I am a big believer in high intensity. My clients hate me for it, but when time is an issue keeping the heart rate elevated is a must. Life doesn’t always allow you to spend hours in the gym and unfortunately I do not have that luxury either. Raising the intensity with program design allows you to get achieve a greater level of performance, more efficiently. And that my friends is the focus of this program. By effectively incorporating basic strength and conditioning methods, one can train safely throughout the calender year, make constant progression and still have time for other athletics or activities.
I have written many times about periodization. This is the concept of shifting to less volume and greater load over the course of multiple cycles. You begin with a Hypertrophy cycle to build muscle mass which supports greater loads in the future. Once the hypertrophy phase is satisfactory, a Strength cycle is introduced. This is low speed and once again sets the stage for the final Power cycle. After completing all three cycles, you would normally take some time off to rest and prepare for the next Hypertrophy stage.
As you progress through each cycle, the volume of work decreases and intensity (load percentage of 1 rep max) increases. As mentioned before, shifting away from volume gives you an opportunity to work on other things in later cycles. For example, when training athletes you want the workouts to reflect the sport in which they are participating in, appropriately mimicking the movements they experience. If they are too sore from the workout, they will not be able to perform at their optimal levels during practice. The higher volume of work is what makes you sore the most.
I feel as though intensity has been recently dusted off and spit shined for the general public. Crossfit has made a sport of exercise and opened the eyes of those timid of the dreaded barbell. Granted, some of the Crossfit Kool-Aid is a bit sour for my taste, but the concepts are nothing new. Concentrate on big, complex movements, then finish off the details after the foundation has been laid on that particular workout.
In my next post (which should be up soon), I will breakdown the program and give you template to follow. You will be able to do the same workout as I am doing or you can customize it for yourself. The beauty of this program is that you can tailor it just for you and your specific goals. This is not like the Conjugate Method of training that Westside Barbell has made so famous. We ensuring proper progression with the long term in mind. Nothing against the Conjugate method, but maxing out on particular lifts 4 days per week takes a toll on your body.
With that mind, be on the lookout for Cycle 1’s template and breakdown!!!