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Breaking Down The A.B.S Wave System.

The A.B.S Wave system runs in 3-4 week phases with each wave focusing on the following:

  • Building technique through specific variations
  • Attacking specific weaknesses
  • Working in multiple repetition ranges
  • Working in multiple intensity ranges
  • Building capacity and frequency

The goal of our building wave is to improve all aspects of a lifters arsenal not solely focus on one aspect of a lifters training. We have found this to be the best method to carry momentum in training, reduce the risk of injury and facilitate long term progress in the sport of powerlifting.

Each wave sees a change in multiple aspects of training such as intensity, exercise selection, repetition requirements. This is changed on a regular basis to allow the lifter to constantly be challenged, prevent overreaching and diminishing returns for their work load.

Each person’s wave will iffer, with some able to push higher percentages of 1RM week to week. The key is to work within ranges where you can adapt and improve. Talk to your coach to find out where that is, and what exercises you should spend your time working on. The more waves you do the more information and data you will gather on yourself as a lifter, track what you are doing in the sheet. As you go through waves you will find yourself doing the same exercise and rep scheme again, find your data and see what your first week looked like, add 2.5kg. Find your week 2 numbers, see if you can add 5kg, and so on.

Always be building.

Typical 3 Week Wave Layout

Week 1 

  • RPE 7-7.5 
  • Percentage 77.5-85% 
  • Reps in Reserve 3

Week 1 acts like a deload after the completion of the previous wave and a chance to establish numbers and familiarity with the programmed reps and variations.

Rather than a big drop off in volume / Intensity like traditional deloads, we drop the intensity for week 1, however the total rep volume stays the same. Total load volume is dropped due to the reduction in overall intensity at the start of the wave.

The goal of week 1 is to build a foundation and allow yourself to adapt to the new requirements and variations.

Week 2

  • RPE 8-9 
  • Percentage 
  • 80-90% 
  • Reps in Reserve 2-3 

Week 2 builds upon the previous week, giving you a general feel for the new wave and where you should be going. This will allow you to build on your volume and intensity from Week 1.

This week you can hit top sets within your prescribed sets as well as perform pyramid sets. For example a 3×6 could look like this: 90×6 100×6 95×6 or 90×6 95×6 100×6.

The goal of wave 2 is to improve on all aspects of wave one, but not to the point where you are missing / grinding reps or allowing technique to breakdown.

Week 3 (Final Week)

  • RPE 8.5-9.5 
  • Percentage 
  • 80-95% 
  • Reps in Reserve 1-2 

This week is your final week of the wave and the week you’ll push for top sets and PB’s. A top set does not mean going for an all time PB grinder, it’s a set at a high weight, adhering to the prescribed RPE/RIR within your capacity but providing a challenge. You want to beat the previous numbers on the prescribed variation / rep range and not let form breakdown. Data from previous waves should indicate roughly where you should be in Week 3 and what numbers you want to hit.

Example a 3×6 front squat session could look like this – 90×6 (RPE 7) 100×6 RPE 8.5 107.5 RPE 9-9.5 (PR)

All sets do not have to be in the upper range of the effort scale, only your top set or sets.

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