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HomePowerliftingENSŌ Intermediate Collection: Programming 101 for Meet Prep

ENSŌ Intermediate Collection: Programming 101 for Meet Prep


Jonathan Chua is a caffeine addict and coke zero connoisseur, who enjoys analysing and reviewing analysis articles on athletes’ efficiency in sports activities. He graduated with a Bachelor’s diploma in Sport & Train Science again in 2019. Jonathan has been powerlifting since 2014, and he slowly started his teaching journey shortly after. He was the co-founder of Prime Athleticus, and is at present one of many coaches of The Energy Guys.


There are numerous methods you may put together for a meet, and there aren’t any one-size-fits-all programmes that can enable everybody to carry out their greatest on meet day. Nevertheless, there are actually some necessary features that you may be aware of. In in the present day’s article, we are going to spotlight the next:

1. What’s periodisation and programming? How does it work to enhance our energy and permit us to carry out at our stronger on a given day (meet day), and why are they necessary?

2. How can we plan our programming main as much as the meet?

  1. a. What construction ought to this system take?

  2. b. How can we perceive and utilise the information gathered out of your coaching?

  3. c. How can we measure our enhancements by way of the coaching interval?

  4. d. How can we plan it within the long-term?

3. Another issues

what’s periodisation?

Periodisation refers back to the adjustments of Quantity, Depth, and Frequency over time to optimise efficiency for competitors. All 3 components are necessary metrics for us to trace and so they additionally affect the kind of coaching adaptation that’s launched. You need to guarantee that the kind of adaptation suits the targets of your coaching program. For instance, if you’re doing low depth (e.g., 40 to 50% of your 1 RM) at very excessive repetition units (20 to 30 reps), chances are you’ll construct up numerous endurance, however it’s not the most efficient or optimum when it comes to expressing your energy in a 1 RM.

There are a number of varieties of periodisation and every of them can function steerage that can assist you plan in the direction of your targets.

Linear Periodisation

Linear periodisation refers to a kind of coaching the place quantity begins on the highest, and depth begins on the lowest. By the coaching cycle, your depth picks as much as the best, whereas the amount drops to the bottom on the finish.

Reverse Linear Periodisation

Identical to linear periodisation, however quantity begins on the lowest, and depth begins on the highest. By the coaching cycle, your depth drops to the bottom, and quantity picks as much as the best on the finish.

Undulating Periodisation

Undulating periodisation refers to a kind of coaching the place the depth and quantity goes up and down (undulates) both session to session, or weekly. That is what we do more often than not, and numerous programmes incorporate this.

Block Periodisation

Refers to a kind of coaching the place every coaching block particularly trains one sort of stimulus and goals for one sort of enchancment. For instance, Energy, Energy, Hypertrophy, and so forth.

Planning your Programming

Your programming is a framework to assist navigate in the direction of your finish objective. Since we’re speaking in context of a meet prep right here, it is going to be to carry out your 1 RM on a given day. Your programming incorporates these varied varieties of periodisation to a sure diploma (it’s not just one sort or the opposite, there’ll at all times be some overlap) and there are actually numerous methods to how one can incorporate these components to construction your program to satisfy your targets. So why are they necessary? Programming can information us within the planning to carry out our greatest on the meet day. Like a roadmap, it improves our navigation course of and directs us in the correct route. In doing so, we will additionally work out what works and what doesn’t.

Within the diagram beneath, you may see an illustration of a theoretical assumption on how adaptation happens over time.

1. Overload — When coaching happens and our physique experiences stimulus, it “shocks” our physique.

2. Alarm Adaptation into Plateau — The stimulus brings about an adaptation to organize our physique for at any time when the coaching stimulus comes once more.

  1. a. The plateau may be a sign that you just could be doing an excessive amount of too quickly, such that you’re not in a position to see the advantages of the coaching that you’ve finished to this point. For those who proceed so as to add extra, it would result in overreaching, and ultimately overtraining.

3. Recovery and Rebound — Restoration from the earlier coaching stimulus, earlier than including a second bout of stimulus, constructing on high of what we’ve got finished beforehand.

4. Process repeats
The illustration exhibits why planning your coaching is necessary. Adaptation takes time, and understanding when the difference sometimes happens for the person, and understanding when to dial the coaching again can guarantee optimum coaching adherence which must also result in longer, sustainable progress with out burning out.

Illustration tailored from Mike C Zourdos on Basic Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

Coaching is a steady course of that evolves over time primarily based by yourself schedule, targets, coaching information, evaluation, enhancements, and athlete well-being (psychologically and physiologically). It is very important construction your coaching in a means that’s partaking and productive in the direction of your targets. Each particular person adapts and recovers at totally different charges, and exterior elements equivalent to your work or faculty stressors, way of life, vitamin, sleep, and so forth. impacts them. As such, you must plan your coaching with these elements in thoughts in an effort to fit your schedule, way of life and targets to maintain long-term development. One thing that folks would possibly overlook is the adherence and mind-set of the athlete coming into the periods. When this system is monotonous and athletes really feel bored, the efficacy of this system can lower considerably, to not point out voluntary power manufacturing (INTENT) through the session itself will probably be vastly affected.


Sometimes, your programming takes the type of a macrocycle, which consists of blocks of mesocycle, which consists of microcycles.


Macrocycles are the broad coaching interval which ranges from 12 to twenty weeks. For powerlifting, the top of a macrocycle normally follows a contest or a mock meet. The period of the macrocycle is dependent upon the given timeframe that you’ve or the lifter’s coaching age.

Macrocycle helps us set an finish objective, which helps to facilitate the planning of the mesocycle (equivalent to the amount and depth) in an effort to enhance efficiency.

Instance of a Macrocycle. Every bar represents the overall quantity finished in a Microcycle.
The road represents e1RM by way of the Macrocycle.


Mesocycles are constructing blocks that make up the Macrocycle. They’re a bunch of consecutive coaching weeks (microcycles) which are centered on coaching the identical talent or bodily high quality (E.g., energy, hypertrophy, energy, and so forth.).

Every mesocycles has its personal set of targets as depicted within the diagram for example.

Examples of how Mesocycles are damaged down, with its personal units of goal.


The weeks that make up mesocycles. There are other ways to construction your weeks, however the commonest technique could be to include Day by day Undulating Periodisation (DUP), which varies the intensities and repetition ranges on the totally different coaching days of the week. DUP permits the lifter to be uncovered to the totally different bodily qualities in the identical week. I.e., hypertrophy, energy, energy.

E.g. Day 1: 4 × 6 @ 70%, 4 × 4 @ 75%, 4 × 2 @ 80%

Instance of DUP in a Microcycle

Understanding the information

To know the information, you must know the metrics that you’re coaching when it comes to your coaching. The two most elementary metrics that you may observe are Coaching Quantity and Common Intensities.

1. Coaching quantity: whole workload a lifter has finished throughout a given time. Normally tracked in workload finished per week. Calculated by LOAD X REPS X SETS. Every particular person raise (S/B/D) could have its personal quantity threshold.

2. Common intensities: Depth that was carried out throughout a given time. Normally tracked in common depth for the week as properly.

With the information collected, we’ve got to look at, evaluate, analyse, and talk it accordingly to the lifter to allow them to perceive what’s working and what’s not. That means, you may slowly work in the direction of discovering the “optimum coaching dose” by taking into consideration the lifter’s exterior stressors equivalent to exams, busy work durations, massive life adjustments, and so forth. and in addition trying on the coaching metrics as a complete. Grinding the lifter onerous throughout tense durations of their life would possibly doubtlessly negatively have an effect on the lifter’s confidence and efficiency within the fitness center, even when they will full their coaching as prescribed. Dropping their general coaching quantity would possibly even be extra helpful as they are going to then be capable of handle the coaching load higher and recuperate properly session to session. You need to progressively overload the coaching dose however on the similar time, you must recognise that the “optimum coaching dose” will probably be totally different at totally different factors of time.

It is very important be aware that it is best to carefully analyse the enhancements of the competitors lifts over time as properly. With compound actions like SBD, you must prepare them as if you’re executing them in a contest and get used to the motion sample to enhance your energy stage. Energy expression can come from a number of elements: mobility stage, stress stage, coordination stage, restoration charges — they are going to affect the best way you progress. In case you are performing variations of the competitors actions, they could not information you to carry out the identical sort of coordination and execution because the competitors lifts. You might incorporate variations when there are particular weaknesses that the variation can straight deal with. Nevertheless, if there usually are not any, or for people who find themselves simply beginning out, drilling down the competitors lifts could be the most efficient, and you may see vital development from there.

Complete Quantity finished vs Common Depth of competitors lifts over time.

measurement of enchancment

Whereas analysing the information, it is very important know how you can recognise that you just ran profitable coaching blocks. To measure the enhancements, you may incorporate varied varieties of assessments on the finish of the coaching block, which may be broadly categorised into Course of-oriented Evaluation and Final result-oriented Evaluation.

Final result-oriented Evaluation

Sometimes, Final result-oriented Assessments are used fairly sparingly as you might want to put the lifter in a peaking cycle/competitors section, which normally impacts the following weeks of coaching following that due to how onerous you push in that given session. Final result-oriented Assessments embrace Competitors Outcomes, and Direct 1 RM Evaluation.

Course of-oriented Evaluation

Course of-oriented Evaluation can be utilized on the finish of the coaching block, however they are often noticed all through the block as properly. Course of-oriented Assessments embrace RPE Gauge, Velocity Adjustments, AMRAPs, and Video Evaluation.

RPE Gauge

You may observe how the RPE of a given raise progresses given the identical weight (e.g., 140kg @ 8 → 140kg @ 7), or enhance in weight of a given RPE (e.g., 150kg @ 8 → 160kg @ 8). It may be utilized in coaching in a type of high singles at a given RPE, RPEs of working units, fatigue singles (how briskly they fatigue down through the coaching session itself).

Velocity Adjustments

You might observe how the speed of a given weight adjustments by way of the block. E.g., 140kg @ 0.16 m/s to 140kg @ 0.22 m/s. Nevertheless, you want a velocity tracker/linear transducer to be connected to the barbell to acquire this information. Information to be recorded are imply concentric velocity (MV), load, and the minimal velocity threshold (MVT) on the final repetition on every set (the slowest velocity that you may grind as much as).

Velocity-Pressure Curve


You may see whether or not the lifter can carry out extra reps of a given weight in comparison with earlier than. E.g., 150kg x 8 @ 10 on the finish of the block vs 150kg x 5 @ 10 from the earlier block. Normally finished after a working set. Nevertheless, to not tax an excessive amount of, it’s used fairly sparingly, or used with an RPE or repetition cap. From there, you may see the increments or decrements of e1RM primarily based on the variety of reps carried out. It is best to use the RPE desk for reference as properly. Information of AMRAP needs to be recorded to provide a greater perception into coaching variations throughout the section. With the file, you may see whether or not that specific coaching construction in that given interval works properly for the lifter or not.

Video Evaluation

From video evaluation, you may observe any seen approach enhancements of the lifters. To a sure extent, you may assess how far and properly the lifter strikes a sure weight as properly in comparison with the earlier time the lifter executed the identical weight.

long-term planning

Coaching needs to be scalable over time. In The Energy Guys, we deal with this as Shifting the Curve. To shift the curve, the lifter should be capable of progress to a brand new Peak Quantity throughout many common depth factors. Over time, the general coaching quantity needs to be scaled greater than earlier than. For instance, at 75% common depth, you could have finished 10,000kg in whole quantity, and at 80% common depth you could have finished 5,000kg in whole quantity. Over time, you need to carry the overall quantity at every common depth to the next level, equivalent to 12,000 and 6,000 respectively.

Shifting the Curve – Coaching quantity scaled greater in comparison with earlier than given the identical common depth

Listed below are a number of the issues that you could be take for long-term planning as properly:

1. extra just isn’t at all times higher for damage discount

Beforehand, there was a saying that “Quantity is King”. Lots of people could be doing an excessive amount of quantity too quickly. A couple of examples would come with the Smolov squat/bench program. When you could adapt shortly within the quick time period, you would possibly see your efficiency lowering since you can not maintain the quantity of development over that lengthy time frame, and your restoration just isn’t in a position to catch up.

2. coaching at peak quantity will increase the chance of damage

You need to push for brand spanking new peak volumes, however you must contemplate the higher danger as properly given the higher quantity of load.

3. increments of quantity week to week ought to saved inside 5 to fifteen% to cut back danger of damage

To handle the load increment and damage danger from repetitive actions and loading in the direction of the delicate tissues (joints, muscular tissues)

4. as soon as peak quantity is obtain with none damage, it may be good information to match throughout all coaching weeks

Over time, you need to slowly construct your peak quantity to the next threshold. There isn’t any actual timeframe to when you might want to beat that peak quantity. Slowly construct the load up over time in order that your physique may be higher ready to deal with the upper coaching load.

additional issues when rising workload:

1. When ought to we purpose to hit peak quantity?

Normally, you hit peak quantity on the earlier section (Preparatory Part). Depth just isn’t on the highest and it’s normally simpler to hit peak quantity. Peak quantity normally occurs proper earlier than a deload, however it nonetheless is dependent upon the lifter’s age. For extra skilled, elite lifters, peak quantity may be maintained for a number of weeks earlier than a deload week. For newer lifters, normally only a week or perhaps two earlier than deloading to keep away from experiencing signs equivalent to nagging joint or muscle aches, which is able to have an effect on your coordination and general efficiency.

2. How lengthy of a macrocycle does the lifter want to organize for the workload?

Extremely depending on the coaching age of the lifter. For newer lifters, sometimes variations happen shortly and also you may not even must periodise your coaching. It extremely is dependent upon the mesocycle period as properly, which may fluctuate from 4 to eight weeks.

3. When ought to we enhance coaching frequency?

You may contemplate rising your coaching frequency when you must do an excessive amount of in a given session. Doing an excessive amount of in a given session would possibly put you in a restoration debt, and in addition power you to spend so much extra time within the fitness center, which isn’t one thing everybody has time for. Rising your frequency will help to unfold your quantity all through the week, so that every session just isn’t too taxing for the lifter to recuperate. Moreover, it may give the lifter extra alternative to observe the raise extra in every week, and assist to develop their abilities in performing the raise.

4. Which measurement technique needs to be used at totally different time level?

Make it possible for the lifter is definitely ready to do the actual evaluation. For instance, AMRAP can be utilized within the Preparatory Part and Growth Part, however not normally for the Competitors Part due to the depth demand within the Competitors Part. On the flip aspect, RPE evaluation (E.g. RPE 9 singles) may not be a good suggestion for use within the Preparatory Part and Growth Part due to how massive the depth bounce must be.

5. If an damage happen, is it from the excessive workload or is it a workload that the lifter just isn’t ready for?

Metrics come into play right here, the place you may have an goal perception to what the lifters are literally able to doing. Have been the load increments week to week intense? Has the lifter finished this workload earlier than and had been utterly advantageous earlier than? Did the lifter undergo any massive life stressors these days? Or any way of life adjustments? These issues would possibly enable you to. Above all, the coach and athlete have to speak in order that they each have full understanding, and ask the right questions to seek out out the elements influencing the accidents or ache.


When crafting your individual coaching, it is very important accomplish that with information metrics. The extra information that you may gather, the extra data you must assist information you in your decision-making course of. Whereas metrics might not be the end-all-be-all, preserving observe of your coaching metrics is extraordinarily necessary to make sound choices. To tie every little thing collectively, right here is an instance of how one can construction a meet preparation:

The Preparatory Part: Construct the lifter’s basis and work capability by easing them into elevated coaching quantity. Ends the mesocycle with an evaluation within the type of an AMRAP.


The Growth Part: Transition section with a slight discount in coaching quantity whereas working in the direction of excessive intensities. Ends the mesocycle with an evaluation within the type of an AMRAP. The AMRAP at the next depth would possibly give a better estimate of e1RM and your high finish energy.

The Competitors Part: Particular intensities which are utilised in competitors. A discount in coaching quantity on the week of competitors.

Additional questions? Be at liberty to contact us at [email protected].

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