Moving in another direction – Taking a long term view

Yesterday I read an entry by my fellow blogger over at VR training entitled Changes to my Programming. If you haven’t had a nosy over on his page Learn, Adapt & Conquer, I encourage you to pay it a visit. We seem to be at a similar stage in our lifting, and the guys passion and drive ensures his articles are always well thought out, of good quality and often motivating.

After reading VR’s article I decided to write an update on my current training program containing where I’m at currently, and where I intend to be in the medium to long term. If you read my first post on this blog entitled A Training Philosophy in development Part 2 you will know that for the last 7-8 months I’ve trained to a personal modified version of the conjugate system centred on raw training. To date this has provided me with great gains of almost 70kg onto my total. Something I’m very pleased with. However, next week I’ll be starting the ‘beginner’ Sheiko program #29. I can almost hear the “You’re an idiot”…”Why fix something that isn’t broken?”….comments from here. All perfectly acceptable points but let me explain why.

I’ve made more progress in the last 7 months than any other other point in the 2 years I’ve now been training. The modified conjugate system, for me at least, seems to be really working. However, I’m a great believer in training efficiently and effectively, and I take a long term view of my powerlifting journey. I recently graduated from University (Studied Bsc Economics) and I’m currently living at home  (until September where I hope to do Masters) helping to look after my ill Father. This has enabled me to concentrate fully on lifting, rest and my nutrition. And although my results have been great, I’m not naive to think that my current situation has not contributed to these results. Therefore, my current situation provides a perfect platform for program testing to enable me to shed some light on what will likely be the most efficient style of training that in the long term will be the most effective for me.

So why Sheiko?

Sheiko is a high volume program developed by Boris Sheiko, a Russian powerlifting coach. He has coached countless number of world class powerlifters and the raw powerlifting records are dominated by lifters who adheared to his programs, or at least trained closely to his ideas. There’s no denying this fact and many argue, until the raw powerlifting records prove otherwise, the Sheiko style (and it’s similarities) of training is and will remain a superior program in comparison to the conjugate system for example (This is an interesting debate but something that will have to wait for another blog entry perhaps).

So clearly Sheiko has it’s credentials, but why now?

..Especially when I’m making such good progress. This is a fair point but as I mentioned above, due to being a relative beginner in all this, I take a long term view of my training. I want to know what style of training will be the most efficient and effective for me for many years to come, not just right now. Right now is the perfect time to undertake a small scale, medium-to-long term test to see how my body reacts to the two differing styles.

Don’t give up on what you want most, for what you want now.

Furthermore, if I’m no longer training in my garage gym come September, I will not be able to train the conjugate system as I’ve been training for 7-8 months now. I will once again have to modify it in order to account for training in a commercial gym without the equipment I currently have at my disposal. Moving onto a Sheiko style of training or Cube method style may become my only option.

For the last 3 weeks I have been running the Smolov Junior programs (Bench and Squat alongside one another) essentially as a transition phase between the conjugate system and the high volume Sheiko program. The reason for this is to try and increase my work capacity and to get used to squatting and benching many times a week. I’ve been used to chasing 1 rep, 3 rep and occasionally 5 rep maxes for so long, that 6 sets of 6 followed by 7 sets of 5 the next day of squats and bench were not welcome sights…! However, already the higher volume and frequency of squatting and benching has meant I’ve come out of this 3 week program feeling that my technique is the best it has ever been. I’m feeling confident moving into Sheiko that my technique and my body can handle the strains that will be expected of it.

Well that’s enough talking, come Monday it’ll be time to get into the gym and get on with it.

Onwards and upwards. If you’re interested in Sheiko, here is a collection of excel spreadsheats with the different programs on.

Strong Body. Strong Mind.

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3 thoughts on “Moving in another direction – Taking a long term view”

  1. Hey man just wanted to thank you for taking the time to reading my article and sharing it with your fellow readers! I’ve been learning a lot from your work and want to personally thank you for sharing. Keep up the great work!


    1. Hey Victor,
      Same to you mate. Always good to see someone that has the philosophy of working hard, but also working smart in the weight room. Look forward to reading more from you.

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