Barbell Medicine - From Bench to Bedside

Peaking Template

Novice & Advanced

Which One Do I Start With?

Each template is aimed at a different demographic, i.e. novice, advanced- slow peak, advanced- fast peak. We would recommend starting the template whose demographic is most similar to you for your first go around.

If using these templates for a Strengthlifting meet, i.e. a meet that uses the press instead of the bench press, simply replace all benching variations with the press. Similarly, replace pressing variations with the bench press. The squat and deadlift variations remain the same.


The novice peaking template is designed for lifters who’ve had little to no experience performing singles at intensities over 90%. They also typically train 3 times per week using mostly sets of 5 repetitions for sets across (at the same weight).

Advanced- Slow Peak

This iteration of the advanced peaking template is for lifters who take a little longer to realize previously developed strength. These are folks who rarely, if ever, set PR’s during deload or low stress weeks. They also tend to perform relatively worse under higher fatigue loads compared to when they’re fresher. Finally, this template is aimed at folks who really seem to thrive off intensity in their workouts- think lots of psych-up before heavy sets, loud music, etc.

Advanced- Fast Peak

This iteration of the advanced peaking template is for lifters who quickly are able to translate previously developed strength. They typically are able to set PR’s during low stress or deload weeks and can, much to the chagrin of their training partners, perform very well under higher fatigue loads. These lifters tend to be quiet, reserved, and don’t use much hype during training.

How to Use:

The templates are pretty self-explanatory as far as exercises, rep and set schemes, intensity, etc. The exercise variety is fairly narrow, as we are specifically prepping for a meet or test and picked the variations we find to reliably perform well for this application.

We use both rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and percentages to aid in load selection and recommend that if there is a discrepancy between RPE and percentages, e.g. 5 reps at 75% feels like RPE 9 or 5 reps @ 85% feels like RPE 7, then the RPE should take precedence over the percentage. In either scenario, the real-time feedback we’re getting suggests that the 1 rep maximum (1RM) we’re using to calculate percentages from is inaccurate for the day.

If you have any questions about the template head over to our forum at and let us know!


Barbell Medicine's Peaking Template

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