These are your questions. You asked—we answered.


Steve: Okay, we have a question from Morgan Girad...I already know the answer to this one because we've done that in our training. How do you set up a powerlifting training program that's a five day a week program?

Dave: Five days is a lot for anybody to handle. So the first thing is you have to develop the work capacity to be able to get to five days a week. For most people who are beginner and intermediate, three days a week is a better place to start. As you do build that work capacity—the ability to work and still recover and not having injuries, and joint problems, and sore backs, and sore shoulders, and all the other things that can be accompanied—then you can work into a four-day week program. For me, if it is a four-day week program, I like to keep the two hardest days as close together as I can. That way you have more time to recover from those days, and then the accessory days are going to fall more during the week. Or for some people it could be speed days or however it is. If a fifth day is going to be thrown in, it's usually...I'll put that in if the training program has exceeded what I think is an acceptable length of time. Which to me, a solid training program for me—if the person goes in ready and conditioned to train with me—should be eight to ten weeks at the most. If it ends up having to be 14, 16, 18, or even further, I think you do need to throw in a fifth day, which is just more for recovery and restoration. I like to use things all depends upon the group you're working with and who the people are, but real high rep band pushdowns for 100 reps. I like to get a lot of blood into the elbows, more or less, because that's where the problems are going to come. I like to put blood where the problems would come. I like to put a lot of blood in the lower back, a lot of blood in the elbows, a lot of blood throughout the hip joint—the hip region, a lot of blood into the shoulders. I don't really necessarily want a big pump, I just want a lot of fluid moving through the system that's not going to make the person sore, but it's going to actually help him recover a little bit better. So, I guess you could almost in a way call it specified circuit training—just to get the blood moving around and keep everything loose. And then run that. But you can't...I don't think you can run that for a year. I don't think you can run it for a very long time because this session is a restoration session. And restoration methods and movements and means, like hot tubs and whatever you're going to use, they all need to be cycled in and out of the program. Because if your body becomes too accustomed to it—say that fifth day you kept doing it; if you guys kept doing that—there would come a time when that fifth day wasn't gonna be enough anymore. And then there's gonna have to be another extra workout put on top of there. And then another extra workout put on top of there. There was a point in time where I had five extra workouts just for recovery, then the four main workouts. And that's just that building, and building, and building, and building. You know, I think at some point in time it does have to scale back down to where the training, and volume, and the intensity will stagnate. You know, you let it settle, I guess is the best way to put it, so you can remove all those things, let the body recover on its own, naturally from the weight training, and then have that to go back in again—instead of just having to keep increasing and increasing. Because at a certain point in time, the volume is going to exceed the restoration capacity.

Steve: Well I know that when you added the fifth day to us, which was a Wednesday, with our max effort stuff being Saturday and Sunday, that made a real big difference—particularly with elbows. For me personally, I was feeling a lot of elbow pain, but that recovery work seemed to totally take that out of the equation.

Dave: Yeah, and you gotta listen to the body to know when to throw those in. Typically, from what I've seen, it's usually going to be, you know, a six-, eight-, ten-week range is when it's going to happen. For you guys I had spies, you know, that would let me know. Now, if you're in two weeks and you're complaining about those problems, then there is an error in the program. Because then you got to step back because those shouldn't be happening. You know, that means that the lifter was not prepared to start the program. Something's either too high too soon at that point in time, if there's problems after two weeks, I would not be throwing in restoration work. I would be taking two steps back and restructuring the whole entire program, and then finding a better way to move forward.

Stay tuned for more episodes.


Previous Episodes:

Your Questions Answered, Part 1

Your Questions Answered, Part 2

Your Questions Answered, Part 3

Your Questions Answered, Part 4

Your Questions Answered, Part 5

In this episode, Dave discusses how and when to incorporate a fifth training day into your program.