Cycling, Part 4: Two-stage Cycles

This is the 14th (and most technical) installment in our series on powerlifter and physical culturist Alexey Faleev. Find links to previous installments here.

This is Faleev’s most advanced cycle. You design it much as you would a three-stage cycle, except that you omit the second stage and instead spend five weeks on 5×5’s and then transition immediately to five weeks of 6-4-2-1.

Let us imagine a lifter who bench pressed 280# in his last competition. At this advanced stage, progress comes slowly, so he will only aim to add 5 lbs. to that in his next cycle. So starting from a goal of 285#, he backs off 75 lbs. and comes up with something like this plan.

Stage 1
      Week 1210 x 5 x 5
      Week 2215 x 5 x 5
      Week 3220 x 5 x 5
      Week 4225 x 5 x 5
      Week 5230 x 5 x 5
Stage 2add 15#
      Week 6210 x 6; 220 x 4; 230 x 2; 245 x 1 (The lifter decides his own weights for the first three sets–these are just arbitrary examples. They should not be all-out efforts. My advice is to stay at least 2 reps away from what feels like your limit.)
      Week 7220 x 6; 230 x 4; 240 x 2; 255 x 1
      Week 8230 x 6; 240 x 4; 250 x 2; 265 x 1
      Week 9240 x 6; 250 x 4; 260 x 2; 275 x 1
      Week 10 (Meet day)285 x 1

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