Chapter No. 6 Scientific Principles of Strength Training P 218 Figure 20: SRA Curve Examples of Squatting, Benching, Deadlifting, Large and Small Accessory Work Here is a quick guide to SRA curves for different common powerlifting movements, both competition and accessory: Small Muscle Lifts/Upper Back Lifts: Muscles such as the biceps, rear and medial delts, lats, and other smaller muscles of the upper back typically recover very quickly from overloading sessions, allowing many lifters to train them up to four times per week, and in some cases even more often than that. Squat: Squats are heavy enough to be very taxing, but the slower-twitch characteristics of the quads tend to mitigate that somewhat. Especially
Chapter No. 6 Scientific Principles of Strength Training P 219 for smaller and less strong lifters, squatting daily for short periods of time can be sustainable, and even the bigger and stronger lifters report some kind of lower body quad-heavy work at least twice a week, with only once a week of any kind of quad stimulus being quite rare. Bench: Likely due to the fan-shaped structure of the pecs and the multipennate structure of the triceps, as well as the usually faster- twitch characteristics of these muscles, bench pressing does not usually lend itself to the same frequency as squatting. While squat every day programs have been popular with beginner lifters and continue to be a perennial feature of the powerlifting training scene, “bench every day” programs remain considerably absent. Smaller and less strong lifters can benefit from overload benching up to 4x a week, but stronger lifters rarely overload the bench more than once per week, and as previously stated, current world record holder (at the time of this writing) Kiril Sarychev only overloads the bench every week and half or so, just to illustrate the extreme. Of course the muscles of the bench can be trained more often, with most doing at least 2x a week, but that second session tends not to be as overloading and usually avoids overloading the bench press itself again, with assistance lifts usually being overloaded instead. Deadlift/OHP/Hamstring Work: The hamstrings tend to be faster twitch and can produce high forces relative to their size, so typically experience long SRA curves. Deadlifts and overhead presses face similar problems, but also demand very high psychological arousal and engage a vast quantity of muscle. Deadlifts engage something like 80% of the skeletal muscles of the body, and standing overhead pressing requires almost every single muscle below the shoulder to act in a stabilizing fashion, especially during very overloading and relatively intense sets. This leads to the conviction by many lifters that heavy deadlifts (overloading
Chapter No. 6 Scientific Principles of Strength Training P 220 intensities and volumes) can only be programmed once a week for most lifters, with similar thoughts on standing overhead pressing. In fact, many of the biggest and strongest deadlifters in the world only pull overloads as infrequently as every two weeks!
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