+10 jaar member
- Lid geworden
- 14 mrt 2009
is er iemand die je die techniek leert van c&j?
en heb een platform waar je het gewicht op kan laten vallen ofzo?
edit: ik was trouwens die jongen laatst op hyves die zei: hey player alles goed
Kan je vertellen hoe je daartoe gekomen bent? Waarom die oefeningen en zo?
Ik heb het laatst met spanksta geoefend, en ik wil hem binnekort nog een keer mee vragen om nog eens alles te checken.
Is het dan niet slimmer om de bench op vrijdag te verwijderen en military press als core oefening te doen. En deadlifts naar vrijdag, lijkt me mooier.Repranges:
Zelfde als Bill Starr
Woensdag; Clean and Jerk is toch wel mijn favoriete oefening, en wou hem daarom ook toevoegen. En ik vind Clean and Jerk een zeer goede oefening voor het gehele lichaam. Front Squats omdat dat mij aangeraden werd (knie blessure), en ik las dat gewichtheffers de basis van hun schema bij de front squad legden.
Vrijdag: Millitairy Press omdat dat voor mij een toevoeging is aan Clean & Jerk en binnekort hopelijk ook aan de Snatch (daar heb ik mij nog niet aan gewaagd, eerst C&J techniek 100%).
Is het dan niet slimmer om de bench op vrijdag te verwijderen en military press als core oefening te doen. En deadlifts naar vrijdag, lijkt me mooier.
En waarom 4x5 en geen 5x5 op sommige oefeningen? En waarom geen power cleans ipv bor, gezien je zo praat over clean en jerk en in de toekomst snatch.
Hoe ik het zou doen:
Bench 5 x 5, 1 x 8
Squat 5 x 5
Power clean 5 x 5
Clean and Jerk 5 x 5
Frontsquat 5 x 5
Squat 4 x 5 / 1 x 3 / 1 x 8
Military press 5 x 5, 1 x 8
Deadlift 5 x 5
zo dient clean en jerk zowel als pull, als als press variant. Deadlifts als heavy pull op een aparte dag.
Rows en/of chins kan je nog gemakkelijk als assistance toevoegen.
Bwa, kan allebei. Als je 5x5 zelfde gewicht doet, dan doe je dat best maar één keer per week, zoals in de texas method. Maar ik zou gewoon opbouwen als ik jou was.Oke, bedankt, ga ik doen!
De 5 x 5 wel gewoon opbouwen in gewicht (bill starr) of op het zelfde gewicht (rippetoe)?
Welkom trouwens in het PL hok, waar hardgainers mannen worden.
In een schema als dit is het makkelijk. Als je meer hebt gedaan dan de week ervoor, ben je sterker geworden. Extra reps zijn niet nodig, want de volgende week ga je toch weer zwaarderThanks!
Het verhogen van mijn grenzen geeft mij gewoon een grotere kick dan bodybuilding.
Hard werken ben ik zeker van. Voorbeeld;
5 x 30 KG
5 x 30 KG, maar tijdens dit setje had ik gevoel dat er meer in zat. Nog 2 extra reps gedaan. Gevolg > Bizar slechte techniek.
Daar moet ik wel op gaan letten, dat mijn techniek niet gaat lijden onder mijn doorzettings vermogen.
In een schema als dit is het makkelijk. Als je meer hebt gedaan dan de week ervoor, ben je sterker geworden. Extra reps zijn niet nodig, want de volgende week ga je toch weer zwaarder
Je weet toch dat de sheet niet van Bill Starr is hé?Oke, dus jij zegt elke week gewicht erbij?
Ik ga mij morgen eens helemaal verdiepen in de sheet van Bill Starr, die ik ingevuld heb. Hoe hij zou zeggen hoe hoog ik zou beginnen met C&J en Front Squats!
The Heavy, Light and Medium System
by Bill Starr
One of the basic principles of strength training is the heavy, light and medium system. Like all the other concepts used int this physical science, it's not a new development. The old-time strongmen incorporated into their routines the idea of doing a less-than-strenuous workout after a difficult one, but it wasn't actually pout into a definite usable system until the mid 1930's, when Mark Berry wrote about it in his book Physical Training Simplified. From that point on aware strength athletes not only used the heavy, light and medium system, but they also understood why it was so beneficial.
In a great many cases, though, a person who's just starting out on the quest for greater strength learns about this principle from the road of hard knocks. That's exactly how I learned it. When I first started lifting weights, all I really understood was that I enjoyed the results of getting bigger and stronger. I believed that I had to work at 100 percent every time I went to the gym or I wouldn't achieve the desired improvement. Each time I left the gym I was completely spent. Anything less and I figured I'd wasted my time. I was aware enough to recognize that my workouts were becoming more difficult as the week progressed, but I thought that was natural.
My first inkling that I needed a less-than-all-out workout came when I was stationed at West Palm Beach Air Force Base. This was in 1955, and the fitness movement hadn't yet come to South Florida. The gym closed at 4 p.m., so I trained on my lunch hour three days a week. My equipment consisted of some dumbbells, a standard bar and enough 25-pound plates to end up with 175 on the bar.
I did basic exercises, one of which was the clean and jerk. One day I was feeling especially perky and managed to put the 175 over my head. I was elated and left the loaded barbell right on the mat where I had dropped it. It was a monument to my amazing accomplishment. When I showed up for my next workout two days later, the loaded barbell was right where I'd left it. I had to admit, it did look impressive with all those plates. I was doing some situps and noticed a youngster ride into the gym on his bike. The loaded barbell caught his attention, as I hoped it would.
"Who lifted that?" he asked with admiration.
"I did," I informed him proudly.
He studied me for a long moment, obviously not very impressed with what he saw. "Let me see you do it," he challenged.
With complete confidence I walked over to the mat, set myself and pulled on the bar. It felt like a ton. After a dozen attempts I did finally manage to clean the weight to my shoulders, but I was never able to lock it out overhead. Finally, I had to give up, for I was completely worn out.
The brat never said another word. He only chuckled and rode out of the gym.
Totally humiliated and confused, I left the gym as well. This very abbreviated session afforded me the rest I needed so that the next time I came to the gym I could lift the 175 rather easily. Naturally, no one was around to see me. I still didn't understand what had happened, but from then on I started training on a more intuitive level. On Mondays I always felt stronger and had more energy, so I did more exercises and lifted a bit longer than I did on the other days, when I felt more tired. Still, I didn't have any system, which is still true for most beginners.
Sid Henry of Dallas was my first coach, and I've always felt fortunate in that, because he was excellent. He instilled consistency of training and discipline. He was the one who explained exactly why we did certain exercises on specific days of the week. He introduced me to the heavy, light and medium system, and it has proven to be one of the most beneficial ideas I've ever come across in strength training.
By using this principle properly, you can become stronger by slowly increasing your workload and intensity - without becoming chronically overtrained.
The principle is relevant to beginners, intermediates and advanced strength trainers, but each applies it in a slightly different manner.
For beginners the amount of weight used on the various days is based on the top weights lifted on the heavy day. For intermediate and advanced lifters the guidelines depend on total workload, intensity and the severity of the exercises.
Most beginners do as I did, training just as hard as they can at every workout. Progress does come from this charge-ahead tactic, at least for a time, because all the exercises are new and the muscles respond to the stimulation. In most cases beginners are also putting on bodyweight, and that’s the very best way to add some quick strength. In addition, the weight work increases blood testosterone levels, which also promotes muscular growth. Beginners’ enthusiasm is generally enough to carry them along for several months of productive workouts, but eventually their going balls-out at every session becomes a detriment.
In the majority of instances once beginners hit their first plateau, they firmly resolve that they need to do more work – which invariably leads to overtraining. Overtraining, in itself, isn’t as terrible as some would lead you to believe, for everyone must overtrain at some point in order to move to the next strength level. The problems come when people don’t realize that they’re in a state of overtraining and continue to pile on more work.
Progress not only comes to a standstill, it starts going in the other direction. The next step in this downward spiral is some kind of injury, and there’s nothing in strength training that deters progress as much as an injury. Beginners, not knowing how to cope with an injury or how to work around it, often get so discouraged they quit training altogether. By using the heavy, light and medium system, however, they can avoid falling into this trap.
I explained in an earlier article that I believe beginners should limit their routines to core exercises for the three major muscle groups, then add a couple of auxiliary movements for the smaller muscles. A core exercise for the shoulder girdle, back and legs at each session, along with exercises for the triceps, biceps, deltoids, calves and abs is enough.
I start beginners on the big three: bench press, squat and power clean. If someone is unable to perform any of these exercises, I substitute. The incline bench is as good as or better than the flat bench. Power snatches, high pulls or deadlifts will work the back if a person can’t do power cleans. The one exercise that I never use a substitute for unless there’s an injury is the full squat. Squats are the keystone of any strength program.
The value of using the heavy, light and medium system becomes evident when you build a program around the big three. All have a purpose in the grand plan. The heavy day is rather obvious, as it allows you to handle the heavy weights and increase your workload. The medium day is really a setup for the next heavy day, but it also helps add to the weekly workload. Later on it gives you more variety in the program.
Of the three days the light day is the least appreciated, and it’s the one most abused by beginners. They cannot understand the rationale behind handling such light weights. To many who are anxious to get strong fast, it seems a waste of time, but that’s far from the truth. The light day is, in fact, the hub of the heavy, light and medium principle.
For beginners the light day serves two necessary purposes. It gives their bodies the chance to recuperate after the heavy day, and it gives them the opportunity to perfect their technique on the exercises. One of the basic truisms of strength training is that you’ll improve much faster on any exercise once you master it. This is always the case with the core exercises, but it’s also true for the auxiliary movements such as upright rows, straight-arm pullovers and even curls.
On the heavy day, typically Monday, beginners do all the core exercises for five sets of five, using max poundage on the final set. Five sets of five is the basic strength formula for all beginners on all the core exercises. On the light day, which always follows the heavy day, the top-end weights for the primary exercises are 80 percent of what was used on Monday. The medium day, which follows the light day, calls for 90 percent of what was used on the heavy day.
Here’s how a weekly program for the squat works out. Let’s say a beginner can squat 225 for five reps on his final set of his heavy day. That would make his top-end set on his light day 180 pounds and his medium day, 203. Sometimes, though, the math gets to be a problem. That’s certainly the case for coaches who are setting up programs for a sports team and may have 50 or 60 kids to consider.
So I use a simplified system. In out example the beginner does sets with 135, 165, 185, 205 and ends with 225 for five on his heavy day. Instead of figuring percentages, I merely have him use the third set of the sequence for the top weight on his light day, and the fourth set for his medium-day top weight, which are 185 and 205, respectively. This trick comes out very close to the actual percentages and can be calculated by the dullest of minds.
After people have been training for a few months, they often find that they can’t move all their lifts up on their heavy day. They get fatigued after the second core exercise, and the third gets the short end of the stick.
An effective way to overcome this problem is to alternate the heavy light and medium exercises for he different bodyparts and work them on different days. That lets trainees work harder on just one core exercise per workout and hit the other two in a light or medium fashion.
Using this idea, our example lifter works the squat heavy on Monday, when he also goes light on his back exercise and medium on his shoulder girdle work. On Wednesday he hits the squats light, works his back medium and his shoulder girdle heavy; and on Friday he squats medium, hits his back heavy works shoulder girdle light.
Most beginners, however, can handle two heavy lifts on Monday and do the others on either Wednesday or Friday, filling in the light and medium sequence accordingly. That’s the next step in the progression – to do at least two heavy movements in one workout. Once our trainee’s strength base gets wide enough, he’ll be able to handle three lifts in one session.
This plan also works well for intermediate and advanced strength athletes and for trainees who are rushed for time. If you concentrate on doing well on two core exercises, it’s permissible to hurry through the third. It doesn’t really matter in what order you do the various core exercises just so long as you follow a heavy day with a light one.
Working only two lifts heavy in a session lets you add to your workload on those lifts. You can also add a back-off set of eight along with three sets of calf raises.
Once people find that they can recover from the above routine, they’re ready for a more advanced level of training. Now the game changes drastically. The heavy, light and medium system is still very valid, but it’s approached in a different manner.
Instead of doing the same exercises three times a week, lifters now do different exercises for the various bodyparts. The exercises themselves determine whether they’re used on the heavy, light or medium days. For exercises that are performed more than once, such as the squat, the variations depend on workload, intensity and severity.
This may seem a bit confusing, so I’ll explain, using back exercises as my example. For the advanced program our lifter chooses to do deadlifts, good mornings and shrugs. His best deadlift is 225 for 5 reps, but he can shrug 405 for five. He’s just started doing good mornings, so he only uses 125 pounds for eight reps. The first step is to figure the workload. The five sets of five in the deadlift – 135, 185, 205, 235 and 255 – result in a total workload of 5,575 pounds. The shrugs, also done for five sets of five – with 135, 225, 315, 365 and 405 – produce a yield of 7,225 pounds.
Since the intensity and workload of the shrug are much higher than those of the deadlift, our lifter is tempted to make shrugs his heavy day exercise, but he quickly realizes that it’s the wrong move. This is a case where the severity of the exercises is the deciding factor. Deadlifts are much more demanding than shrugs, so even though the workload and top-end weights are lower, they belong on the heavy day.
When it comes to intensity, good mornings are very high on the scale, but because the relative weight used is so much lower, they’ll always remain a light-day exercise.
That brings us to the next important point concerning the heavy, light and medium system. For advanced lifters there’s really no such thing as an easy day, as there is in the beginning and intermediate stages. All the exercises in the program are demanding, even though the amount of weight used is often considerably less than what’s used on the heavy day.
On the light day, Wednesday, for example, our lifter substitutes inclines for the flat-bench press. He can bench 245 for five reps but has to struggle with 175 for five on the incline. That makes the incline the perfect light day shoulder girdle exercise. He still has to work at 100 percent to improve his numbers on the incline, so it’s not the least bit easy, but the weights used and total workload are much less than what he handles on the heavy day.
He can substitute lunges or leg presses for squats, but with those movements he must be very careful to work them lightly compared to his heavy day. Doing too many sets and handling too much weight will throw the sequence out of sync.
At some point our advanced strength trainer will have to add a fourth training day so he can increase his weekly workload. Trying to do too much in three days makes the workouts too long, and that’s counterproductive. Tuesday is the best day for the extra day. This is a light day, since it follows Monday, the heavy day. So what should Wednesday be? Another light day? It’s not beneficial for advanced lifters to have too many light days. The sequence for a four-day routine is as follows: heavy, light, medium, medium.
Overhead presses and/or dips fit nicely into this extra day. Our lifter still has to work them hard, but the weights are considerably lighter than what he used on Monday. Power snatches or high pulls satisfy the back, and calf raises add a bit of workload to the legs. None of these movements is demanding, but the numbers start adding up.
Another way for very advanced lifters to use the heavy, light and medium principle is to alternate heavy and medium weeks. I don’t advocate doing a light week unless a person is on the move or has some good reason for not training regularly. On the heavy week our trainee can do more sets and reps and also the more difficult exercises. Then the next week he can pull back slightly on his workload and switch to a few exercises that are not quite as demanding; for example, he can substitute high pulls for deadlifts or dumbbell bench presses for barbell benches. This system helps build more variety into the program, and the change in total workload gives his body a certain degree of rest.
The heavy, light and medium principle of strength training is a tried-and-true concept. Incorporate it into your program and it will bring you to a much higher level of strength fitness. Leave it out, and you’re bound to have problems.
The Light Day
by Bill Starr
I receive a steady flow of mail from people who want me to check out their programs. Some want specific exercises to help them improve a weak area, while others want my opinions on their exercise selection, exercise sequence and sets and reps. High school coaches are often looking for substitute movements, since they don’t have the necessary equipment for certain exercises.
There seems to be more confusion setting up a light day routine in the weekly program than any other strength-training principle. The problems generally take two forms. Either the poundages are so ridiculously low that the lifter might as well stay home, lie on the couch and watch TV, or he performs far too much work.
The idea of doing a light workout after a heavy one is certainly not a new one. The old-time strongmen used it even if they weren’t aware of it at the time. Bob Hoffman and Joe Weider have both taken credit for formulating the idea, but it was around before either of them got into the publishing business. In the mid-1930’s Mark Berry explained the principle of heavy, light and medium training days in his book Physical Training Simplified. Nevertheless, – and even though it’s been expounded on as one of the Weider Principles as well as one of the York Training Principles – most beginners still overlook its importance.
Strength programs should always include a light day. When you set up a program, it’s important to keep in mind that what constitutes a light day depends to a very large extent on the lifter’s strength level. In other words, a light day for an advanced strength athlete is entirely different from that of a beginner or intermediate. Not only will the exercises be different, but the amount of weight will also vary considerably, as will time spent in the gym.
Usually, ambitious beginners learn about the heavy, light and medium system by chance. Beginners typically go all out at every session, training to the absolute limit on every exercise. For a while that system works nicely, for growing, enthusiastic bodies will respond to the work and be able to recuperate sufficiently. Eventually, however, the weights and the total amount of work being done in a session reach a demanding level. At that point progress grinds to a halt. Trainees plateau on the lifts and/or their numbers drop off. If at that point they don’t learn to incorporate a light day into the total scheme of things, they’ll most likely become discouraged and stop training altogether.
Some stumble onto the idea of having a light workout by accident or due to circumstance. They may or may not have as much time as usual to go through their entire routine, so they cut it short and discover, to their surprise, that the abbreviated session allowed them to rest enough that the following workout was considerably above par. Another frequent scenario is that they start including a light day out of necessity. They’re so tired from the heavy session that they decide to stay with light weights and cut down on the number of movements the next time they go to the gym.
Why is the light workout so critical to long-term success in strength development? Why not train just as hard as possible until overtraining sets in, then take a layoff? Or why not simply rest for extended periods between workouts? That would ensure that you don’t become overtrained and you could push each workout to the limit.
The answer is that neither of these methods of training will lead to a high level of strength fitness. I’m talking about functional strength development, for I deal with athletes. I don’t know of any sport in which participants are allowed to rest extensively during competition. Maybe the field events in track would qualify, but even then the better conditioned athletes will come out on top. Athletes who can come out of the box strongly and sustain that intensity for the duration of the contest are going to emerge as victors. That applies to wrestling, football, basketball and any other sport. In any athletic endeavor the game is usually won or lost at the finish.
While it’s certainly true that people who take five or six days’ rest between workouts will have plenty of energy the next time they go into the gym, it’s also true that they won’t develop the kind of conditioning needed to excel at the athletic arena because they aren’t really building a solid foundation of strength. Their total workloads aren’t expanding enough.
The light day serves several purposes. It allows you to add to your total workload without becoming overtrained. A light workout after a heavy one also facilitates recovery, and, especially in the early stages of strength training, it’s valuable in helping you to learn correct technique on all the exercises.
There are different phases of light days, depending on your strength level. When it comes to beginners, I start all my athletes on the same routine, unless they have some physical problem and cannot do one of the exercises. The workout includes the big three – the bench press, squat and power clean – for 5 sets of 5 reps on all. That not only makes the math easy, but it helps beginners concentrate better on each rep as well. The lower reps will keep them from getting tired and sloppy with their form. That may seem like a trivial point, but for beginners it’s extremely important to keep matters very basic.
For the first two or three weeks I don’t bother with a light day. The athletes do all three workouts with about the same top-end weights. That’s fine, as beginners haven’t developed their form enough to handle any big weights yet. They can recover easily, for they’re only doing three exercises. I don’t include any auxiliary work during this period; however, I do start adding some after the third week.
That’s also when I have the athletes start using the heavy, light and medium system. Many object to it, for they don’t like the idea of using a much lighter weight than they know they can handle. After all, they ask, what’s the value of handling 50 pounds less on an exercise?
The value is that you prevent overtraining and hone our technique on the exercises – two very important variables in terms of continuous, consistent progress. On the subject of overtraining, it isn’t possible to gain strength without becoming overtrained at some stage of the process. Lifters have to push into some degree of overtraining, or they’ll never be able to push their limits any further or know for certain just how much of a workload they can actually carry. The key is to be able to identify that state of overtraining and pull back on the amount of work being done so that the condition doesn’t become chronic. Long periods of overtraining are detrimental to anyone who’s trying to enhance his overall strength.
How much work should beginners do on their light day? Approximately 60 to 85% of what they handle on their heavy day. Any less is a waste of effort. That means a beginner who has advanced to where he’s squatting 205x5 will use 175x6 on his light day, which is in no way, shape or form taxing. I use a rather simple method of selecting the weights for the light day: The third set on the heavy day becomes the final set on the light day. In the example of the lifter who squats 205, his heavy-day progression looks like this: 135, 155, 15, 195 and 205 for 5 reps. The third set, 175, becomes his final set on the light day. So the progression looks like this: 135, 145, 155, 165 and 175 for 5 reps.
That simple method is most useful for coaches who set up programs for lots of athletes. Once you explain it to them, the athletes can easily determine their weights.
The first time beginners do a light-day routine, they usually feel cheated. They can’t understand the purpose of handling less than maximum weights. Because they don’t feel tired when they finish the workout, they don’t think they did enough. That’s a dangerous stage, for in far too many instances the beginner will then add increasingly more auxiliary work to their routine – so much that it completely destroys the concept of having a light day.
There are ways to make the light day taxing. In fact, it can be the most demanding of all the workouts. You can move especially fast through your session, taking short breaks between sets. For the first three sets you should barely take any rest time at all. Compressing the time spent doing the exercises forces your body to respond in an entirely different way, and it’s beneficial to strength development. Better yet, set up three stations and move through your workouts in a fast circuit.
Once beginners learn correct form and build a firm foundation, they’re ready to do more work and also to start including more exercises in their program. For the back there’s a variety of movements to choose from: deadlifts, bent-over rows, good mornings, stiff-legged deadlifts, snatch- and clean-high pulls and shrugs. The list for the upper body includes inclines, overhead presses ad dips, which complement the flat-bench presses nicely. At this stage of development, however, I don’t let athletes vary from squatting. They need to do it three times a week, period.
With the inclusion of auxiliary exercises, the concept of the light day changes somewhat, as the exercises determine whether it’s a heavy, light or medium day. Squats are the easiest to figure. My basic rule of thumb is to use 50 pounds less on the light day than you used on the heavy day. I make subtle alterations as lifters get stronger. Until they reach the high 300’s, I stay with the 50-pound-less idea, but once they start flirting with 400 for reps, I have them use 315 for their light day. In order to increase the total amount of work for the light day without making it too demanding, I eventually have them do three sets with 315. They do two warmup sets with 135 and 225, then jump to 315 for 3 sets of 5. After that I add a final twist: I have them change their foot positions on each of the heavy sets, performing the first set with a regular stance, the second with an ultrawide stance and the third with a ridiculously close stance. As their squats advance, so do their poundages on the three work sets.
The sequence for the shoulder girdle, or upper-body, exercises is usually the following: flat-bench presses on the heavy day, overhead presses on the light day and inclines on the medium day. The exercises themselves satisfy the principle, since lifters who bench 300 pounds will have their work cut out for them in doing a 200 pound overhead press and a 250 pound incline.
The same idea holds for back work. Schedule the most demanding back exercise on the heavy day. By that I mean the one that ends up producing the most workload. I mention this because the light day back exercise in my program is the good morning, which may be the most demanding exercise in all of strength training. Since the weight used on good mornings or even stiff-legged deadlifts is much lighter than what you use on the heavy day, however, it fulfils the requirements of a light day exercise.
I have my athletes do shrugs on their medium day. Since they handle more weight on shrugs than they do on any other back exercise, it would seem that he exercise violates the conditions of the heavy, light and medium concept. It’s a short-range motion, though, so it’s much less taxing than a great many back movements, such as bent-over rows, high pulls or even power cleans when you work them hard and heavy.
Once lifters start to make progress, you can alter the sets and reps on the various exercises each week. That, too, helps to stimulates strength increases, for it keeps the body from falling into a rut.
I’ve observed that there are two ways in which most people abuse the light day concept. The first is that they run the reps up, thinking that since the bar is relatively light they have to do more reps in order to make gains. So, instead of doing the suggested 80 to 85% on an exercise for 5 reps, they double up and do 10. You can see how that throws the numbers off. Our 205 squatter is scheduled to handle 175x5 on his light day. He feels as if it isn’t enough work, so he knocks out 10 reps. In the process he does a workload of 1,750 pounds total. On his heavy day he only did 1,025. It doesn’t take a genius to see that his light day workload will eventually cause problems.
The other way many disrupt the flow of the heavy, light and medium program is to add increasingly more exercises on the light day. Once again, since the routine is relatively easy, they feel as if they need to do more – and more and more. The extra work is almost always some form of beach work, and their attitude is, “How is working my arms going to hurt me?” The harm is that all those sets and reps add up, just as a runner’s mileage does. If you do too much on the light day, in the middle of the week, it will adversely affect your next session the medium day. Now, the medium day may not seem all that important, but it’s the setup for the upcoming heavy day session. The three workouts serve each other and fit together in an orderly fashion.
The very best way to determine if you’re adhering to the heavy, light and medium principle is to write down your poundages and calculate the amount of work you do at each session. The numbers don’t lie. Naturally, intensity is a factor as well, but a quick check of your workload will give you all the feedback you need.
As you advance to a higher level of strength, you’ll need to make further minor adjustments in your program to satisfy the principle. For example, you may want to increase your weekly workload but know that you cannot carry much more work in the three days, so you add another day. Tuesday fits best, but it has to be a light day, since it comes right on the heels of the heavy day. What does that make Wednesday and Friday? Medium days. Again, the selection of exercises is the determining factor.
Here’s the way that schedule might work. On Mondays you do squats, deadlifts or power cleans and flat-bench presses. On Tuesdays it’s overhead presses, power snatches or high pulls and some auxiliary work. On Wednesdays you do squats as usual or start substituting front squats or lunges, along with inclines and good mornings. On Fridays it’s squats, flat-bench presses and shrugs.
Finally, for very advanced lifters there’s a way to use the light day concept with a different angle. Some people find they do well by performing two heavy exercises on Monday and the third with lighter poundages. They hit that third exercise heavy on either Tuesday or Wednesday. For example, there are lifters who don’t find they can get much out of deadlifting when they do it on the same day as they do heavy squats, which is Monday, so they do power cleans on Monday and heavy deadlifts the next day. That lets them handle more weight on the deadlift, which is a plus.
While the above may seem a bit complicated, it really isn’t. All you have to do is keep track of what you did and periodically do some math to figure your workload. If you find that you’re doing more on your light day than you should, cut back, for it will eventually be counterproductive. By constantly monitoring your routine and making adjustments, you’ll be able to consistently add to your overall level of strength fitness.