The advanced trainee has adjusted to strength training to the degree where a weekly training paradigm is no longer working. At this level of progression, an overload event and ensuing recovery from it may take a month or more. Most lifters and strength competitors will never progress to this level unless they are active participants in the barbell sports or strongman competitions. It signifies the effects of years of exertion under the bar and most of the journey along the arc of adaptation potential. Once more, the advanced lifter is a contestant in a strength sport. It is a rare individual who has succeeded in exhausting the intricacy of all the potential intermediate programmes in existence. The vast majority of advanced lifters are just that:
- Contenders in strongman
- Olympic weightlifting
Anyone who really must use advanced-level post-weekly training periodization is somebody who has devoted himself to the strength sports, has forfeited other features of life in the search of competitive success, and will likely always classify himself or herself as a lifter. Advanced programming must employ variations in intensity and volume over longer timeframes, because advanced adaptation takes place over longer timeframes. Irrespective of the kind of cycle used to prepare for competition, for the advanced lifter the last 2 to 4 weeks prior to the experience must comprise a reduction in both intensity and volume. Intensity is reduced by decreasing the percent of maximum loading used in training. Volume is cut by regulating the number of repetitions executed, using doubles and singles only, and by lessening both the number of sets and number of exercises incorporated in a workout. The purpose of these last weeks of training is to permit the body to recover so that it can react with maximum effort and competence when tested to do so.
- Kurz, Thomas. Science of sports training: how to plan and control training for peak performance. Island Pond, VT, U.S.A.: Stadion, 1991.
- Rippetoe, Mark, and Lon Kilgore. Practical programming for strength training. 2nd ed. Wichita Falls, TX: Aasgaard Co., 2009.