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'Hepburn's Law' Strength Program


#1

Has anyone run the program outlined in "Hepburn's Law" as written? What were your results? Did you change anything with it and how so?


#2

[quote]Rschwitalski wrote:
Has anyone run the program outlined in “Hepburn’s Law” as written? What were your results? Did you change anything with it and how so?[/quote]

I haven’t but what Hepburn did do well was make small adjustments every week to gain muscle and strength over a long period of time. He was always building rather than testing. He also had two versions - one from earlier years and one later years.


#3

I tried a variation last year which was basically Doug Hepburns A program wher you start with 4 singles with around 90% of your 1 rep max and add 1 single per work out, once you reach 10 you add a little weight and drop back down to 4 singles.

As you can see I left the 5x5 portion of the program out of it but even so I still burn out and ended up actually losing some strength, that’s not to say someone else wouldn’t make gains on it but it was to much for me, perhaps I didn’t have a strong enough base to begin with.

If you do try it let me know how you get on, do you have a training log on here ?


#4

People had good results with the Mike Mahler one posted about 5 years back -basically like 10x3


#5

[quote]tredaway wrote:
I tried a variation last year which was basically Doug Hepburns A program wher you start with 4 singles with around 90% of your 1 rep max and add 1 single per work out, once you reach 10 you add a little weight and drop back down to 4 singles.

As you can see I left the 5x5 portion of the program out of it but even so I still burn out and ended up actually losing some strength, that’s not to say someone else wouldn’t make gains on it but it was to much for me, perhaps I didn’t have a strong enough base to begin with.

If you do try it let me know how you get on, do you have a training log on here ?[/quote]
“Doug never used percents, he realized some guys could do more than others at a certain percent.”

One of the reasons it might not have worked would be from starting too heavy. If you grind any of the singles the first few weeks I’d say you’re starting too heavy. IMO it should be light enough where you should be able to get through the entire first wave (up to 10x1) without feeling too beat up.

If I were to implement the routine that uses singles, I’d probably have one day a week for the singles and then one day for the 5x5 “pump” with ~70-75%. The first wave of singles would take 7 weeks and wouldn’t be too crazy difficult, and in that 7 weeks I would accumulate a good amount of volume with a low intensity to help increase muscle size to keep driving the singles along for a good amount of time. Ideally the second wave of singles shouldn’t be too difficult either since it’s only like 10 pounds heavier, and by that point you have 14 weeks of 5x5 volume helping to keep pushing you along. Although I don’t think this is strictly “The Hepburn Method” or whatever, I think if used correctly it could let you progress for a while without burning out (especially if you use his more recent suggestion of switching from 4-10x1 to 4-10x3 when you stall and switching back when you stall on 4-10x3).


#6

@ Omnistyx your absolutely correct If I remember correctly I think I read that the weight he used roughly worked out to 90 % so that’s what I went with but as you say Doug himself never used percentages. What your suggesting sounds similar to the Texas method ie a volume day and an intensity day which could work really well, I do know that at a later time Doug said he probably over did it by adding the 5x5 work after the singles and wouldn’t recommend it now.

To take RampantBadger’s suggestion a stage further after Mikes article and the follow up thread to it an old member who’s user name was Twiceborn came in on the thread and gave loads of practical advice concerning Doug’s training methods and even Mike Mahler thanked him for setting the record straight concerning Doug’s training methods, what makes this man’s advice golden is the fact that he actually met and talked with Doug himself and used Doug’s training methods very success fully himself…so my advice is to try and find the thread that has Twiceborns info.


#7

Check out C.Thib’s work as well. Lots of his stuff using the “double progression” and “layers” are a modern take on Hepburn’s ideas.

Whatever name you call it, lifting heavy weights first, then lifting lighter weights after is great for technique and strength(in my opinion).

I totally agree with OSU, the “key” to this style of training is to draw it out, and make it last. Do a workout with weights challenging enough that you need to lift correctly, but light enough that you can get through the session and recover. Then do it again. And again. And again. It’s not about rapid progression from one session to the next, you want to think in terms of progression over months. Make each workout higher quality than the last.

A scheme that worked for my press was like…

Week 1
Work up to a heavy 5 reps, or around 85%. This will be your “heavy” weight for awhile.
-Back off with one or 2 sets of 3, around 10% lighter. This will be your “light” weight for awhile.

Week 2
85% for 3 singles
75% for 3 triples

Week 3
85% for 1,2,1
75% for 3 sets of 4.

Week 4
85% for 3 doubles
75% 3x5 reps

Week 5
85% x2,3,2
75% 3x6

The actual reps and progression are up to you, but the slower you go, the longer the method works.

After the heavy weights, the light weights just move “different.” I find myself really accelerating the bar, squeezing tight, and moving deliberately. Every week the weights feel easier, so I just want to press them “better.” I think of it like practicing with 85% until that weight becomes my new 75%.


#8

Some good point’s there I must admit I quite like the idea of working up to a working 1 or 2 rep max ( not actual 1 or 2 rm ) followed by some higher rep back off sets, I could just do with finding a practical way of applying it.


#9

Thanks for everyone’s input. I came across a couple of the articles here and read “Hepburns Law”. I like the minimalist approach to training. I’m just having trouble finding people reporting their progress after an extended period of time. I’ve been running it for 3 weeks as written and must say I enjoy it so far. If I do stick with it I’ll be sure to report back.


#10

[quote]Rschwitalski wrote:
Thanks for everyone’s input. I came across a couple of the articles here and read “Hepburns Law”. I like the minimalist approach to training. I’m just having trouble finding people reporting their progress after an extended period of time. I’ve been running it for 3 weeks as written and must say I enjoy it so far. If I do stick with it I’ll be sure to report back. [/quote]

I think you should trust the program fully (the version in Hepburn’s law, focusing on 2 exercises per session, three at the most) and stop worrying about how others might have fared on it (self-reporting is utterly unreliable anyway).