Bompa

183kg, sumoman

183 kg

These days I tend to follow something like Bompa’s Periodization method of training;

  1. Anatomical Adaptation
  2. Hypertrophy
  3. Maximum Strength
  4. Conversion to Specific Strength
  5. Maintenance

This didn’t come about because I read Bompa’s book, rather it came about as I tried different things over the decades – no doubt if I had an experienced coach from the beginning I would have saved several decades and been much stronger now. Or if the internet had existed then I would have saved on hiring a coach. However I would recommend Bompa’s Periodization Training for Sports 3rd Edition, which is a considerable improvement over the 1st Edition.

Let’s talk about this as I have applied it to the 183 kg squat in the video.

Anatomical Adaptation

In my previous post I mentioned Anatomical Adaptation, this is basically Bompa’s name for General Physical Preparation. Most people think of training as being very specific; they will say that to become strong you must train specifically. This is true enough, but to train specifically you need a good base. In other words the rest of the musculature and indeed entire body and mind must be in good working order. It is possible to get strong and be a wreck but an athlete will be even stronger if he is not a wreck.

The training for this is generalist in nature, though tending to strength work, so circuit training, one leg squats, gymnastic stuff, repetitions, etc. are performed.

After the competition in my previous post I took some time off then started with lunges, one leg squats… and that was it for the first few weeks. With each succeeding session I added weight to the lunges in the form of dumbbells and added reps to the one leg squats.

Near the end of the sessions of lunges and one leg squats I added high bar squats (the video at the beginning of this post being a low bar squat). Thus the progression for the lunges and one leg squats started like so and ended as follows;

One Leg Squat

  • BW × 1, 2, 3 reps
  • BW × 1, 3, 10 reps

Lunges

  • BW × 20 reps
  • 30 kg × 15 reps

High Bar Squats

  • 93 kg × 20 reps
  • 103 kg × 20 reps

Hypertrophy

A bodybuilder would approach this with the mindset that he is targeting the muscles, thus he would do the squat in a manner which targets the quadriceps (because the squat is quadriceps dominant). A strength athlete approaches this from a movement perspective in that he will be doing the squats for hypertrophy but in a manner which will improve his squatting. In my case I did the high bar squatting mentioned in the Anatomical Adaptation section. There is no precise boundary to this, one block of training merges into the next. For hypertrophy one basically does reps to induce fatigue.

Thus I continued the high bar squatting with each succeeding session going like so;

High Bar Squats

  • 113 kg × 15 reps
  • 123 kg × 12 reps
  • 133 kg × 10 reps
  • 143 kg × 6 reps
  • 153 kg × 2 reps

Maximum Strength

The goal of the lifting I do is to get maximally strong, I’ve already started this by going to the low reps in the high bar squat, so I now go to the low bar squat (video at the head of this post). Bompa considers the reps I did in the following sessions as being for inter-muscular co-ordination (i.e. a skilled movement);

Low Bar Squats

  • 143 kg × 9 reps
  • 153 kg × 6 reps
  • 163 kg × 4 reps

Conversion to Specific Strength

The specific strength in this case is maximum strength, thus this is a continuation of the Maximum Strength section – this makes things nice and simple. Had the goal lift been a yoke walk then I would have started doing Yoke Walks or maybe partials. Bompa considers the rep ranges in the following sessions I did as being for intra-muscular co-ordination (i.e. contracting the muscles harder);

Low Bar Squats

  • 168 kg × 3 reps
  • 173 kg × 2 reps
  • 183 kg × 1 rep

Maintenance

The idea with this section is that having built up maximal strength and converted it to a specific strength then one wants to maintain the maximal strength and specific strength for the specific movement.

Thus if I had been doing yoke walks as the specific movement in this section, then I would do squats between the yoke walks to maintain my maximal squatting strength.

As it is I was just doing the squats so on reaching the 183 kg × 1 rep I changed to a block of parallel grip deads. The parallel grip deads are sufficient to maintain strength in the squats, so this keeps things simple. For the parallel grip deads I am doing something like DUP (daily undulation periodisation);

Parallel Grip Deadlifts

  • 192 kg × 6 reps from 240 mm
  • 222 kg × 2 reps form 290 mm

2 Comments

  1. WHat sort of success have you had from hypertophy phase? IE, measured increases, weight or other… and was there increase caloric intake?

  2. I haven’t measured my muscles or weighed myself for a long time. I did visit someone and stand on their scales and it said 81 kg. I’d previously measured myself as 77 kg some years ago. Maybe I’ve got fatter or bathroom scales aren’t very accurate. Maybe I’ve added muscle. Whilst admiring myself in the mirror the other day I did seem to be quite buff. I do hypertrophy stuff as a means of variation just like I do different blocks of lifts. If I stuck just to low reps I would have to do even more blocks of lifts, but by varying the reppage I can prolong a cycle.

    Is it working? Before I could very occasionally regular deadlift 180 kg. I pulled 191 kg for a couple of singles at the end of the last cycle. It went up comfortably, I think I could have managed 200 kg. So that’s a gain of 15-20 kg.

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