This is a 12 week Supertotal program by Next Step Strength (Instagram). It has 4 training days per week and uses block periodization to expose the athlete to hypertrophy, strength, and peaking phases. It could be used when preparing for a Supertotal competition.
Table of Contents
Who the Program is For
This is an introduction into Supertotal training. If you have a general understanding of all 5 lifts this is a good place to start. This program is 4 days a week with 4 exercises per week. The days are mostly broken down as a main lift for powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting and a secondary lift (differentiated by colour).
The program flows in 4-week blocks. Each block is followed by a block of less volume and greater intensity. Culminating on the 12th week where you test your 1RM in all 5 lifts.
Understanding the Program
The program is designed around the idea of training at a submaximal load and cycling between different relative intensities. This should enable you to master technique, build strength and prevent injuries.
In this program you should not consistently miss reps.
The program focuses on specific movements and I advise to program additional accessory work.
What does relative intensity mean?
This stands for relative intensity. This program is designed to cycle between different levels of relative intensity which is how far you are away from an RPE 10 (absolute failure). This is a way of keeping track of how intense each week is.
Tired and sore
Sometimes you come into the gym and even the bar feels heavy. This is ok if you are approaching working weight and you are already struggling, take 5-10% of the weight off the bar and complete the sets and reps as normal.
This is the first week of the program and should be relatively easy. Take this week as an opportunity to see if the numbers you are working off are accurate. In this week you should not exceed an RPE 8 (mildly difficult).
This is the second week of the program and is an increase in both volume and intensity from base week. This week is the most work you will do during the program and should be moderately difficult. You still shouldn’t miss any lifts nut may approach an 8.5-9 RPE.
Super compensation week
This is the third week of the program and is the deload week. There is a reduction in both volume and intensity. This is a week to recover from the load week and get ready for the upcoming performance week.
The performance week is the “testing week” of the 4-week block. It is designed to work a higher intensity and have a realisation of strength.
The days of the week where you are testing your higher reps. (in the hypertrophy block this would be the 8s) you will be performing an amrap (as many reps as possible) at a designated weight.
The days of the week where you are testing your lower reps. (in the hypertrophy block this would be the 5s) you will be working up to a heavy set of the designated reps. I suggest that you start at the percentage used in the load week. From this increase according to the feeling of the weight and speed of the bar. If still unsure move up 5% on the first jump and 2.5% jumps afterwards.
This work should not be performed to absolute failure. Go until technical failure (where your technique starts to break down).
In the Olympic lifts it is ok to miss 2 times. After the third it is time to either drop the weight or call it a day.
Suggested additional work
The performance week does not equate to enough volume if done by itself. Pending on other training I would suggest extra work on these days.
I suggest 2-3 drop sets of 5-10% of working weight for equivalent reps.
The next block
Once you have performed all lifts in the performance week, you use the 1rm calculator to prescribe weights for the next block. If you achieved less, that is ok if it within 10%, if lower it may be a good idea to drop your working weight for the next block. If your estimated 1rm is now higher, put that into the “Max” for the next block. If you make astounding progress (20+kg) which can happen with beginners I advise changing the max in intervals (10kg for the first 2 weeks, 5kg the next 2 weeks leading into performance).
SuperTotal Basics Spreadsheet