Undulating Periodization and Load Selection


Got a great  question via email after our Certified Functional Strength Coach course in Germany

I’m trying to set up my own peridization model that works for my clients. The problem is that I have no clue at what intensity I should program things like SLDL or RFESS.

I have data for bench, deadlift, chin-up, Over-Head-Press, and Front-Squat. Which percentage of my bench max can I use for the incline dumbell bench press for example?

What about deadlift max to SLDL? So One-Leg to Two-Legs?
Are there any good % from the big“ lifts to use for those single leg Lifts?

First off, great questions I’ll try to answer one at a time. To better understand our periodization model, read this:   Variety in Strength Training

1- Bench to dumbbell incline is the easiest. You need to remember that none of these conversions are perfect but, they work well to start. When we think bilateral to dumbbells we think 80% so for dumbbell bench press take 80 your bench rep max and divide by 2.

Example  100K x 5 in the bench press would be 40K dumbbells. ( .8×100)/2

To go from bench to incline we would again take 80% so the incline number would be 32K. Does that make sense. To make it easy you can do 64% ( 8×8) and divide by two.

2- Deadlift to SLDL and squat to RFESS won’t work as well. In a trained athlete who is experienced with the unilateral lifts there will be some relationships that work but, they will never work for beginners. Our trained athletes could split squat and front squat the same weights?

Ideally RFESS and 1 Leg SLDL will be pretty much equal but, that rarely happens. I like to start with regular split squat first using bodyweight and then progressing to the goblet position and then just use a progressive resistance approach. Think 2-4 K per week.

Hope this helps.

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