Tag Archives: program design
I came across this article while browsing through the inter webs for knowledge and it’s too good not to share.
Christian Thibaudeau is one of my favourite and his knowledge is phenomenal, you’ll enjoy this read.
I will certainly be giving this a go as I am currently short on time in my own training.
The introduction and more frequent use of ‘back off sets’ has become quite popular of late.
You’ll find you can use them to determine suitable loading for your next session, increase total TUT and even help you maintain your progress if you find your gym training time has been chopped down due to life getting in the way.
In the past this has happened several times and as such a way and to be found to get in some quality work, here is an option for you, it will take anywhere from 20-30min tops, try not to spend longer than 30min (especially if your time is limited), just focus on hard work.
This protocol will:
– Provide suitable mechanical tension for strength
– Generate metabolic stress for adaptation
– Create muscle damage for new growth
All you need to do is follow the guidelines and put in all your effort, eat the calories required for your goal (I’ve written about this previously), sleep and stay focused.
Let’s get down o the details.
– Use compound movements (Squat, DL, Press, Chin, Row, etc)
– 1 or 2 per workout (A1/A2 pairing)
– Ramp up your weights each set, start off with 5’s and work to one heavy set, then add a little more weight for a 3, then finally a little more for 1 single. The triple/single aren’t all out efforts, only the 5, they’re just for extra neural stimulation.
– Take 70% of the top 5 and perform 1 back off set of 10-20 reps unbroken
– Rest is minimal between sets, go as soon as you feel ready
– 3 sessions per week is a good minimum to cover the full body
You will be in and out in no time at all.
This short style of workout will allow heavy enough loads to trigger a host of positive things and the back of set will further potentiate this.
If you find you’re doing all of this in 20min then use the extra 10 for some accessory movements (arms, calves etc).
The protocol above is nothing fancy, it’s devised to get maximum results out of minimum time and as such leaves no room for dilly-dallying.
Now given the title you’d be forgiven in thinking that this post is all about pushing to the limit or you’re just faffing about, and while that’s indeed a part of the post it’s not the main point.
When it comes to training hard the body seems to be able to handle 3 weeks of pushing to it’s limit, then you need to back off because things start to go wrong. A lot of people try to push too hard for too long, here is how you can avoid that mistake and plan accordingly.
If you were looking to plan this in to a structured block it might look like this:
Volume – weeks 1-3
- Week 1 8x8x70%
- Week 2 8x7x75%
- Week 3 8x6x80%
Intensification – weeks 4-6
- Week 4 6x4x85%
- Week 5 6x3x90%
- Week 6 6x2x92-95%
Deload week – week 7
- Week 7 – 3x8x previous 75%
Volume Block 2 – weeks 8-10
- Week 8 – 8x8x70% +2.5-10kg (lift dependent)
- Week 9 – 8x7x75% +2.5-10kg (lift dependent)
- Week 10 – 8x6x80% +2.5-10kg (lift dependent)
And so on.
You cycle thought 6 week blocks of volume accumulation and intensification with a planned reduction in volume after the 6 weeks, you can continue this for 2-3 mesocycles typically (6 week blocks) after which time typically a rest week is needed, however if you’ve done 12-18 weeks of progressive training you will need that week off. Once you return your base numbers will be biter than previous.
It is important to cycle your loading/volume so that you avoid excessive inroad and burn out, going hard (intensification) for more than three weeks does you no favours, wave the loads for continued progression.