The MTR Matrix
This is basically a system of volume/intensity progression that was used by the old Bulgarian regime that has not fallen out of favor. You can play with and rearrange the weeks as you like, but my preference is to go A-B-B-C-A. Some people can handle A-B-C-D. Try different things and see what works for you. Also, to start with a lifter is probably best off basing the entire mesocycle on the MTR that was used during the first week. So, the weeks will just build upon each other.
As the lifter becomes more comfortable with the system and his own capabilities, however, he will become more in tune with what his true MTR is on any given day, and during weeks B and C, respectively, will basically just do a second wave and a third wave back up to that weight irrespective of what MTR was used during week one.
Predicted MTR -20kilos for 2 reps.
Predicted MTR -10 kilos for a single.
MTR for 3-4 singles.
Perform A week progression.
MTR -10 kilos for a double.
MTR -5 kilos for a single.
MTR +5 kilos for 2-4 singles.
Entire B week progression performed.
Double with MTR -20 kilos.
Double with MTR -10 kilos.
3-5 more singles with MTR plus 5 or 7.5 kilos.
Predicted MTR -30kilos for 2 reps.
Predicted MTR -20 kilos for a single.
MTR for 1-3 singles.
So, if you were doing a simple A-B-B-C-A progression over 5 weeks, and you found that your snatch MTR was 100kg on the first Monday, for the next 5 weeks your Monday snatch workouts might be as follows:
Week 1: 80/2, 90, 100 (3-4) Week 2: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (2-4)
Week 3: 80/2, 90, 100 (3), 90/2, 95, 105 (3), 80/2, 90/2, 105 (2), 107.5 (2) Week 4: 80/2, 90, 100 (3-4)
At this point, the lifter would start over, this time likely using 105 as the MTR for the first A week in the mesocycle.
Maximum Training Resistance.
Now, one of the important concepts here is that of “Maximum Training Resistance.” This is what some of you may have heard referred to as a ‘daily max’ before.
The definition of the MTR is “the maximum resistance that can be overcome one time without a strong effort of will or emotional stress.” This is key in this program; at least as I have it structured to work for the individual.
We want to use the MTR so as not to burn out the nervous system. Thus, on Mondays and Wednesday, the singles in the classical and power lifts must NOT be ‘balls to the wall.
Of course, you have to toe the line. Also, you have to learn whether you are missing lifts because you are actually working above your MTR, or because your form sucks.
For me, it is an issue of pulling in the snatch and clean and the drive in the jerk. If I am pulling the bar high enough to snatch it or clean it, and driving it high enough to jerk it, I don’t feel that I have exceeded my MTR, whether I am making the lifts or not.
If I am missing my snatches out front, it is likely just because of my crappy first pull and lack of a full shrug, and not because I am going too heavy. As a lifter progresses, he will learn exactly where that line is.
At the start of the program, Mondays and Wednesdays only will be done using the ‘MTR Matrix’.