Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
Take your shirt of during summertime and you’re turning heads at the beach. But this isn’t summer, which means you’re more likely to be wearing long-sleeve shirts and a coat than board shorts. So the idea of attaining deep cuts and shredded muscularity may not be quite as appealing to you right now as simply building mucho mass and jaw-dropping strength. Fair enough. With this in mind, we’ve reached back into the annals of training routines to dig up one of the most venerated strength templates ever devised: Prilepin’s Chart. Based on the findings of the legendary USSR weightlifting coach Alexander Prilepin, the chart lays out the parameters you need to calculate how much you should be lifting in a given week, as well as the set and rep ranges required to help you blast through your current maxes.
By the end of it, you just may be repping out with the same weights that used to be your max. Ready to get back to basics?
Alexander Prilepin, the Soviet weightlifting coach for which this training methodology is named, coached the USSR junior national team from 1975–80, and the senior national team from 1980–85. We could fi ll a book with the accomplishments of those squads, but here are the numbers that you need to know: 85 medals (including fi ve Olympic golds and three silvers) and 27 world records. How’d he do it? By analyzing the training logs of more than 1,000 national and international weightlifting champions to determine the intensity at which an athlete should train (expressed as a percentage of a one-rep max), the number of reps that athlete should perform per set, and the number of sets to perform in a given workout. His results speak for themselves. Below you will fi nd the chart that was the brainchild of countless hours of research. If you’re looking for a program that will build a solid base of strength, it really doesn’t get much better than what Prilepin devised. To get you started, we hooked up with expert trainer Dan Trink, program director for Peak Performance in New York City, who applied the principles of the chart to create a program with only one goal: brute strength.
Before you begin, you’ll need to test your one-rep max (1RM) on the bench press, squat, and deadlift. Then you’ll head into the gym and perform the following routine. Your assistance work is also based of of a percentage of 1RM. Since we don’t expect you to max out on exercises like leg curls, use this formula to estimate those numbers: Weight lifted x Reps x 0.0333 + Weight lifted = 1RM. You’ll want to avoid cardio on rest days—you’ll need that time for recovery. Worried about your physique? Tighten up your diet and time your carbs appropriately. At the end of the month, test your 1RMs again. Odds are you’ll have blown past your previous ceiling. The good news? That newfound strength will allow you to work with heavier weights when you’re carving up for beach season, leading to a more impressive physique overall.
|Percent of 1 RM||Reps, Sets||Optimal Rep Total||Total Range|