Strength Training Cycle – 16 Week Building & Peaking Workout Program

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This strength training cycle is comprised of 2 phases:

  • 8 Week Powerbuilding Stage – You will be trying to build strength and muscle while using more conventional rep ranges.
  • 8 Week Peaking Cycle – You will be trying to springboard off of the powerbuilding stage – adding more weight to the bench press, squat, and deadlift – while peaking towards a new one lift max attempt or a powerlifting meet.

The powerbuilding stage can be expanded to 16 or 24 weeks if there is no urgent need to peak.

8 Week Powerbuilding Stage

Your training schedule over the next 8 weeks will be:

  • Day 1 – Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2 – Back and Biceps
  • Day 3 – Off
  • Day 4 – Shoulders and Traps
  • Day 5 – Legs
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off

Use the same weight for each set of a given exercise. When you can perform the stated number of reps per set, bump the weight.

Chest and Triceps
Powerbuilding Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Paused Bench Press  4  8
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press  4  10
Low Cable Crossovers  4  12-15
Close Grip Bench Press  4  10
EZ Bar Cable Triceps Extensions  4  12
Back and Biceps
Powerbuilding Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts  2  5
Dumbbells Rows  2  15
Seated Cable Rows  4  12
Lat Pull Downs or Pull Ups  4  12
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls  4  10
Reverse Lat Pull Downs  4  12
Shoulders and Traps
Powerbuilding Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Overhead Press  4  8
Upright Rows  4  10
Side Laterals  4  12
Face Pulls  4  12
Power Shrugs  4  8
Legs
Powerbuilding Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Paused Squats  4  8
Leg Press  4  15
Leg Extensions  4  15
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts  4  8
Leg Curls  4  12

Deadlifts

8 Week Strength Training Peaking Cycle

Your training schedule over the next 8 weeks will be:

  • Day 1 – Bench Day
  • Day 2 – Off
  • Day 3 – Squat/Deadlift Day
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Upper Body Assistance Day
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off

Here’s how your squat and deadlift workouts will shake out over the course of this 8 week peak.

  • Week 1 – Heavy Deadlift Day
  • Week 2 – Heavy Squat Day
  • Week 3 – Heavy Deadlift Day
  • Week 4 – Heavy Squat Day
  • Week 5 – Heavy Deadlift Day
  • Week 6 – Heavy Squat Day
  • Week 7 – Heavy Deadlift Day
  • Week 8 – Heavy Squat Day

For your lift squat days, perform the following three sets:

  • Set 1 – 75% of max for 5 reps
  • Set 2 – 67.5% of max for 8 reps
  • Set 3 – 60% of max for 12 reps

Heavy Squat Weeks

  • Week 1 – 85% of old max for 3 reps. 75% for 5 reps.
  • Week 3 – 90% of old max for 2 reps. 80% for 4 reps.
  • Week 5 – 95% of old max for 1 rep. 85% for 3 reps.
  • Week 7 – 100% of old max for 1 rep. 90% for 2 reps.

Heavy Deadlift Weeks

  • Week 1 – 85% of old max for 3 singles. 75% for 5 singles.
  • Week 3 – 90% of old max for 2 singles. 80% for 4 singles.
  • Week 5 – 95% of old max for 1 rep. 85% for 3 singles.
  • Week 7 – 100% of old max for 1 rep. 90% for 2 singles.

Bench Press Peaking Cycle

  • Week 1 – 82.5% of old max for max rep. 75% x max reps. 67.5% x max reps.
  • Week 2 – 85% of old max for max rep. 77.5% x max reps. 70% x max reps.
  • Week 3 – 87.5% of old max for max rep. 80% x max reps. 72.5% x max reps.
  • Week 4 – 90% of old max for max rep. 82.5% x max reps. 75% x max reps.
  • Week 5 – 92.5% of old max for 1 rep. 85% x max reps. 77.5% x max reps.
  • Week 6 – 95% of old max for 1 rep. 87.5% x max reps. 80% x max reps.
  • Week 7 – 97.5% of old max for 1 rep. 90% x max reps. 82.5% x max reps.
  • Week 8 – 100% of old max for 1 rep. 92.5% x 2 reps. 85% x max reps.
Heavy Deadlift Day
Peaking Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Heavy Deadlifts  * See above
Squats  3  5, 8, 12
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts (Use straps)  2  10
Unilateral Leg Press  4  10
Planks  3  60 to 120 sec
Heavy Squat Day
Peaking Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Heavy Squats  * See above
Deadlifts – 70%  3  5
Superset: Leg Extensions + High Box Step-Up  3  10
Reverse Hack Squats  4  10
Ab Wheel Rollouts  3  10-15
Bench Day Day
Peaking Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press  * See above
Close Grip Bench Press  3  10
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press  3  10
One Arm Dumbbell Rows  2  15
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press  2  10
Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down  3  12
Upper Body Assistance Day
Peaking Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Overhead Press  3  10
Seated Cable Rows  3  10
Lat Pull Downs  3  10
Bent Over Reverse Flyes  3  10
Rope Cable Triceps Extensions  4  10
Dumbbell Curls  3  10
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.