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Get Strong/er Now! Program

I?ve been kicking around a program idea lately. Barebones and hardcore. It?s based around an old powerlifting idea: 3 workouts a week. First lift is one of the big three, the next two are an assist exercise for the other two. I like the simplicity and it seems it could be very effective.

I?m not a powerlifter though, and I don?t much care about the bench press; I am much more interested in overhead strength, so I thought my big three would be deadlift, squat, and overhead press (OHP). (To me an OHP is?just get it overhead. If you feel like a stud, do it military, if not, push press, just get your reps in).

The exercise selections look like this so far:

Deadlift. Asst. movements ? trapbar deads, sumo deads, suitcase deads, dumbbell deads, Romanian deads, stiff leg deads, chin ups, rows (chins and rows are included since they hit a major mover for the dead, ie, the lats)

Squat. Asst. movements ? front squats, Zercher squats, Hack squats, sissy squats, lunges

OHP. Asst. movements ? military press, push press, behind the neck press w/ snatch grip, dumbbell press, alternating dumbbell press, bent press, incline press, dips, close-grip bench press

Program would look something like this:

Day 1 ? Deadlift 8x3, one squat asst. and one OHP asst. 4x6
Day 2 ? Squat 8x3, one dead asst. and one OHP asst. 4x6
Day 3 ? OHP 8x3, one dead asst. and one squat asst. 4x6
Use for four weeks, then move on

Volume is a matter of taste, pure strength focus could be, 3x5 and 2x5 ? whatever.

bino,
You might feel like that is a lot of volume for the low-back, depending on the assitance movements you choose for squat and DL. Then again, I’m old and probably more sensitive to those things. In any event, I’d want more time between the DL and squat days, maybe moving day 3 to day 2. Try it and let us know how it works.
old dogg

I do squats on monday, bench(or variation like dips) on wednesday, and deadlift on friday. For the assistance on squats I do heavy lunges w/ a barbell and stiff-legged deadlifts. Then on Wednesday I do heavy dips(I can’t bench shoulder is bad), then chinups and rows. Maybe even throw in another tricep only exercise if the dips weren’t enough. Then Friday I do deadlifts, rack pulls, and military press.

I vary the reps and just make sure I’m workin hard, I’m pleased w/ the progress though. I like doing 10x3 on the big exercises, then maybe 4x6 or 5x5 on the assistance. All heavy, fo sho.

You could also rotate different protocols for main exercises every week.
Or better yet, have a accumulation phase:

Week 1: 10/8/6
Week 2: 5x5
Week 3: 10x3

and then intensification phase

Week 4: 3x5
Week 5: 3x3
Week 6: 5/3/2

I’ve been training like this, more or less, for the past year and had good strength gains.

[quote]old_dogg wrote:
bino,
You might feel like that is a lot of volume for the low-back, depending on the assitance movements you choose for squat and DL. Then again, I’m old and probably more sensitive to those things. In any event, I’d want more time between the DL and squat days, maybe moving day 3 to day 2. Try it and let us know how it works.
old dogg[/quote]

I expect this to be demanding on the posterior chain. You have a point though that I should take advantage of the extra recovery day by placing it between the squat and deadlift. I will do so.

It may be awhile til there is feedback… I’m not planning on using this real soon. Right now I just want to cogitate on it and get some good input. Thanks for your suggestion.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
I do squats on monday, bench(or variation like dips) on wednesday, and deadlift on friday. For the assistance on squats I do heavy lunges w/ a barbell and stiff-legged deadlifts. Then on Wednesday I do heavy dips(I can’t bench shoulder is bad), then chinups and rows. Maybe even throw in another tricep only exercise if the dips weren’t enough. Then Friday I do deadlifts, rack pulls, and military press.

I vary the reps and just make sure I’m workin hard, I’m pleased w/ the progress though. I like doing 10x3 on the big exercises, then maybe 4x6 or 5x5 on the assistance. All heavy, fo sho. [/quote]

So your program looks like this:

Mon: Squat, lunges, SLDL
Wed: Dips, chins, rows, occasional tricep movment
Fri: Deads, rack pulls, military press

Not precisely the same but similar. Since I posted I’ve been reconsidering the volume. I think it may be too high, and I was considering dropping it to 6x3 for the first movement and 2x6 for the second. This would give me 42 reps per workout, 126 per week. That seems more consistent with a strength focused program. Your plan has even more volume than I first suggested… have your gains been in strength, hypertrophy or both?

[quote]slotan wrote:
You could also rotate different protocols for main exercises every week.
Or better yet, have a accumulation phase:

Week 1: 10/8/6
Week 2: 5x5
Week 3: 10x3

and then intensification phase

Week 4: 3x5
Week 5: 3x3
Week 6: 5/3/2

I’ve been training like this, more or less, for the past year and had good strength gains.[/quote]

I have to admit I’m pretty new to the accumulation/intensification concept. Can you explain the theory behind it ?

I’d say both, but more or less towards the strength side, I haven’t been eating as much as I should to put on mass. Plus I play hockey thursday’s, some friday’s, and saturday’s so it’s hard to put on mass with that much cardio. I definately feel stronger though. I’m no expert or anything, I just kinda threw that together myself. I really hit my posterior chain, and I feel my arms are a weak point so I try to prioritize them hence the dips/rows/chins. I plan on following a T-mag program pretty soon though, one geared more towards hypertrophy.

[quote]bino wrote:
I have to admit I’m pretty new to the accumulation/intensification concept. Can you explain the theory behind it ?[/quote]

It is based on Dual Factor Theory (or fitness-fatigue) and on the Delayed Training Effect. Everything I could write on this subject would be just me paraphrasing the articles I’ve read, so just google those terms and you’ll get plenty of info on the subject.

Accumulation/intesification is one convinient way of setting up a Dual Factor training program.

Chosing the exact set and rep patterns in highly individual, but there are some basic guidelines. During the volume phase, volume is either kept high from start or you work up to it. Intensity usually increases linearly. Should you continue with volume phase for a longer period of time, you’ll get overtrained. But, just as you’re about to run out of your recovery ability, you switch to intensity phase, where volume drops significantly and that enables you to recover from the whole volume phase and expirience strength gains. And you keep increasing the intensity with lower volume.

I hope this previous paragraph makes sense :slight_smile: Regardless of theory behind it, this approach works.

[quote]slotan wrote:
bino wrote:
I have to admit I’m pretty new to the accumulation/intensification concept. Can you explain the theory behind it ?

It is based on Dual Factor Theory (or fitness-fatigue) and on the Delayed Training Effect. Everything I could write on this subject would be just me paraphrasing the articles I’ve read, so just google those terms and you’ll get plenty of info on the subject.

Accumulation/intesification is one convinient way of setting up a Dual Factor training program.

Chosing the exact set and rep patterns in highly individual, but there are some basic guidelines. During the volume phase, volume is either kept high from start or you work up to it. Intensity usually increases linearly. Should you continue with volume phase for a longer period of time, you’ll get overtrained. But, just as you’re about to run out of your recovery ability, you switch to intensity phase, where volume drops significantly and that enables you to recover from the whole volume phase and expirience strength gains. And you keep increasing the intensity with lower volume.

I hope this previous paragraph makes sense :slight_smile: Regardless of theory behind it, this approach works.[/quote]

Hmm. From your explanation, it seems you are refering to intesification as manipulating intesity, ie, load. In CT’s recent Eastern European Bodybuilding article he said that one should not confuse intensity with intesification. According to him, intensification refers to super sets, drop sets, etc. I wonder if accumulation/intensification is one of those muddy terms of art. I will have to do some reading on it…

[quote]bino wrote:
Hmm. From your explanation, it seems you are refering to intesification as manipulating intesity, ie, load. In CT’s recent Eastern European Bodybuilding article he said that one should not confuse intensity with intesification. According to him, intensification refers to super sets, drop sets, etc. I wonder if accumulation/intensification is one of those muddy terms of art. I will have to do some reading on it…
[/quote]

I think this is just a terminology issue, and also there’s a difference in applying in for BB and strength/athletic goals. Check out CT’s tip #4 here:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=506166

[quote]slotan wrote:
bino wrote:
Hmm. From your explanation, it seems you are refering to intesification as manipulating intesity, ie, load. In CT’s recent Eastern European Bodybuilding article he said that one should not confuse intensity with intesification. According to him, intensification refers to super sets, drop sets, etc. I wonder if accumulation/intensification is one of those muddy terms of art. I will have to do some reading on it…

I think this is just a terminology issue, and also there’s a difference in applying in for BB and strength/athletic goals. Check out CT’s tip #4 here:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=506166
[/quote]

Thanks for the link. I had read it when it came out, but had forgotten about the a/i reference. I definitely agree that there is something to this approach… I had been thinking of it in broader terms though; I think CP put it well in his recent interview:

[quote]TC: Since we were talking about rep schemes, there?s a big push in bodybuilding to do a lot fewer reps than what was traditionally advocated. I?m talking about 8 sets of 3 and typically, according to what you used to say at least, that was more or less for strength and not for hypertrophy. What are your thoughts on that?

CP: True, when you?re prescribing it for a short time. You can definitely hypertrophy on sets of three, it just takes longer. But the advantage is you get strong at the same time. The thing is that most bodybuilders don?t grow because they?re too weak. If you do 8 sets of 3 or do cluster training or whatever, you use maximal weights, and your body will learn to recruit high-threshold motor units.

Let?s say if a guy can do 250 for 8 in the bench press, and his pecs are at their limit. He can then go on a strength cycle. Let?s see, if he does 250 for 8, his max should be about 320. If he goes on a strength cycle and gets his bench up to 360, then when he does his sets of 8, he can now do 280. And because he can use 280, his pecs are going to grow. Because then he has used enough weight, long enough, to stimulate growth.

But look at Olympic lifters, they never do more than 6 reps, but they have huge thighs and traps, because they?ve done it long enough. What people don?t know, the reason muscle hypertrophies is that it?s easier for muscle to hypertrophy than it is to recruit more motor units. It?s basically the body?s laziness, so, if you go and tap into new motor units and go back and do sets of 8 with your new max, you will grow.

Conversely, the opposite is true. You have guys, for example, who go into the weight room and they lift every day, and their lifts have not improved since Jimmy Carter was President, Well, I ask them, “What?s your best for 8 reps?” and they say, “I don?t know, 250,” and I say “Try training with only 8-rep sets and get that max up to 270, and then go back to heavy training.”

So if you haven?t gained strength in a long while, you have to hypertrophy the fibers.[/quote]

The idea being max out strength at a certain level of mucsularity, then add some muscle and repeat.

Hey Bino,
The easiest way to grasp the real world benefits/concepts of Accum/Intes. phases is what is referred to as ramping and coasting.

Much like that thread you and I were on a while ago discussing hovering on the helix. The hover is based on the fitness-fatigue model. Over the course of 2-4 weeks you increase the volume of your workouts while maintaining the overall intensity (load). That is intensity as it is actually scientifically defined. A percentage of your 1RM. The intensity CT is talking about at times is the generic western concept of effort. Remember, as Charles Staley teaches, don’t seek fatigue, seek improvement. Check out his D-Tap.

One example of accum/intens might look like this:

week 1:
Monday: 3x5 at 80% 1RM
Wednesday: 3x8 at 70% 1RM
Friday: 3x12 at @65% 1RM

Week 2:
Monday: 4x5 at 80% 1RM
Wednesday: 4x8 at 70% 1RM
Friday: 4x12 at @65% 1RM

Week 3:
Monday: 5x5 at 80% 1RM
Wednesday: 5x8 at 70% 1RM
Friday: 5x12 at @65% 1RM

As you can see, you are increasing the volume progressively, while, for this example, you are using the same weight. Much like a CW style of setup. Then once you “top out” on the volume, called “Ramping”, then you go into an intensity focused phase. This is the real definintion of intensity in this phase meaning that you’ll use at least 80% 1RM to stimulate type IIB’s and increase strength.

Week 4
Monday: 3x3 at 85% 1RM
Wednesday: 3x3 at 85% 1RM
Friday: 3x3 at 85% 1RM

Week 5:
Monday: 5x2 at 87-90% 1RM
Wednesday: 5x2 at 87-90% 1RM
Friday: 5x2 at 87-90% 1RM

Week 6: Take an off week for max strength and mass gains.

This is a classic strength phase that you could order in different ways. You might work up to singles like so
3x3, 1x2, 1x1 at 90-95% 1RM. Just keep the volume lower via fewer sets and reps and don’t approach failure often if at all. Failure simply over exerts the nervous system and causes you to have to wait longer to recover while your muscles themselves are well able to be stressed again. It creates superfluous down time.

Accumulation refers to the increase in reps, and therefore work performed and micro trauma. Then you go into an Intensification phase. Here you basically increase the intensity level you are working WITH not AT. In the first three weeks you’re using probably around 80% on mondays, 70% on wednesdays, and 60% on fridays. This allows for more volume. On the final weeks, you use 85-90% of your 1RM, so this is more intense. Do not confuse intensity as it is actually defined with the idea of effort that is measured not by percentages of 1RM, but rather by how many veins are bulging and how much you are shaking during the last reps. THAT will screw your gains faster than anything.

Simply put acc/int is ramping and coasting. Allowing a backlash of fitness increase while accomodating the fatigue you induced in the first three weeks in my example.

Volume phases and intensity (% of 1RM/load) phases.

Hope that helps,
Disc Hoss

Disc Hoss, funny you should jump in at this point, I nearly posted the CP quote in the 10, not quite 3 thread instead of here since it seemed strongly related to the milking concept. Ie, milking would be a part of attaining maximal strength at a set level of LBM, which lends support to the notion that CNS adaptation is as important as muscular adaptation even for those who seek only max hypertrophy? a topic that has been going around lately.

Your explanation of accum/intens seems to be that of the three training factors of volume, load, and density, during accumulation, you keep L and D constant, and raise V in an undulating pattern, then during intensification, you keep V and D constant, and raise L weekly.

So here are my questions:
What are my exercise selections during the accumulation phase? If I apply your suggested program to my template, I will be doing deads with 5 reps, squats with 8, and OHP with 12 for the first three weeks. Seems to me I should hit each of the big three with each of the rep ranges. How do I structure this? The obvious solution is to do the same exercises each day during accumulation, is this what you do?

Getting to the fundamentals:
Ramping and coasting of what? Overtraining?
What type of person, goal-wise, is the ideal candidate for this type of training model?

Old thread, I know but…

…Disc Hoss (or anyone else), I’m interested on what you wrote below. Your example makes complete sense to me BUT in reading CT’s Modern Strength Book recently he states that over the course of either an accumulation or intensification block volume should be DECREASED!! Now, CT is one smart mofo so I’m not really questioning that he’s right but simply trying to understand the discrepancy between what you have said below (which I had assumed to be correct) and CT’s methodology. Any thoughts?

Thanks

w-o-i

[quote]Disc Hoss wrote:
Hey Bino,
The easiest way to grasp the real world benefits/concepts of Accum/Intes. phases is what is referred to as ramping and coasting.

Much like that thread you and I were on a while ago discussing hovering on the helix. The hover is based on the fitness-fatigue model. Over the course of 2-4 weeks you increase the volume of your workouts while maintaining the overall intensity (load). That is intensity as it is actually scientifically defined. A percentage of your 1RM. The intensity CT is talking about at times is the generic western concept of effort. Remember, as Charles Staley teaches, don’t seek fatigue, seek improvement. Check out his D-Tap.

One example of accum/intens might look like this:

week 1:
Monday: 3x5 at 80% 1RM
Wednesday: 3x8 at 70% 1RM
Friday: 3x12 at @65% 1RM

Week 2:
Monday: 4x5 at 80% 1RM
Wednesday: 4x8 at 70% 1RM
Friday: 4x12 at @65% 1RM

Week 3:
Monday: 5x5 at 80% 1RM
Wednesday: 5x8 at 70% 1RM
Friday: 5x12 at @65% 1RM

As you can see, you are increasing the volume progressively, while, for this example, you are using the same weight. Much like a CW style of setup. Then once you “top out” on the volume, called “Ramping”, then you go into an intensity focused phase. This is the real definintion of intensity in this phase meaning that you’ll use at least 80% 1RM to stimulate type IIB’s and increase strength.

Week 4
Monday: 3x3 at 85% 1RM
Wednesday: 3x3 at 85% 1RM
Friday: 3x3 at 85% 1RM

Week 5:
Monday: 5x2 at 87-90% 1RM
Wednesday: 5x2 at 87-90% 1RM
Friday: 5x2 at 87-90% 1RM

Week 6: Take an off week for max strength and mass gains.

This is a classic strength phase that you could order in different ways. You might work up to singles like so
3x3, 1x2, 1x1 at 90-95% 1RM. Just keep the volume lower via fewer sets and reps and don’t approach failure often if at all. Failure simply over exerts the nervous system and causes you to have to wait longer to recover while your muscles themselves are well able to be stressed again. It creates superfluous down time.

Accumulation refers to the increase in reps, and therefore work performed and micro trauma. Then you go into an Intensification phase. Here you basically increase the intensity level you are working WITH not AT. In the first three weeks you’re using probably around 80% on mondays, 70% on wednesdays, and 60% on fridays. This allows for more volume. On the final weeks, you use 85-90% of your 1RM, so this is more intense. Do not confuse intensity as it is actually defined with the idea of effort that is measured not by percentages of 1RM, but rather by how many veins are bulging and how much you are shaking during the last reps. THAT will screw your gains faster than anything.

Simply put acc/int is ramping and coasting. Allowing a backlash of fitness increase while accomodating the fatigue you induced in the first three weeks in my example.

Volume phases and intensity (% of 1RM/load) phases.

Hope that helps,
Disc Hoss[/quote]

Anyone?

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
Old thread, I know but…

…Disc Hoss (or anyone else), I’m interested on what you wrote below. Your example makes complete sense to me BUT in reading CT’s Modern Strength Book recently he states that over the course of either an accumulation or intensification block volume should be DECREASED!! Now, CT is one smart mofo so I’m not really questioning that he’s right but simply trying to understand the discrepancy between what you have said below (which I had assumed to be correct) and CT’s methodology. Any thoughts?

Thanks

w-o-i

[/quote]

I don’t have CT’s book, but the way you put it doesn’t seem right. From his Top 7 tips:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=506166

Maybe what’s he refering to is a short deload within the phases themselves. Can you post the exact words?

Thanks for the reply Slotan.

The quote (which comes from Part 7 - The Integrated Training Plan) is:

‘During the blocks volume is lowered in a step-like fashion (week 1 has the highest volume, 100%, and the volume for the other weeks is planned according to the first week).’

Thats the quote and if you read the section CT seems to be talking about all blocks, whether accumulation, intensification, explosion or specialisation. I’m confused. What do you think?

Thanks.

[quote]slotan wrote:
will-of-iron wrote:
Old thread, I know but…

…Disc Hoss (or anyone else), I’m interested on what you wrote below. Your example makes complete sense to me BUT in reading CT’s Modern Strength Book recently he states that over the course of either an accumulation or intensification block volume should be DECREASED!! Now, CT is one smart mofo so I’m not really questioning that he’s right but simply trying to understand the discrepancy between what you have said below (which I had assumed to be correct) and CT’s methodology. Any thoughts?

Thanks

w-o-i

I don’t have CT’s book, but the way you put it doesn’t seem right. From his Top 7 tips:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=506166

1.1. Accumulation Period for Bodybuilders

Frequency: Each muscle group is trained 1-2 times per week.

Volume (sets): The volume should be high, around 9 to 12 sets per muscle group.

Volume (reps): It should also be high, in the 6 to 12 reps per set range for the most part.

Intensity (%): It should be moderate, 70-80%. Once past the intermediate level, never go below 60% (unless doing explosive work).

Training techniques: Straight sets, post-fatigue, medium reps cluster, yielding isometrics for time, iso-dynamic contrast, tempo contrast.

Rest intervals: 1 to 3 minutes depending on training technique.

2.1. Intensification Period for Bodybuilders

Frequency: Each muscle group being trained 2-3 times per week.

Volume (sets): The volume should be low, around 3 to 6 sets per muscle group.

Volume (reps): Moderate, in the 4 to 6 reps per set range for the most part.

Intensity (%): Relatively high, 80-90%. Once past the intermediate level, never go below 70% (unless doing explosive work).

Training techniques: Straight sets, medium rep cluster, heavy iso-dynamic contrast, low reps post-fatigue.

Rest intervals: 2 to 4 minutes depending on training technique.

Maybe what’s he refering to is a short deload within the phases themselves. Can you post the exact words? [/quote]

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
Thanks for the reply Slotan.

The quote (which comes from Part 7 - The Integrated Training Plan) is:

‘During the blocks volume is lowered in a step-like fashion (week 1 has the highest volume, 100%, and the volume for the other weeks is planned according to the first week).’

Thats the quote and if you read the section CT seems to be talking about all blocks, whether accumulation, intensification, explosion or specialisation. I’m confused. What do you think?

Thanks.

[/quote]

I can only guess, so maybe the best course of action would be to contact CT directly.

Based on what I read in other articles, “step-like” means something like this:

Week 1: 100%
Week 2: 90%
Week 3: 95%
Week 4: 85%

but, it was usually in opposite direction - like 2 steps forward, one step back.

Maybe the type of cycle he’s refering to is something similar to Dan John’s OLAD setup, where you go 7x5, then 6x3 then 5-3-1. The first week, obviously, is when major loading occurs.

Anyway, these are just speculations.