Sunday, August 5, 2007

Part II ~ NSCA National Conference - Soviet System of Periodization

Weight Training Journal

Weightlifting Article



For those who missed Part 1

In part 1 of this article on the Soviet System of Periodization I discussed the monthly volume in terms of reps. Today i will cover your reps in more detail so you will know what effort can be considered towards your totals and how to break up your exercise selection for each workout.

Again I would like to explain to readers that The Soviet System of Periodization is not for bodybuilders, if you are only interested in size I would advise you to follow a workout program with more volume and isolation exercises. However if you are an athlete training for a sport, powerlifter, or Olympic weightlifter this system is perfect for you. Everything is planned out for you so it allows anyone to deign an effective workout program.

The information presented is my interpretation of the presentation at the NSCA national conference.

As mentioned in Part 1 only 12 working reps are needed to gain a training effect. This post will discuss what is considered working sets and what are considered warm up. To do this the Soviet System of Periodization is divided into 6 zones of intensity.

Soviet System of Periodization Zone of Intensity 1
- this zone is the specific portion of your workout warm up, eg... the first few sets of bench
- weight ranges from 50% to 59% of your 1 RM
- generally this is conducted after your general warm up

Soviet System of Periodization Zone of Intensity 2
- for zone II loads of 60% - 69% of your 1RM are used
- here you are preparing the nervous and musculoskeletal systems for the main workout and to perfect speed qualities
- at this percentage most people can get a minimum of 12 reps

Soviet System of Periodization Zone of Intensity 3
- the load increases to 70% - 79% of your 1 RM
- weight in this range will allow you to see 11 - 8 reps respectfully
- zone 3 is used to develop the strength and speed-strength qualities of the athlete

Soviet System of Periodization Zone of Intensity 4
- load varies between 80% - 89% 1 RM
- further developing the strength qualities and “explosive” abilities of the athlete
- most lifters can get 4 - 8 reps with the weight in this range


Soviet System of Periodization Zone of Intensity 5
-heavy weights
- 90% - 99% of the 1RM
- at 90% an athlete can only expect about 4 reps
- once you reach 95% one can only expect 2 reps
- many do not go above 95%
- psychological and strength development

Soviet System of Periodization Zone of Intensity 6
- 100% - 100%+
- generally stay below 95%, only used for testing or meets
- maxes
- new personal bests
- psychological and strength development

Zones II through IV are the main zones in which an athlete is to work on strength development. The main range for workouts will fall between 70%, a weight that most can achieve 11 reps and up to 95%, a load that most can only get 2 reps.

The Soviet System of Periodization also works on bar speed. Speed is trained in Zones II through IV, though as you increase the load the speed decreases. Because the hevier loads slow the bar most seed work is conducted in zones 2 and 3. Even though you can handel reps from 8 - 20 the reps are kept low, around 2 - 5. Depending upon the abilities of the athlete some, very few will work speed in zone IV.

The zones play an important role in the design of the program. All zones will have their place in a well planed workout program.

Part 3 to follow... Daily workout volume

All the best in your weight and programs.
Jason, CSCS
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