Tag Archives: dup

Too hard, too often.

It’s not unusual for those who love training to go a little hard at the gym leaving nothing left in the tank and while it might seem like they will make progress this way, following this route will often leave you broken and without meaningful progress.
It’s an easy place to fall in to.
Back when what would breed the training of today was originally becoming popular (1800’s) there were two main schools of though:
– Daily practice of heavy lifting, near done to failure
– Cycling heavy, light and medium sessions
Both provided solid foundations of strength and built great physiques, as such there is a lot that we can learn from these teaching.
When it comes to those who like to lift heavy and often, picking 1-3 movements is all you need per session (focusing on those 1-3 for an extended period of time is also advised), it’s imperative you make sure you’re stopping well short of failure, as such this will mean each set is of limited repetitions and there is multiple sets (to get in the required volume to grow), you’ll leave the session feeling strong and potentially like you could have done more, don’t do more.
This style of training on the nerve can be quite taxing is you start chasing fatigue instead of performance, remember, you don’t want to start feeling tried/drained, if you do that means you’ve done too much and need to stop.
Take a deload every 3rd or 4th week, it will keep you lifting for longer.
The second option suit itself to many different goals, the former is more of a strength/performance method.
The use of H-L-M training sessions is a great way to train because it will allow you to have one session with maximal intensity, one that focuses on recovery and the last one that allows you to put ins one well needed work on volume/reps.
Some in the modern age call this method DUP (daily undulating periodisation).
The hardest thing about cycling is the temptation to make each session super hard and that’s not the idea, the light session is designed to let fatigue dissipate, hence why having it between the heavy and medium is ideal. You can also base your volume numbers off of your heavy day, for example:
H – worked up to a top set of 5
L – sets of 10 to increase blood flow and practice movement
M – 80% of the top 5 on heavy day for volume work to failure
You’d be surprised how well this works on either full body or split styles of training. The rep options you have for this are endless depending on your goal.
The reason the styles of method lost some favour over the years is because they didn’t fit in with the trend of ‘more is better’, it’s worth remembering that often times more is rarely better, it’s just more.
If you’re a little lost in your training give one of these a try, you’ll find not going for broke each session will not only keep you lifting longer but also give you focus and much needed progress.

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The Workout Basics You’ve Been Missing.

Want to build strength and muscle with simple program?

All you will need is the following:

  • Spreadsheets (easy to write out and record progress)
  • Calculators (to workout of % of 1RM)
  • 45-60min Training Time
  • The Desire To Succeed

Below is a series of reps/sets with their desired % of 1RM (1 rep max) for starting weight that would be used (this might seem low on the outset but as you progress and add weight you will be glad your started out slightly lighter) and a list of exercises.

  • 8×3 – 85%
  • 6×4 – 80%
  • 5×5 – 75%
  • 4×6 – 70%
  • 3×8 – 65%

*A more experience lifter will start anywhere from 2.5-5% higher than the suggested % of 1RM, so 8×3 @ 87.5 – 90%.

  • Back Squat, Front Squat, Overhad Squat
  • Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Weighted Dip (bar or dumbbell)
  • Deadlift, Deficit Deadlift, Double Overhand Deadlift, Snatch Grip Deadlift
  • Overhead Press, Behind Neck Press, Dumbbell Press (neutral grip, clean grip, snatch grip)
  • Bent Over Row (overhand, underhand) , Weighted Pull/Chin Up,Single or Double Arm Dumbbell Row, Upright Row

With these you will be able to build a solid base of strength and mass easily. The best part is you can use them in various ways, the suggestions I will give you today are not gospel, they are only a few of the potential combinations that I have used with success so far.

I will be honest, these suggestions haven’t worked for everyone, I have had to change various things such as TUT, rest periods, weight progression, rep progression and much more for each specific individual, but what I will teach you today has had the most consistent results, with the majority of people.

Lets say you’re training 3 time days per week, above you have 5 different rep ranges and each rep range will give you a slightly different stimulus and result.

  • 8×3 – Strength
  • 6×4 – Strength
  • 5×5 – Strength/Hypertrophy
  • 4×6 – Strength/Hypertrophy
  • 3×8 – Hypertrophy

Now to build strength and mass equally you might do well to choose the following rep ranges that you will use for each day:

  • 8×3 – Strength
  • 5×5 – Strength/Hypertrophy
  • 3×8 – Hypertrophy

These rep ranges will stay consistent throughout the week but the chosen exercise will differ, this makes training a lot more fun and incredibly productive as you’re stimulating the muscles through varying training methods.

The you will need to assign one of the given compound movements above for each rep range on each day. I have used the following exercises: Back Squat, Weighted Dip & BNP, Deficit Deadlift & Weighted Chin. These offer a full body workout with a decent amount of balance. there will be a note on assistance movements later.

This is a full body workout. Below you will see how the exercises stay the same but the reps change on a daily basis, this will allow an good balance of strength progression with gaining respectable amounts of lean mass too. I would also suggest that you use your rest days as ‘active recovery’ by doing 30-45min of moderate cardio and some mobility work, this does not mean full out sprints, simply enough to get your heart working and build up a decent sweat.

  • Monday – Day 1 – 8×3 Back Squat, 5×5 Weighted Dip & BNP, 3×8 Deficit Deadlift & Weighted Chin + 1/2 Accessory Exercises.
  • Tuesday – Active Recovery Day: 30min CV 30min Mobility
  • Wednesday – Day 2 – 8×3 Weighted Dip & BNP, 5×5 Deficit Deadlift & Weighted Chin 3×8 Back Squat + 1/2 Accessory Exercises.
  • Thursday – Active Recovery Day: 30min CV 30min Mobility
  • Friday – Day 3 – 8×3 Deficit Deadlift & Weighted Chin, 5×5 Back Squat, 3×8 Weighted Dip & BNP + 1/2 Accessory Exercises.
  • Saturday – Active Recovery Day: 30min CV 30min Mobility
  • Sunday – Complete Rest Day

In terms of how you would progress the weights it’s pretty simple. If you hit all of the desired reps with good from then you can add a total of 2.5kg to your upper body movements and 5kg to lower body movements. If you miss a rep or feel your form wasn’t solid and your TUT was lacking* then stick on that weight for another week and attempt it again, if you still don’t get it then perhaps it’s time to change up the exercise and start building that up instead, this holds true for every exercise because you will only progress so far before you hit a proper plateau.

What about accessory work?

A good question, I have the following advise on that subject.

A nice simple rep range of 10,8,6,20 one 1 or 2 movements as a super set will be more than enough to help bring up those lagging areas that might not have had quite enough stimulation from the compound movements. These are some potential exercises you might use:

  • Hamstring Curl, Lunge, Kettlebell Swing, RDL
  • Cable Fly, Lateral Raise, Y-Press
  • Reverse Fly, Shrug, Face Pull
  • Bicep Curl or any variation, Tricep Push Down or any variation
  • Ab Roll Out, Leg Raise, Crunch, Windmill, Russian Twist

The possibilities for your choice of assistance work are only limited by your knowledge. If you’re stuck go and see the google-monster, it will help you find plenty of variation, but remember these are best used as EXTRA if you have time, they shouldn’t form the bulk of your workout, this is why I say 1-2 is enough.

*I have not mentioned much on TUT (time under tension) but aiming for a 4 second Eccentric, 1 second Pause, 1 second Concentric and another 1 second Pause should be adequate for now. You might have seen it written like this in some books: 4-1-1-1.

There are endless possibilities when it comes programming workouts, depending on your goal you might require more CV than just 30-45min on the days in-between your full body workouts.

Use this to help you stave off boredom and make the progress you deserve.

Bye Bye,


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The Secret of Constant Progression: Part 2

I trust you have all read yesterdays post.

If you haven’t please do so, it will make this one much easier to understand.

It’s time to move on to the subject of Intensity and how tweaking it can have a profound effect on your results.

When I hear people often speak of intensity they refer to how hard they are pushing and how little rest they have, in other words how ‘intense’ their session is. However the true meaning intensity* is not simply just getting hot, sweaty and out of breath, no no no, it is actually the total % amount of your 1RM you have on the bar.

*Intensity is measured as a % of your maximum. This is a transferable principle. For example, Cardio Vascular training you would monitor the heart rate level in such an instance – an athletes MHR (Max Heart Rate) could be 200 – athlete trains at 160 BMP (Beat Per Minute) – this is 80% of MHR.

After all, how can you measure an incase in intensity session to session without knowing this?

Just going on how tired you feel is not a good indicator and it’s likely to see you injured.

Lets just clarify;

Intensity in weightlifting is the % amount of your 1RM you have on the bar.

Adjusting the intensity of your workouts is a great way to help induce progressive overload, all it requires is a nice simple liner periodisation program (Just like we did with the Volume example.), in doing so you will be able to increase the intensity of your workout week to week and incur more overload – Lifting more weight each session.

Here is a follow on from my example yesterday:

Current Squat 1RM = 143kg = 100% 1RM

Week 1 – 5×5 @ 100kg – 5×100 = 500 – 500×5 = 2500kg (Total Weight Volume) @ 70% of 1RM

*You’re working at an intensity of 70%. Lets see how we can keep the sets/reps (volume) the same at 25reps, but increase the intensity to improve the progressive overload stimulation.

Week 2 – 5×5 @ 107kg – 5×107 = 535 – 535×5 = 2675kg (Total Weight Volume) 25reps @ 75% intensity

As you will be able to see by looking at this example, the progressive overload is higher in the second week, but not by much.

Week 3 – 5×5 @ 114kg – 5×114 = 570 – 570×5 = 2850kg (Total Weight Volume) 25reps @ 80% intensity

*Week 4 Deload to 5×5 @ 60% – 5×85 = 430 – 430×5 = 2150kg (Total Weight Volume) 25 reps a reduction of 20% intensity – This allows your body to back off form he volume but maintain its neuromuscular connections and familiarity with the weight.

If we add the total amount of weight lifted together from changing the Volume & the total amount lifted from changing the Intensity we can see how much of a difference there is.

Tweaking Volume = 14,500kg lifted over 4 weeks (Including Deload)

Tweaking Intensity = 10,175kg lifted over 4 weeks (Including Deload)

That’s a difference of 4325kg between the two. Surely this means all you need to do is just cycle the volume and happy days right?

Not really.

Cycling the volume only, will get you so far because of the sheer amount of reps you will have to amass, in the end it will be too much to handle. But what about linking the two?

What is this madness of which I speak I hear you ask…

You could use the template from yesterday to set up your sets/reps and follow that for once cycle, then once it’s complete instead of start at 100kg (70%), start at 107kg (75%) and follow the same procedure. Remember you can also change the reps too, in the yesterdays post I only changed the total sets, so if you keep the sets the same but change the reps along with the intensity and you will see a complete difference in total load lifted:

Week 1 – 5×5 @ 100kg – 5×100 = 500 – 500×5 = 2500kg (Total Weight Volume) @ 70% of 1RM

Week 2 – 5×8 @ 100kg – 5×100 = 500 – 500×8 = 4000kg (Total Weight Volume) @ 70% of 1RM

^^ Total Load look familiar?

Use this advice to structure your workouts and you will have increased your overall load and further continued your progressive overload, this will lead to new strength & size gains.

*PROVIDED YOU EAT ENOUGH! Seriously, you need to be in an anabolic state to build muscle, that means being in a caloric surplus.

Now armed with these two crucial pieces of knowledge you should be set to take over the gym and become a colossus. But wait… I told you there were 3 elements you can change… Tomorrow we cover the forgotten aspect of adaptation;



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