TESTING WEEK:

It's going to be a tough one.  We will be testing 1RMs on Back Squat, Squat Clean, Weight Pull-ups, and Weighted Dips.  From the last block, we should have established our 1RM Deadlift.  If not, you may want to test this as the percentages in the WAVE LOADING are based off 1RMS.

Your 1RM Clean will lead into a 10min CP-Battery test of maximum cleans @85% of your 1RM Clean for the day. The fun doesn't stop there, we then repeat the Clean MAX test to explore the athlete's ability to perform max strength efforts under fatigue.

We have physical and mental toughness test in a 60min row.

Dynamic energy control is critical to overall performance, how you manage your energy dictates the result of your workouts.  We will start to explore this more in this block.  The initial test is 3 x 3min efforts on the Assault Bike with increasing outputs (80-90-100%).

The gymnastics testing will look at your unbroken muscle-ups (scale to pull-ups/dips, pull-ups/push-ups) and then an old favourite in the gymnastics muscle endurance testing.

We also revisit the CrossFit Open 12.3 18min AMRAP.


WAVE LOADING STRENGTH:

Who doesn’t want to be stronger?   As a coach, we are always looking for ways to improve the strength and performance of ourselves and our athletes.  We hunt for training principles that elicit greater muscular development, neuromuscular responses and improve athletic performance.  The Wave Loading Method is a system often seen in advanced strength and power cycles to prepare an athlete for maximal attempts.

The concept of wave loading is based on the principle of Post-Titanic Potentiation (PTP), where one goes and primes the motor unit recruitment to facilitates the recruitment of higher threshold motor unties. Put simply this means we trick the mind and body into lifting heavier loads, or being able to perform more reps at a given load, or being able to lift faster at an given load.  The mind-body connection has numerous automatic protective mechanisms intended to prevent us from hurting ourselves, which can put the breaks on high-intensity strength training.  Wave loading, used correctly, helps the athlete to push back the inhibitions and open the door to a whole new world of opportunities.

A wave-like ramping system is used to progressively excite the nervous system to allow for greater force development in successive contractions.

Am example of the wave-like ramping system would look like
WAVE: 1
Set 1: 7reps @70%, Rest 3min
Set 2: 5reps @75%, Rest 3min
Set 3: 3reps @80%, Rest 3min

WAVE: 2
Set 4: 7reps @72.5%, Rest 3min
Set 5: 5reps @77.5%, Rest 3min
Set 6: 3reps @82.5%, Rest 3min

WAVE: 3
Set 4: 7reps @75%, Rest 3min
Set 5: 5reps @80%, Rest 3min
Set 6: 3reps @87.5%, Rest 3min

Potentiation - the increase in strength of nerve impulses along the pathways which have been used previously, either short-term or long-term

Each set has two main effects: potentiating and recruiting.  When the percentages of load are selected correctly, each wave creates potentiation, thus increasing strength performance.

Wave Loading Tips

It's important to take the time to warm-up correctly to allow the CNS to be primed before the workout intensity kicks in.  The overall volume (sets x repetitions) should be kept low to prevent muscular fatigue and save energy for the increasing intensity. 

It is critical that the concentric phase of the lift is performed as explosive as possible to maximise motor unit recruitment and minimise fatigue.  By the time we reach the final set in each wave, a state of maximal Central Nervous System (CNS) activation should be reached.   This makes the following first set of the next wave feel lighter than the previous wave. Essentially, each cycle feeds itself.

The rest time is important because the CNS takes 5-6 times longer to recover than the muscular system. Do not cut the rest Imo short.  Recovery between sets is critical, recovery between training sessions is also an essential part of the potential strength improvements.  There is an inverse relationship between reps and rest periods when the reps go down the rest periods must increase.

You are only as good as you recovery - far too often people neglect this principle. They train hard in the gym and then their lifestyle does not support this. Sleep and nutrition are critical to all training goals.

The hardest wave is generally the first one; the successive ones will feel more comfortable.

Why should you wave?

  1. Accelerate your strength development: step loading and wave loading are possible the two best training methods for developing high levels of strength. Wave loading give and athlete regular exposure to higher loads and PTP effects.

  2. Increased levels of explosiveness: improving the speed at which you displace the load is all part of the high threshold recruitment and ramping system, provided the percentages are appropriately selected. The speed of the movement counts, and wave loading makes the weights feel lighter in each successive wave.

  3. Increase work capacity: capacity is a measure of (reps x load). An athlete might be able to do 5reps at 100kg on a normal day, but after doing 1rep at 140kg, the athlete can come back down and do 110kf for 5reps. This example shows you the PTP on the CNS and the ability to increase work capacity.

When using the wave loading method you may benefit from adjusting your phycology compared to more conventional training.  Wave loading can provide impressive results, so take the time and focus on the goal of getting as strong as f*ck.  If you're not seeing the results, your possible not paying enough attention to your recovery.

Diminishing returns: “An economic principle that states that an investment in one-goal increases, but other variables stay the same, the return on investment will eventually decline.”

On the other hand, if you were seeing the results, don’t get too excited and think you have found the "goose that laid the golden egg.”  Often athletes find a specific training method that delivers amazing results and they start to apply the same method excessively.  Do not fall for this, the laws of diminishing returns apply to strength training. 

Give the Wave Loading Method a shot and let us know how you go.

If you need advice or a training program please get in touch to find out how TSTM can help you design a sustainable training plan.

OLYMPIC LIFTING:

The next 5 weeks of Olympic Lifting training is a split focus.  On Mondays, we are working on some more volume in the cleans.  The first two weeks will challenge the leg drive, especially in the jerks.  From here we continue to focus on Power Clean volume and a strong pull.  Week 5 we will hit some heavy squat clean double and singles to see if the volume and pulling focus has offered any improvements.

Friday will be Snatch Day, and we are also working on the pull phase of the lift.  Greasing the groove of the pull to improve technique and to challenge the position under some fatigue.  In week 4 we will perform some heavy doubles before finishing week 5 with some challenging squat snatch volume.

After Testing Week
wk1:     [2+1] Power Clean and Jerk 70-80%
wk2:     [1+1+2] Power Clean + Front Squat + Power Jerk
     [2-3] Clean Pulls
wk3:     [2+2] Power Clean and Jerk 75%
     [1+1] Power Clean and Jerk 80%
wk4: TnG Power Cleans (20-15-10)
wk5: Heavy Power Clean Double and Singles
wk1:     [3+1] Snatch Pull + Snatch
     Snatch Doubles @80%
wk2:     Snatch Waves (3,2,1 @60,70,75%)
     Building into Snatch 1RM
wk3:     [2+1] Snatch Pull + Power Snatch 50-60%
     [1+1] Snatch Pull + Power Snatch 65-80%
     [2-3] Snatch Balance
wk4: Snatch Doubles 70-80%
     [2] Snatch Pulls 100%
wk5: TnG Snatch (20-15-10)

CONDITIONING:

Our primary focus in the block is the aerobic intervals with 5minutes of work and 3minutes recovery between blocks. Our goal is to move well, focus on sustainable pacing and learning how to pace the 5min efforts for maximal aerobic conditioning. 

Tuesdays and Friday will be aerobic endurance based with multiple workouts designed with the intention of moving for the full duration of the time domain. Do not redline here; aerobic base capacity is the intention of these workouts.

Saturday is all about the Dynamic Energy Control and learning to pace the intensity of the workout.  We ask you to increase the total output in each successive round.  Training is about far more than merely fatiguing an athlete.  Pushing to fatigue is not a skill, anyone can do this, learning to pace and being able to control your energy outputs is far more challenging and requires much higher levels of ability.

MOBILITY:

Thursday is a designated rest day with the optional upper body mobility sessions.  The focus here is the front rack position, which will also carry over to the overhead position. If you know you are having trouble here, we strongly recommend you make time for this sessions.