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Thursday 9th October

So this marks the start of a new “cycle” with the ROD Program.


Essentially over the next 12 weeks we will be working a progressional strength routine on the Press, Dead Lift & Back Squat in 3 “mini” 4-week blocks. We will run the highly acclaimed & successful Wendler 5/3/1 system.

If you are not familiar with the Wendler program we’ll give you a brief run down here. Basically you are programmed the Press, Dead Lift & Back Squat just once a week whereby you work to a particular rep scheme at a particular percentage. This is dependant on the week itself. You are to TRUST in the system and abide by its sets/reps protocol.

– Week One is 3 sets of 5.

– Week Two is 3 sets of 3.

– Week Three is a set of 5; a set of 3 and a set of 1.

– Week Four is a de-load week where the percentage is stripped back and you do 3 easy sets of 5 before resetting your numbers for the next cycle that starts the following week.

The beauty of this is in every week & on every move you end with a “Max Effort” set! By “Max Effort” we are looking for technical maxes which means your form is most important and you stop with 1 or 2 reps left in tank. It is not about balls to the wall reps till the bar drops out of control of your hands or something!

What is also important, perhaps most important is that ALL percentages are calculated off of 90% of your known 1 Rep Max. Thats right, when we say 5 reps @ 75%, we mean 5 reps @ 75% of 90% of your max. NOT 75% of your actual 1 Rep MAX!

For example, if your 1RM Back Squat is 120kg, you will first up calculate 90% of this which is 108kg. ALL further calculations for percentages will be off of this huber of 108kg. So 5 reps @ 75% would be 81kg and NOT 90kg as would be the case.

Be honest about any maxes that you know of. DO NOT use an RM that is really old. It needs to be somewhat current to be of real use to you. If you misjudge and shoot with too high a number you are lending yourself to failure and will not see the benefit of the program.

We will label these mini-4 week blocks as “Waves”, and in turn will label each week by its number. So this week will be called “Wave 1; Week 1”. Next week “Wave 1; Week 2”, and so on. Don’t fret if you don’t get on the wagon at the start of the wave. We will list an alternative sets & reps to the same move. You can always use that and if you want to, join in with the program at the start of “Wave 2”.

Remember that after each 4-week block we will reset the base percentage number that we calculate things off of. We effectively will add 4.5kg on the lower body lifts & 2.5kg on the upper body lift. This effectively means that we will no longer use the original 90% number from the 2nd wave onwards. Remember that piece as its important! All you have to do is take that 90% number and add on those kilos, then work out the percentages from there. Keeping a log is essential.

Of course 3 sets may not sound like much work but think about it. The last set is always “Max Effort” and you could end up with 15 odd reps at the end taking your volume right up there. But alas you always need to warm up so as a rule of thumb warm up with 5 reps each @ 40%; 50% & 60%.

Please stick with these kilo rises each “Wave” and don’t get tempted to jump it by more! You are NOT superman and by adding too much you will only fail in this system. (The only exception to the rule is if you regularly hit 25+ reps on your “Max Effort” sets each week).

If you are still unsure then please ask Karl or even head onto the inter web and look up Jim Wendler and the “5/3/1” system. I (Karl) can attest to the effectiveness of this program. It’s taken a previous 1RM weight on the Dead Lift into a 5RM! It’s also broken through a plateau on the squat too!

It really is a simple program to follow, one that can have you continually hitting new Rep Maxes each week. After we do 3 waves which will lead nicely into December & Christmas, and it’ll pick up again in early to mid January. We are looking toward things like the Reebok CrossFit Open next year. That may seem ages away but if you want those “standard” weights to feel light in the tests each week you need to be strong and strength takes time to build. This will not get in the way of our main Programming as the day the lifts fall on will vary and there is also always time to “catch up” during Barbell Class on Saturdays. If we program the same lift on our dedicated strength day then still don’t fret, you can still do the strength day and do the lift later that week. Or not. It’s up to you.


So here we go! WAVE 1; WEEK 1.


Thursday 9th October. Wave 1; Week 1.


Strict Press

5 Reps @ 65%

5 Reps @ 75%

5+ Reps @ 85% (This is the Max Effort set. Aim for 7-8+ reps).


Remember the %’s are to be calculated off of 90% of your 1RM! *

If not doing Wendler do this:

3 x 5, same load across, 70-75%.


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