CrossFit West Santa Cruz is starting a new back squat program tomorrow. It is a form of linear progression called wave style linear progression. The program consists of a nine week macrocycle and is divided into three 3-week microcycles. Each microcycle is exactly the same, just the weight changes. Each microcycle is 5-3-1.
Week 1=5×5 (5, 5, 5, 5, 5)
Week 2=5×3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3)
Week 3=5×1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1)
The first week is comprised of 5 sets of 5 reps. Each set is heavier than the last and culminates in a 5 rep max. The second week is 5 sets of 3 reps. Each set is ascending weight and culminates in a 3RM. The 3RM should obviously be heavier than the previous week’s 5RM. The last week of each microcycle is 5 progressively heavier singles ending with a 1RM.
The second microcyle starts back with 5 sets of 5. Your final 5th set should be heavier than your 5RM from 3 weeks earlier. The next week is 5×3 and, again, your 3RM needs to be heavier than your first 3RM. The final week in the second microcycle is singles and your 1RM is heavier than your 1RM from the first microcycle.
The final microcycle is the same as the other two, 5-3-1, just heavier. The end result, on the final 1RM day, 9 weeks after the first 5RM day, is a big PR.
This program brings up a couple points. Firstly, you have to do the back squats. If you miss back squat day, the trainer will let you make up the squats in the lieu of whatever movement the class is doing. Open gym on Sunday is also a chance to make up squat day. Secondly, you need to keep a record of your lifts–a training journal. You should be keeping one already, but if you aren’t for some inexplicable reason, start now.
Below is a beautifully detailed graph that I whipped up on autocad to illustrate the 5-3-1 macrocycle (back squat) that I did at the beginning of this year. While the weights are pretty modest, the results are great.
Some pretty strong people (me too, but as seen by what’s above, I don’t include myself in the ‘pretty strong’ group) have used this program over the past year and we can all testify that it works, and works really well. So Good Luck and Go Heavy.
Questions? Thoughts? Please post to Comments.
This is your final chance to register for the Greg Amundson seminar this Friday. We have only a few seats left. If interested, please email [email protected] immediately. Due to the seminar, there will not be a 5pm class on Friday. The 4pm class will be the last of the day.