Bret Contreras wrote an interesting piece for T NATION: Max Out on Squats Every Day.
He writes about his visit to John Broz’s Las Vegas facility.
Fascinating insights into one of the simplest and hardest strength Olympic Weightlifting programs there is.
Not many people will have the physical and mental toughness to handle the – what John calls a watered down – version of the Bulgarian Method of Olympic Weightlifting.
Over the course of a year, lifters gradually work their way up to 13 training sessions per week – twice a day Monday through Saturday, and once on Sunday. Morning sessions last between 45 and 120 minutes; evening sessions between three and four hours for a total of approximately five hours of lifting per day.
Each Lift has its Own Rules
Different exercises place different stresses on the body, so why would volume be equal for every exercise? For the most part, snatching is easier on the body than cleaning & jerking, which is why Broz programs more volume with the snatch. Max daily squatting is no problem, but max daily deadlifting is too strenuous. For this reason the Oly lifts and speed pulls are used daily.
Work Capacity or “Daily Minimums” Rise Every Few Months
Although there may be extended times where strength stagnates or even decreases, the general goal is to slowly increase your daily maxes every few months. For example, if your daily max squat number is 350 lbs. and you raise it to 400 lbs. over the course of a year, you’re obviously much stronger. There’s not much guesswork involved – you’re either stronger or you’re not!
Always Training in a Fatigued State
You’re always giving it your all, but when you’re tired the weight on the bar will be smaller. The effort and desire mimic the competition, but since you’re fresh at a meet the weight on the bar will be larger. The fight with maximum weight is the same regardless of the load. This is the key to the system: learning to fight a max. When you rest before a meet you’re not getting stronger, it’s just that now you’re finally able to pull together all of your power to use on the same day.
In training, PR’s come on anytime. The resting/peaking allows you to assume that you can hit the PR’s on any given day and lets you stack the cards in your favor for the greatest chance of success.
I would quote the whole article, but you better read it for yourself (especially the “Other Broz gems”) and watch the videos of Pat “Buff” Mendes (200-kilo snatch, 230 clean, 320 back squat for 5 reps, and 5 reps with 250 in back squat in less than five seconds) if you didn’t already come across them on John Broz’s YouTube channel.
Also peep this four part interview with John by Barry from Weightlifting epiphanies.
Part two: John Broz and his training philosophy
Part three: John Broz on the importance of training environment