View Full Version : Shock and Overreaching Systems

06-25-2013, 10:35 AM
Hey guys,

I know some guys who are following the Smolov squat cycle, which is sort of a super-high volume, overreaching-based, squat cycle. Many report lots of gains to their squat over a short period.


It has lead me to wonder, however, if those gains are sustainable in the long run. Since that type of volume and overreaching is probably not sustainable for the long term for most, and Mike espouses adding work capacity and total volume over the course of your career, how does one continue to progress after reducing volume after this routine?

Is it inevitable that a lifter will peak and then lose their gains? What are some ways lifters can continue to progress after shock/overreaching system?

There are a lot of great minds on this forum so I am just curious as to what you guys think.

Mike Tuchscherer
07-02-2013, 01:29 PM
This is a really good question. Where does one go after adapting to incredibly high volumes? There's obviously a practical limit if not a structural one. This also becomes an issue when you're dealing with annual planning as well. How do you continually raise results over a career?

One way this is tackled in some systems is to have a detraining period. This is often sold as a recovery period of up to several weeks where your body recovers from the workload. I don't think that description is accurate. Recovery should be handled in most cases within the first week. After that, it's detraining. But it's also possible that this detraining period could be a valuable thing because you allow your volume tolerance to drop. And since volume tolerance drops, you'd be able to make more gains once you return to a normal volume. But the trick is to allow this volume detraining to occur while minimizing strength loses. There will be some, but the more you minimize it, the better off you'll be.

07-02-2013, 01:38 PM
Interesting. Practically speaking, what are ways you've seen people minimize strength losses during de-training? Is it simply reducing volume, continuing to train, and living with the negative strength adaptations until that trend reverses or is there something more practical a trainee can do?

I suppose it's like the Mel Siff supercompensation chart, where there's that inevitable "de-peaking". Perhaps the way to go about it just to go back to a reasonably sustainable high volume (i.e.: Sheiko-type) program that sort of starts the supercompensation cycle all over again.

Mike Tuchscherer
07-02-2013, 04:14 PM
It will definitely be context dependent. One way you could do it would be to keep your intensity and specificity fairly high but the volume low. If you keep your weekly volume high, then you won't be allowing the volume detraining to happen.