I am just about to move from phase 1 to phase 2 in the UMWP. When I move from the last week of phase 1 to the first week of phase 2 I am unsure of how much I should be dropping my weight load down to. For example in phase 1 for the straight leg dead lift the load progression I used was 80, 90, 100, 110 through the 4 weeks. So for the first week of phase 2 what load would you recommend I start at?
Also I have noticed that when some of the people in the gym are lifting heavy loads they work their way up to the highest load in their workout. So for the first set of reps they will lift half the load, 2nd set maybe ¾ and then for the last set do the full load. Is this to prevent injury? What is your take on this?
It is kind of tough to say what a good load would be but I would say that it is more important that you are moving the right load in week 4 than in week 1. The fact that you are switching exercises and set/ rep schemes gives your body a stimulus – your loads don’t need to be perfect in week 1 to get a training effect.
So, follow the progression of starting almost too light and adding load each week until you are getting near technical failure in week 4.
As for “warming up” to a heavy load, I would agree with that general approach if you are maxing out on your lifts. Most of those guys are working up to a set where they go to failure. Since I don’t recommend training to failure except in the last week of the program it is not as much as issue.
However, as you get stronger you will need to start adding some warm up sets. A general rule of thumb is that for every 50 pounds you are going to lift do 1 warm up set. The more you are lifting the more of a run up you will need to make sure that you are ready for the load.
Hope this helps…