Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Light, Medium, Heavy - Brooks Kubik


 
 
 
 
 John Grimek
 
 
 
 
At some point after you move from the beginner stage to the intermediate stage of your training, you probably will find that three total body workouts per week are simply too hard and too tiring if you use your heaviest possible weights in each workout. The point where this happens will vary from one trainee to another, but for all trainees, the time will come when you need to make adjustments if you want to continue to train with three total body workouts per week.
 
A simple and effective adjustment is to use the Light, Medium, Heavy system. In this system, you still perform three total body workouts per week, but you adjust the weight you use in each exercise, and thus, your training intensity, from workout to work8ut. The first workout of the week is a light workout, the second is a medium workout, and the third is a heavy workout. 
 
The heavy workout is the day where you handle as much weight as possible for the scheduled sets and reps in each exercise.
 
The medium day, you handle 80% to 90% of the weight you would use on your heavy day.
 
On your light day, you use 70% to 80% of the weight you would use on your heavy day. 
 
Note that you do not need to follow exact percentages to make the system work, and you do not need to do all of your work sets at the same percentage. Nor do you need to use exact poundages for your warmup sets. For example, if you can handle 300 pounds for 5 reps in the squat, you can do your first warmup set with 135 pounds just because it's a convenient place to start (because 135 pounds is a 45-pound Olympic bar loaded with a 45 pound plate on each side). For your next set, add 50 pounds to the bar and hit 185 x 5. From there, you might do 225 x 5, 265 x 5, and 300 x 5 on your heavy day.
 
On your light day, you might hit 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5 (75%), and 240 x 5 (80%). 
 
On your medium day, you might do 135 x 5, 195 x 5, 225 x 5 (70%), 250 x 5 (80%), and 270 x 5 (90%). 
 
Remember, the critical point is to avoid working with maximum weights in your working sets in all three of your weekly workouts. Save the maximum effort work for your heavy day.
 
Some trainees like to use higher reps in their light and medium workouts. That's fine, up to a point, but you should not go to failure, or do as many reps as possible, on the light and medium days. If you do, you turn the light and medium days into hard workouts, and you'll have difficulty recovering for the heavy session in the third workout of the week. Personally, I prefer to keep the reps the same, and make the light and medium workouts much less demanding than the heavy workout. it promotes better recovery, and after all, that's the entire purpose of the Light, Medium, Heavy system.
 
Here's an example of a Light, Medium, Heavy program for a trainee who can do the following in his working sets during his heavy workout. To make it easier to understand the program, I've also listed his 70%, 80% and 90% weights in each exercise. Remember, on the light day he stays within 70% and 80% for his working weights, and on his medium day he stays within 80% to 90% for his working weights.
 
 
The Trainee's Weights for Work Sets
 
1) Squat - 300 pounds x 5 repetitions
70% = 210
80% = 240
90% = 270
 
2) Press - 180 x 5 reps
70% = 126 pounds
80% = 144
90% = 162
 
3) Bench Press - 250 x 5
70% = 175
80% = 200
905 = 225
 
4) Pull-ups - 30 pounds added x 6 reps
We can't use percentages because the trainee is lifting his own bodyweight and additional weight attached. In this case I would use bodyweight on my light day, bodyweight plus 10 or 15 pounds on my medium day, and bodyweight plus 30 pounds on my heavy day.
 
5) Deadlift - 350 x 5
70% = 245
80% = 280
90% = 315
 
6) Barbell Curl - 120 x 6
70% = 84
80% = 96
90% = 108
 
 
Tuesday (Light Day) 
 
1) Warmup with some light lifting, flip snatches, quick clean and presses.
2) Barbell Curl - 75 x 6, 85 x 6, 95 x 6
3) Press - 100 x 5, 120 x 5, 140 x 5
4) Squat - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5
5) Bench Press - 135 x 5, 160 x 5, 180 x 5, 190 x 5
6) Pullups - Bodyweight x 2 x 6
7) Deadlift - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x x5, 250 x 5, 275 x 5
8, 9, 10) 2 light sets each of gut work, grip work, and neck work. 
 
 
Thursday (Medium Day) 
 
1) Warmup
2) Barbell Curl - 75 x 6, 85 x 6, 95 x 6, 105 x 6
3) Press - 100 x 5, 120 x 5, 140 x 5, 150 x 5, 160 x 5
4) Squat - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5 245 x 5, 265 x 5
5) Bench Press - 135 x 5, 160 x 5, 180 x 5, 200 x 5, 220 x 5
6) Pullups - Bodyweight x 2 x 6, 10-15 lbs. added by 6
7) Deadlift - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x x5, 250 x 5, 275 x 5, 300 x 5
8, 9, 10) 2 light sets each of gut work, grip work, [medium hard] and neck work [hard].
 
 
Saturday (Heavy Day)
1) Warmup
2) Barbell Curl - 80 x 6, 100 x 6, 120 x 6
3) Press - 140 x 5, 160 x 5, 180 x 5
4) Squat - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5 275 x 5, 300 x 5
5) Bench Press - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, 250 x 5
6) Pullups - Bodyweight x 6, 15 lbs. x 6, 30 lbs. x 6
7) Deadlift - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x x5, 275 x 5, 325 x 5, 350 x 5
8, 9, 10) 2 light sets each of gut work, grip work, and neck work [hard].
 
This approach gives our hypothetical trainee one easy workout, one medium hard workout, and one really challenging, difficult workout each week. If you look the program over, and think about how difficult the Saturday workout truly is, you'll start to see why the Light, Medium, Heavy program works so well. Imagine how difficult it would be for a trainee to try to recover from the Saturday (heavy workout) three times a week!  
 
Enjoy Your Lifting, Sport! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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