every single one and the only program she has ever used is 5thSet. She has continued to make regular progress on this program for over 3 years and she is not an outlier in that regard.---Should I do any cardio? How much?The role of cardiovascular training for the powerlifter is an aid to recovery and overall health as there is very little need for an increase in cardiovascular capacity to perform in competition. There is an argument that cardio can help with training endurance and recovery between sets, but 3 x 40 minute, low-moderate intensity sessions per week is sufficient for this effect.This program is designed to leave enough recovery in the bucket for the average person to do just about that amount. My usual rule is no more than 9 miles per week on foot, spread over 3 sessions, and you can decide if you want to run, walk or crawl it.
---Can back work be done on bench days?Yes. In fact I have had some success doing the chins on my bench day, after a bench MSM, with very little other assistance work. I've even done some of the chins between my lighter warm up sets for bench. The main thing to consider is the way it effects the rest of your cycle.When I do them on my bench day, I make sure to split up the assistance work (rows) from the main work on the following session and do it the day after that session, so I'm not training back two sessions in a row.---Is it ever okay to skip a scheduled training day? If so, when?Is it ever okay? Yes. However this is not something you want to make a habit of for obvious reasons. There is enough leeway to get away with this maybe 1-2 times per mesocycle and I'd rather have you do that than fail out on your 5thSet because you worked late; or you are sick, or you're hung over from a birthday party or whatever aspect of the real world showed up and pissed all over your dreams of greatness.One of the most beautiful aspects of the 9 day cycle is that it can effortlessly become the 11 day cycle, if the need arises, and that will have little or no impact on the outcome so long as it doesn't become a habit. Pick up where you left off on the next scheduled day. Never skip a session, do the scheduled session next time you train.When is it okay? I have rule for this I share with my lifters. Ask yourself: "Will I suck?" Whatever the reason you are considering skipping a scheduled training day: "Will I suck?" If you're pretty sure it's a yes and you're going to fail out or perform poorly because you didn't recover due to real world circumstances: instead of the weight room, hit the bedroom. Get another light cardio session in that week or just take it easy. Rest and destroy. When is it not okay? The meet peaking phase comes to mind. If you are beat up going into your max microcycle in the beginning of the meet peaking mesocycle, skip a scheduled day before you start. After that you really want to avoid missing anything until after the 80% week.
---Can the second pressing day be used as a "dynamic effort" day or a speed day?