Light and Medium Days in HLM Programming Light and Medium Days in HLM Programming

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Thread: Light and Medium Days in HLM Programming

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    4

    Default Light and Medium Days in HLM Programming

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    This is my first post to the forums, and I hope it isnít too long. Please be gentle. I appreciate the time and energy that you guys put into the forums. I know you do it for free on your own time.

    About me: Male, 42, 5í10Ē, 300 lbs. Following Starting Strength programming since July 2017.
    Recent PRs:
    Squat: 465x5
    Deadlift: 405x5
    Bench: 215x3
    Press: 137.5x5
    Power Clean: 145x3 (recently added to trainingódelayed using it due to a thoracic spine injury)

    Some background: I started lifting seriously in 2017 because I was tired of being fat and weak. Due to injuries and family issues, I ran NLP a few times, and now Iím much stronger than Iíve ever been in my life. Since February, Iíve been following a basic HLM approach with a bench press focus (for now), increasing weights each week. About a month ago, I reset my weights and began rotating heavy days between 5s, 3s, and 1s.

    My question: Iím not sure what to do with light and medium days. Right now light day is 80% of my heavy 5s for three sets of five, and medium day is 90% of my heavy 5s for four sets of five. Iím using the same weights and reps on those days for three weeks at a time, but I wonder if Iíd be better off waving the light and medium day weights or rotating rep schemes for each cycle of 5s, 3s, and 1s. Any ideas about weights and rep schemes would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    25

    Default

    If your light and medium days aren't stalling you can keep it simple and continue on. If the light/medium days are getting boring you could add some variety through exercise selection (paused squats, box squats, safety bar squats, incline BP, CGBP, etc.) to fit the "light" or "medium" day depending on your weekly template.

    You could also introduce dynamic effort cycles on the medium day which is a 3-week wave. Andy Baker has a bunch of free information on these topics on his site at AndyBaker.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    4

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    Thanks for the reply! I think I knew this was going to be the answer. I got the idea to cycle heavy days from Andy Baker’s site. I’ve read pretty much every article on his blog and purchased two of his programs. Putting it all together is the hard part. I’m about to travel for a few weeks, so when I come back I think I’ll re-assess all of my programming. I try only to implement small changes at a time, but this small layoff may give me a chance to change up more. For a while now, I’ve been thinking of trying another of Andy’s ideas and doing HLM programming for squats and pulls but Texas Method for pressing. As you can see in my first post, my numbers are a bit out of whack in terms of upper- and lower-body strength.

    What I’ve been doing so far has been working, and I don’t want to re-invent the wheel. Mostly, I think I’m starting to crave a little more variety, which is what got me to start cycling heavy days (well, that and a hefty dose of built-up fatigue). That’s why light and medium days are confusing me now. If I keep those on a linear progression it will stop being HLM pretty quickly, but only changing them every three weeks doesn’t seem right, either. I’ve already implemented a little variety on medium and light days: I do close-grip bench for medium presses and I do my light squats beltless. Maybe that’s where I need to add the variety. Also, once I know I have twelve straight weeks without work or family travel, I’ll probably run Garage Gym Warrior.

    I’ve really benefitted from Starting Strength style programming. I wish I had known a lot of these things 20 years ago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    25

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    If you bought a program from Andy just follow it 100% and assess your likes/dislikes at the end, don't change it. For the future, here are 3 easy options for your medium day.

    1)If you decide to keep the basic lifts for both days you can add weight every 3 weeks, the same as your heavy day rotation, which is the simplest option There are several different sets/rep combinations and this will come down to your programming needs.

    2)If you introduce a new lift there is going to be a mini-LP period on that lift due to learning a new movement pattern and becoming efficient at it. After weekly progress stalls, you can add weight every 3 weeks like the above example. When thrice weekly progress stalls on this new movement you can simply switch it out for a new one that fits the medium or light day slot.

    3) After you exhaust the above options and become familiar and comfortable with several movements, you can cycle different movements in a 3-week HLM fashion.

    Medium day ex:
    Week 1 Pause squat (L), Week 2 Box Squat (M), Week 3 LBBSQ (H)
    Week 1 Incline Bench (L) Week 2 CGBP (M), Week 3 Bench (H)

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