Linear Progressions for an Advanced lifter a case study

I’ve been having a bit of a change of heart recently regarding some of the programming that I usually follow.  I would normally advocate a pretty open ended approach that allowed a lifter to train pretty much by feel on a given session but set some guide lines so it doesn’t end up into a free for all or a 7x a week curl programme.  However my deadlift has been stalled out for pretty much 2 years (went from a 260kg pull done in 2010 to a 285kg pull done this year).  So I decided to take the decision out of my own hands and jump on a cookie cutter programme.

I have been following the Ed Coan Phillipi 10 week deadlift routine which a pretty simple programme that over 10 weeks takes you from a to b using some simple linear progressions in volume and weight.  I always looked at the programme an thought that doesn’t look too fiesable, but a mixture of good reviews and frustration with my own progression lead me to just give it a whirl.

I am currently on week 7 of the programme and even though I haven’t pulled any PBs yet (that is due for the next 3 weeks) I have pulled 260kg x 3 and 247.5 kg x 5 which are equal PBs which is the best I have pulled in a long while and given the fact I am 10-12kg lighter than when I pulled my heaviest deadlifts I’m reasonably pleased with the progression.

Linear Progressions and the Bench Press

Trying this kind of lifting got me thinking maybe I could try a very similar approach for my bench press and if it where to get that ticking over I would be pretty much sure that it was a good approach for me as a lifter so I designed a pretty simple progression.

Week 1 – 3 Sets of 10 at 75% RM
Week 2 – 3 Sets of 8 at 78% RM
Week 3 – 3 sets of 6 at 83.5% RM
Week 4 – 4 sets of 4 at 88% RM
Week 5 – 3 sets of 3 at 91% RM
Week 6 – 3 Sets of 10 +5kg from last wave
Week 7 – 3 Sets of 8 +5kg from last wave
Week 8 – 3 Sets of 6 +5kg from last wave
Week 9 – 4 Sets of 4 +5kg from last wave
Week 6 – 3 Sets of 3 +5kg from last wave
For my bench press the work outs looked something like the following.


I just completed session 7 and this block feels easier than the last wave I completed the last rep of each set of the 157 3×8 session paused because they felt so easy.  Hopefully if the trend can continue I can get a good PB off the back of all this volume progression.
I have started to follow a similar progression for my back squat however with my meet 2 and a half training weeks away I will not be able to see out more than one wave.  But I am pretty confident that my squat will react well since my bench press (easily my best and most consistent lift) and deadlift seemed to have responded quite well to this kind of programming.
Who would have though that the simplest of programming progressions would work so well for someone who has been banging away at weights for so long.

To save a copy for your own use Press
File ——> Download as ——-> choose your desired format ———-> enter your maxes —-> lift some weights.
I am thinking of riding out the rest if the year using this style of training, it will be interesting to see the upshot of logical and linear progressions…