This seven week, 5x/week cycle will focus on developing strength (focused on myofibril hypertrophy, aka your muscles get bigger and stronger, not one or the other) via a linear progression based on a initial assessment. Sounds complicated? It’s not. We’ll simply add a predetermined amount of weight on a established set/rep scheme each week until you hit a wall, then reset and get back on track. We will focus on strength 4x/week, and add in 2x work capacity efforts and 1x aerobic endurance/trunk strength effort to keep you athletically well rounded. This will be a challenging cycle, and it relies on following a set of protocols outlined below to maximize the work. Don’t go full meathead Week 1 - follow the training techniques below and you’ll see outstanding results, no matter your lifting experience.
1. Don’t go balls to the wall on Week 1
The first week will establish baseline loading for the prescribed lifts during this cycle. The guidance is to work up to a hard, but doable weight - not your absolute max. You should have perfect posture and position while hitting smooth reps. This should feel like a 8 on the effort scale, not a 10. Don’t worry, we’ll get there.
2. Compensatory Acceleration
Each lift has three phases - eccentric, amortization, and concentric. During this cycle, I want you to control the weight on the way down (eccentric phase) as you normally would. Hit the bottom of the lift (amortization), and explosively move the weight up (concentric phase) as fast as you can while maintaining form and control. You should hear a slight *clink* of the plates when finishing the lift. The speed of the lift will depend on the load, but you should be striving to move that weight up as quickly as you can.
3. Sets/Reps & Prescribed Loading
The sets/reps prescribed are at your working load. Take as much time as needed to work up to that load, and then complete the programming.
4. Failing Reps & Resets
If you complete all sets and reps as prescribed, continue adding weight on the next session as prescribed. If you fail on 1-2 reps of the total prescribed (3 Rounds of 5x Back Squat = 15 total), use that same load for the next session. If you fail on 3+ reps, you need to drop load to where you were three weeks ago. So if I started at 135 lbs on the back squat, and in Week 5 I’m now at 160 by adding 5 lbs each week, drop to 145 and continue on the prescribed progression.
Weekly Break Down:
Mon: Strength (Back Squat, Landmine Push Press) + Short Work Capacity
Tues: Strength (Sumo Deadlift, Pull Ups, Loaded Step Ups)
Wed: Aerobic + Trunk Strength
Thurs: Strength (Back Squat, Bench Press) + Short Work Capacity
Fri: Strength (Power Clean, Chin Ups, Walking Lunges)
All exercises are linked to demo videos. Click and watch if you’re unfamiliar.
Equipment: This is a gym plan. You’ll need access to a squat racks, bumper plates, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, etc.