The Cast Iron Strength bench blast is a 9 week volume based programme that uses Perplin’s chart and the intensity by number of lifts devised by Hristo Hristov in 2005. Before we go into the 9 week programme let us discuss briefly Preplin’s chart and Hristov’s INOL.
During the sixties and seventies of the 20th century, Soviet sports scientist A.S.Prilepin collected data from the training logs of more than 1000 World, Olympic, National and European weightlifting champions. Prilepin synthesized his findings in a very simple table named after himself. Prilepin’s table gives time tested workout guidelines as to how did elite weightlifters train. Now, I am talking about training guidelines for pure maximal strength – Hristov 2005
Intensity by Number of Lifts
In Hristo’s 2005 article which can be viewed on powerlifting watch in a downloadable PDF format he devised an equation to determine the intensity of session based off the volume or total number of lifts completed in the session based off Prilepin’s chart. Where the optimal volume shown in the chart for the percentage represents the perfect dose and is given a 1.
Using this equation you can then determine per lift how your session or week’s training compares to Hristo’s suggested guidelines. What makes this approach so useful is it let’s us take a concrete relationship such as number of lifts completed and % of repetition maximum and extrapolate it out to a multiset training programme.
The 9 week bench blast is a programme designed to let a lifter peak for a new personal best attempt or to get ready for a powerlifting competition. It uses a 3 block approach based off three training zones.
Block 1 – 50-70% – Volume accumulation and confidence building.
Goal – to allow the lifter to freshen up and get in 3 weeks of good work. This phase of the programme can be used to focus on thecnique and to begin to develop as much bar speed as possible. The focus for this part of the programme should be taking the bar down with immaculate technique and returning it back to lock out with maximal acceleration. The workouts should be very easy but that is the entire point of the block. The lower workloads should also allow the lifter a chance to acclimatise to a 3x a week frequency.
Block 2 – 75-85% – volume accumulation with a meaningful percentage
Goal – to begin to provide a volume overload and ramp up to heavier work loads. During this phase the lifter should concentrate on keeping their momentum up the need to think so heavily about technique on the lowering portion of the lift should be reduced and they now should be able to concentrate on moving heavier percentages quickly. Some weeks or workouts the lifter might feel they are being worked hard but the workouts should still be easily manageable.
Block 3 – 90-100% – Peaking
Goal – the whole point of this part of the cycle is to develop the skill of handling 90%+ loads. The only way to get better at this aspect of lifting is to do it. You get 2 sessions at 90% and 95% respectively to learn how to control down a near maximal attempt and still complete the lift with the same intention you had with the lighter training percentages. On week 9 you can either handle your old 1RM for easy singles resting in the knowledge that you easily have more in you or you can attempt a new personal best.
The 9 Week block in it’s entirety.
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