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Messages - Boris Sheiko

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Biomechanics / Re: Barbell path tracking
« on: November 28, 2014, 10:17:33 AM »
It only takes 5 minutes but it can show (especially a novice lifter) very quickly what is wrong like my friend here:

I see this is a very common problem. We have a standard approach to correcting it. You can see the hips rise up faster after the sticking point. This redistributes load from the legs to the back and occurs because of weak leg muscles. I usually recommend to my students to do pin squats at 40-60% of the squat result where the pin is set to position the bar slightly lower than where it reaches at full depth. In addition, squats with a 1s pause at the weak point on the way up are also prescribed. These two special exercises can help fix the problem.

+14% in 20 weeks. Very good.

Really good results for only 12 weeks.

+4% for 12 weeks is good.

Universal Topics / Re: FAQs from students
« on: August 15, 2014, 03:39:18 PM »
Here are some more FAQs from students

Q) The bar wanted to roll off from my delts depsite the fact that the weight was not heavy.
A) Move your elbows back and up. It will help you to secure the bar on your back.

Q) My friend who will help me wrap my knees at the competition can't wrap me at every workout. I can call him just for a couple of workouts close to the date of competition. How to get the maximum benefit from his help?

A) It is important to be wrapped by him not only on the last workouts but also for the high intensity workouts. He must get used to wrapping you in way you like. You should show him where to start from and how many rounds to do. If you use the cross wrapping method you should show him when to form the cross. Also, you should remember the following: the larger the weight of the barbell the tighter your friend should wrap you and the faster you should go down. Otherwise it will be hard to break parallel.

Q) How many steps back should I walk out of the squat rack?

A) I recommend you walk out of the rack as far as it is needed as to not touch the rack when squatting. Usually 1.5-2 steps is enough.

Q) What the purpose of speed bench press?

A) It helps to pass the sticking point. This point usually is at 8-12 cm above the chest. The faster you can get the bar moving the greater your chance to pass the sticking point.

Q) How do I fix the problem of knees traveling too far forward in the squat?

A) Try wall squats. Stand near the wall so that your toes touch the wall. When you try to replicate your squat, your knees will hit the wall and will not go beyond the line of toes. Adjust your stance width, toe angle, etc. and try again until you can get all the way down. Do this exercise as a warm-up before every squat session, 8 reps x 3 sets with 20-30 kg.

Universal Topics / Re: Restart after forced stop
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:08:09 PM »
After an illness I plan for my students 70% weights during the 1st week and 75% for the 2nd week. Beyond the 2nd week – as written in the plan.

Universal Topics / Re: Restart after injury/surgery
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:04:48 PM »

what would you do in order to come back after injury or surgery with several weeks of not lifting.

i think a percentage based approach is not really the way to go without new tested maxes. any ideas how to train before testing new maxes?

Leave your max as it is. Start training with 40-50% and slightly increase the weight over 3-4 weeks until you reach 75%. By the 2nd month you should be able to train to the full extent. 

Universal Topics / Re: Quad Tendonosis
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:02:52 PM »
It is likely you overloaded the leg muscles. I recommend you visit a sauna. Heat your muscles well and massage them. Also you need to decrease the load for legs for 2 weeks. If this doesn’t help you should visit a doctor. 

Universal Topics / Re: FAQs from students
« on: August 07, 2014, 11:56:36 AM »
lifts ceiling test sequence

Gentle Mr. Sheiko
what do you think the best sequence for warming up before a test or ceiling of a competition for the bench press?
for example:
50% x 5
   75% x 4
   84% x 3
   92% x2
   100% x1
max x1
could be better?
and for the deadlift? and for the squat?
I apologize for the English ,is about to google translator
thank you

It is hard to understand how much your opener is. If it is 100% that is the wrong decision. In the worst case you will finish with zero.

There are many variants of warm-up and weights for three attempts on the platform.

50% 4reps х 1set,
60% 3reps х 1set,
70% 2reps х1set,
80% 2reps х 1set,
85% 1rep х 1set,
90% 1 rep х 1set

1 option: 1st   - 92%; 2nd  – 97%; 3rd  100% or 102%
2 option: 1st  - 95%; 2nd – 100%; 3rd  102% or 105%
3 option: 1st  - 97%; 2nd  – 102%; 3rd  105% or 107%

I usually plan for my athletes 6 warm up sets in the squat and bench press, 4-5 sets in the deadlift.

Universal Topics / Re: Small Plates
« on: July 21, 2014, 06:08:28 AM »
I advise my lifters to round the weights. If a competition is less than 2 weeks out or an athlete feels bad, then always round downward.

Universal Topics / Re: Stretches and/or mobility drills
« on: July 21, 2014, 06:07:34 AM »
Mr. Sheiko, I am wondering if your lifters do any stretches or mobility drills?
If so, do they differ per lifter? Or are there just a few basic things you make them do?
Also, when do you prefer them? After training of on off days or both?

Kind regards,


Stretching improves blood flow to the muscles and removes toxins, which speeds up recovery. It can also help get rid of cramps.

Stretching should be done only after a workout, when the muscles are warmed up enough and elastic. Do stretching smoothly without sudden/fast/abrupt movements and without extreme amplitudes. Listen to your body and do what you think is right for yourself. Ten minutes of static stretching after a workout is necessary.

I don’t recommend stretching before workouts or between sets. Your muscles can become so elastic and mild that it will be hard to do the main workout. For example, if you stretch your hamstrings very well before squatting you will be able to squat deeper. If you stretch your quadriceps – it will be hard to stand from the bottom: it is hard to shorten a stretched muscle.

Therefore before a strength workout you should only warm your muscles – not stretch them. I also don’t see any difference between stretching of lightweight or heavyweight lifters.

Yes, you can do it. I usually plan front squats for athletes who lean forward during the squat. Front squats help to teach the athlete to keep his back straight and to lean less. Naturally, the weight of the barbell for this exercise is much less than the usual squat.  If you know your maximum for the front squat, you shouldn’t change the percentage in my program.  If you don’t know – decrease written percents by15-20%.

The method differs by incorporating a larger number of lifts (6-8 reps), which leads to an increase in muscle mass of the athlete.

Universal Topics / Re: Different technic for different body types?
« on: July 21, 2014, 06:04:15 AM »
Does Mr Sheiko wants all lifters to struggle towards the same technic or should lifters consider that different body types gives different technic for the lifts?

The process of every powerlifting movement consist of three stages: preparatory, main and final. The preparatory stage is the setup. It creates the optimal conditions for the main stage (movement itself). The final stage consists of fixing the final position.

Phase Structure - a small portion of the exercise. Phase structure considers the consistency of individual elements of the movement. For example, the squat consists of six phases, which are the same for all athletes:

Phase 1. Pre-start position
Phase 2. Start position
Phase 3. Eccentric motion (way down)
Phase 4. Concentric motion (way up)
Phase 5. Fixing the final position
Phase 6. Returning the barbell to the rack

Elements - components of the phases. If the stages and phases are an integral part of the exercise, accompanied by any lifter, the elements show the individuality of one. Elements depend on the individual morphological and functional characteristics of the athlete. Proper elements’ usage characterizes an individual technique, which is most suitable for that person.

It is pointless to talk about one single template. So it is necessary to adjust the technique of competitive exercises to individual anatomical data of each athlete individually. Flaws in the elements of one lifter may be ideal for another.

Universal Topics / Recommended Volume
« on: July 09, 2014, 06:53:46 AM »
Edit: This post is also available in Italian. Thanks Massimiliano Buccioni for the translation.

Previously it was mentioned that recommendations for monthly volume are the following:

Beginner = 700
Class 3 = 900
Classes 1 & 2 = 1000
CMS = 1100
MS = 1250
MSIC = 1700

Having seen these it is difficult to make an assessment of these recommendations without further explanation, such as:

1. To what period of training do these recommendations apply: the base, competitive or the average of all periods?

2. The number of training day these loads should be applied to is not specified. For example, in most cases the MSIC athletes in Russia train 4-5 times per week, MS train 4 times, Class 1 and CMS train 3-4+ times, and the others train 3 times. From this, it follows that the more training days, the easier it is to carry a greater load.

3 workouts in 1 week = 12 per month
4 workouts in 1 week = 16 per month
5 workouts in 1 week = 20 per month

3. It is not known whether the number of lifts includes general developmental exercises, such as hyperextensions, reverse hypers, exercises for the abs, exercises for the pectorals, lats, arm muscles, or leg muscles. And what about incline bench presses, shoulder presses, dumbbell bench presses, etc.?

4. We should also not forget that athletes in lighter weight classes can more easily handle larger loading than athletes in heavier weight categories. Therefore, the programs of athletes in lighter weight classes are planned with larger volumes than athletes in heavier weight categories.

5. Similarly, it is much easier for juniors to handle larger loading than adults and the same relationship applies between adults and veterans.

Beginners (1st Month) - 3 training sessions per week.

In the first month I plan only one exercise with a barbell at a time to study the art (from three-competitive lifts). I usually use 5-6 lifts in 5 approaches. For example:

Day 1 - learning how to perform squats.
Day 3 - learning how to perform bench presses.
Day 5 - learning how to perform deadlifts.

Also planned alongside the barbell exercise are 3-4 exercises for the development of general athletic qualities such as power, speed-strength, endurance, and flexibility. Agility is also developed through participation in team sports (football, basketball, volleyball) once or twice per week.

The result is 350 - 450 competitive lifts and special preparatory exercises. Great attention is paid to general fitness.

Beginners (Months 2-4) – 3 training sessions per week.

Two barbell exercises are planned in this stage, one competitive exercise, and one specifically for securing technique. For example:

Day 1
1. Squat
2. Bench press w/board

Day 3
1. Bench press
2. Deadlift off boxes

Day 5
1. Box squats
2. Close grip bench press

The result is 450 - 550 competitive lifts and special preparatory exercises at low intensity in the range of 50-60%. The share of general physical exercises still constitute the majority of the volume. 

Classes 2 & 3 - 3 training sessions per week.

The athletes continue pursing technique mastery. Special preparatory exercises are used not only to secure technique, but also to increase the strength qualities of lagging muscle groups. Loading is increased from 600 - 750 competitive lifts and special preparatory exercises. The intensity of loads rises to 60-65% in the preparatory periods. The share of general physical exercise is reduced slightly.

Class 1 and CMS - 3-4+ training sessions per week.

During training sessions the athletes work on improving the performance of equipment and the development of competitive exercise power qualities through special preparatory exercises. The number of lifts in competitive and special preparatory exercises for 16 workouts per month range from 800 - 1300. Intensity increases to 67-69% in the preparatory periods.

MS and MSIC (Elite)

There can be no recommended levels of stress. Here are some real examples of loading variations in this group of athletes:

Microcycle Load Distribution of a MS Lifter in the Preparatory Period
Week 1    Week 2    Week 3    Week 4    Total     
Avg %68.2%69.7%68.5%68.8%69.0%
Workouts    444416

The next example is for Andrey Belyaev.

Microcycle Load Distribution of a MSIC Lifter in the Preparatory Period
Week 1    Week 2    Week 3    Week 4    Total     
Avg %68.0%71.4%73.7%69.5%70.7%
Workouts    888832

The next example is for Alexey Sivokon.

Microcycle Load Distribution of a Honorary MSIC Lifter in the Preparatory Period
Week 1    Week 2    Week 3    Week 4    Total     
Avg %69.6%72.5%71.7%60.5%71.2%
Workouts    788831

See the graphic for a summary. You will see the typical volume progression as well as examples of programs on this site. Notice that special cases such as juniors and lighter weight categories can tolerate above average volumes. Dear reader, please do not take the graph as dogma. It is based on averages and will not apply in every case.

You can check your classification here.

Universal Topics / Re: General Training Overview - Yearly Loading
« on: June 23, 2014, 03:46:45 PM »
The recommendations for volume are as follows.

Novices = 700,
Class 3 = 900,
Class 2-1 = 1K,
CMS = 1.1k,
MS = 1.25k,
MSIC = 1.7k.

This is total number of reps done with the bar over 49%

I don't agree. These recommendations are for gifted lifters or for those taking steroids.

Classes 1,2,3 = high
Novices = too much

These lifters train three times per week so this volume is high for them. We need to consider the average lifter too not only the gifted ones.

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