T Nation

6 Weeks with an Athlete


#1
  1. If you only have a 6 week offseason is it better to do one 6 week program or two 3 week phases?

  2. This athlete has to get faster and more explosive I was thinking of doing 3 weeks of the zombie workout you wrote and 3 weeks athlete lean athlete strong. Thoughts?


#2

I would use a concurrent approach in which strength, power and hypertrophy are trained during each week. But I would change the ratio of each every 2 weeks… not by a lot though.


#3

Nah these are body comp programs, you can do better than that.

Weeks 1-3: 4 days a week (Monday (UB), Tuesday (LB), Thursday (UB), Saturday (LB) … it would be more of a foundation-building and getting back into it. Each day would be structure like this:

ACTIVATION: 10 minutes of low impact jumps or throws
EXERCISE 1: simple Olympic lift variation
EXERCISES 2-3: Antagonistic pairing for strength (4-6 reps per set)
EXERCISE 4: loaded carry variation
Then some bodybuilding work for key or weak muscles

Weeks 4-6: Same split: Canadian Ascending-Descending Power Training… its a routine I used with a world class bobsleigh guy. You can fairly easily find it on the internet


#4

TY so much as always


#5

This is such a cool program CT thank you


#6

Thanks man! It’s what was at the origin of the 6 weeks to superhero plan but with a lower workload for athletes who also have to train other physical elements. Which also makes it more easily doable for a longer period of time… and to think that is almost 20 years old!


#7

The original has higher reps should the rep scheme stay the same ?


#8

for the curious

Canadian Ascending - Descending Power Training
By: Chris Thibaudeau
(This is a training program for strength & explosiveness for athletes.)

Canada is a land of many strength training legends. Maybe it’s the frozen tundra and the dark forests we live in or the fact that we have to carry a shovel and dig our way to work in feet of iced snow. Either way, there has been a lot of good strength training advice coming from our side of the border. No doubt that you’ve heard about such Eskimos as Charles Poliquin or Charlie Francis. It’s possible that you also are aware of the existence of a Polar Bear named Pierre Roy. Well, for every well-known Canadian strength coach out there, there is a dozen more just as good that still dwell in the dark, unknown or unrecognized by most strength adepts. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the strength coaching profession is not as respected and revered here as it is on your side of the border or in Europe. Regardless, there are great coaches around that do have some unique training methods worthy of being added to our training codex.
Such a man is strength coach Jean Boutet. A mountain of a man who was himself a strength powerhouse and a damn good football player in his youth. This man, rugged in style and crude of words (great blues singer too!) has produced time after time incredibly powerful athletes in all the range of athletes. From youngsters to master athletes, from synchronized swimmers to football linemen. His training approach is simple, to the point and extremely effective … to say the least!
Probably his greatest achievement as a strength coach is the training of Pascal Caron, the break man for the Canada 1 bobsled team. At the training camp Pascal turned some heads after he bench pressed 425lbs at a body weight of 175lbs (without a bench shirt or any mechanical aid/recoil gear) and ran the 60m in 6.36 (0.02 sec. faster than the actual World Record by Maurice Greene of 6.38). Among other things, he has power snatched 100kg (hang snatch actually) and hang cleaned 130kg for a triple. At a pro football combines a few years back he also bench pressed 225lbs 33 times and ran a 4.17 / 40.
Coach Boutet’s accomplishments are not limited to Pascal as he is currently training dozens of hockey players from midget up to pros (NHL and AHL), he also trains over 70 football players and dozens of other elite athletes from various sports. He is also a great football coach. Last season he was coaching two teams, one High School team and one Collegiate team and both won the provincial championship (equivalent of the state championship) and both were undefeated for a combined 24 - 0!!!
Okay, this is not a eulogy or a biography, you will get some useful training info! Specifically I will expose you to one of Coach Boutet’s most effective, yet simple, training method. The “ascending-descending” method. This method is aimed at improving lower body power to its maximum level. It is simple, brutal, and unbelievably effective.

The nuts and bolts

The method is simple. It uses a series of exercises, each different in nature in regard to the F = ma equation. It will use one pure slow-speed strength exercise (or limit strength exercise), one strength-speed exercise, one speed-strength exercise, one reactive strength exercise and one bounding exercise.

Exercises:

  1. Full back squat / Front squat
  2. Hang snatch / Hang clean
  3. Jump squat
  4. Hurdle jumps / Depth jumps
  5. Step up jumps
    The workout is done twice per week. The first time you start with no.5 and work up to no.1 (ascending training). In the second training you start with no.1 and work your way down to no.5 (descending training). This way, you emphasize the high speed movements once and the slower speed movements with a greater strength component once also. This will allow you to get an incredibly powerful and explosive lower body!

Program design
While it’s not set in stone, I recommend using a 3-1 approach to this training. This means that you increase the volume during the first 3 weeks, then cut it down drastically during the fourth week to allow the body to surcompensate. During week 3 you should be at the end of the line … you should be tired and somewhat fatigued (although not excessively). Performance-wise that third week is your lowest point (keep that in mind!), but during the fourth week you get better and better and when you start a new 4 weeks cycle you are much improved compared to the first cycle. This progression is maintained for 3 cycles.
Here’s what a sample program might look like. You’ll notice that I do not write the reps, sets and load immediately. Right after the workout description there will be a list of periodization tables for each exercise explaining how much to do every week. BTW, the exercises are not supersetted, you do all the sets for exercise one then move on to exercise two etc.
Table 1. Exercises and training density
Training Day Exercise Rest intervals btw. sets
Monday Step-up jumps 1-2 minutes
Hurdle jumps 1-2 minutes
Jump squat 2-3 minutes
Hang snatch 2-3 minutes
Full back squat 3-4 minutes

Thursday Full back squat 3-4 minutes
Hang snatch 2-3 minutes
Jump squat 2-3 minutes
Hurdle jumps 1-2 minutes
Step-up jumps 1-2 minutes

Table 2. Periodization for the back squat
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 7 6 5 4 6 5 4 3
Sets 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 3
Load 80 % 83 % 85 % 88 % 85 % 88 % 90 % 92 %
Tempo 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1

Table 3. Periodization for the hang snatch
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 5 4 3 2 4 3 2 1
Sets 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 3
Load 83 % 85 % 88 % 90 % 88 % 90 % 92 % 95-100 %
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive

Table 4. Periodization for the jump squat
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 10 9 8 7 9 8 7 6
Sets 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 3
Load 20 %* 22 %* 25 %* 27 %* 22 %* 26 %* 27 %* 30 %*
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive
*) The percentage is in relation to the back squat 1RM

Table 5. Periodization for the hurdle jumps
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 10 10 10 10 12 12 12 12
Sets 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2
Load BW* BW* BW* BW* BW* BW* BW* BW*
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive
*) The load is body weight only

Table 6. Periodization for the step-up jumps
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 10* 10* 10* 10* 12* 12* 12* 12*
Sets 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2
Load BW** BW** BW** BW** BW** BW** BW** BW**
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive
*) Number of reps per leg, do both legs
**) The load is body weight only

Constructing the workouts
To build your workouts you simply have to look at the periodization tables. Let’s say that you are in week 3 and that it’s your Thursday workout. That would give you:

  1. Full Back squat
    6 sets of 5 reps with 85% using a tempo of 301, 3-4 minutes between sets
  2. Hang snatch
    6 sets of 3 reps with 88 %, 2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Jump squat
    6 sets of 8 reps with 25%, 2-3 minutes between sets
  4. Hurdle jumps
    5 sets of 10 with your body weight, 1-2 minutes between sets
  5. Step-up jumps
    5 sets of 10 with your bodyweight, 1-2 minutes between sets

In part 1http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth…00#post1237000 of this series I introduced an new type of power training called Ascending-Descending training. This is a method developed by strength coach extraordinaire Jean Boutet. Part 2 will explain how one can use the Ascending-Descending principles for upper body training and how to design a weekly training schedule. The article is gonna be repetitive, it pretty much is the same thing as part 1 except for the exercises, periodization and exercise explanations.
The nuts and bolts
The method is simple. It uses a series of exercises, each different in nature in regard to the F = ma equation. It will use one pure slow-speed strength exercise (or limit strength exercise), one strength-speed exercise, one speed-strength exercise, one reactive strength exercise and one bounding exercise.

Exercises:

  1. Bench press / Incline bench press
  2. Push press
  3. Medicine ball throw from chest
  4. Depth push-ups
  5. Half power push ups for reps
    The workout is done twice per week. The first time you start with no.5 and work up to no.1 (ascending training). In the second training you start with no.1 and work your way down to no.5 (descending training). This way, you emphasize the high speed movements once and the slower speed movements with a greater strength component once also. This will allow you to get an incredibly powerful and explosive upper body!

Program design
While it’s not set in stone, I recommend using a 3-1 approach to this training. This means that you increase the volume during the first 3 weeks, then cut it down drastically during the fourth week to allow the body to surcompensate. During week 3 you should be at the end of the line … you should be tired and somewhat fatigued (although not excessively). Performance-wise that third week is your lowest point (keep that in mind!), but during the fourth week you get better and better and when you start a new 4 weeks cycle you are much improved compared to the first cycle. This progression is maintained for 3 cycles.
Here’s what a sample program might look like. You’ll notice that I do not write the reps, sets and load immediately. Right after the workout description there will be a list of periodization tables for each exercise explaining how much to do every week. BTW, the exercises are not supersetted, you do all the sets for exercise one then move on to exercise two etc.

The program tables
Table 1. Exercises and training density
Training Day Exercise Rest intervals btw. sets
Tuesday 1/2 power push ups 1-2 minutes
Depth push ups 1-2 minutes
Med. Ball throw 2-3 minutes
Push press 2-3 minutes
Bench press 3-4 minutes

Friday Bench press 3-4 minutes
Push press 2-3 minutes
Med. Ball throw 2-3 minutes
Dept push ups 1-2 minutes
1/2 power push ups 1-2 minutes

Table 2. Periodization for the bench press
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 7 6 5 4 6 5 4 3
Sets 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 3
Load 80 % 83 % 85 % 88 % 85 % 88 % 90 % 92 %
Tempo 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1 3-0-1

Table 3. Periodization for the push press
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 5 4 3 2 4 3 2 1
Sets 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 3
Load 83 % 85 % 88 % 90 % 88 % 90 % 92 % 95-100 %
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive

Table 4. Periodization for the medicine ball throw
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 10 9 8 7 9 8 7 6
Sets 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 3
Load 10-20lbs 10-20lbs 10-20lbs 10-20lbs 10-20lbs 10-20lbs 10-20lbs 10-20lbs
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive

Table 5. Periodization for the depth push ups
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps 10 10 10 10 12 12 12 12
Sets 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2
Load BW* BW* BW* BW* BW* BW* BW* BW*
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive
*) The load is body weight only

Table 6. Periodization for the 1/2 power push ups for reps
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Reps AMAP10* AMAP15* AMAP20* AMAP15* AMAP20* AMAP2
5* AMAP30* AMAP25*
Sets 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2
Load BW** BW** BW** BW** BW** BW** BW** BW**
Tempo Explosive Explosive Explosive Explosive Expl
osive Explosive Explosive Explosive
*) Refer to As Much reps As Possible, the number refers to the amount of time. So AMAP10 means as much reps as possible in 10 seconds.
**) The load is body weight only
Constructing the workouts
To build your workouts you simply have to look at the periodization tables. Let’s say that you are in week 3 and that it’s your Friday workout. That would give you:

  1. Bench press
    6 sets of 5 reps with 85% using a tempo of 301, 3-4 minutes between sets
  2. Push press
    6 sets of 3 reps with 88%, 2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Medicine ball throw from chest
    5 sets of 10 reps with 10-20lbs, 2-3 minutes between sets
  4. Depth push ups
    5 sets of 10 with your body weight, 1-2 minutes between sets
  5. 1/2 power push ups for reps
    5 sets of AMAP20 with your bodyweight, 1-2 minutes between sets

Complete training schedule / Adding other exercises / Conclusion…
Complete training schedule
If you choose to do the whole ascending - descending power program the schedule is as follow:
Monday: Ascending lower body
Tuesday: Ascending upper body
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Descending lower body
Friday: Descending upper body
Saturday: off
Sunday: off

Adding other exercises, this program contains minimal upper body work for most athletes. Many of us are used to doing much more exercises for the upper body. More for aesthetic reasons than performance reasons in my opinion. So if you want to add other exercises for the shoulders, back, chest, biceps or triceps you can do so BUT only after all the prescribed work is done.
However keep the volume relatively low as you’ll already be taxing your system with this program. I would recommend doing 5-10 sets for the upper back, the rest is up to you.
Another alternative is to add your additional exercises on Saturday. Saturday is ideal for extra work because working out on this day will not negatively affect your performance on the subsequent prescribed workout (because you have a full day of rest before it).

Conclusion
Once again let me tell you that this is not a powerlifting or bodybuilding program. It is not optimal to develop maximum strength and/or size. It is an approach to develop maximum power and should be used mainly by athletes wishing to improve their sport performance.

On the other hand, it is a great program to develop power. But that doesn’t mean that you should only use this program for the rest of your life. Phases focusing more on limit strength and size must be included in your yearly planification.