As a coach, one of your main goals is to help your clients become stronger. But how exactly do you go about doing that? One effective approach is to use strength cycles and linear progressions.
A strength cycle is a period of time during which a specific strength-training program is followed. The length of a cycle can vary, but it is typically 4-12 weeks. During a strength cycle, the focus is on progressive overload, which means gradually increasing the weight or resistance used in exercises.
Linear progression is a method of progressive overload that involves consistently increasing the weight or resistance used in exercises over time. The idea is to start with a weight that is manageable for the client and gradually increase it over the course of the strength cycle.
For example, let’s say a client is starting a 12-week strength cycle and their current 1-rep max (the maximum weight they can lift for one repetition) for the squat is 200 pounds. The coach might start the client off using 150 pounds for the squat and gradually increase the weight each week. By the end of the 12-week cycle, the client’s 1-rep max for the squat might be 250 pounds.
There are different ways to structure a strength cycle and linear progression, but one common method is called “double progression.” This method involves increasing the weight used in exercises every time the client reaches a certain number of reps. For example, the coach might start the client off using a weight that allows them to do 8 reps, and then increase the weight every time the client can do 10 reps.
Another approach is called “daily undulating periodization” (DUP) which is a form of non-linear periodization that involves rotating exercises and rep schemes on a daily basis. This approach is effective for athlete and powerlifters, as it allows for more variety, less chance of burnout, and allows for a more specific focus on different rep ranges.
It is important to note that, both strength cycles and linear progressions are a long-term approach to strength training and it is not a “quick fix” solution. It’s important to track the client’s progress and make adjustments as necessary to keep the program challenging and effective.
In summary, strength cycles and linear progressions are effective methods for helping clients become stronger. By gradually increasing the weight or resistance used in exercises over time, coaches can help their clients make steady progress towards their strength goals.