Saturday 8/10: Welcome to the Wave Cycle

Strong people,

Today marks the beginning of a nine-week cycle with three-week “waves” of intensity.  This wave cycle is adapted from a very challenging cycle posted by Greg Everett  on the catalystathletics blog at the beginning of 2010.  You can view the original cycle here.  Note: the “wave” cycle refers to waves of increasing and decreasing intensity over the course of multiple weeks; it should not be confused with “wave loading” which is the wave-like modulation of loads within a single lifting session.

This cycle is intended for experienced lifters who have already made significant investments in technique, and are ready to reap the benefits of lifting heavy on a very regular basis.  Beginner lifters will follow the beginner program that we post along with the wave cycle.

Folks who follow the wave cycle will be lifting heavy three days per week: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  You will do some light technique and recovery work on Sundays.  For many of you, this cycle will be the highest level of sustained intensity that you have ever had in your training.  On the most intense week, you will be maxing your snatch, and clean and jerk (and squatting relatively heavy) three times in the course of a single week.  The demands on your central nervous system will be profound, and it is imperative that you follow the cycle in such a way as to allow for adequate recovery.

Here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of this cycle:

  1. You must do all three “heavy” days each week.  If you have to drop a day, you drop the technique day.
  2. Heavy days must always be separated by at least one day of rest.
  3. Heavy days are not for chasing weight.  You will do all of the prescribed lifts at (or just below) the prescribed percentage
  4. On heavy days, you are not allowed to fail.  If you miss a lift because you have a brain-fart, you may re-take the lift.  Otherwise, there will be no re-taking of missed lifts.
  5. You will post your loads and comments (about how you perform, how the loads feel, and how you’re recovering) to the blog so that we can get a sense for how you all are responding to the program.  Posting to the blog is not just important for posterity and bragging rights, it is important for the learning process of the individuals creating your programming.

If  you have any questions about which cycle to follow or how to implement a given cycle (given your schedule or metabolic training requirements) please don’t hesitate to send an email with your questions:

Here are the workouts for today:

Wave cycle (heavy):

  • snatch 80% x 1 x 5
  • clean and jerk 80% x 1 x 5
  • back squat 80% x 5 x 5
  • 3 sets of: good mornings (light, wide stance, straight leg) x 10, and bent rows (light) x 10

Beginner cycle:

  • clean and jerk, work up to heavy single for the day; 75% of that x 1 x 3
  • front squat, work up to heavy single for the day; 80% of that 3 x 3
  • un-anchored sit-ups 3 x 15-20
    (compare to 1/5/13)

9 thoughts on “Saturday 8/10: Welcome to the Wave Cycle

  1. Thanks for my pic at the top of this post! Exciting stuff! I like that you say I’m “meditating before a clean,” but it looks more likely that I’m just constipated.

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