These workouts are written by powerlifter and strength coach Andy Bolton. Andy is most famous for his achievements on the deadlift. He was the first man to deadlift 1,000lbs and remains the only man to have done it twice.
Strength & Conditioning Workouts – Andy Bolton
In the next four weeks, twelve workouts total, I’ll show you how to use the method of training that I used to build my 1,214lb squat, 755lb bench and 1,008lb deadlift.
The method is called cycling. And it’s not just me who has used cycling to build serious strength. Powerlifting legends like Ed Coan and Captain Kirk trained in a similar way.
I’ll be providing you two examples: a six-week cycle for your squat and a six-week cycle for your bench. You can work these in with other training, dedicating one day per week to these lifts. We will be posting these workouts over four weeks, so you’ll have plenty of ability to plan ahead in your six-week cycle.
On day one for either lift you will need to establish your 1RM. Once you have established your 1RM, you’ll need to pick a challenging yet realistic target to hit the next time you test your max in six weeks’ time. At the end of the cycle, after re-testing your max, omit your next squat or bench session and start a new cycle the following week.
That’s the basic cycling approach:
- Establish your max.
- Set a challenging but realistic new max to hit in 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 weeks.
- As the weeks go by, the weight goes up and the reps go down.
Here are guidelines for adding weight:
For the squat:
- Jump 10-20lbs per session if you’re a beginner
- Jump 20-30lbs per session if you’re an intermediate
- Jump 30-50lbs per session if you’re advanced
For the bench:
- Jump 10-15lbs per session if you’re a beginner
- Jump 15-20lbs per session if you’re an intermediate
- Jump 20+ per session if you’re advanced
Once you have established your 1RM on the squat, you’ll need to pick a challenging yet realistic target to hit the next time you test your max in six weeks’ time. For example, let’s assume your 1RM on week one was 400lbs. You decide to aim to squat 420lbs when you re-test – a solid gain of 20lbs.
It might not be fancy, but it gets the job done. Of course, there are many ways to set up your cycles – I’ve just given you a couple of examples to get you started. To learn a lot more about cycling, check out the book I wrote with Pavel called Deadlift Dynamite and visit my website.
Week 4, Day 2: Squat Day
A. Squat: TEST your 1RM (hopefully hit 420lbs and a new personal best!)
B. Leg Press: 12 reps x 4 sets
C. Lying Leg Curls: 12 reps x 4 sets
D. Plank: 30 seconds x 3 sets
After re-testing your max, omit your next squat session and start a new cycle the following week.