Weight Training Cycle – 16 Week Building Peaking Exercise Routine


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Strength Training Cycle 16 Week Building & Peaking Workout Program. This strength training cycle is comprised of 2 phases: 8 Week Powerbuilding Stage You will be trying to build strength and musclewhile using more conventional rep ranges. Workout Description. This is a 16 week bench press-building training system for late beginner to intermediate lifters. It is comprised of 2 distinctly different, but important blocks: Block 1 8 weeks of hypertrophy training.

The goal during this time is to get your reps in, build more muscle and work on exercise form. An ectomorph workout is a training program designed to build mass for skinny individuals. The ectomorph body type is often described as having a flat chest, small shoulders, and thin waist.

These individuals are often described as thin or skinny and have trouble putting on weight, possibly due to a faster than average metabolism (i.e. they are. Strength is displayed at 1 rep, not 5 reps, and there is a meaningful difference in technique, musculoskeletal forces, and nervous system activity between the two rep ranges. Thus, while training for strength is best done with multiple sets of 3-5 reps, training to peak your strength in a 1rm requires a more specific approach.

Using the program below, it’s not surprising to see a 20-50 pound increase in 1RM over a sixteen-week training period. I’ve even witnessed as much as a 90-pound increase. You’ll only deadlift once per week, preferably 3-4 days after squatting. You’ll also notice that you take every fourth week off from deadlifting.

This training approach is designed to hit your muscles hard three times per week and then allow enough time to promote growth and recovery. It has been most popular among strength-seeking lifters, because it has you training in the strength-building sweet. With that being said, during your training days, it is beneficial to perform full body workouts (2-3 training days per week) or upper/lower workouts (4 days per week). This will allow you to train with an optimal frequency to build or maintain lean body mass. Additionally, when you plan a year-long cycle, try alternating between different numbers of workouts per week.

For example, during a bulking phase you could workout 4-5 times per week, during a strength phase 3-4 times per week, and during a cutting phase 2-3 times per week. A well designed program will start off with lower weights and higher reps, and gradually increase the weights used while lowering the reps until you are peaking (lifting the heaviest weight you can), then there will be a week where you lower the intensity and use that time to recover. This would be one training cycle. Weight workouts suggested in the ATP are listed by strength phase and come from Joe Friel’s Training Bible methodology.

AA = Anatomical AdaptationME = Muscular EnduranceMS = Maximum StrengthMT

List of related literature:

You will learn more about how to structure training cycles based on a specific goal (periodization is the term used to describe this programming strategy) on here, and I provide several sample programs to get you moving in the right direction on here.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

For the next three months or so, I would round out the routine so that the exercises would be better balanced between weak and strong parts.

“Franco Columbu’s Complete Book of Bodybuilding” by Franco Columbu
from Franco Columbu’s Complete Book of Bodybuilding
by Franco Columbu
Creators Publishing, 2017

You will notice that these workouts generally follow a 2-week cycle, to allow for other moderate training exercises that will exist within the plan and bring diversity.

“Hal Koerner's Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond” by Hal Koerner, Adam W. Chase
from Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond
by Hal Koerner, Adam W. Chase
VeloPress, 2014

With this frequency you will see steady improvements in strength but will not compromise the rest of your training program because of excess fatigue.

“Advanced Marathoning” by Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas
from Advanced Marathoning
by Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

This is the perfect cycle to get that extra training and you will find it easy to grasp your goals.

“The Ultimate Dictionary of Dream Language” by Briceida Ryan
from The Ultimate Dictionary of Dream Language
by Briceida Ryan
Hampton Roads Publishing, 2013

For advanced training (>3 days/week), it is recommended that a split routine be used (e.g., first and third day: upper body; second and fourth day: lower body).

“The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan” by Jacalyn J. RobertMcComb, Reid L. Norman, Mimi Zumwalt
from The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan
by Jacalyn J. RobertMcComb, Reid L. Norman, Mimi Zumwalt
Springer New York, 2014

The 4-3-2-1 Cycle (or modified 3-2-1 Cycle) described earlier is an excellent framework by which to periodize training for optimal results.

“The Rock Climber's Exercise Guide: Training for Strength, Power, Endurance, Flexibility, and Stability” by Eric Horst
from The Rock Climber’s Exercise Guide: Training for Strength, Power, Endurance, Flexibility, and Stability
by Eric Horst
Falcon Guides, 2016

These routines, like all the sample routines in this book, are only a guide to the possibilities for a diversified workout.

“Sculpting Her Body Perfect” by Brad Schoenfeld
from Sculpting Her Body Perfect
by Brad Schoenfeld
Human Kinetics, 2008

Training consisted of a multiset split-body routine of 8 to 11 reps carried out 4 days per 10 weeks No

“Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy” by Brad Schoenfeld
from Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy
by Brad Schoenfeld
Human Kinetics, 2020

The recommendation for the novice or the beginner to resistance training is to use frequencies of two or three days per week when training the entire body (4, 19, 22, 25, 51, 95).

“NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training” by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association
from NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training
by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2011

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Hey Zack, I remember watching the videos about progressing relative intensity through a cycle. Do you have any general principles or guidelines for progressing volume at an appropriate rate similar to how you used relative intensity? Thanks, great content always!��

  • how would you tailor the program for non-olympic lifter? Squat is my favorite exercise and I squat just like Chinese olympic lifter(I’m Chinese myself lmao)-deep and explosive with a bounce at the bottom. But I found my squatting style might not really respond very well to typical power lifting program. At the same time, I am not training for clean and jerk and snatch either, so I do not have to worry about wasting training resources on that and can dedicate more towards things like squat, overhead press and deadlift. Will greatly appreciate your advice!

  • Why is it when I ask any strength or fitness organisation or channel about jump squats for weightlifting all I get is a wall of silence?
    Why is it such a mysterious subject?
    Why is it that no one ever talks about it?
    Why is there only 30sec clips of it all over YouTube with no speech whatsoever?
    Is it an amazing training tool that top coaches don’t want to reveal? Or is it utterly useless so no one bothers with it?

  • I’ve officially watched this 5 times and the entire thing in my spiral. I’m 11 weeks out and doing 2 strength blocks with a 3 week peak cycle. Looking for some awesome PRs in my second meet. Thanks Chad!!!!

  • Thanks for the material as always Chad much appreciated. I still can’t get over how much better my bench is. When I was hitting a wall I watched videos from some good benchers. Yours and Brandon Lillys has helped me more than all the ques work just perfect for me. Good way of breaking stuff down.

  • Zack might not be as elite as me, but this is the best squat advice I’ve heard Zack. This isn’t just coming from anyone, I am a legendary youth swim coach, with so many championship rings that I can’t turn doorhandles: so you can trust my opinion on squatting. Just the other night I was almost arrested on fake charges that my neighbor called in. I was told that unloading my firearm into a conjoining wall isn’t allowed; even though the US had just beaten England for the umpteenth time. Needless to say he hates America. Found out his nephew swims for my club team. Seems like I might need to accuse another swimmer’s family of extortion. Gonna enjoy the rest of my night with my 9th shot of fireball, and get ready to continue making history.

  • Good afternoon, I’d like to incorporate these principles into my training (current use The Juggernaut Method 2.0) & was wondering if they would be appropriate as a main assistance? For example on any given wave do the normal main lift & then a reasonably specific variation in this pattern.
    Week 1: Juggernaut Bench | High Incline Bench 4×4 @ 85%
    Week 2: Juggernaut Bench | Medium Incline Bench 4×5 @ 80%
    Week 3: Juggernaut Bench | Low Incline Bench 4×6 @ 75%

    If this isn’t the right place for this type of question, my apologies. I’ve managed to resist the internet until recently soi don’t know all the rules.

    Awesome video a lot of useful information. Thanks John

  • i just do 531,
    take 90% of your one rep max and use that for the programming,

    5x5x5 3x3x3 5x3x1
    65% 70% 75%
    75% 80% 85%
    85% 90% 95%

    last set each squat day is as many reps as possible

  • Is one exercise per category of training (acceleration, plyometrics, strength training) enough to provide a good stimulus for improving? Thank you for your knowledge

  • +Juggernaut Training Systems How, when and how often do you re-establish your max lifts?  Would that change based on the lifter’s experience?

  • 3:15
    That is one of the reasons I am a lifter, it is akin to building an RPG character however you want, but it’s YOUR OWN body.
    There are so many variables to play around with, resulting in ease of progress for those who venture beneath the regular workout plan. (aka rotating exercises to achieve different stimuli thus additional results)

  • $1/month is a beauty deal. I’m currently working with a PL coach but would like someday to return to weightlifting, hopefully this deal is still around!

  • Gentlemen another excellent video with excellent content such an excellent system using an individual’s goals common sense and science to regulate training you guys at JTS are at the top of the game!!!!������������

  • When considering volume, (particularly MRV), would all exercises that contribute to lower body fatigue be considered equally, or would movements like goodmornings and RDL’s contribute only to posterior muscles while squats, and front squats might contribute to both or primarily quads?

  • Hey Chad I recently signed up for Strong360. I was hoping there would be one there on peaking, just like the one on hypertrophy, but it doesn’t seem like it has been made yet. Can I please ask you do so? I’m really interested in learning as much as I can about programming and I feel I understand hypertrophy and strength training pretty damn well, but I would like to see how someone like you peaks. I have a general idea of it, but there is always more to learn.

  • Well since I am an sith I’ll deal in my absolute, absolutely max out every day. If you’re not pretending to train like a Bulgarian you’re not a true American lifter

  • I’m no expert but Zack doesn’t it kinda make sense to both front and overhead squat more often then back squat since they are more direct to they’re competition lift counterpart?

  • My squats are terrible. I can deadlift around 4x300lbs, power clean 155lbs, push press 150lbs, bench around 180 but only back squat 185ish. WHYYY

    Update as of Aug 2nd: did a heavy session and got a few PRs!
    Back squat: 95kg/210lbs
    Front squat: 80kg/ 175lb
    Super pumped!

    Edit Aug 16th: BS= 102kg

  • i put the numbers and program shown in the video into a spreadshit, hope it’s okay that i share.
    Just save the file and put your own 1rm’s into the boxes that say 100% it gives a good look at how the program would pan out (i havent made the %’s for accersory)

  • what does it mean when someone says “competition squat”? In other words, whats the difference between low bar and competition squat? Is it just a matter of whether you use the equipment you plan on using in a meet?

  • So someone who isnt preparing for competition should someone just train with heavier loads and more specificity since there is no peaking. For example 4-6 week block of with 85%-%90 1-3×5 with for example s,d,and bench. Maybe performed up to 4-3 times a week with a deload on the 7th week? I was thinking of doing 3 cycles then completing a hypertrophy block to prevent accommodation. Also do you have a set schedule increasing 1rm percentages numbers, or is it by feel? Do you do any DUP and if you do is it between the 1-5 rep ranges?

  • demetris parker https://youtu.be/JDn5755piog Check out my Powerlifting weighed in at 173 1300 total competition 565 deadlift 290 pause bench and 445 squat at age 20 overall Athlete football my and track in transition to college football and i run a 4.44 40yds 10.96 100m and 22.27 200m and 37in at 5’7 I really would love your help ikno I have potential to do 100% better

  • awesome video! would love to see how you peak after a strength block. I’m not quite an elite lifter yet but I do benefit really well from high volume training.

  • nice video and super informative! What do you think of the idea that you will lose a quality (for example hypertrophy) if you don’t train it frequently enough? So if you are following a linear-type program, by the time you get to your heavier weights, won’t you have lost some muscle size?

  • How do you determine the amount of sets you do for a given lift on a given day? Say you’re doing a light day and you do reps of 6 @ 70%…How do you know how many sets to do for that? Any answers would be greatly appreciated.