressing on (a little extra stimulus -- you maybe get to your goal one session faster), and what you stand to lose (overtraining, injury -- lose weeks/months of progress), it often makes sense to just wave the load whenever there is reasonable probability that an injury or overtraining could occur.

That said, optimality is sometimes riding that line between overtraining and not. It sounds like you are uncomfortable, but don't sense impending injury. So, it could really go either way. Honestly, two weeks to get back to where you are is not long. I would just take the deload and keep being patient.

Other signs to look for are low energy/motivation in general. I ran a 6 week cycle earlier this year where by the end of it I didn't even want to look at the weights. I probably overtrained. I think ideally you want to stop before that happens.
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
If I am following correctly...

140 is over 90% of 155.

It varies by individual, but most rep max calculators put a 5RM as 89-90% of 1RM. So if 155 would be a PR, 140 would be expected to be in the neighborhood of a 5RM. Therefore, the last couple of reps being a grind would be expected.

I suspect you may be peaking a little early, and you might want to back off a little now and extend your progression a bit.
 

guardian7

Level 7 Valued Member
If I am following correctly...

140 is over 90% of 155.

It varies by individual, but most rep max calculators put a 5RM as 89-90% of 1RM. So if 155 would be a PR, 140 would be expected to be in the neighborhood of a 5RM. Therefore, the last couple of reps being a grind would be expected.

I suspect you may be peaking a little early, and you might want to back off a little now and extend your progression a bit.

My goal is 160 for Oct. 29 and I built a week of slack into the programming. However, you may be right. The other factor is the very low volume and only once a week, so I don't feel overtrained at all. I may have got the intensity and programming wrong though through lack of experience peaking.
 

Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
My goal is 160 for Oct. 29 and I built a week of slack into the programming. However, you may be right. The other factor is the very low volume and only once a week, so I don't feel overtrained at all. I may have got the intensity and programming wrong though through lack of experience peaking.
Your goal does not factor into this.* Only your body's response. And your body and life laugh at planning a peak.

If right now 140 x 5 is at or near your limit, and you aren't a beginner capable of simply adding weight every time, then when at 140 x 5, don't add weight the next time. Also for step loading, when at your limit don't have a set number of weeks, if it takes 4 weeks or even more to have it get easy enough to add weight, oh well. Having said that, my experience is that if close to a limit, mini-cycling has worked better post-50. If it were me, I'd go 132, 137, 142 or something like that.
 

guardian7

Level 7 Valued Member
Your goal does not factor into this.* Only your body's response. And your body and life laugh at planning a peak.

If right now 140 x 5 is at or near your limit, and you aren't a beginner capable of simply adding weight every time, then when at 140 x 5, don't add weight the next time. Also for step loading, when at your limit don't have a set number of weeks, if it takes 4 weeks or even more to have it get easy enough to add weight, oh well. Having said that, my experience is that if close to a limit, mini-cycling has worked better post-50. If it were me, I'd go 132, 137, 142 or something like that.

It is not really my limit, just it felt harder than it should be at this point given the planning. Also, I was a little tired, which makes it harder to decide. I will not add weight at least. I feel good this morning and glad I completed the lift.
 
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