Friday, August 6, 2021

Simple Cycling Programs for Older Lifters, Part One - Brooks Kubik

  http://www.brookskubik.com/ 

 
 
 
 
When I was younger, I trained heavy pretty much all the time. And that worked fine. But as I've grown older, I've changed my approach to things. 
 
I've found that as you grow older, you can only train in the 90-100% range once in a while. I've also found that one of the most important keys to training success is to avoid overtraining, to avoid getting too sore and stiff from your workouts, and to avoid injury. Cycling is a way to help control your training to achieve all these goals -- and that's why I follow simple cycling programs, and why you should do the same thing.
 
Let me emphasize, though, that I follow a SIMPLE cycling system. I can't stand the long, complicated programs that read like an advanced equation in nuclear physics. When I say "simple" I mean it. 
 
I also don't like long cycles. I prefer four-week cycles. At the end of four weeks, I evaluate my program and make any necessary changes. For an older lifter, changing things around is a good idea. It helps keep you fresh and motivated, and it helps avoid the risk of a nagging injury that might build up over time if you keep hitting the same exercises, sets and reps for a long stretch of time.
 
If you've trained for a long period of time and you've paid attention to things, you probably have a good idea what sort of cycle works best for you. Cycles are individual things, and if you know from experience that you do best on a six week cycle (or an other number of weeks), then plan a training cycle that matches the number of weeks that work best for you. As I said, four weeks works best for me, but that doesn't mean it would work best for you.
 
In any event, here's an example of a basic cycling program for a lifter who trains three times a week, using three different workouts. It's based on an article by Olympic weightlifting coach Jim Schmitz. The article was entitled "5-4-3-2-1 Done!"

https://ironmind.com/product-info/media/milo/articles-by-topic/ 

You can find specific articles from Milo back issues using that list above.
Here is the Jim Schmitz article:

Five, Four, Three, Two, One - Done! - Jim Schmitz
U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Team Coach 1980, 1988 & 1992

As I stated in my previous MILO article, "Power Training for the +35-year-old Strength Athlete," most of us can't train like Bulgarians or even young weightlifters in their prime. I once coached and trained America's strongest weightlifters: Patera, Wilhelm, Martinez and Clark, to name a few.
Now I'm coaching more lifters past their prime than looking forward to their prime. These strength athletes want and can still lift some really heavy weights, but they must train quite differently. 
 
I am going to present here some training principles and programs for the strength athlete who might be past his or her prime or might not have the time, energy, desire, or ability to train long, hard hours, but would still like to be strong, healthy, and lift some pretty heavy weights, just for the fun of it.

Hopefully you already know how to do the Olympic lifts and have some experience and understanding of training and your ability. If you are a beginner, this really isn't the program for you, but of course, if you want to try it, go ahead. If you are a beginner or making a comeback after a long layoff, then do the basic five exercises, but do them light and for three sets of five reps for one to two weeks.

The program consists of the five best and basic exercises for developing strength and power: snatch (S), clean and jerk (C&J), deadlift (CDL), squat (back squat (BS), front squat (FS)), and bench press(BP). However, included in these exercises are variations, such as high pulls (snatch (SHP), clean (CHP)), power snatches (PS), power cleans (PC), push jerks (PJ), and overhead squats (OHS). You could also do dumbbell bench presses (DBP) instead of barbell.   
                                                                                   
There is a lot of room for options, provided you do squats, pulls, and pushes. It's very important not to do too many exercises or sets and reps. This is quality training at its optimum.
 
So, here we go; our example weightlifter is 40 years old, weighs 90 kilos and does 90 snatch, 110 C&J, 140 back squat, 130 front squat, 140 deadlift, and 125 bench press. Let's also say as a young lifter he did 110 D, 140 C&J, 180 BS, 160 FS, 180 DL, and 150 BP. Now I will outline a four-week cycle, light (70%), medium (80%), heavy (90%), and maximum (100%), with three workouts per week.

Also, remember I write weight x sets x reps for only one set with that weight, or weight x sets x reps if more than one set with that weight.
 
WEEK 1: Light (70%)

Workout A
1. S 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3, 65 x 2, 70 x 1
2. SHP 80 x 3 x 3
3. PC &PJ 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 75 x 3, 80 x 2
4. BS 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 100 x 2, 110 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3, 95 x 2
 
Workout B
1. J 60 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3, 90 x 2, 95 x 1
2. P & SS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
3. P & SC 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 75 x 3
4. OHS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 55 x 3
5. BP 60 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3, 95 x 2, 100 x 1
 
Workout C

1. PS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3, 65 x 2
2. C & J 60 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3, 90 x 2, 95 x 1
3. CDL 100 x 2, 105 x 2, 110 x 2
4. FS 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3, 90 x 2, 100 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3

WEEK 2: Medium (80%)

Workout A

1. S 50 x 5, 60 x 4, 65 x 3, 70 x 2, 75 x 1
2. SHP 85 x 3 x 3
3. PC & PJ 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3, 85 x 2
4. BS 60 x 5, 85 x 4, 95 x 3, 105 x 2, 115 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 95 x 2

Workout B
1. J 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 95 x 2, 100 x 1
2. P &SS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
3. P & SC 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 77.5 x 3
4. OHS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 97.5 x 2, 105 x 1

Workout C
1. PS 50 x 5, 60 x 4, 65 x 3, 70 x 2
2. C & J 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 95 x 2, 100 x 1
3. CDL 105 x 2, 110 x 2, 115 x 2
4. FS 60 x 5, 75 x 4, 85 x 3, 95 x 2, 105 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3

WEEK 3: Heavy (90%)
 
Workout A

1. S 50 x 5, 60 x 4, 70 x 3, 75 x 2, 80 x 1
2. SHP 90 x 3 x 3
3. PC & PJ 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3, 87.5 x 2
4. BS 60 x 5, 90 x 4, 105 x 3, 115 x 2, 125 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 100 x 2

Workout B
1. J 60 x 5, 85 x 4, 95 x 3, 100 x 2, 105 x 1
2. P & SS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
3. P & SC 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3
4. OHS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 100 x 2, 110 x 1

Workout C
1. PS 50 x 5, 60 x 4, 70 x 3, 75 x 2
2. C & J 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 97.5 x 2, 102.5 x 1
3. CDL 110 x 2, 115 x 2, 120 x 2, 127.5 x 1
4. FS 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 95 x 3, 105 x2, 115 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3

WEEK 4: Maximum (100%)

Workout A

1. S 50 x 5, 60 x 4, 70 x 3, 80 x 2, 85 x 1
2. SHP 95 x 3 x 3
3. PC &PJ 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3, 90 x 2
4. BS 60 x 5, 90 x 4, 110 x 3, 125 x 2, 135 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 100 x 2

Workout B
1. J 60 x 5, 90 x 4, 100 x 3, 105 x 2, 110 x 1
2. P & SS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
3. P & SC 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3
4. OHS 40 x 5, 50 x 4, 60 x 3
5. BP 60 x 5, 85 x 4, 100 x 3, 110 x 2, 120 x 1

Workout C
1. PS 50 x 5, 60 x 4, 70 x 3, 77.5 x 2
2. C & J 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3, 100 x 2, 105 x 1
3. CDL 115 x 2, 120 x 2, 125 x 2, 135 x 1
4. FS 60 x 5, 90 x 4, 105 x 3, 115 x 2, 125 x 1
5. BP 60 x 5, 80 x 4, 90 x 3

There might be a tendency to want to lift more and do more sets and reps. Resist the temptation to do more; your knees, back and shoulders will appreciate it, big time. 
 
If the jumps between weights are too big, then take smaller, more comfortable jumps and add a set or weight at the end, but only do one
rep. However, with practice and training you should be able to take the bigger jumps. 
 
When you finish the four-week cycle, start over again and adjust your weights where you can. If you are going to compete in a competition, then train light the week before. 
 
If you prefer to or can only do this power strength program twice a week, then do programs A and C, eliminate B, but put B's bench press workout in program C.
 
You can vary your exercises depending on how you like to do them, that is, all power snatches, or from the hang or off the blocks or combinations. But stick to the basic five, snatch, clean and jerk, deadlift (high pulls are in the deadlift category), squats, and bench presses (inclines are included
here). 
 
I've included some combinations such as PC & PJ, which is power clean followed by push jerk, that is one power clean and one push jerk for each rep, or five PCs and one PJ after the last PC.

P&SS and P&SC means you power the first reps and squat the last rep; a set of five reps is four powers followed by one squat.

Also, thoroughly warm up with at least 15 minutes of stretching all your joints and do lots of warm-up lifts with an empty 20-kilo bar. And do plenty of stomach exercises, sit-ups, leg raises, crunches, etc., and do them at the beginning of your workout, right after your stretches. I recommend two sets of 25 sit-ups, followed by side bends and trunk twisting, and then two sets of 25 leg raises.

Cardiovascular exercise, jogging, bicycling, swimming, cardio machines, or whatever should be done on alternate days, not your weightlifting day. Twenty minutes of cardio won't take away from your strength; more than that might.

If you want to add some weight training (bodybuilding) exercises, do so after you have done the above basic five. Also, follow the same principles as your power training, not too many exercises and sets and reps: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 will work very well. However, for weight training exercises I recommend 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 for sets and reps.

Be very patient, persistent, and conservative in your training and weight selection, and respectable weights and gains will happen. And most important of all your muscles and joints will feel great.

Original article continues . . . It's a very basic 70/80/90/95-100% cycling program. Jim suggested 70/80/90/100% weights, but I've adjusted it a little. See my comments below for percentages for the fourth week of the cycle. You train on a four-week cycle, and then you start over again and perform  a second four-week cycle beginning with 70% weights. In each workout during the first cycle you perform fives, threes and singles.
 
In week one, your top single will be 70% of your one rep max. In week two, you use 80% of your one rep max. In week three, you go up to 90% of your one rep max. 
 
Then you start over again at 70% the next week, and build back up over a four-week period (your fives and triples follow a similar pattern, i.e., you train with approximately 70% of your top weight for five reps in week one and gradually increase the weight through the course of the cycle. 
 
In your second cycle, you use 70% of your one rep max as your top weight in week one, 80% in week two, 90% in week three, and 100% in week four. Thus, over the course of two four-week training cycles, you have one 95% week and one 100% week. 
 
This can be adjusted based on your age. Lifters in their forties may be able to hit 100% of their max in the fourth week of each training cycle, while lifters in their fifties may do best by hitting 95% and the end of the first four-week cycle and 100% at the end of the second four-week cycle, and lifters in their sixties may do best by hitting 100% only after their third (or fourth) four-week cycle. In other words, a lifter in his sixties might do two or three cycles where he finishes with a 90% week, followed by one cycle where he finishes with a 100% week.
 
In addition, note that you don't have to hit the same percentages in all of your exercises, particularly in week four. Instead, you might do better by going into 95% or 100% territory for a few selected movements, and keeping the others at 90%. Thus, if your primary focus is Olympic weightlifting, you might shoot for 100% lifts in the power snatch, power clean and jerk, and stay at 90% weights for your squats, high pulls, and other exercises. You don't have to use maximum weights in all movements in week four, and you might very well do better by holding back a bit on some of your supplemental movements. 
 
For example, if you push your back and front squats to 100% and end up with stiff, sore knees, you might not be able to hit 100% in your power cleans and power snatches. Or you may find that you can hit 100% in your back squats OR your deadlifts in your fourth week -- but not in both movements. 
 
In the following example, we'll assume we have a lifter in his early fifties who enjoys training with Olympic style movements. In his first four-week cycle, he's going to shoot for 95% in week four for power cleans, power snatches, and jerks, and hit 90% in his other exercises. In his second four-week cycle, he's going to change his exercises a bit, mix up his sets and reps, and work up to 100% on his target movements in the fourth week. Note how the lifter gradually increases the intensity of his training (measured by average weight per rep) by reducing reps in weeks three and four of the second cycle. 
 
 
 CYCLE ONE
 Week One - 70% on all exercises.
 
Workout A
 
1) Power snatch: 2 x 5 reps, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set)
2) Snatch grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power snatch weight)
3) Back or front squat: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
4) Gut work.

Workout B

1) Power clean: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
2) Clean grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power clean weight)
3) Incline press: 5 x 5 (add weig ht on each set)
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work.
 
Workout C
 
1) Push press: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work.
 
 
Week Two - 80% on all exercises.
 
 Workout A

1) Power snatch: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
2) Snatch grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power snatch weight)
3) Back or front squat: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
4) Gut work
 
Workout B
 
1) Power clean: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
2) Clean grip high pull: 3 x 3 ( use your first 1-rep power clean weight)
3) Incline press: 5 x 5 (add weight on each set) 
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work
 
Workout C
 
1) Push press: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work
 
 
Week Three - 90% on all exercises. 
 
Workout A
 
1) Power snatch: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set)
2) Snatch grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power snatch weight)
3) Back or front squat: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set)
4) Gut work
 
Workout B
 
1) Power clean: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set)
2) Clean grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power clean weight)
3) Incline press: 5 x 5 (add weight on each set)
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work  
 
Workout C
 
1) Push press: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set)
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work
 
 
Week Four - 95% On Selected Exercises
90% on All Others
 
 
Workout A
 
1) Power snatch: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 95%
2) Snatch grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep PS weight) 90%
3) Back or front squat: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 90%
4) Gut work
 
Workout B
 
1) Power clean: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 95%
2) Clean grip high pull: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power clean weight) 90%
3) Incline press: 5 x 5 (add weight on each set) 90%
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work.
 
Workout C
 
1) Push press: 2 x 5, 2 x 3, 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 95%
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set) 90%
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work.


CYCLE TWO
Week One - 70% On All Exercises

 
Workout A

1) Power snatch: 7 x 3 (add weight on each set)
2) Snatch grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 3 (use your top 3-rep PS weight)
3) Back squat: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
4) Gut work.
 
Workout B
 
1) Power clean: 7 x 3 (add weight on each set)
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 3 (use your top 3-rep PC weight)
3) Incline press: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work.
 
Workout C
 
1) Jerk: 7 x 2 (add weight each set)
2) Front squat: 5 x 3 (add weight each set)
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work.
 
 
Week Two - 80% On All Exercises
 
 
 Workout A

1) Power snatch: 5 x 3, then 2 x 2, and 1 x 1 (add weight each set)
2) Snatch grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 3 (use your top 3-rep PS weight)
3) Back squat: 5 x 3 (add weight each set)
4) Gut work.

Workout B

1) Power clean: 5 x 3, then 2 x 2, and 1 x 1 (add weight each set)
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 3 (use your top 3-rep PC weight)
3) Incline press: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight each set)
5) Gut work.

Workout C

1) Jerk: 5 x 2, then 3 x 1 (add weight on each set)
2) Front squat: 5 x 3 (add weight on each set)
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work.


Week Three - 90% On All Exercises


Workout A

1) Power snatch: 4 x 3, then 3 x 2, and 2 x 1 (add weight on each set)
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 3 (use your first 2-rep PC weight)
3) Back squat: 6 x 2 (add weight each set)
4) Gut work.

Workout B
 
1) Power clean: 4 x 3, then 3 x 2, and 2 x 1 (add weight each set)
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 2 (use your first 2-rep PC weight)
3) Incline press: 6 x 2 (add weight on each set)
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work.

Workout C

1) Jerk: 4 x 2, then 4 x 1 (add weight each set)
2) Front squat: 6 x 2 (add weight each set)
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work.


Week Four - 100% On Selected Exercises
90% On All Others


Workout A

1) Power snatch: 3 x 3, then 2 x 2, and 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 100%
2) Snatch grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 2 (use your first 1-rep PS weight) 90%
3) Back squat: 6 x 2 (add weight on each set) 90%
4) Gut work.

Workout B

1) Power clean: 3 x 3, then 2 x 2, and 3 x 1 (add weight on each set) 100%
2) Clean grip high pull from blocks: 3 x 3 (use your first 1-rep power clean weight) 100%
3) Incline press: 6 x 2 (add weight on each set) 90%
4) Neck work with head strap: 2-3 x 10-12 (add weight on each set)
5) Gut work.

Workout C

1) Jerk: 3 x 2, then 6 x 1 (add weight on each set) 100%
2) Front squat: 6 x 2 (add weight on each set) 90%
3) Prone hyperextension: 3 x 10-12 (no weight)
4) Gut work


In Part Two . . . for a lifter who trains with back squats, trap bar deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses and auxiliary movements, an example of how two four-week training cycles might look . . . 

Note: This is an excerpt from "Gray Hair and Black Iron" - over 300 pages of useable ideas for the older lifter:



Enjoy Your Lifting! 


 
 


 


 


 
 
 
 
  
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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