Tag Archives: protocols

20/20 – Tactical Time Based Training

Having no time to train is rarely an excuse that holds much water these days.
 
Time can always be found for something that is a priority to you.
 
I’m sure you can find 20min per day to invest in your health.
 
To get you started you’ll find 20 sessions below to try.
 
1 – Death by Watt Bike
 
An interval program, 8 seconds work, 12 seconds rest for 20min.
 
Personally I’d advise you do 5min of your 20 on the bike as a W/U, then 10min using the interval protocol the 5min slow peddling in to a couple of cool down stretches.
 
2 – Pull & Hinge to Glory
 
Set a timer for 20min at 1min intervals.
 
Each minute do 3-5 chins and 5 swings until all 20min is done.
 
3 – Push it Real Good
 
Put 20min on countdown, load up a barbell and aim to do 100 thrusters in the time.
 
4 – White Buffalo in the Sky
 
Perform one 500m rowing sprint, rest the time it took you to complete the sprint.
 
Repeat until 20min is up.
 
5 – A Complex Series of Events
 
Grab 2 kettlebells, set you clock for 20min and do the following as many times as you can, ideally without putting the bells down even once.
 
3-5 reps for all: Swings, Cleans, Presses, Squats – repeat
 
6 – A Complex Chain of Events
 
Like the previous one only heavier and you put the bells down after the squats to shake out tension.
 
1 rep for all: Swings, Cleans, Presses, Squats – repeat
 
7 – The Bear Essentials
 
Perform the Bear Complex with a barbell, aim for 3 sets of 8 reps per movement.
 
Increase weight each set, if you do all three before 20min is up then congrats, use more load next time just know that for today you’re done.
 
8 – Walk the Walk
 
Simplicity at its finest.
 
Carry 50-100% of your bodyweight for 20min.
 
9 – Bodyweight Blitz
 
EMOM for 20min do 5 pull ups, 10 press ups & 15 squats.
 
10 – DRAW!
 
Pistol ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,etc up as high as you can go in the 20min, no broke sets – this means if you fail to perform say 7 straight on one leg and instead do 4 you do 4 on your second leg, rest a spell and start the ladder over again at 1.
 
11 – Single Arm Sadist
 
As above just with single arm Press Ups.
 
20 min will seem like a very long time doing this.
 
12 – Everybody do the Worm
 
Have your trust 20min countdown ready and also a kettlebell.
 
Do 15 swings, then inchworm your self out in to a press up position and do 1 press up, inchworm back to the bell and do another 15 swings, then back to the press up position for 2 press ups and repeat this for 20min.
 
As with all ladders once your form goes start again at one, the swings stay the same throughout.
 
13 – Nice Snatch
 
20min of kettlebell Snatch, you can change hands as many times are you choose however you can’t put the bell down,
 
14 – What a Jerk
 
Like the above except you will use 2 kettlebells and perform jerks for 20min without setting the bells down.
 
I like to add in a racked walk once I need rest from the jerks just to keep moving however this isn’t mandatory.
 
15 – Chains & Whips Excite Me
 
Aim for as many rounds as possible in 20min of the following:
 
Overhead Lunge 20 reps holding a chain(s) overhead, run back with said chains still overhead then put them down and grab a battle rope and perform 15-30 explosive whips (double hand slams you may know them as).
 
Repeat until death ensues and then keep going.
 
16 – Limber Timber
 
Pick a yoga or movement flow and do if for 20min.
 
I’d persoanlly aim for one that has a high bias towards mobility and overall movement, check out Max Shank for Idea.
 
17 – Deadlifts & the Diaphragm
 
See how many sets of the following you can complete in 20min.
 
5 Deadlifts (pick a sensible weight), 10 deep breaths with a focus on utilising your diaphragm, repeat and enjoy.
 
18 – Lift, Run, Bang
 
Out of your 20min us 5 to get warm, then for 10 do the following:
 
20 sec of Clean & Press, 20 sec shuttle runs, 20 sec of power ball/bag slams, repeat for 10min solid.
 
Last 5min will be cool down/stretching off.
 
19 – Shoulder of Justice
 
Using an object of 50-100% of your bodyweight take it from the floor to your shoulder (left then right ,etc), repeat for 20min.
 
20 – Sissy that Walk
 
20min of prowler push 20m (liked out arms) followed immediately by dragging it back (bent arms) the same distance, try to make the transitions as quick as possible.
 
The above is nothing spectacular.
 
All of them are based largely off of density programming.
 
You will want to add weight where you can and always aim to keep a record of what you achieve so that you can do better next time.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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A little S&C for free.

Morning All,
 
Typically I will try and throw out various methods and bits of info for people to take away and try.
 
No specific reason for it other than if an idea crops up it might as well be shared.
 
You may find some of the older programs below useful.
 
You may not, either way they’re there.
 
One thing I have noticed in the age of the internet is the abundance of info and free stuff, it’s quite the time to be alive.
 
The slight issue is that it means people don’t go looking for the right info, just what they want to read.
 
Take some free training sessions people share.
 
Most are high volume bollocks that has no rhyme or reason.
 
There is little focus on developing much of anything in their training and it’s all for the attention.
 
While it is true there’s many ways to the top of the fitness mountain each one needs strength.
 
Here in lies the problem, people don’t want to get strong.
 
As such this little protocol today is focused on that very thing, with some added extra for those who want to leave feeling their heart race (because people are addicted to feeling that they’ve done something).
 
– Main Movement(s): 2-3-5
– Accessory Movement: Time or Distance Goal
– Conditioning Element: Optional sprint protocol
 
You might be wandering what I mean by 2-3-5 in the main movement, it’s pretty simple yet will be rather scary to some people.
 
You literally just to a set of two, then rest, then a set of 3 and rest some more and finish with a tough set of 5.
 
Yep, the 2 & 3 are your warm up sets.
 
This goes against conventional wisdom and that’s why it works.
 
You’ll need to have some focus as this doesn’t give you the option of pissing about.
 
Here is an example day with 2 main lifts performed as a super set (you can pick as main man lifts as you choose and perhaps have easier ones to potentiate harder ones).
 
A1 – Deadlift 2-3-5 Rest 120 seconds
A2 – Press 2-3-5 Rest 120 seconds
B1 – Famers Walk 10min x20m carries
C1 – Rowing Interval 8/12 x5min
 
Simple.
 
Depending only our time you can be in and out of the gym in 20min or stretch it to 45, that’s up to you.
 
In regards to progression (if you keep the movements the same) add 2-3% to your top lift each session and milk it for all its worth.
 
Funny how many people miss that little gem.
 
If something is still progressing and producing results stick with it as long as possible.
 
^^ On average a lift/movement does well for about 6 sessions for most people and then needs changing as a guide.
 
Take a read on the above and leave your thoughts below.
 
If this isn;t for you that’s cool however I’d like you to take away one thing; train for strength first and foremost because being weak isn’t good and will lead to an early grave.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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5×5, just not as you know it.

A great little protocol that will be good for fat loss, hypertrophy, strength endurance and fun.
 
I had this little training program come to me while walking last night.
 
This it by no means anything groundbreaking.
 
Keeping that in mind, I reckon it will humble a fair few if the proper effort level is given.
 
The basic set up –
 
– Pick 1-5 movements
– 5 sets total
– Each set is a 5min time block
– No Sloppy Reps
– Rest 3-5min between each set
– Train 2-3 days per week
– Enjoy for 6-12 weeks
 
A 5min block of time where you simply perform only one lift, sounds easy on paper, not so much in reality, especially if you don’t put down whatever it is you’re lifting.
 
Keeping a hold of a bar or piece of kit for 5min is quite the challenge both physically and mentally.
 
Of course in some instances it won’t be possible.
 
This is where the beauty of he above comes in to play and helps you regulate the intensity.
 
You don’t have to keep a hold of whatever kit you’re using or keep moving if it’s a bodyweight exercise you’ve chosen, you can stop an rest.
 
The main focus is on training density & work capacity.
 
You simply not what weight you used, how many reps you got an aim to beat that next session, simple.
 
I’d personally stay with the same movements for 3 week blocks, you can either repeat the same session for each of your 2-3 days or change the lifts each time, that’s up to you, just keep that the same for the suggested block.
 
Example 3 days –
 
*The warm up of the rest will be int he first 5min set, doesn’t have to be, it just saves time.
 
Day 1:
Set 1 – Kettlebell Snatch (don’t put down)
Set 2 – Farmers Walk
Set 3 – Kettlebell Push Press (don’t put down)
Set 4 – Pull Up – any variation
Set 5 – Kettlebell Double Racked Squat (don’t put down)
 
Day 2:
Set 1 – Sandbag Clean & Carry
Set 2 – Thruster BB (don’t put down)
Set 3 – BB Row
Set 4 – Kettlebell Single Arm Swing (don’t put down)
Set 5 – Press Up – any variation
 
Day 3:
Set 1 – The Bear Complex
Set 2 – Squat – any variation (don’t put down)
Set 3 – Power Snatch
Set 4 – Ring Dip
Set 5 – Power Clean
 
*Warm down with a good old stretch and marvel in all the good effort you put in.
 
^^ One thing to keep in mind with the above is there needs to be a focus on quality reps.
 
(Now imagine trying to do this with just one movement for all 5 sets of 5min….. Brutal)
 
Even though in the example I’ve said in some cases not to put the kit down, if your form is going to pot then don’t be a hero, put it down, grab some rest and try for a few more reps.
 
There will always be next session to try and make the full time.
 
Feel free to add in smaller movements as well, thing such as face pulls, reverse flies, bicep curls, skull crushers and so on.
 
The idea behind this little protocol is to get you focusing on achieving a decent amount of quality work.
 
Give it a try and let me know how you get on.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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9 Reasons Bottoms Up (BU) Kettlebell Work is Awesome

*You’d do well to use a bell at least one size lighter than normal for your strict press (ideally 12-16kg for all, if this is too heavy for you then avoid BU work for the time being and just get stronger)
 
1 – It teaches you tension throughout your entire body.
 
2 – You need to mater the weight, the balance, the feel and connecting your body as a unit before you can even move a single step or attempt a press.
 
3 – The positive crossover to your pressing form is well worth the ego check.
 
4 – Hitting some solid reps in either the clean, press, rack walk (BU) waiters walk, windmill, TGU etc, all look pretty cool.
 
5 – Strengthens grip-glutes-core better than most other movements.
 
6 – Perfect for GTG and deload work.
 
7 – You will learn which arm is your weaker one, as such you lift with that one first and then match the reps you achieve with the strong arm.
 
8 – It allows you to get in a good session even if you’ve got limited weights (KB’s).
 
9 – Apart from all the strength, stability and coordination gains you’ll get, this way of lifting is good fun.
 
Here is are a few little complexes to try 2-3 times per week.
 
Complex 1 – Ladder set 1,2,3,4,5 – repeat 3-5 times each arm
 
A1 – BU Clean
A2 – BU Press
A3 – BU Squat
A4 – BU Rack Walk
 
^^ You can progress this one to using two bells.
 
Complex 2 – 2-3 reps per arm – 20-40min total
 
A1 – BU Clean
A2 – BU Press
A3 – BU Windmill
A4 – BU Waiter Walk
 
Complex 3 – 1 rep per arm – static hold each position for 10 seconds tops – 20-30min total
 
A1 – BU Clean to Rack Hold
A2 – BU 1/4 Press Position
A3 – BU 1/2 Press Position
A4 – BU 3/4 Press Position
A5 – BU Press Lock Out Hold
A6 – BU 3/4 Press Position
A7 – BU 1/2 Press Position
A8 – BU 1/4 Press Position
A9 – BU Rack Hold
 
*Finish with some swings or snatches each session 100-200 reps.
 
**You’d also do well to think about ‘pulling’ the weight down in the lowering element of the press, squats and windmills.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The KGB Method – Part 3

Putting it all together.
 
In parts 1 we looked loosely at how they days panned out.
 
Then through part 2 how you rotate the focus (daily or in a block of 3).
 
Below will be a brief example protocol you could potentially follow, however the main concept of this is to take away the idea of training different elements on different days.
 
The cycling or the movements and general focus of the training.
 
Finally it’s learning that just because you go to a gym or train that doesn’t mean you need to do body building style movements only.
 
^^ A trap many fall in to.
 
Okay, here we go.
 
– 3 on 1 off rotation
– Loading = go by feel or RM (rep max)
– Always leave 1-2 reps or something in the tank
– 2 lifts per session
– 20-45min per session (vary this each day)
– Rest as needed
 
Micro 1:
Day 1: Kettlebell – Fast
Day 2: Grappling – Slow
Day 3: Bodyweight – Flow
 
Micro 2:
Day 1: Kettlebell – Slow
Day 2: Grappling – Flow
Day 3: Bodyweight – Fast
 
Micro 3:
Day 1: Kettlebell – Flow
Day 2: Grappling – Fast
Day 3: Bodyweight – Slow
 
************************
 
Micro 1: 20-40min Sessions
 
Day 1: Kettlebell – Fast
 
A1 – Kettlebell Swing x 5-35 reps per set (p/s)
A2 – Kettlebell Shot-put x1-3 per arm (p/a)
 
 
Day 2: Grappling – Slow
 
A1 – Barbell Farmers Walk x20m, one bar each hand
A2 – Rope Climb* x1
 
*If no rope climb possible find something to climb 😂
 
Day 3: Bodyweight – Flow
 
A1 – Spiderman Crawl x20m
A2 – Inchworm/Down Dog x20m
 
Note down all the sets/reps you achieve, along with the loads used, remember though, you don’t need to keep the load the same each set, just saying.
 
************************
 
Micro 2: 20-40min Sessions
 
Day 1: Kettlebell – Slow
 
A1 – TGU x1 (p/a)
A2 – Renegade Row x 3-5 (p/a)
 
Day 2: Grappling – Flow
 
A1 – Sand Bag Lunge Shoulder Carry x 100m (p/a)
 
Day 3: Bodyweight – Fast
 
A1 – Plyo Push Up x3-5
A2 – CMJ x2 + Bound Jump x3
 
************************
 
Micro 3: 20-40min Sessions
 
Day 1: Kettlebell – Flow
 
A1 – Long Cycle x3min blocks
 
Day 2: Grappling – Fast
 
A1 – Sled Push x20m
A2 – Arm Over Arm Pull x20m
 
^^ Push the sled out 20m, walk back, sit down pull it back to you.
 
Day 3: Bodyweight – Slow
 
A1 – Single Arm Push Up x3-5
A2 – Pistol Squat x3-5
 
^^ Pause at the bottom of each rep
 
Repeat the above for one or two more rotations before changing exercises/movements
 
The above lasts for a total of 12 days, giving you 36 days for a full 3x repeat of it, of 24 if you do it twice, the aim would be to do a little more than you did the previous time.
 
That plays on the principle of Density (work done per unit of time), I’ve written about those before, just do a search on here via the tab and you’ll find more detail on it.
 
************************
 
As you can see the concept is simple, the training varied and you can be assured that the results will be plentiful.
 
Now you have the basic skeleton you can take it away with you and start to apply it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A lifting protocol you’ve probably not done.

Since a post about the cold is a little arbitrary I feel I should also share a nice little protocol to try.
 
Have you ever tried this? 🤔
 
Pause-Reps-Pause
 
I’m willing to guess it’s a no because I just made it up.
 
Well, not the protocol, I’m sure this has been done before however the other witty name I just made it, or perhaps not and it’s out on the internet somewhere.
 
Anyway, enough rambling, time for the meat and veg of the post.
 
What is it good for?
 
Strength, hypertrophy and some more strength 😁💪
 
Pause-Reps-Pause
 
Your first rep will be a pause rep, then you do touch and go or normal reps (however you want to call them), then your last rep will also be a pause rep.
 
Pause Length – 4 seconds minimum
Rep – 5 in total
Load – 65-85% 1RM
Rest – As needed
Sets* – 4-6 working sets
 
*Warm up sets can be as many as you need, if you’re also a pump junkie then I would suggest finishing of with 1 set of 20 reps, it doesn’t matter how you get all 20 just do the reps.
 
It works well on all major compound lifts, pick one major lift per session to use this on.
 
For the accessory work you can pick 2-3 movements, the reps can be up to you, however I’d probably go for 2-3 sets of 8-12 for each.
 
A Legs-Push-Pull, or Hinge-Push-Squat-Pull split works well for this.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Rest-Pause your way to progress.

An oldie, yet still worth it.
 
This method of achieving reps was something that used to be used quite frequently to help people break through plateaus.
 
It works because it allows you to utilise higher % of your max for more total reps – playing on the mechanical tension side of the progress pyramid.
 
Nowadays though it seems to have been forgotten.
 
The premise is simple.
 
Select a load, do some reps, rest 20-30seconds, do some more reps, rest 20-30 seconds, do some more reps, perhaps repeat once more, end of set.
 
You might end up with something that looks like this.
 
Example:
 
80% x6,
Rest,
80% x4,
Rest,
80% x2
Rest,
80% x1
 
Stop and take full 2-5min rest and repeat for 2-3 total sets.
 
There might be a rep goal you’re trying to achieve, say 10 reps, which means you use the rest-pause as needed until you’ve hit the total reps required.
 
Potentially you do as the example states, it’s up to you.
 
One thing you will find is that this provides a decent training stimulus for both fast and slow responders, you’ll just find those on the ‘easy gainer’ side of the line achieve less total reps than their ‘slow gainer’ counterparts and still make the same progress.
 
I know, life is cruel.
 
A great tip to improve your muscle gain response is to pick better parents in which to get your genetic heritage from next time, I wish you good luck.
 
Give this great method a go if you’ve found results have stalled.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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***3 workout protocols you can cycle, rinse and gain repeat use from***

Consistency is key in training and achieving anything meaningful.
 
Given this notion here are 3 training protocols you can play with the intensity/density (volume totals are set so you don’t need to worry about those).
 
What are those two things?
 
Intensity – % of max being used (weight on bar, heavier KB’s etc means higher intensity)
 
Density – Total amount of work done in time (same work, less time that is your aim)
 
Now to get down to each protocol.
 
1 – 5,3,2 then 20×5
 
Do a set of 5, add load, do a triple, add a bit more, do a double, then drop back to the 5, or slightly less and proceed to do 20 sets of 5, you can take the load up or down if it’s too easy or too hard, just hit all the reps.
 
2 – 6-10×1, then 2×2-3-5-10
 
Work up to a heavy-ish single for the day (not an all out max, the form must be solid and the speed plentiful), you have 10 single to get there and these include the warm ups.
 
You might do something like this on say Deadlift: 60,100,140,160,180,190 – slowed down, rest 5-10min, tried 190 again, still slower than you’d like, called it a day on those.
 
Next pick a % of the max and do 2 reps, rest a tad, then 3, rest briefly again, then 5, more rest, now 10 reps, make sure each is with good form, Now 5min rest and repeat at the same load or adjust if it needed.
 
3 – 3×3 then 12×6
 
Do a few arm up sets, then three progressively heaver triples, easy enough.
 
For the sets of 6, I’ve personally found that about 75% of the days top triple make for solid sets of 6, you can of course vary this.
 
In all of the above you rest as needed, a good rule of thumb in terms of total time in the gym is to aim for 45-90min, I know, quite broad.
 
Personally I aim for 45min, however some people just like taking their time and would rather 90, this is fair enough.
 
Being that we have explained how to vary intensity in each protocol above you may be thinking about how to play with the Density, which is actually very easy, you simply aim to use the same plaids you have preiovusly and get out all the volume in a shorter total time period.
 
You may have also noticed that the term cycling was mentioned, what this means in essence is that you train say 3-5 days a week and use one of the protocol on ONE LIFT ONLY in each training session.
 
You can do maintenance work on your other lifts, with a simple rep/set scheme, something like 3×8 or 4×6 is good, something that hits 15-25 reps with a decent weight will be more than enough to keep you respectable.
 
Say you’re focusing on your Press, and training three days per week, this is what it might look like:
 
Day 1 – Monday
 
A1 – Press – Protocol 1
B1 – Squat – 4×6
B2 – Pull Up – 4×6
C1 – Curls – 3×8
 
Day 2 – Thursday
 
A1 – Press – Protocol 2
B1 – Deadlift – 6×3
B2 – Dips – 6×4
C1 – Face Pulls – 3×10
 
Day 3 – Saturday
 
A1 – Press – Protocol 3
B1 – Front Squat – 3×6-8
B2 – Bent Over Row – 3×6-8
C1 – Chin Up – 4×6
 
In summary.
 
Cycling – Using one protocol each session
Intensity – Use higher loads
Density – Use shorter rest periods
 
Now there is no mention of long term periodisation or progression, that can be down to you. If you aim for 6-12 weeks worth of the above (20-40 total sessions), push hard when you feel strong and back off when you don’t you’ll find things come together.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Progression Tips for Beginners

Do you have any idea how to progress your training across the variables?

– Volume
– Intensity
– Density
– Frequency

It’s quite easy really, as such here is an example for each that can be used for several weeks or months if you have the courage to stay the course.

Volume –

Ladders, one of my favourites.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or 2,3,5,10, or 1,2,3,4,5

There are a lot of choices, for adding extra volume in the form of reps, the most effective being 1-10, and you will only add weight once you can go 1-10 unbroken.

Example (works best as a super set):

A1 – Pull Up
A2 – Close Grip Bench Press

Intensity –

Let us say that you’re a creature of habit who likes doing the same sets and reps, this is cool however progressing can be a tad tricky, therefor this is the solution:

Fractional Plates.

Small 0.25kg (or lighter) plates, all you need do is hit your desired reps then add another 0.25kg and aim to do the same next time.

Personally I’ve found that doing 3-5×3-5 works well as it gives you some room to adapt to the gradual increases. Once you hit 5×5 with good form, adding another fraction plate is easy, it might may you only be able to do 3×3, that’s okay keep grinding until it’s 5×5 and progress from there.

Density –

Perhaps you’re already one strong hombre and adding weight or reps is becoming tricky, fear not, you have two options to progress.

1 – Set a time limit to hit your rep goal.

Example; 50 reps in 15min with 140kg in the squat.

Once you hit it you add weight.

2 – Reduce your rest periods.

Say you’ve started with 5min rest, knock off 15 seconds at the next session, if you hit all your reps then knock off another 15 next time, repeat this until you are perhaps at 3min rest, or lower, that is up to you.

Once you hit your desired point of ‘low rest’ add weight and take the rest back up to 5min per set and so on.

Frequency –

The easiest to manipulate, al you do is add an extra bout of reps or an extra session.

Say you train your squat once per week, bump it up to twice, if you already do two squat sessions do three, you can spread the reps out and build them up from there, example:

1 squat session a week = 5×10
2 squat session = 3×10 per session (10 more total reps)

Make sense?

Adding weight or reps can be applied from the other example above.

The little tips of today are very basic, there is a lot more that can go in to this, however these will be enough to tweak your current training and perhaps get you over the plateau.

Enjoy,
Ross

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I give you these barbells three.

We’ve looked at rep ladders, now let us look at one of the loading variety.
 
Morning All,
 
If you’ve followed on here for a while you will know that a staple suggestion from me is the 1-2-3-4-5 ladder, or the 5-4-3-2-1.
 
You may or may not be aware that there is a ladder where the reps stay the same and it’s the load that changes.
 
Example:
 
3 Kettlebells (or loaded bars if you have them, etc)
Reps – 5-5-5
Sets – 3-10 (adding a set every week is wise, every session is brutal, a nice compromise is every other session)
Rest – As much as needed for all reps to be crisp
 
Having different loads gives you a great opportunity to vary the intensity and give the body a decent stimulus.
 
If you did this on deadlift you might have the following:
 
3x140kg, 3x100kg, 3x180kg
 
You’ve got a potentiation set with a medium weight, a light set where you can now utilise the feeling from he previous load to really crack out some acceleration, then the last load, the heaviest one will benefit from the speed of the preceding set.
 
It all links in together quite nicely.
 
This style of ladders works well on all compound movements and with most rep ranges, however given the enormous amount of volume keeping to 5 reps and under might be advisable.
 
Personally I found 3 week Mesocycles good for progression, so 3 ladders week 1, 4 week 2 and 5 week 3, then drop back to 3 ladders and add weight or change the movement variation, e.g. Bench Press to Incline Press.
 
Give this a go, train 3-5 days per week (perhaps 3 days with ladders on the main lifts – squat, press, DL and the other 2 sessions simple accessory days).
 
There you have it, another option.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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