Monday, May 9th 2016

Monday, May 9th 2016

Today will mark the beginning of our Linear Progression (or Linear Periodization) program.  This is a program format that is widely considered to be one of the best and most effective by the weightlifting community.  It was popularized by a coach by the name of Mark Rippetoe, owner of the Wichita Falls Athletic Club and the author of Starting Strength and numerous other training books.

This is first and foremost a beginner or a novice program.  That title is one that most athletes are too proud to apply to themselves, especially those who may have been attending a gym for a few years and don’t consider themselves a stranger to the barbell or the weightroom.  But this label is meant to imply the level of response that one has to the training stimulus.  If through consistent exposure to the barbell lifts, one is able to still add weight to the bar every time they step in the gym that was more than the last training session, then they are still at the beginner phase.  It is only when progress has stalled through the consistent application of increased load does there become a need for increased complexity.


The marked difference from this program to what we have been doing in the gym for the past year is the consistency of workout planning and record of weights being used for sets and reps.  We consistently squat once to twice a week, deadlift at least once a week in some form, and do plenty of vertical and horizontal pressing.  But typically we rotate through a large cast of exercises, for example, doing overhead squats one week, front squats the next, and back squats the next.  For the next 8 weeks, we will be making sure that we prioritize six of these movements and that perform them often.  Those six movements will be the Back Squat, Front Squat, Bench Press, Press, Deadlift and Power Clean.  There will be included accessory work, including pull-ups, abdominal work, and “accessory lifts” (which we will touch on more later).  The priority will be a specific 2 workouts per week, with added conditioning on the off days in between.  This will allow for consistent adaptation to the training, which will be to get a strong as possible in our 8 week time period.

The two workouts will be as follows:

Workout A:

Back Squat - 3 sets of 5

Bench Press – 3 sets of 5

Deadlift – 2 sets of 5

(Accessory Work, which will be varied)


Workout B:

Power Clean – 5 sets of 3

Press – 3 Sets of 5

Front Squat- 3 Sets of 5

(Accessory Work, which will be varied)


These workouts will prioritized over all other gym activities.  Each session, the weight that was used for each exercise will be recorded.  The next time the workout is performed, that weight will be referenced so that a small increment of weight can be added to each lift (2.5-5lbs for the Presses, 5-10 lbs for the squats and deadlifts).  This consistent application of small load increases will allow for you as an athlete to adapt constantly to the increased strain, and ultimately have a large increase in total strength by the time we conclude this cycle.

If one is able to attend the gym only 2 days out of the week, then they should expect to perform each of these two workouts, provided there is at least 48 hours between sessions.  If more than 2 days per week are expected, there will be additional conditioning work provided for the days between those sessions so that we can still keep our aerobic and lactate capacity sharp.

In terms of what weights we will be using, we will be starting off conservatively this week, around 65% of our 1-Rep Max for the opening sets of 5.  This way our bodies will have room to grow into the increased volume.  This will allow us to make continued progress for many weeks to come as opposed to if we had started at the maximum weight we could lift for 5 reps, which would force our progress to stall out much faster.

We will be discussing more concepts related to this program and training adaptation overall in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.  Strap up and get ready to be stronger and more physically capable than you ever have been.


Monday, May 9th 2016


Row 1000m

Wall Squats – 3 x 5

Goblet Squats + KB Swings – 5-10-15

Push-Ups – 2 x 10



Workout A:

Back Squat - 3 sets of 5 @ 65% 1RM

Bench Press – 3 sets of 5 @ 65% 1RM

Deadlift – 2 sets of 5 @ 65% 1RM