training block

12/31/18-01/28/19

This is a 4 week intensification block. We are transitioning from high volume, sub-maximal work to low volume, maximal work. If you took the last block seriously, you should be ready for 4 weeks of steady PRs.

 

Because most people dicked around during Christmas break, call whatever work you did a wash and start Monday, December 31st anew. If you did week 1 of this program the week of Christmas, just repeat it with the same percentages and try to out-do your previous rep maxes.

11/11/18 - 12/24/18

This is a 6 week volumization phase. It follows up the previous intensification cycle nicely by giving a break from weekly failure sets and aggressive jumps in weight. Instead, percentages will remain at 75% or below while the number of working sets increase linearly each week.

It is better to err on the side of too light rather than too heavy during this phase. All of the thousands of repetitions that will be done are essentially practice for executing the perfect rep. Despite the monotony, trainees usually report that the main movements feel substantially cleaner, faster, and more dialed in as the weeks go on. This, in addition to the work capacity and muscle gained during this phase, is crucial to the success of the heavier strength phases that will follow this.

10/15/18 - 11/10/18

This is a 4 week progression that relies mainly on intensification to drive progress (increasing intensity, decreasing volume).

Week 1 is an introductory week which also serves as a deload if this block is ran multiple times in a row. Volume jumps dramatically into week 2 with extra working sets, then steadily drops each week as the weight climbs up.

 

Every weighted accessory exercise decreases reps from week to week, so it is implied that weight will increase.

Keep this in mind when selecting weights for these exercises. Week 1 should be somewhat easy, 6-7/10, since week 2 jumps to 5 working sets with (ideally) slightly more weight. Then reps and sets drop each week to further accommodate weight increases.

I prefer to use an intensification block like this that aggressively chases performance based PRs after a longer volumization block.

I don't recommend cycling through this more than twice before switching blocks or swapping out the main movements. Since it is a short block and the percentage jumps are aggressive, diminished returns will set in after several cycles.
 

Empire Barbell

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