This cycle consists of four three-week blocks – 12 weeks in total. All four blocks share the same template in regard to intensity-to-volume ratios: week 1 has a low intensity / high volume design; week 2 is medium / medium and week 3 has the opposite ratio of week 1 – high intensity / low volume. As such, the cycle consists of four three-week intensity waves, contained in a classic block structure. This wave design represents a balanced approach to barbell cycling – when intensity is low, volume is high, and vice-versa.


The majority of the work in this cycle is high(er)-rep Olympic lifting, done either touch-and-go style, as timed complexes or as fast-paced drop-and-go singles. The same is true in regard to the auxiliary exercises, such as pulls and squats, that are typically applied in various workout formats, such as EMOMs, percentage rep-outs or high-rep-max instalments.


A variety of holds and high-rep sets with little to no resistance form the basis of this cycle’s accessory work. This is a deliberate choice in order to increase isometric and dynamic strength-endurance, which aids in both maintaining positions and consistently exhibiting and facilitating technical proficiency. These are both critically important to your barbell cycling efficacy, as muscle fatigue tends to break down good technique. It is when you are tired and your lungs are shot, that you are in most dire need of your technical prowess. 


However, barbell cycling has a lot more to it than effectiveness, efficiency and smoothness with a barbell. Cycling a barbell requires grit. This 3-month training cycle allows you to practise grit, to battle your inner demons that make you to feel sorry for yourself and scale or even quit.


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© 2020 by Weightlifting 101

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