We just released the AE Performance Program, a new 8-week powerlifting program.

It’s designed by Swedish powerlifter Alexander Eriksson.

Alex is an IPF Junior World Champion (2017), and Open World Record Holder in the bench press (245.5kg @ 74kg bodyweight).

Alex has used the finishing peaking principles and progression to produce his best performance. Many of his athletes has used the principles successfully as well. All in all, the methods has generated multiple European and World titles, and has been used to break European and World records as well.

The training program is based on 3 pillars:

1. A combination of periodization methods
2. Exericise selection that offers choice and individualization
3. Loading protocols that use auto-regulation

Let’s explain these in a little bit more detail:

PERIODIZATION MODEL

The periodization model defines how an athlete progresses over the course of the training cycle.

The progressions in the AE Performance program mixes both linear and undulating periodization models:

  • Linear periodization is the idea that volume is high and intensity is low at the beginning of the training cycle, which flip-flops to low volume and high intensity by the end.
  • Undulating periodization is the idea that volume and intensity can change more regularily, often on a daily or weekly basis.  The result is that athletes can experience high volume/low intensity and low volume/high intensity within the same training week.

In the AE Performance program, different methods are used to push progressions in different lifts, through differentparts of the program:

  • In the Preparatory Phase (Week 1-4) the focus is to push the work capacity in the main lifts (competition squat, bench, and deadlift), and thus utilizes a more linear periodization approach.
  • In the Peaking Cycle (Week 5-8) the focus is to increase maximal capacity, but also to asses it.  Therefore, this part of the program utilizes more undulating periodization to allow better recovery and performance during a few key sessions.
Volume & Intensity Graph: 8-week AE Performance Program

EXERCISE SELECTION

One aspect that athletes struggle with are plateaus and sub-par performances on meet day.

A common reason for this is too little focus on athletic qualities other than maximal strength.

The AE Performanace Program incorporates lift variations, accessories, and workouts to train more additional qualities that support strength gain.

For example, extensive warm-up routines are included.  The warm-up exercises prescribed will both get you ready for the session, but more importantly, let you develop balance, coordination, and mobility.  Additionally, the accessory movements prescribed are chosen to develop motor learning and control, but also strength and stability.

In terms of performing maximally on game-day, athletes need to have sufficient practice performing all 3 lifts on a single training day.  Therefore, the workout split is designed to let you develop the endurance and resilience for all three disciplines back-to-back-to-back. By the end of the training program you’ll feel confident in your ability to execute maximally across all lifts, without fatiguing.

AUTO-REGULATION

Auto regulation is the idea of modifying a training program based on how you’re performing on a given day.

Rather than following a program blindly, you are given protocols that allow you to either scale the work-load up or down.

In the AE Performance Program, you are encouraged to do three things during the program.

  • Use a rational 1 rep max to base your percentages off, and then adapt it at the program’s checkpoints. When starting the program, you should use your current 1RM and then move it up or down depending on your performance on the checkpoints in Week 3, 5, and 7.  The checkpoints are structured as RPE or AMRAP sets to asses your estimated 1RM.  This will let you continuously adapt the program after your performance on these workouts.

  • Even though the program is mainly percentage based you are encouraged to autoregulate +/- 5% depending on how you are performing on that day.  Within the program, you’ll see ‘percentage ranges’, where you can go to the top end of the range if you’re feeling good, or stay within the bottom part of the range if you’re feeling underrecovered.

  • You have a choice of accessory exercises, which are mostly just defined in terms of function or muscle group.  You are encouraged to choose exercises that works for you.  For example, if you’re performing well that day, you might opt for a more compounded movement (like a barbell exercise).  However, if you’re performing not as expected, you can choose to do an isolation movement (like a cable or machine exercise).

Next Steps

Sign-up or log-in to MyStrengthBook and preview the first week of the AE Performance Program designed by Alexander Eriksson.

Check out our other articles below:

Learn how to structure your training volume based on the type of training phase

Learn 7 things to consider when increasing your training frequency

Learn how Jen Thompson Structures a De-Load Week

About The Author

Avi Silverberg is the Co-Founder of MyStrengthBook.  He holds a M.Sc in Exercise Science, and has been the Head Coach for Team Canada Powerlifting through 7 World Championship cycles.  He’s also a bench press enthusiast with a career high 300kg equipped bench and 227.5kg raw bench.

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