STRENGTH FOR OCR
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8 Week OCR Strength Rx: For the Novice, Late-Novice, & Intermediate Trainee
Taylor McClenny  |  01/30/2019

Introduction

This program and article provides a fully detailed 8 Week Strength Rx meant for the OCR and Endurance-biased athlete.  Movements, Volume, and Intensity are detailed week-by-week.  Expected weekly progress, training protocols, and specific considerations based on your Athletic Development and training focus are all detailed in the sections below.

 

A major value of this program is that it is “Autoregulated” - Meaning, every lift, every session takes into account your current state of stress and recovery.  This allows the stimulus you receive from this program to account for your other training and lifestyle stressors, ensuring you get adequate stimulus without overtraining.

 

If you would like to add Strength training to your routine, but have feared it would hinder your Speed, Endurance, and Skill training, this program and these training protocols are for you.

 

Additional video resources are shown here, and in their respective sections.

Using Autoregulation & RPE for Strength & Endurance >

 

Table of Contents

  • Program Introduction, Target Audience, & Value
  • Program Overview
  • The Program Rx- Session Overview
  • Training Protocols & Executing The Program
  • Athletic Development Considerations, Weekly Progression, & Expected Progress
  • The Program Rx - Weekly Progression

 

Program Introduction, Target Audience, & Value

Strength, and it’s accompanying biological components, play a vital role in all of health and fitness.  Due to Strength’s perceived opposing nature to Endurance, the Endurance trainee is often severely lacking in Strength and it’s many biological benefits.  By subjecting yourself to consistent, progressive Strength training you raise your potential to create Power, increase your Speed, increase your tolerance to Work and damage, and provide larger energy storage for fuel during training and performance - This is the crux of Endurance training and performance.

 

We put this Strength program and article together because (1) we find that most Endurance-biased athletes are most lacking in Strength, and often stand the most to gain in shoring up that weakness, (2) Endurance-biased coaches and trainees often lack the knowledge of how to train for Strength and most specifically, how to train Strength for Endurance performance and (3) we find the major programming error being a lack of understanding in identifying and executing proper training doses - Resulting in improper fatigue management, resulting in poor performance, overtraining, and increased injury risk.

 

With this program and article you will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of training for Strength
  • Learn how to identify and execute proper training dosages for optimal adaptation and fatigue management
  • Increase your Strength
  • Increase your Work Capacity and Training Capacity
  • (If mixed properly with Speed and Endurance training) - Increase your Speed and Endurance more than you would with stand-alone Speed and Endurance training

 

This 8 Week Strength Program is intended for athletes or trainees of all kinds, with a focus on fundamental strength and fitness for the Endurance-biased athlete.  Regardless of your experience-level with Speed or Endurance training, this program is ideal for you if you’ve spent 6 months or less consistently training for Strength with major, compound movements (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Clean & Jerk, Snatch).

 

This program serves as an introduction to Strength programming for the Novice Lifter or as a developmental cycle for the Late-Novice and Intermediate Lifter.  This program may be run stand-alone or concurrently with Speed and Endurance programs.  Specific considerations for concurrent training are provided in the “Program Overview” section below.

 

This program is intended to improve your Strength, Speed, Endurance, and obstacle proficiency.  Skill Work may be added, at the trainee’s discretion, to achieve their desired performance goals.  Most often, for best results, Skill Work should be completed after your Strength session, or on non-Strength session days.  Examples of Skill Work include: Various Carrys seen in performance, Rig navigation, Spear Throwing, Crawls & Rolls, and other performance-specific skill-requiring movements.

 

Program Overview

This program is intended to be run 3 days per week for 8 weeks.  Although Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are shown below, any 3 days of the week, with 48 hours between each session, will do.  For example, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

 

This program can be modified to be run 2 days per week.  Email taylor@leaderboardfit.com for details.

 

This Strength program can be run alone, or with Speed and Endurance programming.  If you are adding this Strength program to existing Speed and Endurance programming be sure to monitor your fatigue.  This program “ramps up” to allow time to adjust to the stimuli. If you feel overly fatigued after 2 weeks of this programming, you are liking incurring too much stress from all training.  You should adjust your training to ensure the balance of fitness for your goals and manageable fatigue.

 

This program is progressive in nature, with Volume increasing every week or every other week. For the Novice Lifter, strict Volume (# of Sets) is programmed for your first 4 weeks, with Autoregulated Volume for your later 4 weeks.  The intention of this “Autoregulated Volume” is to enable the Lifter’s day-of change in performance to determine their Volume dosage for a given movement for a given day. This allows the Lifter to reliably account for weekly or daily fluctuations in stress, fatigue, diet, sleep, and other varying lifestyle factors.

 

Throughout the program your target RPE, or Intensity, should not change from what is prescribed.  RPE is a metric of “Relative Intensity” that enables the Lifter’s “Absolute Intensity” (aka. weight on the bar) to progress naturally, while Intensity, relative to the Lifter’s potential, remains constant, for a given RPE target.

 

Properly executing the training protocols in this program are vital to optimizing your training progress.  The training protocols, their definitions, their purposes, and examples are detailed below, directly following “The Program Rx - Session Overview”.

 

The Program - Session Overview

This is an overview of the individual weekly sessions.  Detail of each week of the program is shown below in “The Program - Weekly Prescription”.

 

MONDAY

Major Work - Rest should be 2 - 5 minutes.

Back Squat 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Bench Press 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Deadlift 5 Reps @ RPE 7

Supplemental Work - Rest should be 1.5 - 2.5 minutes.  Superset if desired.

Kettlebell or Dumbbell Press 8 Reps @ RPE 7

Chinups 8 Reps @ RPE 7

 

WEDNESDAY

Major Work - Rest should be 2 - 5 minutes.

Back Squat 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Overhead Press 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Heavy Carries (Hexbar preferred) 20m @ RPE 8

Supplemental Work - Rest should be 1.5 - 2.5 minutes.  Superset if desired.

Cailer Row 8 Reps @ RPE 7

Narrow Grip Bench Press 8 Reps @ RPE 7

 

FRIDAY

Major Work - Rest should be 2 - 5 minutes.

Deadlift 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Bench Press 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Back Squat 5 Reps @ RPE 8

Supplemental Work - Rest should be 1.5 - 2.5 minutes.  Superset if desired.

Kettlebell or Dumbbell Press 8 Reps @ RPE 7

Chinups 8 Reps @ RPE 7

 

Training Protocols & Executing The Program

This section details the training protocols, their definitions, their purposes, and examples.  As an additional or alternative resource, this short video on using Autoregulation and RPE for Strength and Endurance will explain most of what you need to know.

 

RPE or “Rate of Perceived Exertion” is a metric of “relative intensity”.

 

Intensity is a measure of how heavy, how fast, or generally speaking, how hard.  Relative Intensity, is therefore, a measure of how hard something is, relative to your potential.  Whereas, “absolute intensity” is a measure of how hard something is, without relativity.

 

Let’s say that for Monday’s Back Squats, on your 1st Set, you are able to lift 225# for 5 Reps @ RPE 8.  225# expresses an absolute intensity. RPE 8 expresses a relative intensity. Whereas 225# expresses how heavy the weights are, RPE 8 expresses how heavy 225# is to you.  With this information, we not only know what weight you lifted, and for how many reps, but we also know how close to your potential this lift was.

 

RPE scales from 1 to 10.  Where 10 represents your highest potential, or absolute maximum effort, and 1 represents your lowest potential.  In Strength training we use our number of remaining available reps to express our RPE.  We subtract our number of remaining available reps from 10 to express our RPE. So in our example of 225# for 5 Reps @ RPE 8, we could have performed 2 more Reps at 225#.  If we had completed 245# for 5 Reps @ RPE 9, this means we could have only done 1 more Rep of 245#. (Further examples are shown below.)

 

There is subjectivity to RPE.  Using RPE is a skill. Like any other skill you must practice it to get better.  Over time you will rapidly improve your ability to properly judge your RPE.

 

Executing Intensity and Volume at the proper proximity to your potential is the crux of training adaptation.  If you were to constantly work at your maximum potential, over time, you’ll find it hard to recover, your progress will become unpredictable, and you’ll risk stagnation from overtraining as well as a higher risk of injury.  Conversely, if you were to constantly work at your minimum potential, or a very low potential, your stimulus is either too low for adaptation or will provide a very small change in adaptation.

 

Our goal is to constantly work in the “Goldilocks Zone” - Not too hard, but not too easy.  Using RPE allows us to easily prescribe this Goldilocks Zone of Intensity for long-term adaptation.

 

Autoregulation is the Volume-defining equivalent of RPE.  Whereas RPE’s goal is to prescribe your Goldilocks Intensity, Autoregulation’s goal is to prescribe your Goldilocks Volume.

 

“Autoregulated Volume” simply means that your Volume of work is automatically regulated by some feedback.  Since our goal is to accumulate enough stress (or “stimulus”), but not too much, for a given day, we use day-of changes in performance as our feedback.  Meaning, you’ll continue to add Volume of work until your performance of that work goes beyond the prescribed tolerance.

 

For this program, a change of 1 RPE is our tolerated change in performance.  Meaning, once the work you are performing changes from an RPE 8 to an RPE 9, you’ve accumulated enough Volume for today’s dose and it’s time to go to the next movement.

 

The goal of your first Set of each movement is to most accurately hit your target RPE.  For each subsequent set you will not adjust your absolute intensity (weight on the bar).  Your absolute intensity will remain constant while your relative intensity changes, due to accumulating fatigue.  This accumulation of fatigue produces a change in performance, measured by your change in RPE. Once your RPE changes by 1, you’ve accumulated the proper dosage and it’s time to go to the next movement

 

- Example Workout -

Back Squat

1st Set:  225# for 5 Reps @ RPE 8  (could have done 2 more Reps)

2nd Set:  225# for 5 Reps @ RPE 8.5  (could have done 1, maybe 2 more Reps)

3rd Set:  225# for 5 Reps @ RPE 9  (could have done 1 more Rep)

 

On your 1st Set you established 225# as your working weight for today’s Back Squat of 5 Reps at RPE 8.  You rest appropriately, likely 2-5 minutes, then repeat the work from the 1st Set.  On your 2nd Set, since you’ve fatigued from your 1st Set, this same absolute intensity is now an RPE 8.5.  From your 1st Set to your 2nd Set you’ve had a 0.5 change in RPE. You rest appropriately, then repeat the work from your previous sets.  On your 3rd Set, since you’ve fatigued from your previous 2 sets, this same absolute intensity is now an RPE 9. From your 1st Set to your 3rd Set you’ve had a 1.0 change in RPE.  This is our tolerance of change in relative intensity, so you end your Back Squatting here and move on to your next movement.

 

Rest 2 to 5 minutes between your sets.  For the Major Work of this program, the goal of your Rest Period is to return your performance back as close to baseline as you can without cooling down.  This allows you to return as close as you can to your maximum potential performance at the time of each set. This is crucial in identifying and executing your proper RPE and subsequently your proper Autoregulated Volume.  If your Rest Period is too short, you risk erroneously increasing your RPE which will throw off your feedback for achieving the proper Autoregulated Volume dosage. If your rest period is too long, you risk cooling down.

 

Whether you need 2 minutes of Rest, 5 minutes of Rest, or somewhere in between, depends on a lot of factors, that mostly boil down to your relative and absolute intensity.  The harder something is to you, the more Rest you’ll need to return to your currently available baseline. And the harder something is in absolute terms, the same is true.

 

If you are a Novice Lifter you’ll likely only need 2-3 minutes of Rest between sets.  If you are Late-Novice you may need 3-5 minutes between sets. If you are Intermediate, you’ll likely need more than 4 minutes between sets.

 

At first there is quite a bit to learn with RPE, Autoregulation, and even ensuring you get enough Rests between sets.  However, with just this short explanation and a few weeks of this program you should have a good enough grasp on the protocols that your training will improve dramatically.

 

Using RPE and Autoregulated Volume means that you must be honest with yourself about your perceived exertion and your perceived changes in performance.  Constantly under-judging your RPE (perceived exertion) or fatigue may result in issues, overtraining, or increased risk of injury - ex. Executing an RPE 9 or 10, when you’re supposed to execute an RPE 8.  Constantly over-judging your RPE (perceived exertion) or fatigue may result in slow progress - ex. Executing an RPE 6 or 7 when you’re supposed to execute an RPE 8.

 

Via training on LBfit you’ll learn these protocols as you go, progressively applying them to further improve your training potential.

 

Athletic Development Considerations, Weekly Progression, & Expected Progress

This Strength Program is intended for Novice, Late-Novice, and Intermediate Lifters.  Follow the specifications below regarding your experience-level.

 

Novice - You are likely a Novice Lifter if you have 3 months or less of consistent Strength Training with major, compound movements (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Clean & Jerk, Snatch).

 

If you are a Novice Lifter you should begin with only the Major Work, adding the Supplemental Work on your 5th Week (this is outlined below).  For your first many weeks you should expect to increase the weight on the bar, each session, by 5# for the Squat, Deadlift, and Heavy Carries and by 2.5# - 5# for the Bench Press, Overhead Press, and Cailer Row.  After a few weeks you should expect to be adding 2.5# - 5# each week.

 

Late-Novice & Intermediate - You are likely a Late-Novice Lifter if you have 3-6 months of consistent Strength Training with major, compound movements (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Clean & Jerk, Snatch).

You are likely an Intermediate Lifter if you have 6+ months of consistent Strength Training with major, compound movements (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Clean & Jerk, Snatch).

 

If you are a Late-Novice or Intermediate Lifter you should begin the program completing the Major Work and Supplemental Work.  If you have not had recent exposure (~3 weeks) to these movements, you should follow the “ramp up” progression in Weeks 1 and 2.  If you have had recent exposure, begin with Week 3 and add two weeks of Week 8 to achieve 8 full weeks of programming.

 

For your first few weeks you may be able to increase the weight on the bar, each session, by 5# for the Squat, Deadlift, and Heavy Carries and by 2.5# - 5# for the Bench Press, Overhead Press, and Cailer Row.  After a few weeks you should expect to be adding 2.5# - 5# each week.

 

Intermediate & Advanced - More advanced Intermediate Lifters and Advanced Lifters may find it hard to progress with this workload.  If you would like programming more appropriate for your experience level, please email taylor@leaderboardfit.com.

 

The Program - Weekly Progression

The following explains how to read and execute the program prescription below.

 

“2x Back Squat 5 Reps @ RPE 8”

Perform 2 Sets of Back Squats (High or Low Bar) for 5 Reps @ RPE 8.

 

“NO Supplemental Work”

Don’t do the Supplemental Work prescribed above, in “The Program - Session Overview”.  You will add the Supplemental Work in latter weeks.

 

“ARx Back Squat 5 Reps @ RPE 8”

Perform an Autoregulated Volume of Sets of Back Squats (High or Low Bar) for 5 Reps @ RPE 8.  Meaning, perform as many Sets as it takes to produce an RPE 8 -> RPE 9 change in perceived performance.  For more information see section “Training Protocols & Executing The Program”.

 

“2x Supplemental Work”

Perform 2 Sets of each Supplemental Work Set for the prescribed Reps and RPE shown above, in “The Program - Session Overview”.

 

“ARx Supplemental Work”

Perform an Autoregulated Volume of Sets of each Supplemental Work Set for the prescribed Reps and RPE shown above, in “The Program - Session Overview”.  For more information see section “Training Protocols & Executing The Program”.

 

Training Protocols & Warmup

Short video resource for using Autoregulation & RPE for Strength & Endurance >

Short video resource - How to: Warmup for Strength >

 

Weeks 1 - 3 (Novice)

For program adjustments based on your Athletic Development refer to the section “Athletic Development Considerations, Weekly Progression, & Expected Progress” above.

 

Weeks 4 - 6 (Novice)

 

Weeks 7 & 8 (Novice)

 

30-Day LBfit Offer

You can begin this program on LBfit for FREE for 30-days.  With your programming on LBfit you’ll receive all workouts via our training software, additional workout explanation, video demo, you’ll log your workout results and feedback, and receive training review, form review, feedback, and personalized Rx updates as necessary, from our team of coaches.

 

These are just a few of the benefits of completing your training on LBfit.  Learn more on our Sign-Up page or email taylor@leaderboardfit.com with any questions.

Sign-Up for FREE >

 

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Taylor McClenny WEDNESDAY, JAN 30TH
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