Today I’m going to give you a methodology on something called undulating periodisation, or wave loading as some people call it.
It’s a very effective method to get stronger faster and far superior to what most people do with their training, which normally revolves around staying on the same exercise and rep range for months and even years.
For the sake of simplifying for an easier read on the blog, the above graph shows an example of this type of loading for strength, power and hypertrophy (muscle size). The conventional view is that the hypertrophy rep range is 8-12 reps, strength is up to 8 reps and power is up to 3 reps. Now this can have many variables and is way too complex to go into on this short blog, so I’ll stick to the basics.
So let’s say you’re stuck on your squat, you’ve been stuck on the same weight for a long time and wonder why. One of the reasons is that you’re not giving your body a reason to get stronger from your plateau.
Here’s how to sort that out:
Like the above graph, find your weights for muscle fatigue within the above rep ranges and over the next 3 weeks aim to focus each 7 day cycle within the ranges. You’ll find that when adding the right number of sets per cycle and tempo, that you’ll be stronger.
Now some tips on technique with the squat:
1. When looking from a side view, make sure that the bar tracks almost in a vertical line and directly above any part of the foot, not outside of them.
2. Find the foot placement that works for you. Now I don’t mean allowing your feet to go all over the place but how wide your stance is, depending on your current flexibility and hip width, find a stance where you’ll be comfortable to at least get your thighs parallel to the floor. With taller people, this is normally wider than shorter people purely because of biodynamics associated with longer limbs, but not always.
3. Looking 10 degrees above the horizon while squatting will help in keeping spinal alignment as well help your vestibular system in keeping your balance.
Now, enjoy your squats (they are one of the most important movements/exercises you can do)