Over the years I have read in to various training principles and looked over hundreds of articles (both scientific and anecdotal), not to mention attend seminars with some great coaches/trainers and in all this time I have learnt a lot, but these three things seem to stick in my mind the most.
- Training Body Parts Every 3-5 Days Seems Optimal
- Constantly Vary Loads to Achieve Overload & Manage Fatigue (Heavy, Light, Medium Days)
- Compound Movements FTW (some isolation chucked in for good measure, usually 1)
Another common thought is that keeping training as simple as possible, you know, removing all the unnecessary faff will help improve progress because you won’t be wasting time/energy on too much mirror work. While some is good, unless you’re goal is primarily aesthetics that is.
In the quest to find a program that allowed a steady gain in strength, size and also aesthetics (to a degree because we all want to look good naked) this program was accidentally born. It’s nothing new by any means and is best described as a combination of what elements have worked over they years. It will help you by allowing the following:
- Rotating Workout Days
- Rotating Intensities/Loading
The parameters are simple, you have a 3 day workout schedule – Pull/Push/Legs – Thus covering the whole body, however… In the essence of keeping things simple you will only be using 3 movements per workout. Yep, just three, this means you will need to pick the most effective exercises that will adhere to your goal and avoid the temptation to add in more. I have gone for the following structure – Main Lift, Compound Accessory Lift, Isolation Lift.
For example your workout could look like this:
A1 – Deadlift
B1 – Weighted Chin Up
C1 – Close Grip Row
*When it comes to rep targets for the main lift you may use the following guidelines:
- Heavy – Ramp to 2RM
- Medium – 85% of Ramp @ 15-25 reps
- Light – 75% of Ramp @ 25-50Reps
- Accessory Work is 25-50 reps per movement – Goal Dependent Adjust Accordingly
*The idea is to incorporate max effort , speed and repetition days.
How does it all work?
The essence of this program is to offer a nice simple rotation of days so you don’t get too bored, meaning that you workout for 3 consecutive days then take one rest day (3 on 1 off), you also change the loading each day for your main lift giving you a 12 day cycle before repeating. This gives you either a Heavy, Light or Medium workout which changes the next time around and the loading will be based on how you’re currently performing, not your all time best.
- The 2RM Ramp helps you stimulate the nervous system and fire up the deeper Motor Units (MU) and improves your ability to handle heavy loads along with setting your training weights for the next 2 mini cycles before the next heavy ramp.
- The 75% loading helps get that much needed volume to elicit overload.
- The 85% further adds to the volume while also tapping in to the deeper MU’s to stimulate adaptation.
Some may call this power building in it’s structure, however you fill find that you develop the three key factors for enhancing your performance in sports while also achieving a desirable look because everyone wants to look good naked.
Here is a table to help that make more sense of how the main lifts are programmed.
These would be for all your exercises, so using the example above, you’d get a workout that looks like this:
Day 1 – Heavy Pull
A1 – Deficit Deadlift Ramp x2 – 200kg achieved
B1 – Weighted Chin Up 5×5
C1 – Reverse Fly 5×10
Day 5 – Light Pull
A1 – Deficit Deadlift 5×5 @ 150kg
B1 – Bent Over Row 6×8
C1 – Barbell Curl 4×12
Day 9 – Medium Pull
A1 – Deficit Deadlift 5×3 @ 170kg
B1 – Weighted Pull Up 8×6
C1 – Face Pull 3×15
There are a plethora of exercises and exercise variants your can use in this program concept, the same goes for the rep ranges which is why there are none that are set in stone, rather there are rep targets to achieve. If strength is your bias you can stick with 5’s and below, if it’s size then 6-8 is good on main lifts, the program is designed to fit you, not the other way around.
You could even take out the reps written for the assistance exercises and instead go for sets of max reps to make life even easier (just make sure you track what reps you’re achieving).
The max effort sets for your accessory work would look like this depending on the day:
- Heavy – 5x Max Reps
- Medium – 4x Max Reps
- Light – 3x Max Reps
Take what is written above and make it fit you according to the guidelines given.