Responding to yet another question posed to him through his training log, elitefts coach Steve Goggins recently shared a video answering a question about his training programs:
"What type of training programs have you used and which ones worked the best for you?"
Steve begins by saying that the answer is pretty simple: he has only ever used his own type of programming. He's never done anyone else's program or had another person design his training, but has instead has always made his own programs and figured out what works best for him. Once he learned powerlifting and his body's response to different training methods, he only had to make small adjustment to a consistent plan.
Within this consistent plan, most days were set up in a pyramid style. Under this type of program, on any given day you may start at 10 reps and, as you work up in weight, end at doubles or singles. Many times Steve's training sessions would follow this pattern of starting light and decreasing reps until he reached a max or near max set of one or two reps. For other days when he wouldn't go quite as heavy, he'd work up to a relatively lighter single and then do reps on a percentage based on that weight. Unlike the heavy days, when the singles were 95% or 100%, on a lighter day the top set might be only 85%, and then he'd back off the weight from the top set and do sets of five. What determined the difference between a truly 100% day and a lighter day was the proximity to the meet; the point in the training cycle relative to an upcoming competition determined everything. This approached enabled him to never burn out or overtrain.
In training his clients, Steve points out that what works best for each lifter is different than what works best for him. After eight to 12 weeks, however, he knows what someone can handle and how they perform in training. This very quickly gives him an understanding of how to best program for them and what adjustments to make to tailor it for specific needs. At the end of the day, Steve says, almost anything can work if the coach and the lifter make the right adjustments.