Practical Programming for Strength Training

Mark Rippetoe, Andy Baker

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Highlights from July 26, 2021

  • The key to successful training in this stage of development is to balance these two important and opposing phenomena – the increased need for stress and the corresponding requisite increase in recovery time. (Location 309)
  • Volume is the total amount of weight lifted in a workout or group of workouts: repetitions × weight = volume (Location 862)
  • Intensity is the average weight lifted in a workout or group of workouts relative to the trainee’s 1RM (“one-rep max,” or the maximum weight that the trainee can lift for a single repetition): volume / repetitions = average weight used average weight used / 1RM × 100 = % intensity (Location 883)
  • Intensity, as defined with respect to percentage of 1RM may seem somewhat simplistic, but that is precisely its advantage. It is the most practical and useful method, especially for coaches and trainers who program for large groups and need a way to objectively assess work and improvement. (Location 898)
  • Traditionally, the manner in which periodization controls volume and intensity – and therefore the degree of stress placed on the body – is by dividing training into periods whose lengths and load characteristics vary according to the level of the trainee. (Location 905)
  • Cleans and snatches, therefore, are the best way to train power in that they are inherently and not volitionally explosive, i.e. the movement pattern that produced a racked clean involved enough explosion to rack the clean. (Location 1060)
  • To the extent to which explosion can be specifically trained, this ability to finely discriminate the incremental increases allows the Olympic-derived movements to be the absolute best developers of power in the coach’s repertoire. (Location 1064)
  • Power, the ability to demonstrate maximum force production as quickly as possible, can be developed by using lower numbers of reps (1-3) performed at maximum velocity with loads between 50 and 75% of 1RM. (Location 1699)
  • Virtually every single effective exercise program for sports performance will include the following rather short list of weight room exercises: squat, press, deadlift, bench press, clean or power clean, jerk, snatch or power snatch, and chin-ups or pull-ups. And few, if any, other exercises are ever necessary for the effective strength and power development of an athlete at any level of training advancement. Novices and advanced athletes use the same exercises, because these are the movement patterns that must get stronger to drive increases in strength and power. The differences in programming lie in variations of load, intensity, frequency, and rest. (Location 1820)
  • Workouts should consist of three to five exercises, with the most emphasis placed on basic exercises, and any assistance exercises done at the end of the workout. (Location 1845)